Manned missions or colonization of the gas giants.

  • Thread starter Dremmer
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  • #1
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Would it be possible to send manned missions to, or colonize the gas giants? I'm talking about the actual planets, not the moons of the planets.
 

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  • #2
Integral
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Manned stellar travel is so far in the future I can see no point in even discussing it. Keep in mind that after 33yrs Voyager has barley left the solar system.

Let's get to a nearby planet before we launch for the stars.
 
  • #3
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No. Why? Radiation!
 
  • #4
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How do you propose to colonize something with no real 'land' surface... a floating city?
And, even if you could, and survive the super-hurricanes, is there any point to it? The moons of the gas giants make much more sense... after Mars of course...
 
  • #5
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Would it be possible to send manned missions to, or colonize the gas giants? I'm talking about the actual planets, not the moons of the planets.
No reason why not, in principle. The 1 bar pressure level has near Earth gravity on three of the gas giants and the orbital speed isn't onerous, especially since nuclear ramjets would work better in cold hydrogen/helium mixes than Earth's atmosphere. To explore deeper levels high-pressure gear will be needed, but all the gas giants get hot rapidly at their lower levels, so manned expeditions can only go so deep. Balloon habitats should be feasible, especially using "hot air" for lift. Waste heat from the habitat would work well enough. Heavier elements would be available deeper down but mining vehicles would need to be high temperature operable. Diamond-based machinery probably.
 
  • #6
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IIRC, there was a fair SF tale set in the cloud-cities of Saturn. Fusion-heated mega balloonettes kept domed colonies aloft. One gotcha was that temperature and gravity were okay, but the ambient pressure was significantly higher than 1 Bar. This aided the buoyancy of the colonies, but meant the boiling point of water was dangerously high. A cup of coffee could be hot enough for 3rd degree burns so, IIRC, many cups & mugs had a thermochromic stripe, and trying your brew with a wary fingertip was a routine precaution...

IIRC, the colonies floated well below Saturn's radiation belts, so shielding wasn't an issue, while their altitude and latitude kept them clear of jet-streams...
 

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