New answers tagged

0

Actually, the Dyson swarm is the easiest to construct and thus the most reasonable, so it would be the first to be up - all you need is to know how to construct space stations, and a way to produce them in sufficient qualities. So mine Mercury for example and take advantage of bootstrapping - with half of the resources you built going into making Dyson swarm ...


1

If people can "it is possible even for private individuals to travel to Earth's neighboring star systems", then you need to extend the timing for your megastructures by 10 000, 100 000 or even 10 000 000 years. Because if interstellar travel is easy, then there is no incentive to build Dyson anythings. The various Dyson architectures are a means to ...


2

I mean it just depends on what you are looking for. Or what the Station is suppose to do, besides keeping everyone alive. Food To make it simple, there is no point in investing into any kind of on Board food Production. The Avg American eats 900kg of Food each Year. So even with a very unhealty diet and a bit of extra on top of that, you would not even reach ...


3

About the same size as the current ISS (915 cubic meters) Lets start with food It takes 6-8 weeks to grow lettuce in hydroponics. One head of lettuce gives 120 calories, which in useful energy units is 500kj. You need ~6600kj to keep your bodies critical systems running if you sleep/watch TV all day, ~9000kj a day for a mostly idle human moving around a bit ...


5

Living Compartment: For this you can look at underground bunker floor plans to get an idea of what space limited people need. A floor plan similar to this 10x30ft (600 sqft) bunker could easily accommodate a 2-3 person crew's living space needs. Life Support Needs: In general, any mission as short as 5 years is better off using stored food than trying to ...


3

It's actually easier without an Atmosphere If you strip away most of the atmosphere, it's probably easier for an intelligent species to become space-faring. All the complexities of space travel stem from the tyranny of the rocket: more weight means more fuel, but more fuel adds more weight! With a non-existent or very rarefied atmosphere, an intelligent ...


1

Humans would survive because while their biology is buggy, it's not half so buggy as the technology the others rely on. Furthermore, they are less reliant on the supply chain. A human could survive decades on a desert island, granted some useful knowledge and environment. None of the rest would manage months, and that would be lucky. No parts, no place to ...


3

Technically, you can alter anyone's DNA at any time to produce a mutation in a cell, or possibly lots of cells. You could alter the DNA of the corpse (at least some of the cells). But from the details, you want to know when altering DNA will cease to produce noticeable effects in the subject. It depends. DNA codes for protein. Protein is generated through ...


2

I like Jann Poppinga's answer, but would like to extend it a bit to respond to the quite valid concerns of "if they can't see the stars, why would they think there's something up there?". That was my first thought too. Give them a moon to shoot for While their star (which creates times of different warmth, even if illumination is not noticed) might ...


3

CRISPR-Cas What you need is CRISPR-Cas. It's a potentially world changing DNA technique. The techniques to change DNA can mostly choose one of the following attributes: fast, cheap, precise. If they are precise, they are often taking a long time and are expensive. CRISPR-Cas, if it's truly working (which seems to be the case) is fast, cheap, very precise and ...


6

There are two different concepts, germline genetic engineering and somatic gene therapy. Germline gene therapy changes the sperm and egg, before conception, and therefore all the cells in the individual. Somatic gene therapy introduces the change to other cells -- after birth and therefore not as complete. As I understand it, germline therapy would be ...


1

There's no reason why they can't. All they have to do is mine a hole to the surface, and use that to launch rockets. There's no reason why they would have to build a civilization on the surface, just like humans didn't have to build underwater or underground civilizations to send rockets to space.


3

Like L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica, I don't see a good reason for this population/civilization to get into space. It's not the tech that's necessarily the problem, but psychology is a huge factor when the people can't perceive something. And perception is a huge factor when trying to comprehend something. It would have to take some very special circumstances to ...


4

Like others I assume the answer is "yes", and I think Jann Poppinga's answer is very good. But I also think the issue of them being blind is a very interesting one and L.Dutch makes a good point that it's hard to see how they discover any cosmology at all without sight. And while I don't think that would prevent them from flying higher and higher, ...


7

Because it’s there This may be a bit of a cop out, but just because biology dictates they be subterranean doesn’t mean they can’t be curious about other environments. Humans aren’t made for living deep underwater, and yet there are sub nautical observatories. If these creatures view things via echolocation they have a concept of far distance and such. They ...


3

If they have expansionist tendencies, their exploration and exploitation of the surface and eventually space is functionally inevitable (assuming they don't go extinct before hand). The only known sophonts are humans, who have demonstrated a tendency to and flair for expanding into available space, even ostensibly inhospitable ones. What we don't know for ...


0

Kind of a niche solution, but you can seriously threaten big spaceships with orbital debris if they don't have shielding or heavy armor. Quick fact check, a head-on collision in low earth orbit would have a speed of around 15 Km/s, so a projectile of just 1 Kg would impact with 20 kilotons TNT equivalent of kinetic energy, which is in the ballpark of a WWII ...


