Earth sent some colonist to a earth-like planet, interstellar distance away, a long time ago. This colony is very sustainable and growing. No need to worry about that. The problem is: Due to Kessler syndrome, no satellites can be put into orbit anymore without being hit. The satellites designed for communicating to the base is destroyed. Earth sent a warning message saying: Kessler Syndrome No communication! All the colony got was, Kessler Syn. They never got the rest because the satellite was destroyed. The colony can still communicate with Earth, but Earth can't talk back.You can handwave communication latency. But if- Interstellar communication, read this (no ships though).

My main question is:

How would the colony react? What would they do now being isolated one way?

They are completely sustainable, so no need to worry about that.


closed as primarily opinion-based by John, Brythan, jdunlop, L.Dutch Nov 2 '18 at 5:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Where is the Kessler syndrome happening? Around Earth? Or around the colony? $\endgroup$ – Rob Watts Nov 1 '18 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @RobWatts Earth $\endgroup$ – Aaron Nov 1 '18 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ It feels like there are a number of ways Earth could get around the issue, such as putting a satellite around Mars - Kessler Syndrome can prevent you from keeping something in orbit, but there would still be ways to launch things from Earth. However, your question is about how the colony would react, so it makes me think that almost all of your question is actually irrelevant - it doesn't matter how communication became one-way only, just that it has. $\endgroup$ – Rob Watts Nov 1 '18 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ This is going to depend entirely on the colony, what resources it has, what situation it is in and, what plans have already been made for such a scenario, Without this information this is nothing but opinion. $\endgroup$ – John Nov 1 '18 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ It sounds like there was practically no communication before, either, or the colony would have known that KS was increasingly probable. And it's not hard to figure out from "Kessler Syn..." what the likely reason is. Also it seems unlikely that a single, fast-orbiting, LEO satellite is the only link -- all the messages would be super short and occasionally cut off. Now a nice big antenna on the Moon... $\endgroup$ – user535733 Nov 2 '18 at 0:59

If the colony is long-established, sustainable and growing, then losing communication with Earth will be a minor annoyance.

No communication means no more exchange of information, thus the colony would have to invest in areas of research and development that it wasn't doing, or not enough, because Earth was better equipped in terms of scientific facilities and scientists minds.

No more commerce with Earth as well, but if the colony is completely self-sustainable, that would probably only affect a small fraction of the economy. Most likely luxury goods (Bordeaux wine, caviars, etc) because they are the genuine article. And they can probably produce an equivalent on the colony to replace them, so, loss on one side, gain on the other, it should balance out.

The colony's government would probably send a ship towards Earth, or contact ships they know are close, to inquire about what happened, if that's doable. If the ship takes a century to go to Earth, or if it would cost them several times the yearly GDP of the colony, they might not even bother.

In summary, it wouldn't have much of an impact except a psychological one, and that would fade quickly. Life would go on as usual on the colony, minus news from Earth.


There's really no reason that Earth couldn't just put a replacement communication satellite up into a higher orbit to re-establish contact. The Kessler Syndrome only affects low earth orbit, and doesn't meaningfully affect the ability of payloads to travel through to more distant orbits.

As to how the colony would react? Well, likely with some concern, but not outright panic. They received enough of the message to know what happened, and likely expect communications to be re-established within a month or two once Earth puts up a new satellite.


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