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I'm making a series where a multi-purpose frigate travels to Jupiter in order to help in the Mars versus Jupiter war.

However, I don't know what the colonies would look like.

Maybe floating with engines?

Would they all be on the moon?

I need an idea! (By the way, your answers are right. Saturn would make more sense.)

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    $\begingroup$ You should take into account that Jupiter and its moons suffer from intense radiation due to Jupiter's magnetic field airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/exploring-the-planets/online/… $\endgroup$
    – Lucas
    Mar 5 '20 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like you already have two ideas, try describing the setting more to give people who want to answer your question more direction? $\endgroup$
    – Thymine
    Mar 5 '20 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ WB SE is not for inventing ideas for people. You're expected to come up with your ideas and WB SE evaluates them or deals with some specific issue you are having with them. $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    Mar 5 '20 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ You're making a series but we are supposed to make the setting? ... See @StephenG's comment. $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ @DTCooper It's never been part of WB SE's role. We help with the details, the authors are supposed to supply the framework and most of the concept they're trying to make. If you want to change that propose it on WB Meta SE and see if it gains enough support. $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    Mar 5 '20 at 19:34
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I wouldn't put colonies in Jupiter's atmosphere. The gravity down there is too high... it'll be quite unpleasant for normal humans to live in, and you'll need an awfully powerful rocket to get back out of the atmosphere and escape Jupiter's very, very deep gravity well.

Jupiter has a lot of moons, but the biggest ones (the Galilean moons) are probably the most interesting ones.

These are:

  • Io. This is a volcanic hellscape that's bathed in radiation. Don't go here.
  • Europa. This is a really interesting ice world, whose deep subsurface ocean might actually harbour life. It is however very thoroughly dosed with radiation, making settlements on the surface or in orbit somewhat undesirable. Deep subsurface settlements may exist.
  • Ganymede. This has a lower radiation level, but it is still dangerous for unprotected humans and electronics. Any subsurface ocean is very deep down, and is somewhat less likely to harbour life than Europa.
  • Callisto. This has the lowest radiation level of the four, making it a much more sensible place to have colonies on the surface.

Orbital colonies might be possible in a low orbit, below the inner radiation belts, but they'd be difficult to get to because you'd have to travel through the radiation belts and because they're so deep in the gravity well they'd be expensive (in rocketry terms) to fly away from. You might put them in orbit around Callisto, or further out from Jupiter.

Honestly, the place seems pretty hostile. You'd be better off visiting the asteroid belt if you wanted raw materials, or Saturn if you wanted to live on a moon or in a gas giant atmosphere. Jupiter and its moons seem best for scientific study, and whilst that might be something worth fighting for it would seem likely to be supported by other organisations living elsewhere, rather than being some kind of nation- or city-state in itself.

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    $\begingroup$ I think Europa is the best bet. Put your colony in tunnels a few hundred meters down to shield from radiation. There's plenty of water ice, and you can drill down to the subsurface ocean to harvest minerals and possibly organics. Incidentally, Ganymede's subsurface ocean isn't thought to be all that far down - just a mere 100 km or so. $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ @KlausÆ.Mogensen 100km is still quite a long way! certainly compared to the 10-30km on Europa. It'd be a lot easier to tunnel through than on a world like Earth, but you'd still need an awful lot of materials to shore up the tunnels to keep them safe. Europa might be the best of the bunch, but its principle source of interest is the possibility of life there, and you'd want to be very careful with colonisation efforts to avoid cross-contamination. $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ astrobio.net/news-exclusive/hiding-from-jupiters-radiation $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ "The ions from the belt can penetrate about a millimeter into the ice. Electrons reach roughly a centimeter down, but they also emit high-energy photons that can go as far as a meter deep. Regardless of the type of radiation, these high-energy particles will rip electrons off of molecules, thereby “oxidizing” everything on the surface." From the above article, while the radiation is powerful it is not that penetrating. So as long as you have enough ice or dirt to dig into... $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ Obligatory: “ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS, EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE. USE THEM TOGETHER. USE THEM IN PEACE.” $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 22:06
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Jupiter’s Magnetosphere Will Blow Your Mind While it Kills Your Spacecraft

Jupiter is a huge planet, but its magnetosphere is mind-blowingly massive. It extends out to nearly 5 million kilometers (3 million miles) wide on average, 150 times wider than Jupiter itself and almost 15 times wider than the Sun, making it one of the largest structures in the Solar System.


But Jupiter presents a lot of problems as far as being nice to instruments. Trapped within the magnetosphere are charged particles from the Sun that form intense radiation belts around the planet. These belts are similar to the Earth’s Van Allen belts, but are many millions of times stronger.

