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Eclipse Now

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  1. This is my most recent draft. I hope it summarises my core argument first and has clearer writing about the other peripheral subjects later. Warning: it's fairly long, but the first 2 points are so worth it! Stop at Blue Mars if you wish as that's half way, and everything after there becomes a bit more speculative. MARS V the BELTERS While I eventually would love to see *all* of the solar system settled and O'Neil colonies everywhere, I think we should start with Mars first. There are 3 main reasons: the City Size Bonus, Technology Bottlenecks, and the Myth of Self-Replication Mining ship
  2. he box to come up with this as it's a whacky option that's so crazy it just might work. I wouldn't have thought of it in a million years. TIDALLY LOCKED VENUS Throw tens of thousands of large asteroids or Kuiper belt objects at Venus to speed up its rotation till its day equals its sun, locking one side permanently towards the sun. The sunny side would be perfect for solar energy the CO2 would drop and fall on the dark side We would colonise the middle twilight ground Creates amazing energy potential on the sunny side Deals with CO2 once and for all Tens of thousands of asteroid impa
  3. I said Zubrin smashed it. This was the reply to my post on another forum. I think I'm changing my mind! No, he doesn't. He's a smart guy, but he's also dogmatic. He can't get past his Mars (Semi) Direct plan. His criticisms of ITS read like a blow for blow list of differences from Mars Direct. Mars Direct has its merits if you want an Apollo style mission. It makes no sense for this context. SpaceX wants to build an interplanetary railroad. That requires bringing launch costs down, which requires reusablity. (Fuel costs far less than building safe, dependable, human rated, rocket ships.) If
  4. Thanks Craig, great summary and I finally get it. I guess the first few flights should absolutely have an ITS that lands a fully fitted out habitat. But once there are say 500 to 1000 people on Mars, we can revisit the ITS plan to try and get the ticket price down by having the Mars base build their own habitats. The reason is cost. It's the old problem of the cost of a plane flight if the passengers are buying the plane outright for one flight. So the first 5 to 10 trips should definitely land habitats fully fitted and ready to live in and extend! But at some point the goal would be to bring
  5. Hi all, can anyone explain to me in English how Zubrin thinks he has a plan to get 10 times more use out of Elon's ships? I could not understand how the 1 ship gets 10 times more use.
  6. OK, so vat-grown meat is a thing. http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/02/lab-grown-meat-prices-have-dropped.html But what if the feedstock is unsustainable? Could we use processed kelp as a feedstock for all our meat and chicken and turkey needs, so that we would never have to kill real live animals for protein again? Anyone know any biochemists that might work in this field?
  7. Hi all, I found the answer. Let me summarise! Seaweed farms could revolutionise the world. 2% of the world's oceans are nutrient rich enough for these farms. Nutrients come from coastal erosion or oceanic upwelling. Sometimes there is nutrient pollution which causes algal blooms and dead zones. Seaweed farming can help mop up excess nutrients and restore ocean health. A new vertical column method of farming the oceans grows both kelp and shellfish and oysters and even encourages fisheries to grow in an ocean ecosystem based approach. Watch this 15 minute TED talk about seaweed feeding the
  8. The seaweed ecology wiki only mentions sunlight and a shallow enough anchorage point to grow seaweed. Nutrients may not be the limiting factor I thought. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaweed#Ecology Tim Flannery again:- If big oil get wind of this, then let them at it! 1. 200kg of seafood per person! That’s over half a kilo per day! 2. Some of our NPK nutrients – normally flushed out to sea via the toilet – recaptured for land farming. 3. And biogas energy backup for a renewable world that the politicians and pundits seem so intent on! 4. Maybe some biochar left over to help retain that NPK
  9. Hi all, I've edited this thread to simplify the issues, and investigate the following questions:- * SYNGAS FROM SEAWEED TO BACKUP ALL RENEWABLES WORLDWIDE! A ton of CO2 concentrated into biomass is about a ton of wood. 40 Gigatons would 40 cubic kilometres of woody waste to dispose of each year. We already know how to biochar any dried biomass waste. 40 cubic kilometres into a biochar unit could produce maybe 20 cubic km of biochar and 20 cubic km of synthetic gas to replace petroleum and natural gas? Wow that's a lot. That's vastly more than the 'cubic mile of oil' we use a year (or 1.6 cub
  10. Tim Flannery talks about using 9% of the world's oceans to farm kelp to sequester 40 Gigatons of carbon emissions annually, or roughly 2ppm CO2 per year. goo.gl/n6iFdG Seaweed farming is already an established industry in many countries, but this project would be expanding it by 20,000 times. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaweed_farming
  11. By the way Moontanman, this guy is now my favourite youtuber and I have watched dozens of his movies, and will continue to do so! Thanks for that reference, a real gem. And the fact that I watch so much youtube kind of reinforces the conversation above: TV viewing declines in 'real time'. As long as the Mars & other colony databanks keep sucking down the juice from Earth, and people can get their next season of Daredevil and Jessica Jones from Netflix, they'll be happy. The only real drag is online gaming and Skype are out, but many people will adapt to Facebook chats etc in bit-by-bit sta
  12. Hi Craig, great breakdown. So the ticket price includes all the equipment to establish a colony: that's awesome. Now I'm wondering what it might take to get them spreading out away from the new colony at Mars. A demand for methane? Would a space elevator at Titan be a desired outcome of a colony there, flinging large tankers of methane back to Mars? But as I understand it, one of the main rationale for Mars is that it has everything we need in one go. Land there, and you could eventually start mining and building a whole new planet based civilisation. There are, of course, asteroid buffs tha
  13. So if that's for real, it seems that there would be a bunch of reasons to thicken the atmosphere as soon as we determine there's no native life to worry about. 1. Radiation protection! We wouldn't need magnetosphere to protect us as one fifth atmospheric pressure is enough to bring the surface radiation down to safe levels. 2. Clothes! Dump clunky vacuum pressure-suits and just wear normal warm clothes! (With an oxygen mask of course, just like on a high mountain). 3. Farming! Some agriculture could begin on the Martian surface, without pressure domes. 4. Easier construction! Habita
  14. Hi all, I asked some people on another forum whether a post-terraformed Mars would require a magnetic field to protect Elon Musk's bold new Martians ( ) from radiation, both solar and cosmic. These are some of their replies, and not being technical myself, I wonder if you could check their working? If the claims below are true, then we "only" need to cook the CO2 poles and then Mars will have enough atmosphere to avoid a space suit (but wearing very warm clothes with breather mask), start growing some crops on the surface without habitat domes, AND be protected from radiation. So, 2 qu
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