Author Topic: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization  (Read 26051 times)

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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
I don't really understand why would it be deemed "too expensive" and "too slow" to ship required materials like Ammonia or Nitrogen from wherever?
Load up several orion-sized ship with Nitrogen, and trips could be made in fifteen minutes or less. You could probably bring the required amount to make things right in days, (if you have enough transport ships. :P)

The transports ships then aren't useless or anything. You could load them up and proceed to Terraform other planets...

Bacteria might be cheaper (in terms of overhead cost, don't have to build all the transport ships), but I really don't think it'd be faster...certainly not in the long run if you're planning on terraforming every suitable ball of rock you come across.

Or, I might just be totally wrong, but I was under the impression that the only real issues with terraforming is the magnetic field generator, and the transportation, everything else we could basically do "now". You wrote off the magnetic field, and subspace is a pretty damn effective means of transportation.

Though I will say a slow process does add to 'character' more than "look ma, more earths!".

No. Neither we or the GTA could possibly simply ship enough gases (or other materials) to form an entire atmosphere on Mars, much less larger planets. Even with subspace jumps shortening the duration of the traveling, it would still take a lot of reactor fuel, and the volume of transferred gases would still be insufficient due to limited number of ships available.

Planets are [REDACTED] HUGE.

Even the ability to produce a magnetic field of planetary scale is a stretch scientifically, but necessary for the story, as it makes it possible to produce an atmosphere on-site over long period of time. Thankfully, Mars already has a large supply of water, so that's less of an issue.


Mobius: Cyanobacteria are weird things that resist classification, but for everyone's mental health and convenience it's easiest to just call them algae. They might not technically belong to "Algae" according to currently defined taxonomy, but as you said yourself, names can be confusing. Mind you, the algae selected for Martian deployment was of poisonless variety, they made damn sure of that for obvious reasons. Blooming cyanobacteria would be the last thing you would want on your water reservoirs in a rather hostile environment. :p

Another interesting fact - Earth atmosphere has 0.9340% Argon, which means there's several magnitudes more of the stuff available per processed volume of air on Earth...

Also a request - Could we converse of Inferno on Inferno board?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 05:38:43 pm by Herra Tohtori »
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Offline The E

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Stuff about whether or not Cyanobacteria are algae has been split out. I appreciate the effort, Mobius, but if it looks like an algae, I'm gonna call it an algae, no matter what it's exact scientific classification is.


Also, Pluto is a planet.

EDIT: ANY further posts on the subject of Mobius and algae and bacteria WILL BE SPLIT OUT.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 06:11:38 pm by The E »
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Offline Mobius

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Stuff about whether or not Cyanobacteria are algae has been split out. I appreciate the effort, Mobius, but if it looks like an algae, I'm gonna call it an algae, no matter what it's exact scientific classification is.

Part of that post was relevant to the topic, I don't understand the reasons behind the split... editing that post may have been enough. I asked Herra if ions or even isotopes would have better chances of remaining in proximity of Mars' soil, without the need of an artificial magnetosphere (which is extremely difficult to create).


P.S.
I'm sending an e-mail to an expert and I hope he'll reply very soon.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Ionized gases don't work like that as they have electric charge. Heavier isotopes could technically work but stable heavy isotopes are typically rare and, again, I must stress the scale of planets. As to the need of a magnetosphere... Gas molecules "leak" from upper atmosphere as they reach escape velocity. Mars has much smaller escape velocity than Earth and also needs thicker atmosphere to produce same surface pressure. Magnetic field stops most of solar wind from impacting has molecules which reduces their chances of acquiring escape velocity greatly. Magnetic field also gathers ionized particles to van allen belts and their interaction with upper atmosphere is not fully understood yet. The alternative to magnetic field is a steady stream of gases to supplant the losses to solar wind.

Also, it would be impossible for GTA to ship any meaningful amounts of gases as an atmosphere. Even shipping it cryogenically stored would not produce any significant results.

And while I don't really mind discussing the analogies between mods, I'd like this thread to be about our Mars. I'll be glad to compare them further in a separate thread.
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Offline The E

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Stuff about whether or not Cyanobacteria are algae has been split out. I appreciate the effort, Mobius, but if it looks like an algae, I'm gonna call it an algae, no matter what it's exact scientific classification is.

Part of that post was relevant to the topic, I don't understand the reasons behind the split... editing that post may have been enough. I asked Herra if ions or even isotopes would have better chances of remaining in proximity of Mars' soil, without the need of an artificial magnetosphere (which is extremely difficult to create).


P.S.
I'm sending an e-mail to an expert and I hope he'll reply very soon.


I will let this one stay in here, but as I said above, ANY further discussion along the lines of whether or not cyanobacteria are bacteria or algae will be split out. And no, I don't particularly care whether or not a post is partially relevant to this topic.
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Offline Mobius

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Ionized gases don't work like that as they have electric charge. Heavier isotopes could technically work but stable heavy isotopes are typically rare and, again, I must stress the scale of planets. As to the need of a magnetosphere... Gas molecules "leak" from upper atmosphere as they reach escape velocity. Mars has much smaller escape velocity than Earth and also needs thicker atmosphere to produce same surface pressure. Magnetic field stops most of solar wind from impacting has molecules which reduces their chances of acquiring escape velocity greatly. Magnetic field also gathers ionized particles to van allen belts and their interaction with upper atmosphere is not fully understood yet. The alternative to magnetic field is a steady stream of gases to supplant the losses to solar wind.

