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Time for humans to start thinking about moving says Hawking

For many years humans have dreamed of one day colonizing other planets and moons.  Although research would be an important reason for the foreign bases, could the survival of the human race depend on whether or not we can colonize other planets?  World-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently said that humans need to colonize a planet or moon because the Earth might face destruction -- A man made disaster -- global warming being a good example -- or natural disaster could potentially destroy the planet. 

Although he believes humans can colonize the moon within 20 years, and establish a sufficient base on Mars within 40 years, humans "won't find anywhere as nice as Earth," unless we visit another solar system.  The moon looks to be like an ideal place for a potential new colony.  Not only does it appear to have everything needed to sustain humans, ice has also been found at its poles.

Nations have been thinking about colonizing other planets for years.  DailyTech earlier reported that NASA is working towards a permanent moon base that would be a stepping stone to allow astronauts to explore Mars firsthand.  Swedish researchers are also studying different ways to have a self-sustaining colony on the moon.

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Sheer nonsense.
By bupkus on 6/15/2006 11:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
If Earth's woes come from outside then just how far away from Earth must these survivors/colonists be?
If from within how can we be sure we don't export our problems with us?
If technological, such as industrial or urban waste what fuels or manufacturing processes will we use on these other planets? And if we can use solar or clean technologies on the moon or Mars, why not use them here on Earth?
Hawking's statement has value to make people aware of one simple fact and that is the Earth is neither indestructible nor replaceable.

RE: Sheer nonsense.
By masher2 on 6/15/2006 2:56:44 PM , Rating: 3
> "If Earth's woes come from outside then just how far away from Earth must these survivors/colonists be? "

The further, the better. So we should start as soon as possible, no?

> "if we can use solar or clean technologies on the moon or Mars, why not use them here on Earth?"

For reasons which should be obvious, solar power on Luna is far more viable than it will ever be on Earth. In any case, "clean power" is only one tiny part of the equation. A lunar colony is insulated from a huge variety of Terran-based disasters, both natural and manmade.

Sure we could get *almost* as much safety by building domes on the bottom of the ocean...but such a dome would exist ONLY for safety considerations. What would people do down there? But on the Moon, they can be members of a thriving, productive economy...many industrial processes can be done cheaper and easier there than they can here. There is access to a vast amount of raw resources. Eventually, mining and other dirty industries could be moved off the earth entirely.

Finally, a lunar colony is a first step towards going further. Colonies on Mars, Ganymede, or even space itself. And then, mankind would truly no longer have "all its eggs in one basket", where a single errant meteor or natural disaster could end it forever.

RE: Sheer nonsense.
By rcc on 6/15/2006 3:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting human nature. Humanity's need to expand. Earth provides a finite amount of real estate, and it's pretty much all claimed with the exception of the really wet and frosty bits.

Better to let man/womankid fight a frontier than each other. And it will come to that.

IMNSHO of course.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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