25

I don't see how they could go straight from underground to space. They would first have to (at least partially) re-conquer the surface. Using the surface could be very interesting for them, as transport is much cheaper. Of course you need protection there, so a first milestone could be some sort of automated surface train. This could be connecting ...


0

An option would be to use the tried and tested shield method. The defenders have a shield which protects the eggs and the surrounding area. The shield cannot be breached from the outside however it can be passed through by low speed objects, like troops on the ground. This would make ground assault the only option and taking down the shield generator a ...


10

I'm assuming they've got access to their recorded history and know about the time when they were on the surface, or have noticed something unusual (eg gravity waves) and want to go check them out. Basically they know space is there and want to go there. I see a few paths: They find the Star Gate or a buried crashed alien ship, or some other peice of ...


16

they can perceive their surroundings by using ultrasounds (like our bats), and a powerful capacity to smell minerals and all types of molecules. None of those abilities will make them aware that there is something called "space" above their heads. What is current space science started when some humans started looking up in the sky and noticed the ...


0

These Defenders Cannot Hold Territory If the Invaders have uncontested control of air and space, the Defenders cannot hold any territory. Look to the recent combat against ISIS. Western forces were able to use imagery, air power, and local fighters to completely destroy ISIS, even though it had thousands of foreign fighters, and captured a country sized land ...


2

Space Junk Using ships or rockets deposit loads of space junk (rocks, metal) in orbit, making an protective asteroid belt around the planet. Will stop anyone coming in or out. Set up defense near the eggs Setup defensive strongholds next to eggs so any long range attack would risk destroying the eggs. Force them into close combat C4 As a last resort have C4 ...


1

Smoke, add systems that covers the whole area in a smoke that is inpenetrable to enemy sensors. This negates the advantage of space superiority scince the assets in space have no way to aim. After that it comes down to ground fighting where the defenders can prepare and have the advantage.


2

Physically, there is no defense. Consider that they have the recon in the form of observation from orbit. So they pretty much can see anything above the surface. So they know where you are. Consider that a 1 kg iron bar coming in at 8 km/s (roughly low Earth orbit velocity) will have a kinetic energy roughly equivalent of 7.6 kg of TNT. Since the energy will ...


0

Using technology we have today might be enough. Missiles We have ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) that could be reprogrammed to become AS (Anti-Spacecraft) missiles. We also have conventional (non-nuclear) explosives that are more powerful than some atomic bombs. If you have fast enough missiles that can out maneuver defensive fire, this could be ...


18

The humans need to buy time In defensive warfare, this usually means operations that trade space for time. A game of traps. There's a rich Jominian toolbox that the defenders can choose from, in the domains of space, air, and ground. Diplomacy: Talk is cheap, particularly if negotiations go nowhere but buy the defenders a day or a week or a month. Encourage ...


6

Pillboxes. The mercenaries are dug in in very tough pillboxes in the egg areas. Because of the eggs neither side can use any area of effect weapons unless the can completely confine the effect. At current tech level this means guns (and bows if someone really wanted to.) If a soldier can get right up to a pillbox they can toss a grenade in a slit, but ...


9

You hire humans because they are clever. Both groups of aliens value the eggs. At this desperate point the humans make clear, to the chagrin of both their employers and attackers, that they do not give a rat's ass for the eggs and are ready to destroy them all before they fall into the hands of the attackers. In fact charges have been set to carry out ...


4

So. The goal is to capture a bunch of eggs and the mercs are trying to prevent that. Using insane weapons is off limits as it can simply destroy the eggs. Dropping an asteroid or using whatever continent destroyer ship-to-surface cannon you have is discouraged. Thus the mercs need to continue protecting the egg until help arrives, right? Because without the ...


3

You created a problem for yourself due to the requirement that the mercenaries protect several specific geographical points on the planet or fail in their mission. Freed of that constraint the mercenaries might well be able to conduct a mobile guerrilla campaign/holding action by breaking up into small teams and dispersing so that they can't easily be hit by ...


0

The miners push a tunnel up from the top of the lava tube to the surface for ventilation and ease of surveying. They break numerous holes in the ice and survey the depth of water at different distances from the shore. As the tunnel is in a straight line from the top of the lava tube and only 400m long, they will be able to calculate the breakthrough point ...


1

I see four ways it can be done: Caisson down from the ice. (Needs metallurgy) Dig in the lava tube towards the lake most of the way, stopping short. Shatter the ice. Build a 20m high airtight box with an open bottom, pump the water out, pump lots of air into it so the pressure displaces the water, enclose your workers in it, and start digging towards the ...


