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scupperer

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Retiring on Mars Reply to this Post
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I'm a space nut, and I want to retire on Mars. I'm looking for really cool scientific advances that will help make this possible.

When you say, "Oh, that won't happen for another century, blah blah, mr. negativity is my friend", just stop and think how fast advances happened in the 20th century. We went from 0 airplanes in 1900, to 10s of thousands in WW2. We went from 0 satellites in 1950, to thousands by 2000.

So this is my thread of really neat technological advances. The relevance to my retiring on Mars might be direct, or entirely secondary, but it will have some relevance.

Self replicating robots.
These replicators, unlike their Stargate SG1 counterparts, have the potential to be the first wave of a pre-colonization set-up on Mars. Just shoot some blocks over there, have your little wiggly wormy wonders create new versions of themselves capable of building habitats.

Microchannel Heat Sinks.
These new doohickeys are like super mini-refrigerators, allowing microtechnology to do industrial applications that produce a lot of heat - like converting CO2 into Methane and Oxygen. Give some of these to our wiggly worms above, and have them set up oxygen and fuel tank stations, creating a liveable atmosphere for the habitats, and fuel to power them (or to come home, if Mars is worse than Florida).

The Space Elevator.
God Bless Burt Rutan, but even if he drops the price of space travel by a factor of 100, it will still be limited to the rich and powerful (though much more open to the corporate). Space travel needs to be even cheaper, and the only way to do that is to build an elevator. And the only material strong enough to do that is carbon nanotubes. And the only thing holding back construction of the space elevator is the ability to make carbon nanotubes in a large enough quantity cheap enough and fast enough. That's a tech problem - it'll be solved. Expect the Space Elevator to begin construction in 10-15 years.

Carbon Nanotubes
These little buggers are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Not only are they super strong, but they have neato electrical properties, like Motoral's new Nano Emissive Display. Expect to see these on the market next year, and flooding it within 4. Expect Plasma and LCD to go the way of Betamax and Tandy. Did you see that stupid Val Kilmer Mars movie? Well, those roll-up monitor screen are coming!

Oh, and expect them in your computer soon, too. What's-his-name's "Computer Law" apparently will continue being proven right...

Thermonuclear Rockets
When the space elevator solves the gravity well problem, we'll need a quick way to get to Mars... and it isn't by flying chemical bombs. It's by flying nuclear bombs! I can't find a good link for this - there are too many out-dated thingies and dumb games that use the term.

Anyway - post your supercool technological advances and ideas that will make it possible for me to retire on Mars.
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Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it. - Jules Renard
[May 12, 2005 1:21:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
Piplicus_BNO

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Re: Retiring on Mars Reply to this Post
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Build a rocket to Mars at the palace.

Build a shop on prolix and call it "Mars" - then log off at the shop and never return.
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What Pip tried to do was something totally unprecedent. He, in some strange way, used Midnight as a test server, without him even knowing. [Crap, it sucks I was not online when he did that :'(... pfft, anyways]


Like a bad penny.
[May 12, 2005 1:29:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.puzzlepirates.com    Intermission #3 - click here! [Link]  Go to top 
TomRackham

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Re: Retiring on Mars Reply to this Post
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scupperer wrote: 
I'm a space nut, and I want to retire on Mars. I'm looking for really cool scientific advances that will help make this possible.



Microchannel Heat Sinks.
These new doohickeys are like super mini-refrigerators, allowing microtechnology to do industrial applications that produce a lot of heat - like converting CO2 into Methane and Oxygen. Give some of these to our wiggly worms above, and have them set up oxygen and fuel tank stations, creating a liveable atmosphere for the habitats, and fuel to power them (or to come home, if Mars is worse than Florida).


Check out 'Red Mars' for an explanation of why Heat is Good in terraforming Mars.

Also for a cool hard SF read in general.
[May 12, 2005 1:46:45 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
_Xzavier_

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Table-Top Fusion

Not really good for producing power, but pretty sweet at making neutrons. The technology will eventually be miniaturized, and put on spaceships for thrusters and such. Pretty sweet.
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=[Xzavier - SO:Fandango]=

!A(++)C++PL++GDD(+)CpBl++SaGuSF+NB+Dr--R--Al+ShB++F++

[May 12, 2005 2:17:17 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
stevedave

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Getting there is half the problem.

But here's some neat propulsion ideas.
http://www.foresight.org/Conferences/MNT05/Papers/Bishop/
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I put the "Sexy" in Dyslexia!
[May 12, 2005 2:31:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.myspace.com/someschmuck31    Someschmuck31 [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

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TomRackham wrote: 
Check out 'Red Mars' for an explanation of why Heat is Good in terraforming Mars.

Also for a cool hard SF read in general.

