Scientist Stephen Hawking Believes Humans Must go Into Space
June 15, 2006 6:24 AM
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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.
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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RE: moon base
6/16/2006 12:36:49 PM
> "does any starting moon base NEED such a complete setup..no, but thats not my point"
Your remarks were, and I quote, "I, for one, can't wait till we have a viable
base...but before we can do it...we
some other items in place first...once in place then a small network of GPS/comm sats
need to be
but into orbit around the
Emphasis mine. Now you're saying something totally different. It seems clear you've realized your error, though, so lets put that behind us. Let's also forget the errors that we can't provide full coverage of the moon via synchronous satellites, and that we *can* communicate with the earth via a Darkside satellite.
That just leaves this final point of yours:
lets treat the moon as if it wasnt so close, and design systems accordingly that way when we do parts 2 & 3 of "moon, mars & beyond"...we have designed and build systems and know how best to implement them already
But we already know how to build such systems. We've done so on the Earth. Building non-needed satellites and launching them into lunar orbit doesn't give us any additional experience, to putting such a system on Mars or elsewhere. Its just a waste of money. Far better to spend those dollars designing more efficient, reliable satellites on EARTH...then launch them only when they're actually needed.
RE: moon base
6/16/2006 2:46:57 PM
hmmm..why the fixation on synchronous orbits? we wouldnt need them to be in the exact same spot at all times, just at least one within line of sight to make a comm connection. Dont need synchronous orbits for that, they only need to be far enough away to see their "half" of the body, a few thousand km for the moon.
as for "need", yes we would need at least part of the system to be in place first before we start sending people. 1 sat for total
ecliptical orbitable coverage and rotating surface areas, 2 for decent global surface coverage and polar orbital coverage, 3 for maximum
surface coverage, and a 4th for redundancy for when one fails.
so 2 to start would be optimal so you have orbital and surface coverage, and in case one fails you still have ecliptical orbit coverage, till the remaining ones can be placed.
no..we in fact do not have any such system of its kind built and operating now. most of the sats in earth orbit are 2 way systems
only..ground to sat to ground systems. some have 3 ways systems..ground to sat to ground with ability to go also from sat to sat. But
what we need is a 4 way system..ground to sat to ground/ sat to sat/ and sat to earth. about the closet we have now is the mars orbitor
which can relay back..but..thats far from a "global" working system.
RE: moon base
6/16/2006 3:51:30 PM
> "hmmm..why the fixation on synchronous orbits?"
For the same reason they're so useful on earth. You can cover a larger area with a smaller number of satellites. Furthermore, a nonsychronous satellite requires the ground station to track a rapidly moving body...or else to broadcast (and receive) a far more powerful signal.
Certainly still possible, but you're talking about a much larger number of much higher power satellites. Much costlier. And again-- whats the point? You've already admitted such a system isn't needed on the moon...just to prove we can do it for some other planet?
> "Dont need synchronous orbits for that, they only need to be far enough away to see their "half" of the body"
I've explained this earlier. High lunar orbits are not stable, unless they're darkside only (which means they must be synchronous). The mass of the earth is 80 times that of the moon, meaning Terran gravity causes severe perturbations.
An orbit only a thousand or two km high would be stable, but that provides very little coverage. Remember, the moon is not perfectly smooth. Even on Earth, a satellite 35,000 km up is often occluded by terrain. Furthermore, the lower a satellite is, the faster it moves...complicating tracking tremendously.
> "yes we would need at least part of the system to be in place first before we start sending people"
No, you need no satellite whatsoever for a Nearside colony. They communicate directly with Earth.
> "2 for decent global surface coverage and polar orbital coverage, 3 for maximum"
Heh, no. Honestly, look up some basic orbital dynamics. Failing that, look up how many satellites the earth's GPS constellation requires (24, plus a few spares) which ARE at Geosynch height, and STILL don't provide perfect 100% global coverage, due to terrain occlusion. Hell, Sirius uses 3 satellites (also at geosynch height, though with a elliptical plane) just to cover the North American continent.
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