Author Topic: Terraforming  (Read 9696 times)

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Shivans.

The Sathanas fleet as a productive and engineering achievement is utterly insignificant in comparison to this. Any society capable of terraforming Luna by this method could bury the Sathanas fleet under wave after wave of millions of automated flying beam cannons. The premise prohibits the story.
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Offline General Battuta

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Yeah, my big problem with the Luna domes is that any society that can do this can eat the Shivans, GTVA, and anything else in FreeSpace alive.

They're technically feasible, maybe even in the very limited timescale possible, assuming you have von Neumanns doing the work. But they imply a level of technological development that's way past anything else in FS.

Each of those domes is bigger than a Sathanas by far.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 08:21:20 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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I actually have heard some theoretical potential for Venus climatological manipulation.  It would involve creating a genetically engineered bacteria which would chemically alter the atmosphere to be less inhospitable, so further terraforming could be attempted.
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Offline mr.WHO

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Wrong, very, very wrong. Venus' atmosphere is far too toxic for terraforming to ever be possible.

Those toxins can be easilly removed by mechanical, chemical, or biological mean. I bet that even present day technology make a removal possible, albeit not at planetary scale.



My point is that Venus is far better (both in living condition and economical means) place to terraform than Luna, plus it exclude the need of those rudiculous "bigger than Juggernaut" domes.

IMO the resonable order of Terranforming should be Mars -> Venus -> Luna.

 

Offline The E

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Do the research.

Venusian surface pressure is 93 bar on average. Venusian surface temperatures, on average, are 460 °C (860 °F for our metrically challenged friends). Atmospheric density on ground level is 65% of water, for crying out loud.

You simply cannot manipulate an atmosphere on that scale, not with the knowledge and expertise we have right now. Not to mention that permanent settlements under those conditions are beyond our capabilities at the moment.

Establish a permanent, self-sufficient settlement in the Gobi desert. Establish a permanent, self-sufficient settlement in Death Valley. Establish a permanent, self-sufficient settlement on the ocean floor. Then you can start talking about terraforming, or extraterran colonies.
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Offline Trivial Psychic

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For today's technology... yes, but the know-how exists... its really just a question of scale and time... and of course getting there.  The high temperatures are partially due to a runaway greenhouse effect.  The temperature staying up keeps it too hot for water to form, so its all in the atmosphere, where it contributes to the high atmospheric pressure.  If you could find a way to disrupt this balance, you could conceivably return Venus' atmosphere to something that would permit terraforming.  You'd probably need to introduce something high in the atmosphere that would serve to deflect a portion of the incoming sunlight, similar to how particulates in the upper atmosphere after some volcanic eruptions can contribute to lower global temperatures.  It would be a long process, for sure.  If one wanted a fully terraformed Venus in time for Inferno, you'd probably have to start now.
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Offline The E

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There's a lot of "if" in there. I say again, first prove to me that you can establish permanent self-sufficient colonies in the Gobi, Death Valley and the ocean floor. Then we can come back and talk about terraforming a place as hostile as Mars, or Venus, some more.

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Offline jr2

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About the Shivans' Sathanas / Luna dome tech comparison... apparently some people have forgotten what Sathanii do... they cause a star to go supernova!  :eek:  Think about that for a minute.

Now go back, you're still not thinking about it.

Now picture this: a civilization that can terraform Luna with glass domes, would still be vulnerable to a Lucifer-class Shivan vessel, if the subspace weakness was not discovered yet.

Now stop and think:

The Hindenburgh was as large as the Titanic.  Roughly.  

Now:  Try this argument.

A society that can build this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:F-16C_Fighting_Falcon.JPEG


would be utterly insignificant compared to a society that could build this:

http://www.airships.net/wp-content/uploads/hindenburg-747-profile-550x193.jpg




(Size comparison of Hindenburgh to Boeing 707... or 747, depending on whether the website is to be believed, or the filename.  It looks like a 747.  Then 747 compared with F-16)


... OR NOT

One is a weapons system.

One is a transport.

Now, the technology that enables you to encase Luna may in fact eventually give you the ability to threaten the Shivans.

I, for one, am betting the Shivans know that.

