User:Super Quantum immortal/Incremental space colonization

(fix the formating latter)

Incremental space colonization Incremental space colonization and Antarctica colonization and ocean colonization etc...

If you think about it, isn't it strange that exactly 0% GDP is spend in any form of colonization?

In short:

Use remotely controlled robots from the comfort of your room, to build incrementally an outpost capable of accepting permanent colonists.

Start by sending fully functional remotely controlled robots. They will assemble more remotely controlled robots from sent in spare parts. Assemble a little remotely controlled industry and mining operations. When the remotely controlled robotic outpost is self sufficient, it will start building infrastructure for accepting humans. First humans will be send in a one way trip(80% cheaper), there only job will be to raise children, send in as frozen embryos. When the population reaches a couple of thousand, it will be capable to interbreed by it self. We would have finally established, a permanent human colony, at acceptable cost.

Antarctica and ocean colonization, can be done in a similar manner.

Relevent reading on Clanking replicator for the industrial part. A lot of things are transposable here.

Stage 1 - Assembly.

First mission contains some functioning remotely controllable robots( just robot arms?), they are used to set up a little industry in order to assemble more robots. The first missions will send all the spare parts needed to build other robots and what ever tools and photovoltaics are needed. Rudimentary maintenance can be done at this stage.

It will be extremely cheap, compared with sending humans right away. No atmosphere, no food, no living quarters, no recreation quarters, no sleep, no rest, no radiation shielding, no failsafes, no anything.

For cheapness, most robot arms(and a camera) are fixed. Some are mobile, there primary purpose is to move the fixed arms around depending on the work needs. And very few will even have there own earth antenna on, so that they can perform antenna reparation(if all antennas brake down then we have to resend an expensive mission from earth)

Human controllers work for 1-2 hours and rotate in shifts, this way outpost infrastructure remains at near 100% efficiency use (human efficiency deteriorates very fast after 1 hour, they will be required to give over 100%). Infrastructures will be used 24-7, never stops, never, expendable machines will be used to destruction.

Stage 2 - Industrialization.

Setting up of local little factories. 3D printers for various materials (metals, plastic, resins, etc) are by far the easiest to use. Little machine tools and raw materials are sent, setting up little assembly lines. A little foundry is landed carefully and raw metals are crash landed (cheaper, other raw materials are probably to fragile for this treatment).

For energy: At the beginning, concentrating mirrors for energy, photovoltaics are too complex for early production.

Electronics: Send germanium at first, use poor resolution photolithography (extremely expensive otherwise).

Recycling: Recycling factories will drastically reduce imports of raw materials. Because energy will be much cheaper then raw materials, recycling rates should near 100%.

Stage 3 - Mining.

Gradually replace imports of raw materials from earth with locally mined raw materials, by remotely controlled robot miners. Maybe keep importing certain very rarely used materials.

Stage 4 - Empty human colony building.

At some point the outpost becomes self sustained, requiring only remote controlled orders from earth. From there, we can build infrastructure that can support humans. Living quarters, recreation centres, etc.

Gradually build green houses. First lichen greenhouses, they can survive space vacuum and thrive in low atmospheric pressure( liquid water at 0.006 atm). We should breed edible lichens that can at least temporary survive in a vacuum, later use edible extremophile bacteria. Finally, algae, more complex plants in hydroponics. When we have atmosphere capable facilities, we send animals.

Stage 5 - First humans.

One way trip of a handful of colonists(Yes, they NEVER come back, 80% cheaper). They will not perform research, they will be real colonists, they will be the first Selenites. They don't breed with them selves, they receive sperm and embryos( that would be trashed?) from earth, until genetic diversity is enough.

We still need to avoid toxic materials in earlier stages for when the colonists will arrive. Firsts colonists job is to care for the children, only send there as frozen embryos and grown by the women there. All the early colonists needs are cared for by the remotely controlled robot arms until the colony totally brakes even for good.

problems(Latency): It will be important latency because of light speed limit. With the moon its 5 seconds(barely acceptable), with Venus/Mercury its around 8 minutes(sun its 8min), and with Mars 20-30minutes(for a one way signal). For Pluto, you don't want to know.

Since these huge latencies are imposed, the robots and equipment could be greatly simplified( everything is slowed down). Smaller antennas with lower bandwidth, slower motors, thinner structural elements, slower electronics, weaker photovoltaics. The whole thing could be made more cheaply and with lower mass.

Human controllers would be probably controlling 10-20-50 robots at the same time, probably with little pictograms reminding of what task the robot was supposed to be doing and a little film of the previous moves. Robots would be controlled like stop motion animation.

Work should be redesigned so that things can happen in parallel. On earth short event simulations could be performed with human operators, the instructions are send in block(series of ifs) and executed, the low intelligence computers of the automated outpost are performing the instructions until expected results exceeds a security margin.

We can build outposts everywhere simultaneously in the solar system. Construction on Pluto would be considerably slower then on the moon, the budget per year for the entire solar system should be reasonable.

And will need to be discussed at the UN.


The moon will be the first to be colonized, because of the only 5 seconds lag. Once the lunar colony is important enough, it will be able to send equipment for setting up new colonies. It will be cheaper to launch them from the moons surface, then from earth. As the front of colonization will spread, it will make it easier to colonize further. Further colonies will be able to remotely control the further still outpost with lower lag, then if they were controlled from earth. With economies of scale, at some point it will be easy enough to just send humans right away.

With important infrastructure up there alredy build, costs of sending humans from earth's gravitational well will diminish dramatically, hopefully to reasonable levels. And i would like to go there, but i'll be to old until then :( .

Commercial development of rare materials could happen immediately (RH, He3). Robots could be sold or leased to humans on earth. Development of remotely controlled tourism. Low gravity experiments. Political benefits, in theory at least the nations of the world will cooperate.