By Kim Stanley Robinson. A must-read. I'd also point to it for a reasonable speculation on the location of the first Space Elevator, and a very, very cool visual for what happens when da terists come. (A burning rope of fire wraps around the world...twice)

Read. Read. Read. Read.
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Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[May 12, 2005 8:57:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
DaneT

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Would you retire there as a Martian? Or as an Eathling?
I think what would be cool is a teleportantion device. Cheaper then making a huge elevator, thats for sure.

I know scientists have been able to send a molecule through a wall, or something a little bigger. But if we're talking the 20-odd years, (and many even ones) by then I think thast scientists would've found a way to compress thehuman body into a much smaller version. (Remembering that perople are mainly air. If you don't believe me, remember that a person is made of many atoms, and those atom are mainly air.)
Convert the body into some kind of wave (as in radio wave) and convert it at the other end.

I wish I had a link to the scientists beaming something through a wall, but I don't. Sorry.
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It has been said, my friends, that I like war. My friends, I like War. No...I LOVE WAR!

Danet - An old salt of Y!PP, but not the oldest by a long shot.
[May 12, 2005 9:28:17 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Odm



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scupperer wrote: 
Microchannel Heat Sinks.
These new doohickeys are like super mini-refrigerators, allowing microtechnology to do industrial applications that produce a lot of heat - like converting CO2 into Methane and Oxygen.
Where does the hydrogen come from? How would this release heat (the energy released when methane < energy required to break CO2, which is why it goes the other way)?

I'm just curious as to what was meant.

Still, a very cool list. Planning to fund the research with doubloon sales?
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Whirligig, Not-so-active-officer of the Scuppering Seven Seas, Viridian
Drusilla wrote: 
Dionysus:Shore Leave :: Scupperer:Cnossos

[May 13, 2005 7:33:43 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
binka

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The problem isn't getting there, it is supplies. And maintenance.
If your house has a broken window or a leaky seal, it is mildly inconvenient. If your habitat degrades or is broken, it is fatal.

Try Antarctica for something close to the experience. The constant aroma of diesel fuel, the inability to go next door without possibly dying on the way (like 20 feet/7 meters--not over the next hill), the knowledge that if you need something you don't have and can't make, then tough. Very intimidating. And by comparison, it doesn't even cost that much to come home from there if// when you find out how really horrid the conditions are.
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- Jaybell/Medea/Median
[May 13, 2005 8:25:58 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
scupperer

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binka wrote: 
...

La la la la... (/em shoves hands over ears)

Odm wrote: 
What chyoo talkin' 'bout Willis?

I don't know - I'm just quoting the article. The hydrogen will come from the vast oceans of frozen water just under the surface. But if a closed-loop air recycling system can be created from this as predicted, it solves and eases a great number of problems, both in getting there, setting up camp, and staying there.

DaneT wrote: 
Beam me up, Scotty

Even if teleportation advances to that level, I seriously doubt it will be by the time I retire. The elevator was projected to cost about $2 or $3 trillion dollars, last I checked, once they come up with a mass-production method of the cable.

Gotagota & Tomrackham wrote: 
Good Hard Sci-Fi

R! Read all three KSR Mars Books. I also love Ben Bova's Mars, Arthur C. Clarkes Fountains of Paradise, and several hundred others by authors I can't name right now because I'd have to dig out the books from boxes.

_Xzavier_ wrote: 
Table-Top Fusion

R! I saw that article, but I wasn't thinking about what it's other uses might be. I don't know if it will make much of a thruster, but maybe as part of a miniature nuetron scanning device for medical purposes (think: tricorder). It might also work as a deep-penetration ground radar, for surveying.

Stevedave wrote: 
Neat propulsion ideas

I wish I could keep up with all the wild ideas for shooting things off into space. The nice thing about the space elevator is that there's a centripital launch at the end of the rope. Just let go of your spaceship at the right time and you're on your way. I still think some form of thermo-nuclear engine is going to be the solution for intrastellar travel, though - the reactor technology is already near perfect from submarines - it's just modifying how the heat produced is used, and how the reactor is cooled.

Piplicus_BNO wrote: 
Weeeee!

R! If you like the shop names on Prolix, just wait until we take Terra and I become Scupperer, Ruler of Earth!
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Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it. - Jules Renard
[May 13, 2005 10:05:58 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
AquaDrake

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scupperer wrote: 
R! If you like the shop names on Prolix, just wait until we take Terra and I become Scupperer, Ruler of Earth!

Not if Black Plague spreads across Terra before you ...
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Maybe "historical" dragons were pterosaurs?
http://www.livescience.com/animals/090107-pterosaur-flight.html

"No plain fanfold paper could hold that fractal Puff --
He grew so fast no plotting pack could shrink him far enough.&quot
[May 13, 2005 1:41:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Odm



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I think the problem with thermonuclear rockets is that heat is produced in vast quantities, but is hard to utilise. The force of the combustion of fuels is what makes rockets work, but nuclear reactors do not explode, thankfully.