I would say Luna will be back to its former condition (albeit with a lot of burning plastic on the surface) pretty soon.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 06:45:31 pm by jr2 »

 

Offline The E

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I'd say you are the one not thinking about this.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that encasing Luna, even partially, requires a massive amount of production and logistics capability. Building a supermassive fleet on top of that requires even more of that. Now, what if said production capability was turned towards building shoals of Mjolnir-equivalents? What good does it do the Shivans if they can blow up a system's sun, if said system is protected by the defenses an infrastructure like that can build and support?
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Offline jr2

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I'm betting that the encasing equipment isn't as hard to manufacture as you think, due to several technological breakthroughs.  That's the only way I can make sense of it.  Something like how plastic was revolutionary... except in this case, maybe a sort of Saran-Wrap crossed with Kevlar crossed with it being able to be grown by bacteria out of household components.  And some sort of revolution on air processing technology... maybe some genetic engineering with bacteria to do that, too.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Well it just suggests that Inferno has changed a lot.

It used to be that the Icanis was a big technological accomplishment that had taken massive amounts of resources to get working just because of its size.

Now it turns out they can mass produce domes far more massive than the Icanis using von Neumanns which suggests they can just sodomize everybody else. You can argue that the Icaunis is somehow more complex but the fact is that with this tech they could just as easily have thousands of destroyers. But for some reason they don't.

So whatever, I'm rolling with it. Its Ace Combat/Wings of Dawn/animetech and I'm fine with it, even if it's a big break from FreeSpace's insistence on internally consistent tech levels.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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I'm betting that the encasing equipment isn't as hard to manufacture as you think, due to several technological breakthroughs.

Why are these great advancements in materials science not applicable to the design of spacecraft then? I mean, we've already talked about how the moon is a meteor trap so this stuff has to be strong enough to make good structural and armor material.

That also ignores the other half of our objections, which is the sheer scale of it all. The raw amount of material needed for this project would compromise anywhere from a generous 1% to a conservative 10% of the mass of the Moon. If you bring it in from outside you're going to alter orbits and tides and that's enough hauling capacity that you could simply throw all the freighters at the Sathanas fleet and win. If you produced all the raw materials on the moon then you have the refinieries and mines sitting around to churn out raw materials for an Icanus every five days.

The mod of SadisticSid and Woomeister no longer exists. This new mod is many things, but it is in no way heir to the name of Inferno.
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Offline General Battuta

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Yeah, I mean I've got no problem with technological advances, but if this was done with von Neumanns then holy ****, the setting has changed, and if it wasn't well...

Let's do the math.

The moon's equator in the screenshot is banded by about 50 of the hexagonal domes. Since only half the equator is visible, we'll assume it takes 100 domes to completely belt the moon's equator.

The moon has a circumference of 10,921 km. Each dome is therefore 109.21 km across. This gives each hexagonal dome an approximate radius of 54.6 kilometers, and an internal area of 7,745 square kilometers.

Treating each dome (for ease of calculation) as a hemisphere, each dome has a surface area of 18,731 square kilometers. Assuming a thickness of ten centimeters and a flat Lunar surface (har har), each dome's actual material has a volume of 1.873 cubic kilometers. (These are arbitrary numbers, but quite optimistic, I think. In reality each dome is probably squashed rather than hemispherical, but I think it's a fair tradeoff for the thin domes, use of diamond and concessions to terrain regularity.

Assuming the domes are made of industrial diamond, they have a density of 3.52 grams per cubic centimeter.

Each dome contains 1.9 x 10 ^ 15 cubic centimeters, which at a density of 3.52 grams per cubic centimeter comes out to

a total mass PER DOME of  6 690 000 000 metric tons! (Unless I screwed up.)

By comparison, if we treat the mighty Colossus as a cylinder of of steel six kilometers long and one high, it has a volume of 4.7 cubic kilometers, with a mass of 36 895 000 000 metric tons. So the Colossus would mass about the same as six domes, assuming it were a solid block of steel (which has twice the density of diamond)...

...but assuming that the domes take up the entire Lunar surface with perfect efficiency, you need 4897 domes to cover the entire planet...

...and the total mass of all those domes is equal to about 888 Colossi.

