First I apologize for not having an article a bit. I got caught up with a lot of other project work and Father’s Day. I do what I can but sometimes skipping a week is unavoidable due to various issues we all deal with at times. In any case I should just get onto my subject for this week: Space colonization. I have wanted to cover this subject for a while but haven’t had much of a way to bring it up. Even if I’ve talked about Gundam a bit. That was covering more the aspects of how they’ve presented both positive and negative portrayals of men. Now I want to talk more about the proposed technology.
The future of the human race does lie in the stars but unlike what on the Sunday I started to work on this Elon Musk tweeted an intent: He wants to colonize Mars.
I don’t think many have thought of what would truly be necessary to make such a trip, nor its effects on the human body if we were to do it at our current stage of development. Not to seem pessimistic, because I’m not, but can we even perform a manned trip to Mars at this time? In this article, I will explain why and how we can work to correcting those issues. Let’s Hammer This In!
The problems I hinted at in the last paragraph come down to the effects zero gravity has upon human musculature and bone structure in the first place. It can take months of rehabilitation to readjust to Earth after a 6-month space mission, which is slightly shorter than the minimum time it would take to get from Earth to Mars, not to mention the time involved landing, information gathering, and returning to Earth.
In the short term though, sense of orientation and direction are inhibited and even those without a motion sickness issues can get queasy. Now as I was mentioning with the long term we have those who have been in weightlessness for months pee the calcium out of their bones which makes them brittle and weakened. Also cognition and reflexes become rather inhibited to boot unlike what the aforementioned Gundam suggests through its concept of Newtypes.
So what is the solution for this issue? We need to work out a true form of artificial gravity. I’m far from the first person to suggest this as well. Now most people think of artificial gravity as some sort of fantastical magnetic field or some sort of special plating. However in reality we are more likely to get something a lot less pretty and difficult to develop and maintain. This is why I refer to Gundam or for something more known to Western audiences – Babylon 5. This is of course the O’Neill Cylinder concept.
If you recognize this image from Gundam there is a reason for that. These are the original concept arts for the idea proposed by Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill. The idea stems from the idea of simulating gravity via rotational cylinders. This would work by rotating two cylinders in opposing directions to counter disorientation and reduce gyroscopic issues that would prevent difficulties with directing the solar power panels and mirrors towards the sun. This is to not only produce clean energy but also to simulate a day/night cycle aboard any colony or craft that uses this particular method.
The design also includes pods for hydroponics and agriculture, and could be used for experimentation between planets. It might not have ship-wide gravity simulation or even artificial land environments spanning the entire colony. It might not even be done as large as these paintings imply them to be. A colony might end up being probably about 50 kilometers long with a twenty kilometer diameter. No one can be sure at this point due to what it’s going to take to actually development of this concept for an initial voyage. However if we are to ever properly colonize any planet or even asteroids we need to figure out how to replicate the effects of gravity if not gravity itself. Otherwise only death awaits.
This is why we need to work society away from the navel gazing of “social justice” and back towards true STEM thinking. Otherwise we’ll all be permanently enslaved to the forces of this planet’s gravity. We need proper engineers and physicists to figure out a bit of this problem, combined with figuring out how to more easily produce a breathable atmosphere in space long term. That’s another thing so many forget about, or do people think we can survive without breathing fresh air? Forget regular transports of air. These colonies need to be self-sufficient if we are to get anywhere.
It’s really saddening if you think about it. Back in the height of the 20th century we sought the stars and world peace as a society. Now society seems obsessed with its own narcissism, navel-gazing, and shows a disdain for the future of humanity. That’s why this whole culture war has to end. Otherwise we take the insanity up into space… although one thing we can do is encourage various colonies try out their own miniature governments and have that show once and for all what works and what doesn’t.
In any case this was an interesting subject to bring up and I would like to discuss the concepts further in the comments. We need to take these concepts to mind because thats where human rights will need to be defended in the future. Next time I’ll discuss something a little more within the Earth Sphere of things. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely!
Latest posts by Alex Tinsley (see all)
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 124: Nice Try Kotaku! This Won’t Work Though! - July 8, 2019
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 123: We Shouldn’t Go Straight to Mars! How Anime Got Space Right! - July 1, 2019
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 122: You’re Reviewing What Now? The Dissenter Web Browser! - June 10, 2019