Maybe if you had a continuous nuclear reaction (probably not thermonuclear) you could use the force to propel a rocket, but then there's the issue of not destroying what the rocket is made of.
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Whirligig, Not-so-active-officer of the Scuppering Seven Seas, Viridian
Drusilla wrote: 
Dionysus:Shore Leave :: Scupperer:Cnossos

[May 13, 2005 6:20:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

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I'd like to see someone build a space elevator, for the rich irony of going and deliberately upsetting our planet's orbit with all our interfering technologies.

In other words, I think we need to learn a lot more about foresight and responsibility before we can deal with even those technologies. Let's not even get started into some of the other stuff we're researching.
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Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[May 14, 2005 2:52:12 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

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54x wrote: 
I'd like to see someone build a space elevator, for the rich irony of going and deliberately upsetting our planet's orbit with all our interfering technologies.

Orbit? Orbits are next to impossible to touch. They've had four hundred billion years to settle, and if the impact that made the moon didn't bother it much, nothing will. You may mean some of the other aspects of the orbit, like spin. In that case...

From what I can tell, the comparative mass of the Anchor is nearly insignificant. Yes, there's some momentum-stealin' goin' on, especially when you use the Anchor as a civilian spacecraft launch point, but again, the comparative masses are orders of magnitude apart. It would take centuries of constant use to see an effect, and by then it's entirely possible we could put the stolen rotational energy back.

Me, I'd wrap an Elevator-like line around the equator and attach the other end to a rocket. Launch staight up.
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Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[May 14, 2005 11:17:12 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
AquaDrake

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Gotagota wrote: 
Me, I'd wrap an Elevator-like line around the equator and attach the other end to a rocket. Launch staight up.


Somehow, I don't think that would work. Something about the center of gravity needing to be at the geo synch point, conservation of angular momentum, action/reaction, etc.

Or, do what one sci fi author did. Have a cable generator out in space, have it generate cable and aim it at where the earth will be in the future, have the cable travel through space and aim at a big hole in the equator that will be all dug out by the time the anchor end arrives at the earth, and have thousands of bull dozers ready to drop lots and lots of rocks and dirt on the anchor end as it is dropping down into the hole.

Or, do what A.C. Clarke did, and move Sri Lanka to the Equator.
----------------------------------------
Maybe "historical" dragons were pterosaurs?
http://www.livescience.com/animals/090107-pterosaur-flight.html

"No plain fanfold paper could hold that fractal Puff --
He grew so fast no plotting pack could shrink him far enough.&quot
[May 15, 2005 6:23:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
scupperer

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Aquadrake wrote: 
black plague

This is preventable with good sanitation policies. :P

Odm wrote: 
Thermonuclear problems

Actually, thermonuclear engines were designed and tested in the late 50's and 60's. The Nerva/Rover program created a solid-core nuclear rocket capable of 250,000 lbs of thrust, and a specific impulse of 850 seconds. Unfortunately, it sprayed radioactive carbon everywhere... so while it was capable of lifting loads into space from earth at half the fuel cost of chemical rockets, it wasn't very enviro-friendly.

The Orion Program explored the possibility of setting off nuclear fission bombs behind a spacecraft, for thrust. It's possible, and while they never got to set off nuclear bombs to test it, there's an incredible video (which I can't find a link to) of a proof-of-concept craft that they launched several thousand feet into the air using dynomite sticks pooped out the back of a craft.

Restarting the nuclear propulsion projects is really more of a political problem than a technological one.

54x wrote: 
You wascally humans!

What's that? A moving wagon with no horses pulling it? What is this dark magic?

Gotagota wrote: 
Orbits?

Aye, the effects on the mass/spin/orbit of the Earth from a space elevator, or a whole series of elevators, or even a big ring habitat circling the earth full of space craft coming and going... not much to worry about.


[size=18]Breaking News!
Your own personal nuclear powered battery!

This will make miniaturizing and portability even more convenient, very soon - both important factors in getting to and living on Mars.
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Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it. - Jules Renard
[May 16, 2005 12:20:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
goodmanj

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If you'd like to retire on Mars, maybe you'd volunteer for this:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1023276.htm

A proposal for a one-way mars mission. It turns out it's a whole lot easier to send people to Mars planning to live out their natural lives and die there: the return trip is the hard part.
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Argonaut
Senior Officer, Six Leagues Under, Heavens Aligned
Fleet Officer, Sweet Pillage and Mayhem, Cobalt
[May 19, 2005 5:28:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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