Now you might be tempted to say that each dome is nowhere near as complex as the Colossus, which is why the Colossus took 20 years to build, but remember that each dome also contains all the necessary terraforming and general life support equipment, PLUS they have to be self-repairing to deal with constant impacts because the Moon is a huge target and has no atmosphere.

So the EA could probably do it, if they had von Neumanns (the total mass of the domes, while formidable, could easily be obtained just by disassembling Ceres), but the question then becomes why they struggled to build the Icanis. If you can build self-supporting domes of this size in a gravity well, you should be able to build a heck of a lot of destroyers or beam weapon platforms...and for that matter you could wall off the node with a massive shell of tremendous thickness (!).

Not to mention that if you can build an autonomous Neumann to assemble these domes you can build autonomous Neumanns that can build and then fly a combat fighter...meaning the EA should be defended by millions, maybe billions of drone weapons constructed by gray gooing the less valuable bits of the Solar System.

Also the whole blimp/F16 metaphor is faulty as heck. This is more like 'a society that can build F-16s versus a society that can build shells of F-16s by the trillions...and could clearly therefore build full F-16s by the billions'.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 04:36:03 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline starbug

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The mod of SadisticSid and Woomeister no longer exists. This new mod is many things, but it is in no way heir to the name of Inferno.

Erm this is still woo's mod said so himself, in another thread, he just stays behind the scenes. As for the doming the moon, i'll go along with it, it is sci-fi. I can understand terraforming mars, because it already has an atmos and there on about terraforming it even in todays age. The moon, i suppose its possible since they say they found water on it. Just hard to imagine it covered in domes but its still a cool sci-fi idea.
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Offline The E

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Just hard to imagine it covered in domes but its still a cool sci-fi idea.

No. It's a cool fiction idea, but there is very little science behind it. As Battuta, NGTM1-R and I have pointed out, if you follow the science behind it, it leads to conclusions that are simply not fitting into the established scales of the FreeSpace universe.
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Offline General Battuta

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Just hard to imagine it covered in domes but its still a cool sci-fi idea.

No. It's a cool fiction idea, but there is very little science behind it. As Battuta, NGTM1-R and I have pointed out, if you follow the science behind it, it leads to conclusions that are simply not fitting into the established scales of the FreeSpace universe.

Given that the Moon will never be self-sustaining without the domes, the other big question is why you'd bother. Mars can (sort of) hold an atmosphere, but with the Moon you're basically building a giant space station around a huge meteorite attractor.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Erm this is still woo's mod said so himself, in another thread, he just stays behind the scenes.

Yeah, at this point that's not actually believeable anymore since it has absolutely nothing comparable to R1 or even INFA. The Inferno that we all knew and liked is dead as hell.
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Offline General Battuta

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Well I do think we could see a lot of cool stuff come out of Mobius' work. But it is pretty much Mobius' show at this point.

From what I know the team was much larger until a couple years ago. At that point Woomeister had mostly withdrawn to deal with real life and Mobius started taking control of the creative direction. I gather the rest of the team disagreed strongly with this, and there was an attempt to course correct back towards the original Inferno. Woomeister objected, and most of the team quit or became inactive, leaving Mobius to pretty much run the show as Woomeister has been too busy with RL stuff for a few years now.

Whether or not you think this is a good thing is up to you. Like I said, I'm excited to see some of Mobius' ideas, but I also miss Inferno, a campaign I was very excited for. So I'm ambivalent.

 

Offline The E

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Battuta, was it necessary to reiterate that once more? We know about your view on the subject, we've debated about it earlier. No need to post it again.
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Offline Thaeris

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Well...

If we were trying to find a more reasonable means of explaining the domes, perhaps we might fall back a little on FS's handwavium, as well as general handwavium that in abstract may make sense...

Perhaps there is no dome material, but rather there exists only a support truss which might be some form of field housing/projection mechanism... or something like that.

By ionizing the upper atmosphere and providing a corrosponding  magnetic array of sorts, the moon might thus hold onto its atmosphere well enough to avoid using physical ceramic plates which might provide another advantage - ease of access to space from the Lunar surface below. Assumably you could also build a built-in communications array/power grid into the structure as well...

However, like any massive construction, the maintainance would still be substantial, but at least in this instance, it wouldn't be like tending to an actual sheet of... something.
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