View Poll Results: Which planet should we focus on more to terraform?

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  • Mars

    5 26.32%
  • Venus

    4 21.05%
  • Neither.

    10 52.63%
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Thread: Venus vs. Mars

  1. #121
    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    We need to develop intergalactic travel and terraforming technologies to eventually provide more living space for humanity.
    One could ask the question 'Why'. Why does humanity need more living space? A recurring argument here is the 'all eggs in one basket' one which holds that if humanity does not venture into space, it will go extinct as a result of cosmic catastrophy or ultimately Sol's life cycle making life on earth impossible. While the former could happen and the latter certainly will, to claim that this is a high priority problem that needs to be tackled starting now is too ridiculous to entertain. I would go so far as to say that anyone who raises this in earnest cannot be taken seriously, as it betrays a complete lack of sense of proportions. Locking yourself in a bunker for a lifetime to avoid getting hit by lightning is an eminently sane proposition by comparison.
    Equally fantastical is the notion that shipping people into space is a solution to over-crowding. With the current technology, the energy expenditure to lift billions out of the gravity well is prohibitive and the kind of innovations needed to solve that so far only exist in sci-fi novels (the ones from the 60s and 70s. Modern sci-fi author know they can't get away with it in near future fiction). So there's the paradox that in order to survive, humanity must solve over-crowding before space colonization can reasonably be expected, which in turn means the colonization of space won't ever have solving over-crowding as its aim.
    "Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many men praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand?" - Lucius Annaeus Seneca -

  2. #122

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    It doesn't mean we should send out Warhammer-style pioneer fleets right away.
    We need to develop intergalactic travel and terraforming technologies to eventually provide more living space for humanity.
    Did you just intentionally suggest intergalactic travel? Or by mistake? Even interstellar travel is highly doubtful to ever happen.

    I really do not intend to start a fight here, but if you are serious with that and all the rest you have opined on the matter, I really must say that you are operating under misunderstandings rooted in science fiction. Which, by the way, is just fiction and not science at all. Brought about by the artistic types.

    Us boring science and engineering types who make calculations and have to take practical responsibility of our ideas are generally not very keen on spending our ever more limited resources on such wild goose chases. The very attempt to direct enough resources into those could ruin our chances of building a sustainable future here on Earth. Well, there are the few billionares who are shoving money at their space tourism programs instead of competing in sustainable technology to keep Earth habitable, but none of them is going to find a new home for humanity.

  3. #123

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    One could ask the question 'Why'. Why does humanity need more living space? A recurring argument here is the 'all eggs in one basket' one which holds that if humanity does not venture into space, it will go extinct as a result of cosmic catastrophy or ultimately Sol's life cycle making life on earth impossible. While the former could happen and the latter certainly will, to claim that this is a high priority problem that needs to be tackled starting now is too ridiculous to entertain. I would go so far as to say that anyone who raises this in earnest cannot be taken seriously, as it betrays a complete lack of sense of proportions. Locking yourself in a bunker for a lifetime to avoid getting hit by lightning is an eminently sane proposition by comparison.
    Equally fantastical is the notion that shipping people into space is a solution to over-crowding. With the current technology, the energy expenditure to lift billions out of the gravity well is prohibitive and the kind of innovations needed to solve that so far only exist in sci-fi novels (the ones from the 60s and 70s. Modern sci-fi author know they can't get away with it in near future fiction). So there's the paradox that in order to survive, humanity must solve over-crowding before space colonization can reasonably be expected, which in turn means the colonization of space won't ever have solving over-crowding as its aim.
    The rest of the post from the part you quoted pretty much addresses everything that was said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Did you just intentionally suggest intergalactic travel? Or by mistake? Even interstellar travel is highly doubtful to ever happen.

    I really do not intend to start a fight here, but if you are serious with that and all the rest you have opined on the matter, I really must say that you are operating under misunderstandings rooted in science fiction. Which, by the way, is just fiction and not science at all. Brought about by the artistic types.

    Us boring science and engineering types who make calculations and have to take practical responsibility of our ideas are generally not very keen on spending our ever more limited resources on such wild goose chases. The very attempt to direct enough resources into those could ruin our chances of building a sustainable future here on Earth. Well, there are the few billionares who are shoving money at their space tourism programs instead of competing in sustainable technology to keep Earth habitable, but none of them is going to find a new home for humanity.
    Eventually we should develop technology for both. I mean keep in mind, almost same amount of time has passed since first experimental airplanes became a thing and flight of the moon as from that point to today. technology can leap forward in great strides, if we put enough effort into it.
    Of course, we'd need to become more familiar with our own system first before we venture further.
    Space travel for billionaires is actually great, it creates growth in space research fields and provides a bigger source for funding. If we'd start trimming the fat of other government spending (foreign aid, funding for bloated bureaucracy and various obsolete alphabet agencies), we'd quickly find ourselves with enough cash to at least do the part in theoretical research to build the foundation for more practical implementations in the future.
    I don't think Earth can remain sustainable without major changes, we'd probably need revolution or even series of revolutions to fix lots of issues as our current ruling classes are mentally stuck in 20th century.

  4. #124
    swabian's Avatar igni ferroque
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    How about we start with keeping Earth livable.
    Of course that should have and does have priority. But those transgenerational endeavors need a step by step approach over many, many decades in order for humanity to gather enough know how and experience. It's worth it to invest a reasonable fraction of the global budget into space exploration. There's also lots of useful discoveries to be made along the way.

  5. #125
    Flinn's Avatar The Dude Retires
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Late to the party, as usual ...

    IIRC I already had a discussion with PovG about the Venus vs Mars thing, and I'm still firmly convinced that Mars would be easier to live on and "possibly" terraform than Venus. That being said, I don't believe, as others said as well, that we should be really thinking about terraforming either of the two, both are really unsuited for a similar process, IMO.
    I mean, terraforming (which I like to remember it's just a theoretical process, almost nothing of it has been tested yet) is an incredibly complex process, which can take thousands and thousands of years and that could be subject to sudden, unpredictable events, that will kill all that has been done before. In general I would say that the very idea of terraforming is very impractical, to use a mild term.

    If we'll ever try something like that, it will be only on a planet/moon which is already very close to Earth's native conditions, in particular for what regards non-toxicity/non-corrosiveness of the atmosphere, the presence of a magnetosphere and an acceptable gravity/pressure and temp at the ground. With a non aggressive atmosphere, the protection of a magnetosphere and "regular" gravity/pressure/temperature, even with the actual technologies we could be able to set up colonies for an indefinite length of time; once the colonies are settled, then the generations long process of "making this rock more similar to Earth", could start. I don't see in any way how it would be logic, or even possible, to terraform a celestial body where you are not already living (the process of improving our own living environment is innate to the humankind, well in most of the cases, at the least ), therefore if said body doesn't have the minimum conditions for the life as we know it to survive for generations, there's no chance that any terraformation would take place. Not Venus neither Mars present those conditions, nor any other body in the Solar System as far as I know.
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