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Old 05-07-2017, 02:01 PM
 
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Stephen Hawking seems to feel we must find and colonize a new planet within the next 100 years or humankind will perish. Apparently this is also a promotion for a new series of Hawking's that will air this summer. Although we don't know the details of the series, what's your opinion?

Stephen Hawking: Humans have 100 years to find a new planet
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:25 PM
 
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I am all for the advancement of space technology. If Hawking has the appeal to inspire people, then good for him. As for the earth will perish in 100 years prediction, this one is like the dozens and dozens of earth is doomed predictions that came before.

The need to explore and eventually colonize another planet is obvious. This idea has been floating around for a long time. I doubt we will be able to do it in 100 years though.

Last edited by davidt1; 05-07-2017 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
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Physically and fiscally impossible.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Stephen Hawking seems to feel we must find and colonize a new planet within the next 100 years or humankind will perish. Apparently this is also a promotion for a new series of Hawking's that will air this summer. Although we don't know the details of the series, what's your opinion?

Stephen Hawking: Humans have 100 years to find a new planet
Penrose said Hawking is intellectually lazy.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
I am all for the advancement of space technology. If Hawking has the appeal to inspire people, then good for him. As for the earth will perish in 100 years prediction, this one is like the dozens and dozens of earth is doomed predictions that came before.

The need to explore and eventually colonize another planet is obvious. This idea has been floating around for a long time. I doubt we will be able to do it in 100 years though.
I think we'll be able to start it: Mars. That could happen in the next 20 years. Then again...I don't know how the underground environments they'd live in would be better than Earth, unless we had a nuclear war and radiation made the Earth uninhabitable, or some kind pandemic...which really isn't outside the realm of possibility.

I bet we could end up with a few thousand people living on Mars in the next hundred years, assuming it's possible to live there without experiencing major health problems/child-birthing problems from the low gravity, and residents can stay out of the radiation enough for that not to be life-threatening, and they can grow enough food and take care of all their other needs.

I could imagine some pandemic occurring on Earth, or a nuclear war and a few thousand people living on Mars and surviving there and coming back a few decades later to take back the planet. A few hundred would be more likely. A few dozen researchers wouldn't seem implausible at all, and that could be enough to re-take the earth if they can lead fulfilling enough of lives on Mars.

My biggest concern about Mars is the low gravity. I imagine we could do something about the radiation, and find ways to grow food there, but if low gravity makes childbirth impossible or dangerous, we can't change that and that's pretty much a dead end insofar as a backup planet is concerned. So, is the approximately 1/3 of Earth's gravity that Mars has that big of a problem? That's the question I'm most interested in.

Last edited by Clintone; 05-12-2017 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:58 PM
 
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Hawking is obviously wrong about this and if he were right there is nothing we could do but await our extinction. We would need something close to Star Trek technology now to undertake the century long transplanting of billions of people and infrastructure from one world to another.


But this does raise an interesting scenario that I have considered before. Suppose the timescale for earth destruction was not an insurmountable 100 years, but something like 200. Earth is going to be smashed by some moon sized object in two centuries with 100% certainty and there are not enough nukes in existence that could move it off course. Could mankind put away its differences and defeat its more backward aspects? Could the resources and budget currently put into militaries be instead devoted to space technology and exploration?
Would our species have the ability to pull off what would still be a pretty tight 200 year escape window for the level of technology needed to achieve.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
Physically and fiscally impossible.
As of right this moment perhaps.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
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Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
...Earth is going to be smashed by some moon sized object in two centuries with 100% certainty...
And from where is this "moon-sized" object coming?
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Hawking is always good for a headline. His accuracy is off often enough that he self-corrects as he sees fit and has new information.

I wouldn't be surprised if extensive colonization of the moon happened sooner than expected. A few underground low radiation nukes blasting bubbles protected from surface hazards could make ample space for habitats. The power potential from solar on the moon is just crazy, as are sources of intense heat and cold. From an engineering standpoint, it is probably a more stable environment for structures lasting millennia than Earth. Biological isolation of colonies would also be fairly simple. The big issue would be building the carousels in the bubbles required to bring an ersatz gravity up to near Earth levels. We simply aren't designed to live long term in low gravity. We might get away with just sleeping and rec quarters being full gravity, and a workday in moon gravity, but not all the time.

A couple of months ago, I was driving as the full moon came up over the horizon. After having recently watch Rogue One, I had no problem imagining the Earth as destroyed from excess heat, beginning to be like Venus, and people on the moon looking down wondering what it was like to live on a planet. It was a rather sobering fantasy.
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Old 05-13-2017, 01:09 PM
 
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Only a growing sun can destroy earth from excess heat. The moon will go too.
But that won't happens for another 2-3 billion years. Wherever we choose to go, robots will be the key to helping us get there. Robots are far superior than humans to deal with the extreme and unforgiving environments in space.
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