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This is my fourth question in the series Saturnian Cloud Cities. Click to see the previous question

The diagram of the cloud city is given below, but I will try to describe it in a nutshell. The cloud city is essentially a large rigid-hull zeppelin that is lifted by heated hydrogen, and the heat is derived from harvesting Saturn's geothermal heat, by means of long graphene cables that plunge deep into the atmosphere, well below the water-ice deck. Massive wind turbines are used to harvest the wind energy of Saturn, and use it power lighting and heating systems, meant for sustaining the algae-oxygen generators and the farms.

However, although I have come up with a diagram, I cannot explain how to deploy the cloud cities. More specifically, when the cloud cities are being made by future colonists, the materials (graphene cables, algae cells, turbines etc) are carried by rockets, and the cloud city is made in orbit, but the problem arises, when the cloud cities are taken to Saturn's atmosphere. Since the geothermal cables do not immediately start heating up after being deployed, the cities would immediately sink as the normal, unheated hydrogen is not sufficiently buoyant enough to lift in Saturn's mainly hydrogen atmosphere.

How do I heat up the lift-gas as fast as possible, so that the cloud city is now lifting itself up?

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    $\begingroup$ It looks like you got the hang of how to ask good questions. Good job! $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch thx :) $\endgroup$
    – Alastor
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 18:03

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Perhaps the copper block areas include reactors, fusion or atomic, and provide heat for the short term, and are cheap and maybe radioactively dirty in the short term until you get the heat balance you want established.

Another approach might be that the subsegments of the balloons are modular, and come together to build out the bigger balloon, and it is easier to temporarily heat and maintain the smaller balloon segments with some sort of auxiliary power until you get the main geothermal power up and running.

If you need a construction platform that is powered by thrusters, that might be o.k. until you get the balloon structure and supporting elements in place, then dump the thrusters over the side when they are no longer needed, or perhaps recycle them for other purposes.

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the materials (graphene cables, algae cells, turbines etc) are carried by rockets

You have a lot of kinetic energy to shed if you want to start being in the atmosphere. Usually that kinetic energy is dispersed as heat in the atmosphere you are re-entring.

A smarter way would be to collect (part of) that heat to increase the temperature of the hydrogen and of the graphene cable, so that you get a kick start.

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