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Oceans vs Outer space

  1. Oct 15, 2012 #1
    I am not sure about where to put this thread ,feel free to move it , if not appropriate.

    I saw an interesting documentary in National Geographic about oceans being a more realistic and affordable alternative to space with respect to future human colonies, at least for the near future and we do not need huge technological leaps in order to make it a reality unlike space colonization the points put forward were very good with respect to ocean colonization ,as the oceans resources are http://www.uci.edu/features/2009/06/feature_windenergy_090630.html [Broken] and that it is far more hospitable than space ,food and resources are easily available ,i am looking for people who have good reasons to think the space colonization is also important and space organizations should continue to pursue manned missions and eventual colonization of space.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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  3. Oct 15, 2012 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't see that there is any good reason beyond aesthetic enjoyment and judging the resource cost to be worth it.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2012 #3

    phinds

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    In the VERY long run, if we stay on this one planet, whether on the surface on under the ocean, we are doomed.
     
  5. Oct 15, 2012 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    The idea of investing now to dodge a threat at least hundreds of millions of years in the future (and thus hundreds-thousands of times older than our species) does not strike me as a good reason to do it.
     
  6. Oct 15, 2012 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Also to the OP I don't see the point in moving into the ocean either. There's plenty of land we're not living on and even so increases in global urbanisation and development (correlating with lowering TFRs) will likely render malthusian concerns of overpopulation obsolete.
     
  7. Oct 16, 2012 #6
    Well, here are some reasons for space EXPLORATION (not necessarily colonization), in my opinion.

    1.) There are several things in space that can help with problems here on Earth, such as studying the greenhouse effects on other planets to get a better picture of what's going on with our own.
    2.) As a defense against possible threats to the Earth (of the asteroid and black hole variety, not extraterrestrials). There is a lot of space that we cannot see from our little corner of the Universe, and there are a lot of things that can kill us before we even see it coming.
    3.) As a way to get children and other people interested in Science. There is a big lack of scientific knowledge amongst people today and interesting programs like space travel are good for getting people to pay attention to Science and to convince children that they may want to grow up to be Scientists and Engineers.
    Note: These reasons were given originally by Neil DeGrass Tyson, not by myself.

    The reason all this is connected to your question about space colonization is because if we put the attention and resources into space exploration that we SHOULD be, it would quickly become much more reasonable and efficient to then colonize space. That being said, I do believe we should start looking into utilizing more of out marine resources and marine space for colonizing, as well as looking into better utilizing the land we already have, like Ryan pointed out.
     
  8. Oct 17, 2012 #7
    According to Immanuel Kant, people are driven to to different parts of the Earth, even inhospitable ones, due to war. Maybe after a vast global war people will be forced to leave Earth someday?
     
  9. Oct 17, 2012 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    On earth you can walk naked from one habitat to the next and start again. To build a self sufficient colony in space would require a huge industrial committment from a technologically advanced nation. Moving to space has no historical comparison.
    As for space exploration i'm all for it for the reasons offered and more but I'm not convinced that humans need to be in the loop anymore than ground control.
     
  10. Oct 17, 2012 #9
    Yes, space colonization would be a huge risk in that sense, as we wouldn't have the luxury of knowing that we could just leave one settlement or colony and go to another through the vacuum of space or the toxic atmosphere of a distant planet. If and when we colonize space, I believe it will have to be after terra-forming a planet to be like Earth. There are a couple programs now looking into the possibility of terra-forming Mars, though that would take at minimum 150 years after we start the program, though likely closer to 300 or 400 years. This helps solve most of the problems with space colonization, since we are basically turning other planets into Earth-like planets, but it's still only a hope for the future and not something we can get immediate effects from.
     
  11. Oct 18, 2012 #10

    phinds

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    Yeah, there is that :smile:
     
  12. Oct 18, 2012 #11

    NWH

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    I can think of many reason why colonisation of space is important. The biggest issue I can think of that is relevant to us today is the risk of extinction, be it from natural causes such as an asteroid or comet, or from our own doing such as a nuclear holocaust. Yes we can walk from one land to the next, but not in these sorts of environments, humans would likely be forced underground, assuming they even had the chance to get there, and there's no telling how long it would take untill it's safe to return to living on the surface, where we can start thinking about getting back into outer space again.

