74

A few little lies never hurt anyone, right? The problem of love and marriage falls into a major problem (DNA variety) and a bunch of minor problems (not so many fish in the sea). Surprisingly, the Major problem is far easier to fix than the minor, and it actually fixes a lot of the minor problems in the process. Gene Banks The main reason why love and ...


61

This is actually easier than you think, and represents a major shortcoming of our modern civilization - specialization. First and foremost, it's safe to say that all traces of human civilization on Earth are now well and truly gone. In other words, no one is going to find caches of technology or resources just lying around. Second, consider that the skills ...


50

Soylent Green are people. It's the new recycling. On a more serious level, I'd suggest looking into what are now known as woodland burials. The body returns to the forest as nutrients. You could do the same in the biosphere pod. One variation of the woodland burial involves freeze drying people in liquid nitrogen then breaking the frozen remains up into ...


49

I remember a few years ago reading an article which stated that a manned trip to Mars (with return) for a couple of people could be as high as 1 trillion USD (1,000,000,000,000). This group you're supposing is several hundred times larger than the Mars trip, for several hundreds of thousand times longer trip, and they have to create a means of survival ...


43

Can YOU make a toaster from scratch? OR At The End Of WALL*E, Everyone Starves. Do you, or any of your friends, or anyone you know know how to... Mine and smelt ore? Make a hammer? Purify water? Purify silicon? Make bricks? Build a water wheel? Build a turbine? Make plastic? Make wire? Make a generator? Make gunpowder? (Please don't leave a bunch of ...


43

Titanium Immunity to Environmental Attack Architectural titanium's unsurpassed corrosion resistance results from its stable, highly-adherent, protective surface oxide film. Because the metal is highly reactive and has a strong affinity for oxygen, the beneficial oxide film forms spontaneously when exposed to moisture or air. In fact, a damaged oxide ...


40

As itchy as it is, wool comes immediately to mind. The providers of wool can serve as sources of milk/cheese, meat, fiber, a great skin conditioner (lanolin), leather, fat for soap, and fertilizer, all good things increasing the odds of long-term survival. In such ships, processing of wool may well make it more comfortable; it is warm even when wet, ...


39

Do it like it's done on Earth Using filters and machinery is useful when you need it fast or compact but on a generational ship, it's materials you can't spare. You need garden/agricultural areas for oxygen and food. Human waste water is good for growing plants. Said plants absorb the water through the roots and expel as vapor through the leaves which then ...


39

It's more efficient to send one big one Running 10 small sewage processing plants uses more power than 1 big one. Same with maintaining 1 big nuclear reactor vs maintaining 10 small ones. Same with Co2 filters, Gyms, Schools, Creche, etc. Are you going to build 10 playgrounds for children? Do you have 10 autopilots, as well as 10 navigation computers, 10 ...


38

I think there's two things missing. The first is that we do hard things all the time. Its standard practice for humanity to do things that were impossible a generation earlier. I think the real key is motivation. A society's motivation for generation ships is the same motivation a tree has to produce seeds. Why produce seeds when, to produce seeds, you ...


36

In a highly climate controlled environment like a space ship, other than for utility purposes (pockets) and nudity taboos, there's no real need for clothing. The carefully controlled environment of the spaceship will eliminate the need to wear clothing to regulate temperature and for protection. So reprogram your generation ship crew and colonists to ...


36

You know, I'm kind of annoyed with these questions. Not because they are bad questions, but because people seem to forget what mankind is truly capable of when the chips are down. Let's start with the ship needed. First off, ship design. Yes, scale is important, but not as important as a dozen other factors. First, you need something that rotates, to ...


35

Planting bombs to leave orbit is utterly infeasible and is a scale error. There are many questions here already about moving planets and you can read the extensive discussions that have already taken place. We'll ensure that the acceleration towards our target is a gradual one. You need to understand about orbits. Try playing Kerbal Space Program. If ...


35

Pets and other animals While it seems wasteful to have live pets in the resource limited environment of a generation ship, their influence on mental wellbeing should not be underestimated. In this case however we're more interested in their tendency to be rather unhygienic by human standards. Walking in places you'd rather they didn't then climbing on the ...


34

Normal Pets If you're looking at sustaining a billion people for 1,000 years, you don't need an artificial life system on your ship. You need a full, 100% working ecosystem, transported from Earth's remnants with as many animals, insects and plants as possible. Artificial life systems are fragile. They have relatively few failure points, and they require ...


