159

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 no actual certainty that the world is safe or habitable ahead of time. Your colony ship either needs to be a habitat suitable for a decent number of people to ...


93

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 that some people interpreted the bible to say that the Mark of Cain was black skin. Many treated slaves as little more than draft animals (and even saw raping ...


77

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 in Freeman class hazardous environment gear and given administrative privileges for every part of the ship. If it's so beyond-serious that not even the ...


71

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 fundamental flaw in the reasoning: they get to work making the planet livable for the people who want to have a sky over their head The people you have described ...


69

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. So a robot (the shipboard non-AI you mentioned) is legally not allowed to refreeze customers. And the programmers, on advice from their lawyers, decided ...


65

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 extensive long distance maritime trade; ships went from Egypt to India and back routinely. They also had ships larger that the ships used by Columbus. They had lateen ...


60

Granite is one of the most durable types of rock. As you walk across a granite staircase, the electromagnetic fields in your shoes are repelled by the electrons in the outer layers of the outermost atoms in the granite slab. Occasionally, a few granite atoms are kicked loose in the interactions. Over the centuries, this builds the grooves you see in old ...


58

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 stargate into a ship and use the gate to refuel and resupply. Crew can come and go as wanted. As tech improves, you bring it through the gate and upgrade the ship ...


58

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 possibility for this type of behavior exists. "Racism" could even be manifest as a hatred of / discrimination against newcomers to the colony. To ...


56

The Asteroid belt. It has similar requirements for life-support systems as the moon. With the additional need perhaps for some areas with simulated gravity. It is next closest in terms of energy required to get to and from the orbits. It is still close enough to the sun that collecting solar energy is workable (the farthest out we have used solar panels is ...


56

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 since you can get to many other stars within the original crews lifetime. And there are hazards to going that fast. Lets assume the ship is, say, 10X the ...


49

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 starship has the technology to deactivate a stasis field that has been placed around an object (this requires a relatively small, lightweight device), but that the machines needed to time-freeze ...


42

magic self-repairing materials are not an option over this timescale. I know you said this, but I'm assuming you're talking about stuff like self-repairing nanomachines. But there's an alternative, very non-magical answer to this question that's also self-repairing: Plants. It would require genetic engineering, but is still something I think would be ...


42

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 Constantinopolitans, that is, inhabitants of the city on the Bosphorus from the 4th century CE onwards? (Nobody called the Byzantine Empire the Byzantine Empire ...


40

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 prove it's existence. To make things even funnier Cook (who proved New Zealand is not that bigger continent) is one of three people who rediscovered ...


39

What plants to eat and what to leave? Better use the UNIVERSAL EDIBILITY TEST: Test only one part of a potential food plant at a time. Separate the plants into its basic components — leaves, stems, roots, buds, and flowers. Smell the food for strong or acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate a plant is edible or inedible. Do not eat ...


38

10 million years is a geologic-level time scale - so if you truly want a structure to last the ages, then we're going to need some help...specifically, from geology itself. First, let's consider just how long 10 Ma really is: So we need something that will last approximately three Epochs...wow, this is going to be epic! As a matter of fact, this is beyond ...


38

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. This is, for some reason, intentional. No way. This would make no sense at all to anyone. Starliners are huge colony ships. They carry enough equipment, ...


38

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 like himself, but he also tends to use a phrase Grandpa used a lot whenever he hit his thumb with a hammer or encountered a difficult-to-solve problem. He'd call ...


37

My choices: Ganymede and Callisto (and maybe Titan) This is perhaps a bit of a buzzkill, but I honestly would not recommend colonizing much in the solar system besides the Moon and Mars. Here's why I would take a lot of bodies off the table: Mercury - Too hot on its sunny side for colonization (up to 700K) and too cold on its dark side (down to 100K). ...


32

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 program in its head as an intelligent being alternately, Look! some of them are starving and others are eating a second lunch! Disgusting animals! Low ...


31

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 habitation on Earth beside the two aforementioned problems: Solution 1: Drop chunks of scrap metal large enough to survive atmospheric entry, but not large enough ...


29

Note: none of these methods are foolproof. Try a little of anything you eat before eating a lot of it. Plants Avoid leaves and stems. It seems that these are not only typically inedible in general, but there is a laundry list of plants whose have roots or fruits that are edible, but with toxic stems and leaves. This is because generally they want to ...


29

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 evidence against an invasion is quite strong: no ancient source known specifically mentions one. But if there was no invasion or if there was an unsuccessful ...


29

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 340kcal Fat 0.0g 2.5g Carbohydrates 33.3g 72.0g Fiber 3.3g 10.7g Sugars 0.0g 0.4g Protein 6.7g 13.2g Sodium 16.7mg 0.0g(?) (?) = The 0.0g sodium for Wheat is ...


26

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 here; we don't know how fast we were traveling, but I assume it was a relativistic speed (IE a significant percentage of the speed of light). As such, all data ...


24

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. If the trip is scheduled to take 10,000 years and the (smart) engineers know the incident rate is about 1 every 100 years, then they'd expect a whopping 100 ...


23

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. In form, individual Martians are like virus particles, and only acquire intelligence as they gather together in larger and larger groups. Since they gain ...


22

I believe what you are looking for are river valleys. Many, if not all major ancient civilizations who settled down to permanent settlements could only do so because they were able to learn agricultural techniques and they needed fertile land to do so. Look to the Egyptians and the Nile, as well as the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia. There are many more ...


22

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 such a large area. Now when we take into account that alien colonization while likely be system wide instead of continent wide, we will be the squirrels living in ...


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