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Asteroids could be converted in to starships

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fred_mc

Multi-generational starships feel pretty cruel I think. The first generation has freely chosen to be on the ship so I guess it is ok but think about the generations that are born and die on the ship. They will be in a kind of prison all of their lives, in a confined space, never being able to feel the wind or the heat of the sun, or being out in nature.

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seanjo

For the World is hollow and I have touched the sky.

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Waspie_Dwarf
2 hours ago, fred_mc said:

Multi-generational starships feel pretty cruel I think. The first generation has freely chosen to be on the ship so I guess it is ok but think about the generations that are born and die on the ship. They will be in a kind of prison all of their lives, in a confined space, never being able to feel the wind or the heat of the sun, or being out in nature.

None of choose our parents, none of choose the world we are born into.

Is it any more cruel to have a child on a starship than it is to have a child in a war zone?

Is it more cruel to have a child born into a small world free of war and pollution but filled with the hope of starting a new colony on a new world?

Is it cruel that children will be born into a world of hope that their descendants may found a new Eden?

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Tom the Photon

I'm certain I read this idea about 40 years ago in a Ladybird or Usbourne book about space. What exactly has TU Delft Starship Team done to add progression to this ancient idea?

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and then
2 hours ago, fred_mc said:

Multi-generational starships feel pretty cruel I think. The first generation has freely chosen to be on the ship so I guess it is ok but think about the generations that are born and die on the ship. They will be in a kind of prison all of their lives, in a confined space, never being able to feel the wind or the heat of the sun, or being out in nature.

True, but they will never really "know" any other existence, will they?  It would be similar to being born deaf or blind here, now.  What they've never had, it will be difficult to miss too much.

The idea of using an existing celestial body to make passage through the stars seems like a huge advantage!  We simply have to decide how to make them into a usable habitat.  I recall reading an idea like this in some BV Larson SciFi.  It was in the "Star Force Series"  I don't recall the specific book.

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Sundew

Assuming you could even have a multi-generational starship in an asteroid, could the passengers even be able to disembark and live in a gravitational environment? The degeneration of our bodies in space is not trivial, even after a few months. Imagine the deterioration after decades and of multiple generations who have never known planetary gravity?

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Woodwose

This idea could work well if a spinning habitat were placed inside an asteroid. https://youtu.be/gTDlSORhI-k

Edited by Woodwose
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Torchwood
9 hours ago, Tom the Photon said:

I'm certain I read this idea about 40 years ago in a Ladybird or Usbourne book about space. What exactly has TU Delft Starship Team done to add progression to this ancient idea?

Ive been seeing this a lot recently too, old ideas repackaged as new ideas without anything actually being added.  I'm guessing its a result of having to produce some sort of article to a deadline- when stuck they just reprint something from 30-50 years ago on the assumption everyone will have forgotten about it.

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Almighty Evan

19 hours ago, seanjo said:

For the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky

Image result for star trek for the world is hollow and i have touched the sky

 

Edited by Almighty Evan
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bison
10 hours ago, Woodwose said:

This idea could work well if a spinning habitat were placed inside an asteroid. https://youtu.be/gTDlSORhI-k

A artificial habitat, like an O'Neill cylinder, might be unnecessary, inside an asteroid. The interior surface of a substantial hollow space, either natural or manmade, or perhaps a combination of the two, could, itself, serve as living space. The spin of the asteroid would provide artificial gravity.

Edited by bison
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schroedingerscat

This idea was originally put forward by Dandridge Cole in the pages of 'Spaceworld' magazine, and his book, with Donald Cox, 'Islands in Space: The Challenge of the Planetoids', published in 1964.  Gerard O'Neill and G. Harry Stein expounded upon Cole's ideas in the 1970's.  If the hippie and disco eras had not turned us into a society of blathering whiners, ships like the Discovery from '2001: A Space Odyssey' might be a reality today; I thought they would be, back in the days of the Apollo moon landings.  We will never become a spacefaring civilization if we keep forgetting the advances of our past, and fail to develop a societal backbone.

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Waspie_Dwarf
On 4/30/2018 at 7:53 AM, Torchwood said:

Ive been seeing this a lot recently too, old ideas repackaged as new ideas without anything actually being added.  I'm guessing its a result of having to produce some sort of article to a deadline- when stuck they just reprint something from 30-50 years ago on the assumption everyone will have forgotten about it.

Sorry but this is totally untrue and seems to be based on a lack of understanding of how science works.

These are not old ideas being being repackaged as new ideas, these are old ideas being updated to include new discoveries and technologies. What was a vague idea in 1964 is now close to being achievable now, Asteroid mining could begin within the next few years using technology that was hardly even dreamt of in the '60's.

Our understanding of how space affects the human body has advanced since the '60's. Our understanding of life support systems has advanced since the '60's. Our understanding of pretty much everything relevant to such a project has advanced since the '60's.

There is a word for re-examining old ideas with new understanding... progress.

Edited to add:

Most ideas in science are not new, they are expansions on what has gone before. Each new scientific idea has it's foundations on the work that has gone before it.

Quote

If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

- Sir Isaac Newton

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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cyclopes500

They talk about mining an asteroid being difficult because of the low gravity. Why not chuck a giant fine mesh trawling net over the body and then support it using 3D printed props. What goes up won't go through the net.

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Torchwood
10 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Sorry but this is totally untrue and seems to be based on a lack of understanding of how science works.

These are not old ideas being being repackaged as new ideas, these are old ideas being updated to include new discoveries and technologies. What was a vague idea in 1964 is now close to being achievable now, Asteroid mining could begin within the next few years using technology that was hardly even dreamt of in the '60's.

Our understanding of how space affects the human body has advanced since the '60's. Our understanding of life support systems has advanced since the '60's. Our understanding of pretty much everything relevant to such a project has advanced since the '60's.

There is a word for re-examining old ideas with new understanding... progress.

Edited to add:

Most ideas in science are not new, they are expansions on what has gone before. Each new scientific idea has it's foundations on the work that has gone before it.

- Sir Isaac Newton

 

My criticism was not aimed at the Science, with which I have no issue, but at the Journalism ;)

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schroedingerscat

Waspie Dwarf and Torchwood both have valid points.  Many brilliant ideas languish on dusty shelves for years, awaiting the development of supporting technologies which are necessary to further development of the original brilliant idea.  When, however, people dust of an old idea, and pass it off as original, with no nod to past visionaries, I have a problem.  In addition to this discussion, there is the laser launch system, originally postulated by A. N. Pirri and R. F. Weiss at Avco Everett in the early 1970's.  In the 1980's Leik Myrabo began work along these same lines, with no mention by Myrabo, or in the press, about the pioneering work of Pirri and Weiss.  There is currently renewed interest in nuclear pulse propulsion, but with no mention of the practical work done by Freeman Dyson in project Orion in the 1960's, and only passing references to Daedalus by the BIS in the 1970's.  We should remember that Isaac Newton acknowledged the work of his predecessors.

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quiXilver

We already live on a self sustaining organic space ship.

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schroedingerscat
46 minutes ago, quiXilver said:

We already live on a self sustaining organic space ship.

True, but this one only takes us in circles.

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Waspie_Dwarf
9 hours ago, schroedingerscat said:

When, however, people dust of an old idea, and pass it off as original, with no nod to past visionaries, I have a problem.

Remember that this is not a peer-reviewed scientific paper we are talking about, in which case not referencing the earlier work would be considered plagiarism. In deed the article in the original post is from a news site and not a science site and is not the words of the scientists making the proposal.

This is a proposal to do more research on the life support system needed for such an asteroid based starship, it is not an essay on the history of generational starships. Every time there is a proposal for a new factory using mass production should it include a reference to Henry Ford?

I understand your point but in cases like this, short news articles, not scientific literature, I think it is rather misplaced.

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psyche101

Regardless of who's idea it was, its a fascinating concept. I'd agree Waspie  we would all be winners in the long run if the concept proves viable. It sure would be quite some generations on board. I wonder what potential targets might be proposed? Or what speeds could be achieved. 

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Waspie_Dwarf
9 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

 I wonder what potential targets might be proposed?

I don't think we have enough information yet to even begin thinking about potential targets, but that is changing rapidly.

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schroedingerscat
5 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

I don't think we have enough information yet to even begin thinking about potential targets, but that is changing rapidly.

Epsilon Eridini, a very young K class star with a long lifespan, which appears to still be in the final stages of planetary formation.  If we get there soon enough (say, within the next 10 million years), we might be able to build a world custom tailored to our needs.  At just over 10 light years distance, it is also relatively close.  If we can produce a pulsed fusion engine, which is still a big 'if', we might attain 10% c, bringing travel time to this target to less than 120 years, and with advances in human longevity, the youngest expedition members might actually live to see both Earth, and their destination.

Just my opinion; if I had the ability, this is where I would go.  It would be interesting to hear other suggestions.

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quiXilver
On 5/1/2018 at 9:09 PM, schroedingerscat said:

True, but this one only takes us in circles.

Not at all. 

The Earth ellipses around the Sun, while the Sun circumnavigates our galactic center... which also spirals through the universe.

We travel in multiple spiraling archs, not in a circle.

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