    We need to think about the survival of the human race for the long term, but there's no telling just how long term our survival actually is, that's why I feel it's imperative to start thinking about this now, sooner rather than later. There are so many benefits to working towards this kind of goal, such as furthering our understanding of the universe and encouraging the rapid advancement of our technology which is ultimately beneficial, or ironically detrimental, to our potential survivial.

    The problem with being trapped underground or under the surface of the oceans is simply that, we're trapped, there's no going anywhere, especially when Earth's atmosphere is covered in dust coulds and harmful radiation floods the surface. Having colonies in outer space (assuming we have sufficient technology to sustain our selves), like on the moon, on a space station or even on another planet allows us to move around and even monitor our own planets activity from up in orbit. If we need to abandon Earth we can, or of we find we are capable of returning to Earth we can. From below the surface we can do nothing but hope we have everything to survive and that we're lucky enough to survive other potential natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis.
     
  13. Oct 18, 2012 #12
    This is what I am against. Humans must venture off this planet and begin colonization sooner rather than later. Venturing off sooner is more beneficial to us than doing it at the last minute. The last minute = devastation that could have prevented disaster.

    It is sort of like the old days where science took the back seat to religion. Many deaths could have been avoided if the proper investment in medicine were taking place, or advancement in technology.

    Space is important, but we can do both, space and the oceans.
     
  14. Oct 18, 2012 #13
    We are still a long ways away from being able to colonize space, at least in the sense that I think we are referring to. We might be able to make a few stations in orbit around the Earth in the relatively near future, but even those would likely be dependent on the Earth for a long while, and even these stations could only sustain a very small proportion of our population. When I hear "colonize space" I think of terra-forming other planets or creating free-orbiting stations that orbit the Sun in their own trajectories, not simply revolving around the Earth in near-Earth orbit. And of course I think we would need to be able to potentially support a large portion of our current population in these new colonies, otherwise they're more "space bases" than colonies. The reason I'm pointing this out is because I think everyone on a science-based website like this one should at least have the scientific and technological understanding to realize we are a long ways from accomplishing this, on the order of at least a few hundred years for a space colony as I described. We should be working towards this, but in the meantime it is far more efficient to dedicate a considerable portion of our scientific resources towards colonizing areas on Earth that we are not taking advantage of, such as water-covered ground and desert area. The problems we are trying to solve are facing us RIGHT NOW and a long-term goal like space colonization is not enough if we don't have a short-term solution as well to keep us alive until we can realize the long-term goal.

    Also, this might have been a misunderstanding on my part, but I don't think we were talking about putting civilizations at the bottom of oceans. I was thinking of a combination of "floating cities" and semi-submerged areas in shallower waters and coasts. These seem to me like they would be easier to accomplish than Bioshock-esque cities deep in the ocean. I think this would also solve some of the problems mentioned above, being stuck under the ocean. From a basic Geological standpoint this seems more reasonable, considering the intense seismic activities that occur under the ocean; however, like I said, this is how I interpreted the idea. I haven't done a lot of actual research into the possibility of colonizing water-areas.
     
  15. Oct 19, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't think such worries about short term thinking apply when the time scale is many orders of magnitude longer than the history of our species.
     
  16. Oct 19, 2012 #15
    Underwater cities.... would be cool.

    Being a part of an interplanetary/stellar/galactic species.... would be cool.

    Why not do both? Presumably, none of this will happen in my lifetime (80 more years if I'm lucky), but there's no reason to be forced to choose only one of those options, when both can be of importance. Imagine, for a moment, that I have gathered every single scientist, in the world, all of whom are in any field aside from physics. My sole purpose for bringing them together is to introduce to them the notion of how revolutionized the field of physics could become, if only they were all to immediately stop their own research and begin contributing to physics.

    I have no doubt that the room would be cleared in less than a minute.

    It's simply foolish to devote (as a species collectively, not as an individual) all of your focus and energy into one area, when there are clearly other subjects which are just as valuable and important, and if not as important, at least important enough to require some attention. Attempting to colonize other worlds does not require the entire negligence of our own, nor does focusing more so on the unexplored territories of Earth necessitate the abandonment of our space programs.

    Roughly 7 billion people are alive on Earth right now, and that number is only rising. I'm sure we can get a few of them to work on different things.
     
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