A message from our CEO about the future of Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange. Read now.
154

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 ...


101

Immunity to Disease Your lunar citizens live in a perfect environment! They have all the food they need, they have recycling that, frankly, removes most bacteria from their lives. Atmosphere is constantly recycled, which includes scrubbing. Water, too, is recycled, scrubbed and clean for use. In fact, the colony has been disease-free for, well... ...


49

Materials exposed to vacuum for extended periods often become brittle and/or literally lose mass over time. Outgassing, cold-welding, decomposition of alloys back to their constituent materials, coronal arcing due to ionization from exposure to ionizing radiation, acceleration of outgassing and decomposition again due to ionizing radiation exposure are all ...


46

You will likely have an easier time if you pick a Slavic language that uses a Roman alphabet. Like Czech or Slovak (which are very similar to each other). Then you don't have to deal with the unknown alphabet and words that are more removed from Latin/etc. Take Slovakia. It's got some pretty straight-forward place name conventions. I do a lot of genealogy ...


45

An assembly hall (town hall). The reason those churches get used for other things is that there are reasons other than worship for everybody to gather at times. A church's main hall is only in use for a few hours a week, so gatherings at other times are feasible. Your need for those gatherings doesn't go away just because your society doesn't have ...


44

As every project manager knows, scope creep is the root of all evil. At the beginning, it was just about sending one ship to another planet. Easy, just a matter of time. Then someone said something about food diversity, citrus fruits and, for whatever reason, pineapples. So a team was split up to figure out how to grow pineapples on a space ship and in a ...


42

A non-obvious loss area would be Genetic diversity. After several thousand years of carefully controlled plant growth, and several thousand years of inbreeding, unless care was taken to maintain genetic diversity in plants and animals (including humans), a single mutated bacteria could take out a key component of the self sustaining ecosystem.


42

The colonists will rapidly be desensitized to capsaicin. This assumes that the "spicy hot" on this world is capsaicin (the active molecule in hot peppers) or something that works similarly. There are other spices perceived by us as "hot" including those in horseradish, black pepper etc. Each has a different mechanism. As regards capsaicin: this ...


35

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 ...


30

Its less about occupying a space and more about setting a boundary in all senses of the word. "If you cross this boundary then your ships would get a tactical advantage in scouting out potential weaknesses and might be in a better position to attack some of my colonies. So if you cross it we will assume that action is happening and retaliate accordingly". ...


30

Future space colonists should aim for the lifeless rock. Problem with alien biochemistries is that they might be immediately hazardous (anaphylactic shock after a lungful of the local air) or maybe its just filled with stuff that causes horrible birth defects and chronic brain damage and your brave new world is going to turn into a hideous and drawn-out ...


29

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. ...


28

Volatiles like hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and noble gases. These elements are necessary for life and useful for industrial processes, while being difficult to replenish. Hydrogen, carbon, and even nitrogen can be used as rocket propellant which will consume these elements without any chance of recycling. They are also liable to loss through slow leakage. It ...


28

Counter-intuitively, the way I would go about that would be to construct your own simplistic conlang with Slavic flavour. First, Slavic isn't a single language, there are three major subgroups inside of it, and multiple languages, with phonetical and grammatical nuances of their own. Translating stuff to one language through Google Translate will give you ...


26

Other answers have addressed the serious problems with living in pepper spray, so let's assume you've dealt with that and move on to the food issue: Chickens. Okay, presumably you've brought some sort of gene stock for farming because you're not an absolute idiot. Let's assume that enough of it survived to get started. I've never heard of any plants being ...


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 ...


25

I believe you have two options here 1) make up something generally Slavic sounding 2) get a native speaker to help you out. As a Czech I see way to much weirdness already in the suggestions here on this page only (e.g. Novyruska or Novyruskia absolutely cannot work, Russia is feminine and novy is masculine, you need nová/novaya/depends on specific language,...


24

The will to live Survival on a lunar colony is a lot harder than here on planet earth. You are tired at the end-of-day, and the time to have and raise kids is just a little more than you can take. Population decreases until there is just not enough left for the colony to be viable/


23

One problem could be that humanity in fact becomes too committed to the space program and neglects economic sustainability. By concentrating too much on the colonization project, other branches of the economy get neglected and stagnate, which then causes a ripple effect eroding the economic foundation which makes the space program possible in the first place....


23

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 ...


20

Because we're human & it's there We started off in the middle of the desert, yet we kept looking at the horizon and wondering what's there so some of us risked their life & limbs (which at that point really was all they had) & walked there to find out. At some point we reached the ocean, and we got stuck for a while, that is until some clever ...


20

Could the characters go to the space and colonize Mars or stay in a sustainable orbit around earth? NO, for several reasons: As of today, we are not yet capable of even sending a human to Mars, let alone keeping him/her alive there Non-military rockets are fueled with highly unstable chemicals. One doesn't simply fill their tanks and leave them parked for ...


20

"It's the smell!" -- Smith I think the easiest answer is that there is something in Earth's biology that disagrees with them... something that can be "managed" with continuous medical intervention, but would be really annoying for them to try to settle permanently without completely terraforming the planet. Imagine, for example, that 99% of the aliens ...


18

An Aluminium-Oxygen drive burns Aluminium and Oxygen (as the name would suggest), achieving a mediocre specific impulse (the primary measure of fuel efficiency for rockets) of about 285 seconds. Normally this would be of no interest for use as a rocket fuel since current Hydrogen-Oxygen drives such as those used for the Space Shuttle's main engines can ...


18

Computer chips. Computer chips are an interesting case. You can pack millions of high-end microchips into a single 1-ton storage container. Conceivably you could store enough to provide spares and replacements for thousands of years of maintenance in a fairly small space. Yet to actually produce more takes a huge industrial base. Chip fabs are vast ...


18

You might think of it as the outer-space equivalent of the Treaties of Tordesillas and Zaragoza. The situation is most space opera is similar to the situation of Earth in 15th and early 16th centuries, at least from the point of view of the European nations: you generally know where the big stuff is, but there's still a lot that's unknown. Spain and ...


18

The aliens are humans. The aliens did do the calculations and they did find a habitable planet, 100,000 years ago. They are depleting their homeworld - here. On arriving on Earth and settling the colonists, the mothership immediately started working on finding the next world. These calculations take a very long time. Almost none of the humans on ...


16

Light and thus Energy. This probably will happen as a result of natural phenomena involving Earth's magnetic cycles. The current dust storms on the moon - referred to as "Moon Dust Fountains" that occur as a result of electrostatic levitation of tiny particles of regolith (as a consequence of being stripped of electrons by the solar wind), are due to get ...


15

Trying to recreate a game intended to be played on a flat surface in a gravity well whilst in a microgravity chamber seems not only futile, but it also passes up an opportunity to create a new game that makes better use of the features of the environment that hinder conventional bowling. My suggestion: orbit bowling. Set up the court by placing the target (...


15

Every society needs to have multiple functions, so if you can only build one building for general civic use, it needs to accommodate all these functions You cannot just focus on one purpose for one building, you need to incorporate as multiple functions as possible. This is because if you group more than a few people together, they need to: Governance: ...


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