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Terraforming an asteroid?  XML
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RileySoto


MouthBreather

Joined: 03/11/2012 05:32:42
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I recently read a book by an author famous for his "hard science-fiction" novels called 2312. Taking place in 300 years, people live to be 200 years old, etc. But one of the most intruiging things fir me was the thought of terraforming and asteroid. It obviously wasn't about the exterior of a space rock, but the interior. Using nano-bots to clean out the interior of and asteroid at least 30 x 10 km and leaving a 'wall' of rock at least 2 km thick that you would be able tocreate a closed environment inside. Spinning the rock could let you get gravity and mixing left over ejecta from digging out the inside of the asteroid with edible aerogels and 'home-made' soil could encourage bacteria to grow. And since it is the future, you could print the genomes of most any species from a lab, you could easily populate your new biosphere. Obviously this technology is still hundereds of years off, but with tech from 2200, could this be possible with out the need for massive funds from massive world powers?

(And I am typing from my iPhone, so please excuse any misspellings and grammar errors.)


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Didzo


Spacefaring Sporeling

Joined: 09/14/2008 20:11:11
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So what's the tech in 2200 like?

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ashkelon


GalacticGod

Joined: 12/24/2008 01:09:07
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroids_in_fiction

Lists quite the collection of terraformed asteroids in fiction. In 40 years of reading sci-fi, I'd not realized there were so many. I just read a novella, something like "Smallworld" that was a parody of the terraformed-asteroid genre, complete with Swiss Family Robinson

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SporeMasterSlyth33


Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 08/05/2011 16:32:48
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In your posts, editin' your wordz!

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RileySoto wrote:Spinning the rock could let you get gravity and mixing left over ejecta from digging out the inside of the asteroid with edible aerogels and 'home-made' soil could encourage bacteria to grow. And since it is the future, you could print the genomes of most any species from a lab, you could easily populate your new biosphere. Obviously this technology is still hundereds of years off, but with tech from 2200, could this be possible with out the need for massive funds from massive world powers?


Most asteroids are carbonaceous or silicate, not viable bacteria nutrients. Any growth mediums would need to be brought along for the ride. The dirt on Earth took hundreds of millions of years to accumulate from early chemophiles.

One often overlooked aspect of asteroid behavior is how incredibly dry they are. Larger bodies like planets and moons had water on their surfaces at some point, even unlikely bodies like Mercury and Venus had water vapor for at least a short period during their initial formation and cooling.

Asteroids didn't. That means that the chemistry of an asteroid is typically completely anhydrous and oxygen free, and the introduction of water during any large scale efforts will start generating new hydrated minerals and oxides. This can cause structural weakness and will leach water out of your supplies. This effect has been observed on Earth, meteor fragments degrade rapidly upon contact with free water and oxygen in Earths atmosphere, and samples must be taken and analyzed rapidly before their composition is altered.

It's also important to note that not all asteroids are solid bodies. Most have had their surfaces pulverized into a fine dust over the years (sometimes over a meter deep), and the body itself may not be structurally sound. Some asteroids are little more than agglomerations of smaller fragments and dust compacted into a single object.

The asteroid would have to be extensively surveyed and analyzed before any attempt is made to land on it or bore into it. You don't want to lose 5 billion dollars in mining equipment when your asteroid of choice disintegrates into a fine powder

EpicSlayerGirl


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Joined: 05/02/2012 20:54:20
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It will be so ironic if one of our future colonies happens to smash into Earth and kill more people then were originally on the colony.

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ZhaoYun9


Multicellular

Joined: 07/05/2009 07:39:09
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Didzo wrote:So what's the tech in 2200 like?


Well, being a timelord has its perks, although it's been awhile (I'm currently in 2513) let's see..

Well when google bought planet earth in 2186 the American enclave managed to merge with them and the technology is mostly the same in appearance, but the inside is entirely made of crystal technology, that fad ends by 2393 though.

CaptainOomp


GalacticGod

Joined: 03/22/2009 19:22:08
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ZhaoYun9 wrote:
Didzo wrote:So what's the tech in 2200 like?


Well, being a timelord has its perks, although it's been awhile (I'm currently in 2513) let's see..

Well when google bought planet earth in 2186 the American enclave managed to merge with them and the technology is mostly the same in appearance, but the inside is entirely made of crystal technology, that fad ends by 2393 though.


The sporum lasts for at least 505 years? Seems legit.

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LegionOfShadows


Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 10/09/2010 11:25:13
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As legit as an AS50 TWS in DayZ...

Maybe 504 years, but by then, the huge population of the human species contain an immense amount of hackers, trolls, spammers, aliens, zombies, bandits, and RPTrolls.

It shall not survive.

 
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