1

Cap the lava tube from the lake side. Then uncap it. The lava tube connects with the lake. Presumably it is full of water. Presumably also the people can access the tube or at least know where it is down in the lake, because otherwise how could they make this plan? Build a impediment to flow across the lava tube. I picture something like a big wooden ...


0

As hinted at by @Ash in the comments, gunpowder was available much earlier than steam power in our civilization. According to wikipedia it was discovered in 9th century China. That solves the problem of the amount of material to be bored through and, with a long enough fuse also the issue of not getting your workers washed out. Even with steam power, getting ...


0

Burrows. http://www.georgialifetraces.com/tag/moles/ Mars has burrowers. These big creatures make their slow way through the substrate, just below the surface. Maybe they are wormlike, or mole-like. These creatures are large and long lived, and their burrows are substantial, with the sides compacted and hard. They are unroofed (or not) and the sides ...


3

Mars Lives! Thinking of Mars, perhaps there is a huge network of volcanic lava tubes interconnecting all over. these vast tunnel systems are underground reservoirs of water, which is then pumped from tunnel to tunnel. The ones that slope well are used to move water place to place as needed. You block side channels and holes. Near the poles, actual volcanoes ...


2

No An EMP is an electromagnetic (EM) field that (in this case) induces a current into wires. This can do three things to harm your electronics. It can be read as a legitimate signal by the computer, masking the real code instructions. It can charge memory, corrupting it. It can burn the wire. The first two are generally harmless. Code is often corrected in ...


2

A possible way to make it biologically produced would be to have some animals with capabilities similar to electric heels use their electric discharge as part of their mating ritual. When the mating season comes the environment is filled with their synchronized discharges, which summing up also amplify their effects.


2

SInce you allow "crystals", there is a fairy common natural phenomenon that produces EMP - tiny $H_2O$ crystals produce a lot of static electricity that is then discharged against the ground. Just make it bigger, more frequent etc. on that planet. Or even not, since here on Earth it is usually powerful enough to fry any electronics around, even ...


1

Emily, below is a link (if it works ) to an article published by the European Space Agency's Advanced Concepts Team which seems to indicate it might be possible for living cells to survive accelerations up to the 100Gs in your question - if suspended in liquids. Given the small cross section of human eggs it is quite probable they would have an even better % ...


3

Orientation: when earth isn't visible pilots can't reliably determine their height, speed and and bearing and must rely on instruments. Unaugmented humans would get lost in clouds easily, with risk flying into ground at high velocity. Even without clouds, over monotone bare rocks or calm water it can be hard to judge safe flying height. Without navigation ...


4

Against Peer Opponents I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but bear with me. Your Drones are God's Own Killing Machines. 100% better, per your description, at not just SOME aspects of warfare than humans, but ALL aspects. So presumably guerrilla war, low-intensity fighting, avoiding civilian/infrastructure damage, commando/special operations, the lot. ...


10

Temperature: As altitude increases, temperature decreases, by about 2 degrees C per 1000 feet above sea level. Temperatures will dip below freezing at around 7,500 feet up, so you'd probably want to stay quite a bit below that or risk frostbite. Especially with windchill, any exposed skin will be at risk. This temperature change occurs relative to ambient ...


1

I see at least two situations in which human soldiers would still be useful: Special Forces/Commandos: You specifically mention that your A.I. is not on the level of humans, which opens up a window for highly trained elite soldiers that are able to perform missions that robot-grunts might be too stupid/uncreative to do (taking out crucial targets behind ...


0

Humans can move around without raising suspicion Since you say that all humans are essentially on permanent, 100% welfare, they are free to do what humans with free time do: waste time. So watching humans come and go from planets is business as usual since they have free time and free resources. Now, whenever you see war-ready bots rolling around, you assume ...


0

This is an answer only to the second question. By numerically integrating the geodesic equation I get that if you accelerated to 0.3c and coasted, you'd end up roughly 2.5 billion light years away in comoving distance = present-day metric distance. The distance is roughly linearly proportional to the starting speed up to around 0.5c. (Note that the farthest ...


2

Sure! As long as the ratio of money-to-common-sense is high enough. In many ways this is a story-based question. Do you want an infantry? Have one. You don't need to justify it. But can it be justified? Of course not. Who in their right mind would land tens if not hundreds of millions of anything (infantry, drones, mechs, anything) on a world? You'd gas the ...


4

They Are Neither Relevant Nor Cost-Effective The cost of making a fighting robot that is much better than a human at war is nothing more than few hours of machine work. This is how everything gets done anyway from the simplest things to the most complicated. Humans barely supervise anything and all is done by AMI. This is all that needs to be said to make ...


6

They are still relevant. Flexibility, Threat Evaluation, Randomness, and Not Being Daleks. As you said, there is no "true" AI in your universe, only some very specialized algorithms. Since you state that they aren't a whole lot better than what we already have, we can assume that they are rather limited in several important ways. Due to this, the ...


Top 50 recent answers are included