34

Lack of Tools to Build Tools The survivors had equipment. Radios. Guns. Axes. Antibiotics. But radios break down. Guns run out of ammo. Axes get dull, and grinding them wears them down. To replace them the survivors will need steel furnaces, chip factories, and so on. But didn't the Planners think of that? Of course they did. But rebuilding an infrastructure ...


34

Can a ship with a rotating habitat be stable as it travels space that fast for years? The speed it travels at is irrelevant. The stability is important, but quite unrelated... the interesting gyroscopic effects of rotating bits of spacecraft applies just as much to starships as "stationary" habitats. It is in the nature of starships that you will need ...


32

We built multi generation ship which can get 20 000 people to another solar system in next 20 generations (600 years) Good news! You've got significantly1 more than a minimum viable population! What does this mean? You have enough people that genetic variety will not be a significant issue unless something kills off more than half of your population. What ...


32

You are only taking 500 people. That may sound like a lot, but it is not when you are considering breeding populations, genetic diversity, and so on. With only 500 people: Everyone has to breed to keep the genetic diversity up. No-one get to choose not to have kids. Now you might argue that donated sperm or harvested eggs will do the job, so the folk who ...


32

Let's split this question to some parts that I deduced from your question 1. Why would anyone work on something that they will never be able to use? First, there are people who are interested in things they can't actually use. For example, Ada Lovelace invented a programming language and wrote code for the Analytical Engine even though it was never built. ...


29

As already pointed out in other answers/comment, a single big ship is more efficient BUT will increase the chances that a single, catastrophic failure leads the entire mission to failure. A reasonable compromise seems then to use a few large ships instead of a single, humongous one. The individual ship will still be big enough to cash on the scale ...


28

I would think that if people have issues with 'dogs' or 'cats' or what have you for religious reasons, I would say they would also have an issue 'creating' a biological animal just for our 'amusement'. So because of that, I would recommend: Rabbits, eat little, waste little and have a large 'cute' factor. They even are edible in a pinch. EDT To add for ...


28

Step back from the context of worldbuilding for a moment, and look at this from the context of storytelling. What purpose does the number system serve in your story? In-universe a different base might have advantages, but does the reader care about that? Are you trying to extol the virtues of a dozenal system to your readers? Is the difference in number ...


25

Here I will evaluate the most obvious option: can a ship actually simply store the amount of water needed? Using Fermi estimation, we can suggest that each persons drinks maybe 2 litres of water a day to stay healthy, which is about 730L or so. If the population of the ship were about 105 people, we'd need about 108 L of water each year. If every 106 years ...


25

Flip the question around Let us accept the premise that a generation ship is not viable without the technological ingredients for a post-scarcity utopia. Now add the assumption that this situation has been achieved without a massive (>80%) population crash on Earth. What remains is a situation in which there are billions of people who can do almost ...


23

Organ transplants and Cannibalism Humans are resources, they have: Body parts that can be transplanted into other people Bones that can be used as material for art and other practical purposes Meat that can be cooked and eaten Hair that can be woven into clothes, fabric, and wigs A hefty water content Skin for leather Once organs are harvested, the ...


22

A ship intended for a 10,000 year journey has to grow all its own food (if you can't store clothing, you certainly can't store the much greater quantities of food required.) With an onboard agricultural system, any of the traditional fabric materials (cotton, flax, silk, etc) can have a source. If the ship's ecosystem allows farm animals, despite the ...


21

Trying to engineer the culture of a generation ship (or a space colony or even an Earthy city or university campus) could backfire wildly if it is too far from the "norms" of the founding society. An ship crewed by Indians or Chinese will not work too well if they are expected to follow Western cultural norms, nor should you expect a ship with a largely ...


20

Vaccines+ While you're probably not at risk of several of the diseases that vaccines help against in such a controlled environment, you could still use vaccines to keep the immune system active. It would also be very controlled. You might even be able to save some resources by not trying to engineer a docile version of the virus or bacteria. Most bacteria ...


19

Just as the environmentalists say "there is no away", on a generation ship you cannot afford to eject so much as a single atom from it other than for acceleration or deceleration. Everything must be recycled. Food, water, clothes, equipment, humans. The final generation who land on a planet must contain in their bodies atoms from the first generation, and ...


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