Would immense greenhouses help maintaining the artificial atmosphere where it is, at least in regions of critical importance? It should be fairly easy to "cover" vast regions of the surface and "save" the artificial atmosphere.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Ionized gases don't work like that as they have electric charge. Heavier isotopes could technically work but stable heavy isotopes are typically rare and, again, I must stress the scale of planets. As to the need of a magnetosphere... Gas molecules "leak" from upper atmosphere as they reach escape velocity. Mars has much smaller escape velocity than Earth and also needs thicker atmosphere to produce same surface pressure. Magnetic field stops most of solar wind from impacting has molecules which reduces their chances of acquiring escape velocity greatly. Magnetic field also gathers ionized particles to van allen belts and their interaction with upper atmosphere is not fully understood yet. The alternative to magnetic field is a steady stream of gases to supplant the losses to solar wind.

Would immense greenhouses help maintaining the artificial atmosphere where it is, at least in regions of critical importance? It should be fairly easy to "cover" vast regions of the surface and "save" the artificial atmosphere.

...

:lol:

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Ruggero Leoncavallo for the win.
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Offline The E

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
To explain that  :lol:, read the text again. They are already producing more oxygen than they lose, and have a breathable (if somewhat unpleasant) atmosphere in the lowlands of Mars. They don't need domes anymore.

Domes would also run counter to the semi-nomadic approach to citybuilding the martians have adopted.

Ruggero Leoncavallo for the win.
:wtf: wat
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Offline Mobius

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
In later stages of terraforming, yeah. With the artificial magnetosphere set up, yeah.

But before the two things mentioned above? That's what I would like to know. :)
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
They do have some domes in the safer areas, though.

In later stages of terraforming, yeah. With the artificial magnetosphere set up, yeah.

But before the two things mentioned above? That's what I would like to know. :)


Mobius, what you suggested was the construction of huge domes.

It's not exactly a new idea.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
ON (META-)TOPIC:

Are you guys gonna be compiling all this stuff together, along with the next release or something?

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
This is just awesome.  Really great stuff, Herra. :) And haa, Dwarf Fortress. :D

(I thoroughly approve of the names right above that dam. :yes:)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 01:06:06 am by Mongoose »

 

Offline asyikarea51

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Lacus what?
Inferno plz
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization

 

Offline asyikarea51

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Naah, it just struck me. I was feeling a bit random at the time I saw that word while scanning through the text and posted that. Sorry. XD

:nervous:
Inferno plz
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Offline Snail

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization

 
Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Am I the only one who noticed the Oxys-Ultor Threat Workshop?

Oh, and it seems to me like the evolutionary adaptation to the climate happened rather quickly and spontaneously, which is unusual since I don't believe evolution works that way.  How would those genes get selected for?  Are you sure there wasn't any genetic modification going on?
17:37:02   Quanto: I want to have sexual intercourse with every space elf in existence
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[21:51] <@Droid803> I now realize
[21:51] <@Droid803> this will be SLIIIIIGHTLY awkward
[21:51] <@Droid803> as this rich psychic girl will now be tsundere for a loli.
[21:51] <@Droid803> OH WELLL.

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[07:57:32] <Caiaphas> inspired by HerraTohtori i built a supermaneuverable plane in ksp
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[07:58:19] <Caiaphas> apparently people can't take 20 gees for 5 continuous seconds
[08:00:11] <Caiaphas> the plane however performed admirably, and only crashed because it no longer had any guidance systems

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Am I the only one who noticed the Oxys-Ultor Threat Workshop?

Oh, and it seems to me like the evolutionary adaptation to the climate happened rather quickly and spontaneously, which is unusual since I don't believe evolution works that way.  How would those genes get selected for?  Are you sure there wasn't any genetic modification going on?

Good question, but addressed:

Quote
Most of the changes are still basic acclimation to the environment, which is not caused by the genotype - there has simply not been enough time for significant evolutionary differences to develop. Medical statistics do show that people who have high-altitude ancestry do tend to acclimate faster and better to the conditions on Mars.

Good thinking though.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Know your Sol: History of Martian Terraforming and Colonization
Also, the initial martian colonists most likely went through a number of health checks and acclimation tests.

People from high altitude environments would have done better in those tests, resulting in statistical anomaly of some importance. As a result, the martian colonists as a population were not average Earthers, but had somewhat higher percentage of people from high altitudes. Then there's the amount of initial colonists who simply couldn't or wouldn't adapt to the conditions, and again this percentage would be higher within the "lowlander" parts of the population.

And there have already been several generations of Mars-borne people, which means the initial higher percentage of "highlander" genes (and the first one to utter the pun will be cleft in twain with a claymore) have spread to the population. Add the time when Mars was socially and economically almost isolated from Earth and other parts of GTA. The population of Mars stayed static during that time, but that doesn't mean no one left it. Those who felt it was too harsh left, those who could and wanted to stay, did so.

Note that this doesn't mean everyone on Mars was a space sherpa, but a statistically significant part of population had some of the traits associated to high altitude populations. One of the sources I used here.

After the collapse of Delta Serpentis node, the new colonists are more representative of the entire human population of Earth. However, simply due to practical reasons the portion of colonists who have genetic heritage from Andes or Tibetan areas is slightly over-represented.

Please don't mistake this as eugenics of any sort or even selective breeding, it's simply what I would expect to happen quite naturally. Also, it's still not all of Martian colonists that have these traits, more like 10-20% at the most - and that's of the population before the Great War and subsequent influx of new immigrants. There are no reliable statistics of the genetic diversity of Martian demographics available at the moment.
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