1. implement a half arced computer simulation like warcraft 1. It will simulate, antarctic, ocean, and lunar colonization. Done with "stratagus". Can be done with very few people. Simple, in 2D, only images, lua programming language.

2. The first game will help recruit, in order to implement a beater game, like warcraft 2. Done with "stratagus" again. Beater art, etc...

3. Previous step increases recruitment further. Now we start a 3D game, like warcraft 3. Done with a variant of glest (probably megaglest). Need modeling in 3D and 3D animation, and editing XML files.

4. Now, we start programming a very realistic simulation. Almost as the real thing. Trials are done live on the Internet. Videos are uploaded of video sites, etc....

5. We perform trials on earth.

6. Hopefully, we finally do the real thing.

Some, not very well thought out, early ideas about the details.

game features (1-3):

Have a 5 second lag (it could be turned off, if its simply annoying). Try to have everything as close to real. Cost, accidents, industrial processes, politics, etc... This is not just a simple game, there's a serious purpose in it. It tries to demonstrate that the idea is doable today. All technology should be very close to what we have today. Only barely ahead. In other words, no fusion reactors, no alternative propulsion systems, no space time manipulations, no cryogenics, no intelligent robots, etc... Acceptable stuff would be, ionic propulsion, solar sails, solar mirrors, green houses, etc..

To make the game interesting, we could play with various opponents. The default, will be a colony under UN banner. The "interesting" game play would have , USA, EU, China, India. Possibility for lunar cold war, use of weapons( like normal RTS games). Possibility for declaration of independence from earth? Formation of lunar federation from the various competing colonies(with the player as president, like master of orion). Federation AND independence. Independence pacifically, or after devastating nuclear war with earth. The moon becomes imperial power by it self, competing with earth? (we can assume for the game that the gravity well of earth is economically impossible to overcome)

realistic simulation features (4)

use python as primary language, (faster coding, and with a 5 second latency, no one will notice). It should be possible to do a great deal of realism(latency).


python-ogre: 3D stuff

PyQT: GUI sruff


First version, will just be a robot that can move around. Pick up rocks.

Multiplayer, of course.

Later permit building of complicated mechanical parts.

relatively easy ability for the users to design there own stuff

Minimal terraformation (long term):

For the long term the colonists could apply minimal terraformation on there words. No need to make a planet or satellite as earth and walk around naked, if it can minimally improve working conditions its ok.

In practice, its most probable only this form of planetary engineering will ever be done. Because the worlds are barren to begging with for a reason, they simply can't have conditions much different then the ones they are in now. Any fully fledge terraformation would not last long (1000s of years maybe), and would require maintenance at considerable waist in resources.

Some examples of minimal improvements, the same logic can be applied with all aspects of terraformation.

At 0.006 atm is enough to have liquid water, then we could grow edible lichen outside. On building small atmospheres on small planetoids, we could mass produce heavy molecular gasses, for example SiF4 or SF6. For example, it seams feasible to terraform the moon with an atmosphere thick enough that could sustain liquid water(0.16 of gravity), so its important from the start not to trash the place with toxic wastes.

Why would we want to do minimal terraformation? We would be using cheaper survival equipment. Less radiation shielding, less pressurised suits. When accidents do happen, they are less catastrophic. With a minimal atmosphere you can get sound again. Minimal production of food outside. Temperature difference between day and night become less extream. Minimal flight capability.

We could setup magnetic fields around settlements, it would reduce radiation reaching the constructions, no need to have near 100% protection, the rest of the anti rad protection will come from normal shielding.

Minimal space mirrors can help in stabilizing the temperature. Again, no need to bring the average T to 25°C and +/-10°C variation. If instaid of -100 its now -90, its still an improvement. Thermal shock on materials will reduce. It would probably require to big investments to bring the T to earth conditions.

In the same token, biodomes don't need to offer a living habitat just like on earth. A minimal atmosphere is still an improvement over nothing at all. We could build biodomes like Russian dolls with gradually improving conditions, requiring gradually lighter survival equipment inside them. They could be additional to a minimal atmosphere. In parallel with biodomes, if you dig deep enough(gravity dependent), atmospheric pressure increases.

Interstellar colonization (very long term)

When we colonize the solar system enough (100s of billions?), it becomes economically possible to start building gargantuan interstellar colony ships, with basically today’s technology. The assumptions are very reasonable. The cost would be very important, for example 100trillion €, but for a population of several 100s billions, it will be acceptable. Of course any future technological break through will only enhance the probability or realisation of the strategy.

Once near by star systems are colonized, the existing relatively slow exchange of resources, could help in building even bigger (and faster) interstellar ships. Accelerating exchange of resources that would render possible even faster interstellar ships and faster galactic expansion. The process going in too a positive feed back loop, up to near the speed of light. With this speed it will still take 100.000s of years to simply travel the diameter of the galaxy.

For the very very long term, with a huge galactic population( albeit restricted by the speed of light), faster then light travel, if possible, will have higher probability to be discovered. Even if the faster then light technology demands really obscene levels of resources, or very special resources, like neutron star mater or a manufacturing process requiring a near by black whole.

Intergalactic colonization (very very long term)

Galaxies eject from time to time stars in to intergalactic space. The trick would be, to wait for a suitable star to be ejected, and colonize it. Then simply wait for the star to reach its destination. That would take a considerable amount of time, but doable. Its the easiest way of doing it, with basically current technology.

Alternatively, resupply material could be send at a travelling generation ship. That would require coordination through out the galaxy, and for millions of years. It becomes a considerable logistics problem, but technically doable, and much faster then the intergalactic star solution.

Faster then light travel technology, would be very welcomed of course. :D