Skip to main content
162 votes
Accepted

An Earth-like planet is found in another solar system. What are the top priorities after landing in order to create a self-sustaining colony?

Firstly, if you don't have the capabilities to construct a closed life support system, then you have no business trying to construct a colony many light years away, with no support and no backup and ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
97 votes
Accepted

Could aliens colonize Earth without realizing humans are people too?

It really wouldn't take much at all. Consider all of the reasons that African slaves were considered subhuman. This literally ranged in reason from the size and shape of their cranium to the fact ...
Marshall Tigerus's user avatar
78 votes
Accepted

Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

A simple humanitarian reason. If the problem is normal-serious, the troubleshooter can fix it, eventually awaking specific other persons. This individual is highly trained, augmented, decked out ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
71 votes

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

Is this a realistic way to colonize and explore the universe? No. Apart from problems with generational ships, which you'll find discussed on Worldbuilding SE in other questions, there is a ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
70 votes

Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

Cryosleep is 100% safe, but that assumes careful procedures handled by the well-trained staff of the state-of-the-art embarkation center. A robot in the middle of nowhere would not be nearly as safe. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 117k
64 votes

Could the Romans have colonised the New World?

The Romans, or rather the Greeks, because in Roman times the vast majority of mariners were Greek, and possibly Phoenician, could have crossed the Atlantic. Technically. The classical world had ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91.1k
58 votes
Accepted

Efficient way to transport a Stargate

Rockets Rockets are the fastest means of acceleration we have but it's just not efficient but for a stargate, this isn't a problem as you can open the gate to refuel. You effectively build the ...
Thorne's user avatar
  • 47.3k
58 votes
Accepted

Preventing racism in space colonies

Any group of humans can, over time, develop a sense of "us" vs "them". Racism is only one type of this behavior. Even if all of your colonists were to be identical clones, the ...
IronEagle's user avatar
  • 2,794
57 votes
Accepted

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

Slow being a little less than half the speed of light, thanks to getting a very large boost as they start their journey. Slow down there! literally. At that speed it's not really a generation ship ...
Murphy's user avatar
  • 26.4k
49 votes

Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

They set it up this way because the troubleshooter is essentially sacrificed. (In the same vein as the answers of o.m. and Carl Witthoft) Suppose the ...
Dast's user avatar
  • 3,192
42 votes
Accepted

How much would a language change over 500 years completely cut off from its source?

The first thing to examine is, what are those "Byzantines"? Are they for-real Byzantines, that is, inhabitants of the city on the Bosphorus from the 7th century BCE to the 4th century CE? Are they ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91.1k
40 votes
Accepted

For how long can I hide the discovery of a new continent?

Don't mention it to anyone. Terra Australis was only imagined by Ptolemy because Aristotle argued there must be something there. If no one would talk or chart this magic land no one would go there to ...
SZCZERZO KŁY's user avatar
38 votes

Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

Frame challenge time. No matter how bad things get, no matter how far outside of acceptable parameters things are, nobody but the single Troubleshooter wakes. There is no backup. No redundancy. ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
38 votes

Preventing racism in space colonies

Impossible My grandfather hated black people. Not a little bit. A lot. He was a racist. My father wasn't a racist, but was certainly biased. He's had excellent working relationships with people not ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 125k
34 votes

Could aliens colonize Earth without realizing humans are people too?

it's either because the have higher standards, or because they have a low estimation of us. High standards You can't expect us to treat an animal that can't even run a simple 2M lines computer ...
Dotan's user avatar
  • 3,139
32 votes

Garlic as staple food for colonies?

This is a Frame Challenge Garlic would be a poor staple food. Consider the following nutritional facts about garlic (Source) and Wheat (Source): Nutrition (100g) Garlic Wheat Calories 150kcal ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 125k
31 votes
Accepted

How to colonize this planet?

Assuming those onboard are smart enough to have gathered information concerning the planet’s chemical and biological make-up to confirm that habitation thereupon is not essentially different from ...
user289661's user avatar
  • 1,681
29 votes

Could the Romans have colonised the New World?

The Romans did not conquer all the lands that they could have. As regards Ireland, for example: http://www.historyireland.com/pre-norman-history/hibernia-romana-ireland-the-roman-empire/ The ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
26 votes

An Earth-like planet is found in another solar system. What are the top priorities after landing in order to create a self-sustaining colony?

I think that the number one priority is actually going to be confirming that the planet is, in fact, as habitable as previously anticipated. Previous information on the planet took 500 years to get ...
NegativeFriction's user avatar
25 votes

If 30% of global military spending for the next 30 years were instead spent on an "intelligent life" backup colony, where should we site it and why?

Frame Challenge Any Location accessible now, through our current means will be vulnerable to a sufficiently smart AI that could pose a threat Okay - let's discuss this. In order for AI to be a threat ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 28.7k
24 votes

Could aliens colonize Earth without realizing humans are people too?

The answer has already been explored in fiction, and is quite solidly "Yes". In Olaf Stapeldon's "Last and First Men", the Martians invade the Earth due to a gradual environmental catastrophe on Mars....
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k
24 votes

Why would a sleeper ship be designed to only wake one person in case of emergency?

There are more troubleshooters, however there is a strict policy to only wake up one at a time. The key reason is that they cannot be put back to sleep, so they are effectively a one-off solution. ...
asac's user avatar
  • 341
23 votes

Conquering the Galaxy with DNA - What is the best vector?

Cockroaches don't live up to their reputation. The domestic cockroach that seems so hard to kill is as dependent on our warm comfortable environment as we are. If you want to clear an infestation in a ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
22 votes

Could aliens colonize Earth without realizing humans are people too?

Absolutely...Kind of... When France "colonized" the new world, within three years they claimed they had colonized almost a third of modern america, but in reality very few settlers were there for ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
21 votes
Accepted

Making a Planet Seem Uninhabitable

The amount of resources expended to determine the habitability of a new planet is inversely proportional to the number of gates/planets they have access to. If there are thousands of options then the ...
Jason K's user avatar
  • 12.6k
20 votes

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

Is this a realistic way to colonize and explore the universe? Sure it is, this is the same process used by Polynesians to colonise the Pacific Islands. They had boats with everything they would need ...
Kilisi's user avatar
  • 26.6k
20 votes

Immune resistance to biological colonisation

Reality check won't be kind to this idea. The short version is that your planet killer requires handwavium and lots of it. the Earth is taken over and literally eaten by a race of giant alien ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

How to increase the population growth of the human race

I think the obvious answer is: Make it socially and economically desirable for people to have many children. Are we assuming a modern, 20th century or later society? Or a more primitive society? I'm ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 15.5k
18 votes
Accepted

How big a population can the solar system support considering only power and living space?

Roughly $1\times10^{20}$ people. Take the solar output of the sun, $4\times10^{26} \text{W}$, divide by watts per person, $1\times10^{6} \text{W}$, and factor in the solar efficiency. Check this ...
sphennings's user avatar
  • 21.4k
18 votes

Could you live in underground lava tubes on Venus?

Short answer: HELL NO Surface temperatures on Venus approach a toasty 900degF (~475degC). Though heat is radiated from the planet, there is no surface cooling as on Earth. Venus has volcanoes and ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 40.7k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible