Beyond Earth

Our Path to a New Home in the Planets

A permanent colony on Titan as a refuge from the destruction of the Earth. Silly, poorly thought out, too much magic thinking

Titan: 1.2M km semimajor axis, 16 day period, orbital speed 5.6 km/s, tide locked to Saturn

Saturn: 9.5 AU, 29.5 yr orbit, 6 year one way trip.

P75 "Titan's lakes and seas could contain animals made of carbon and methane."

More nonsense

P275 "The closest Earthlike planet is probably twice as far" as Proxima Centauri. Nope. As paleobiologists have pointed out, the "Earth" has only been human-compatible "earthlike" for less than 10% of its history, and probably will not remain "earthlike" after an additional 10%. Planet hunters are fond of calling exoplanets smaller than Neptune "earthlike" if their semimajor axis puts them in the "liquid water zone" for their star, even if the eccentricity is much larger than the Earth's current 1.7% (almost all exoplanets have much larger eccentricities, they would alternate between freezing and baking every year). Indeed, the Earth would be completely covered with ice without stratospheric CO₂ to warm the surface, or a steam oven if there was as much as Venus. So, "earthlike" is federal-funding-speak for "greater-than-zero compatibility with earth-life assuming dozens of other conditions are also met".

P276 "Silica based person" - silica is sand. silicon is the element chips are made from. "Bored silly" on a thousand year trip; but without a power source, why stay turned on? Only biology needs to continue processing energy to avoid decay; with proper design for differential thermal expansion, computer hardware at deep space 2.7 Kelvin temperatures will last for a very long time.

P276 Alcubierre drive - this requires universe-scale mass-energy; perhaps an interesting construct to contemplate in the first zeptoseconds of the Big Bang, but not in our current vacuum-state universe.

I don't have time to pluck out more examples.

BeyondEarth (last edited 2020-06-03 21:01:05 by KeithLofstrom)