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85 votes

How many cows would you need to drop on Mars to successfully terraform it?

1 Quintillion, or 1x 1018 This is based on a few assumptions of course, and there is a big caveat on it as well. Before you start - you need to ensure that you put a magnetic field in place. Without ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
  • 54.1k
79 votes

Signs of wealth in a world where private planet ownership is common

The same things that make houses expensive today First of all, while the wealthy generally live in bigger houses, the price does not scale linearly with square meters of living space. A five million ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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71 votes

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

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 ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
59 votes

How can the Sea of Japan be drained?

Floating city. There is a lot of it, but the water is fine. Build on top of it. https://www.dezeen.com/2019/04/04/oceanix-city-floating-big-mit-united-nations/ Modular cities can be expanded as the ...
Willk's user avatar
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57 votes
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Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

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 ...
Murphy's user avatar
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51 votes
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Can we build a world in 1,000 years?

Well, Difficulty considerations aside, if you took a lot of asteroids and merged them together into an earth-mass planet, it would be entirely molten just from the gravitational binding energy. You'd ...
Andrew Dodds's user avatar
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50 votes

How to stop a massive canal system from silting up?

Dredging The first thing to note when you search for dredging is that it's not Wikipedia at the top, it's an advert for a dredging contractor. This isn't something that can be ignored, it's a matter ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
46 votes

Signs of wealth in a world where private planet ownership is common

The ultimate sign of wealth is being able to command other humans' services. Most people are only served by robots. The really wealthy will have human butlers, secretaries, cooks, tutors for their ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Why raise livestock only in newer planetary settlements?

It is cheaper No need to over-complicate the answer - you said that Earth was densely populated, which means space is at a premium. In NZ, average farm size is 271 Hectares or 271 Football stadiums - ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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41 votes
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Maximum habitability of a planet with no indigenous life

The biggest problem is going to be atmospheric oxygen. The main source of oxygen in Earth atmosphere is photosynthetic plant life. Oxygen is a reactive molecule. It tends to react with minerals (...
Josh King's user avatar
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38 votes
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How can the Sea of Japan be drained?

Draining a sea is not an easy job. The Dutch know something about it. And here you are not talking about a shallow sea, but of something with an average depth of 1300 m. Moreover you will have ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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36 votes
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Plausible Original Concept For High-Fidelity Apocalypse?

Let's make a list, then narrow it down. Here's the criteria to judge scenarios Kill off most people Make big cities uninhabitable Make food and clean water hard to come by Be ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
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34 votes
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Can you design your own plants without a computer?

Take a look at this description of how DNA sequencing works, both today and 30 years ago. Basically, 30-odd years ago we did sequencing manually with a whole bunch of scientists (and/or interns) ...
enpaul's user avatar
  • 2,119
33 votes

Can we build a world in 1,000 years?

What would it take? Answer: Nothing. They're already living in it. If there's a Goldilocks zone, they can park their Space Ark there. That basically sorts out their energy requirements forever, ...
Graham's user avatar
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30 votes
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How to decide if a Planet is better off to be Terraformed or Stripmined?

Terraforming is going to be a far greater investment than strip-mining. However, the cost will still vary wildly based on what the planet is like. Planets which are close to the target for ...
Dan W's user avatar
  • 4,004
28 votes

Can we build a world in 1,000 years?

No, you cannot build a world in 1000 years As already mentioned by Andrew Dodds, the time span you have at your hands is orders of magnitude less than what is simply required by a newly formed planet ...
Youstay Igo's user avatar
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26 votes

Can you design your own plants without a computer?

This is what we do, it's what we've done for thousands of years Plant some of everything to start with, see what survives. You're going to end up with Japanese knotweed, horsetail, Russian vine, ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
26 votes

Superfast Terraforming of the Moon by Portal from Earth

Will the change in Earth's atmosphere be noticeable for the average person sufficiently to change daily life? Hooo boy, yes. People living at high altitude will have to move downhill or die. People ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
26 votes
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How would a future humanity "terraform" the moon?

Yes. There are two broad classes of options: A "worldhouse", or paraterraforming. Surround the entire Moon in a spherical dome, or in a collection of domes tiling the surface, to keep the ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
25 votes
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What's the quickest way to add oceans to a planet?

I would say capturing a bunch of comets and burn them up in the atmosphere, leaving plenty of water vapor. Hydrogen and Oxygen are two of the most common elements in the universe, #1 and #3 ...
bowlturner's user avatar
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25 votes

Why would terrorists target terraforming?

If the planet is not inhabited by sentient beings but does have flora and/or fauna on it some people might want to protect the biosphere as it. That could cause them to become eco-terrorists who want ...
Umbranus's user avatar
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25 votes
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Gravitational anomaly (Mascons) creating water-hills

This article gives us some useful numbers: The mascons' gravitational anomaly is so great—half a percent—that it actually would be measurable to astronauts on the lunar surface. "If you were ...
Aetol's user avatar
  • 458
25 votes

Why do pantropy (genetically modified humans) and terraforming both exist?

Pantropy during the early stages of terraforming, then it just sticks. Say you have a world that should be shirtsleeve-habitable for unmodified humans in just, oh, three or four centuries. So the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 117k
24 votes

How to wrap the Moon in plastic to make her a giant, supported by the atmospheric pressure, greenhouse

Actually, there are multiple reasons it can't be done as you hoped Trying to make a single air-supported structure to cover the entire moon is a rather insane idea. For safety and other reasons, ...
Gary Walker's user avatar
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24 votes
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Terraforming a gas giant by freezing the "gas" and "liquid" and removing it by huge impacts

There are a number of problems. First, Jupiter has it's own heat source. So cooling it is a challenge. Cooling it to solid hydrogen temperatures, about 14K, is pretty much not going to happen. The sun ...
BillOnne's user avatar
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23 votes
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What would come first, the colonization of the solar system or interstellar colonization?

As I know very little about your world and your terraforming and travel methods here are some general ideas. 1) Terraforming is expensive — Terraforming in the solar system costs more than travelling ...
Bellerophon's user avatar
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23 votes

How can the Sea of Japan be drained?

Behold! The Engineering Caisson! I'll let you worry about the inconvenient details like the depth of the ocean, the amount of material you'd need to bring in, keeping surprised neighbors like Korea ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 125k
22 votes
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How to wrap the Moon in plastic to make her a giant, supported by the atmospheric pressure, greenhouse

I saw several answers here close to what I wanted to say, but none of them quite do. So: Plastic Wrap Not Needed If you supply the Moon with an atmosphere, that atmosphere will not be instantly ...
Jim2B's user avatar
  • 28.7k
22 votes

Signs of wealth in a world where private planet ownership is common

Similar to really high-end goods today, or collectables, the best planets wouldn't be noticeably better, they'd be rarer or special in some way: In a small "good" galaxy where planets are ...
Owen Reynolds's user avatar
21 votes

Is Terraformation the better solution if time does not matter?

This isn't an Either-or Proposition. Terraforming is going to be a long process, and will require using resources on the target planet to successfully complete. You'll need to build infrastructure ...
notovny's user avatar
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