152

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 ...


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 ...


13

FTL isn't the issue The problem is finding somewhere to live. The Milky Way has around four hundred billion stars alone so if you look at a star system every second, it will take you over 200 years to get through it all. Now on top of that, chances are your destination will require terraforming which won't be a quick process nor a cheap process. This ...


10

I believe the top priorities, in order, will be: Food and water. Once stored victuals run out, there will have to be local sources for food and water. Food might be adapted from local lifeforms, or the colonists can begin growing crops from seeds, etc., brought from home. Shelter. Shelter from wind, rain, and cold will be the second priority, once the ...


10

Based on the initial conditions identified in your question - but also in the comments - the 50 figure is the most realistic. Your population will not be able to resume the practice of agriculture or animal husbandry, if they are limited to "the contents of their pockets". This leaves behind the entire basis for agriculture. Without seeds, they have no ...


10

Good answers from a lot of people, but I can see one flaw: The premise that only one ship will be sent. What civilization will only send one ship on a one-way 500-year journey? Surely in 500 years other ships would also be sent to the same destination. Some of these might well be faster and could therefore arrive before the original vessel even gets there....


6

Not long at all, depending on political and economic will. You have instantaneous FTL and the capacity to build (presumably pretty good) space stations. You can ‘colonise’ literally as fast as you can build cheap stations with a one-shot FTL Drive and pop them to another star. If the first country to colonise a system gets to claim it you can expect things ...


5

The top priority will be fertility. They will need 3-5 children per couple, perhaps more if the planet is dangerous (native life, environment, whatever). With only 500 people, that's not nearly enough to bring along all the specialties required for a modern civilization... Charles Stross has speculated on his blog that that's north of 100,000 distinct, ...


5

Since travel is instantaneous, the real question is economic. Basically it is the time and resources it takes to build FTL vehicles, and the time it takes to transport sufficient personnel, materiel and equipment to settle a solar system. Essentially assume a long-term economic growth of around one percent (1%) per annum. This is, from memory, the long-term ...


3

Without communication back it's just simple stranded island scenario. 1: Steady water supply 2: Steady food supply 3: Shelter (Assuming your ships won't be available as long term housing) 4: Elimination/Subjugation of local hostiles. (This can be anything from animals to humanoids) But seeing it is long term and 500 people isn't extremely much you ...


2

In my post number 8 in https://historum.com/threads/generation-or-sleeper-ships-which-would-be-the-better-more-realistic-option-for-space-travel.181701/1 I state that with slower than light speed travel the main method of settlement in our solar system would be via many artificial space habitats, and the main method of interstellar colonization would be by ...


2

Researchers would first have to send probes to the planet to determine the likelihood of ELE (Extinction Level Event). You can ship 500 people to a planet, but if they don't predict a massive electrical storm coming along, or fire rain or whatever, the entire population could get wiped. Others have mentioned food, water, etc.. pathogens would be a major ...


2

Don’t Land The only ways that only way it is remotely plausible that a colony ship could travel in space for 500 years and still be intact are either: A) You have Star Trek esque matter replicators on board, on which case you have absolutely no reason to go down to a planet (or to worry about resources once you get there), or B) You have a colony ship ...


2

How good are their robots? 500 people can’t sustain a modern technological base. Without robots you are doomed to a pre-industrial civilization. Therefore your first priority will be to get robot production up and running while keeping most of your population in cryogenic sleep. Once you can manufacture robots, you can manufacture everything else: ...


2

The top priority would be determining if life is present. If life is not present or at least not extensive, but the planet is habitable then they can land and set up home. The top priority would be shelter, but I assume they would have some form of basic shelter with them so the next priority would be food and water production. If the planet is home to ...


2

It's a toss-up. Many well-supported and well-funded European colonies of this sort or era in the Americas failed in a matter of years due to diseases, malnutrition, in-fighting etc. Without the optopn to go home, this lot might do better. But if crops fail and divisions open so they fail to help each other through bad times, their numbers may well fall off ...


1

I suspect the limiting factor here is going to be societal, not technological. People are social; they like to cluster together, and remain within easy distance of friends and families. We wouldn't have a problem finding planets to colonize — there are always individuals who are drawn to the solitary life of an explorer, wandering off to look for discoveries ...


1

Assume exponential expansion. For a reasonable upper limit assume that 100 colonies will be founded in the first 10 years after FTL is discovered and then double every 30 years or so. Assume that habitable planets can easily be found and moving there is no harder than moving to a different country here on Earth. A lot depends on your culture, if it's very ...


1

Basically, with instantaneous FTL, there isn't a question. The only answer is that we will spread out as fast as possible in whatever system we lay our eyes on. we will travel from the milky way to 13 billion lightyears in months because there would be nothing stopping us. The question is how fast would we fill out the territory we take? basically forever, ...


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