To help protect the spacecraft and instrument electronics, Juno has a radiation vault about the size of a car trunk made of titanium that limits the radiation exposure to Juno’s command and data handling box (the spacecraft’s brain), power and data distribution unit (its heart) and about 20 other electronic assemblies. But the instruments themselves need to be outside of the vault in order to make their observations.

The idea is You cannot live there. Not even close.

The colonies would look like whatever a radiation vault made of titanium looks like, or be 5 million kilometers away, arbitrarily orbiting a point in space that happens to have a planet in it.

See Starfish's answer about living under the ice sheets of Europa. Everywhere else within 5MK is out of the question.

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  • $\begingroup$ What's the border criteria for a magnetosphere? $\endgroup$ Mar 6 '20 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes and no. The problem is that the radiation belts block the most interesting bits of the Jovian system, but they're not equally destructive throughout. By the time you have suitable spacefaring capabilities to have multiple mature and independent colonies spread through the solar system you might have practical active magnetic shielding. Maybe. So it isn't quite "you cannot live there", because it sounds like they probably could. Its more like "why the hell would you want to live there when there are nicer places". $\endgroup$ Mar 6 '20 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioMBumachar usually when its field strength falls below that of the larger field in which it is embedded, eg. the sun's field. There are various ways of defining it, but the magnetopause is a reasonable one, especially for something as close to the sun as Jupiter. $\endgroup$ Mar 6 '20 at 20:41
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Isaac Arthur's video on colonizing Jupiter might be helpful. A summary of the highlights:

  • All the moons are colonizable, most of them in the same way as asteroids.
  • He really likes Calysto, being that it's not-quite-best at many things, and it's the large moon that is outside the worst of the radiation.
  • Io is in principal minable, with orbital outposts, but probably the worst to actually live on.
  • Domes and deep-ocean bases on / in Europa, Calysto, and Ganomede are most likely.
  • The best bet for Jupiter itself is (extremely expensive) artificial rings, with the deeper ones used for mining gas, and outer rings at the distance where Earth gravity would exist. People can live on the rings, and also use them as launch assists.
  • You could also turn Jupiter into a starship by sticking lots and lots of Fusion Candles in it, but that would make war with Mars extra impractical. Unless the Martians really want Jupiter to stay and are bombing the candle facilities, but I find that highly unlikely.

The moons would be excellent sources for resources for Mars, but I'm not sure what Mars would provide that the moons couldn't find among themselves more cheaply. I'm not sure what cause for the conflict you have in mind, but I can imagine economic disputes easily enough, though how those would escalate to a shooting war is a little harder.

Of course, when this takes place, relative to what is colonized, makes a huge difference. After all, who said the Jovian moons are all colonized, or that any that are are under the same government? Jupiter can be very complicated. It almost certainly can't be a unified system with a dozen moons and ring-dwellers all fighting Mars, because then Jupiter would be ridiculously overpowered by virtue of shere resources. But if it's just a couple moons and some orbital bases working on building the rest, and Mars wants some of that rest, that's rather different.

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    $\begingroup$ I find sticking fusion candles into Jupiter very scary. The sheer scale of the operation... has anyone done the math about the raw materials needed to make enough of them? And the time scale, how long would that take? Then, how long would it take for it to move... and where would you go?! Can Jupiter sustain you? Wouldn't you miss the sun? You are making a tiny "star" slowly crawl away from Sol into the void. $\endgroup$ Mar 6 '20 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ It brings its moons, and if you have enough fusion to make that many candles, you won't be wanting for energy. It would, though, take an extremely long time to get anywhere. $\endgroup$
    – CAE Jones
    Mar 6 '20 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @CAEJones you might have to dismantle the moons to make your candle, y'know. You'll need a lot of mass from somewhere. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '20 at 7:49
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Each planet is inhabited by different species.On earth the most intelligent living forms are called humans.While on jupiter they are referred to as "Julians".

They are highly advanced as compared to Earth.

When it comes to transportation we have airplanes,motors and electric vehicles,ships etc. They just have highly engineered teleportation inbuilt system injected on their body by the government from their childhood.This technology defies the laws of physics in certain perspective ways beyond our knowledge.

This teleportaion cannot be triggered continuously but with a certain delay of time and they can trigger cryptic coloration(i.e camouflage).The extend of these abilities varies from one julians to another.

When it comes to outer space they travel by voyagers(ships) highly engineered combat ability with high endurance and immense speed.

The julians are believed to have migrated from a distint galaxy and upoun entering our galaxy suffered some technical failures on their voyager and was forced to land on jupiter.They have adapted and colonised the inhabitable jupiter with time.

Little do we know about them but one thing for sure they are coming for the other planets to colonise.And with this,pose a grave threat to mankind.

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    $\begingroup$ Jovian is the usual choice of name for inhabitants of Jupiter :) That aside, I'm not sure this answers the question at all! $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Mar 6 '20 at 16:05

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