[LMB] Centrifugal gravity, was Re: Cordelia's College sport

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 17:26:52 BST 2021


The thing of it is, state-of-the-art is always evolving, and we're always
finding new things.  The computer I'm using to send this message has, I am
told, more computing power than the center that sent Apollo 11 to the
moon.

Back when my father was a boy, flying nonstop across the Atlantic was a
Very Big Deal.  One of the Lord Peter Wimsey short stories has, as a
suspense-heightener, Wimsey and a skilled pilot flying the Atlantic.  These
days, trans-oceanic flight is routine; I know people who go across the
Herring Pond as normally as I go downtown.

A lot of the things I see around me every day were the stuff of science
fiction when I was in high school,  (You young people these days, you think
you had it tough...back in MY day, we didn't HAVE the internet!  If we
wanted to communicate with someone, we had to write a letter!  And send it
through the Post Office!  And walk uphill through the snow naked, both
ways, to get to the post office!  ---Sorry, ever since I hit 60 I've been
trying to get the hang of this "geezer" thing.)

Just because it's not practicable NOW doesn't mean it NEVER will be.

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 6:47 AM Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> On 16/06/2021 11:43, WalterStuartBushell wrote:
> > Big problem is there is no air, food or water without high technology
> and for Mars.
>
> "High technology" is a relative term. The fishhook, irrigation and
> lightning rod were all considered high technology in their time.
>
> It has been demonstrated that we can derive oxygen out of Mars
> atmosphere. We know there is water ice there (melting ice for water is
> not high technology these days, though it used to be, way back when).
>
> Will it take some experimentation before we can reliably grow food on
> Mars? Sure. Does that mean it is impossible? Nah. Will it be high
> technology? Only if you use it to grow grass. ;-)
>
> >   Some people want to power Mars settlements with
> > solar panels, but they degrade and Mars has violent dust storms. Nuclear
> power has
> > the same disadvantages.
> No, nuclear power has different disadvantages. For one, it would not be
> affected by the dust storms. There's no reason why you couldn't use
> both, in order to fill the coverage holes of one with the other. We do
> the same thing on earth.
> > So far we’ve been able to sent small rovers to Mars at great expense and
> objective
> > apprehension at mission control over the Rube Goldberg method of landing.
> The landing system is complicated because it is bad to kick up dust with
> your exhaust when you are landing (it can damage your vehicle). Once you
> have a landing pad kept free of thick dust layers, your landing system
> can be much simpler.
> > Which requires fusion which was 20 years away in the late 1950s and is
> probably
> > 30-40 years away. The Universal Architect may have made it impossible.
>
> Nice strawman. Would fusion be enormously useful? Absolutely. Is fusion
> receding because it is almost impossible? No.
>
> Yes, it is difficult, but many of the problems are of a financial
> nature. The "20 years away" part comes with a softer spoken "given
> funding of $x for each of those years". Now, if your funding source
> allocated $x/2 or $x/5, then it will take not only 2 or 5 times longer,
> but even more, as more money (percentage wise) will be used for keeping
> records, training new people, keeping the lights on in the under-used
> testing facilities etc. Maybe cutting the trip time to Mars is what it
> takes to finally get fusion research some reliable funding.
>
> --
> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to ravenclaweric at gmail.com
> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold
>


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list