Talk:Space colonization

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I contend the inclusion of Deep Space Nine as an "Earth colony" - not only was it not constructed by humans, it wasn't owned by humans or even the Federation (who humans are part of), it was a Bajoran possession. Furthermore, it's not operated exlusively by humans, and is not a colony anyway - it's an administrative centre between Bajor and the Federation, and later a military HQ and staging point. Pomegranate

Sounds like good reasoning to me, I'm taking it out. Bryan 20:37, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Splitting article?

Once upon a time there used to be a separate article for space habitats (as in space stations that are permanent and effectively self-sufficient colonies) but it got merged into here to be grouped in with all types of off-Earth settlement. However, in various advocacy groups I often see a very strong distinction being drawn between this type of settlement and the kind that's on a planetary surface; some people think gravity wells are awful things to be stuck in, some people think you can't have a self-sufficient colony without the resources of a planet to draw on and so you might as well be located on the surface of one. I personally think both types of colony seem just fine to me, but that there still may be sufficient differences to warrant separate consideration. Anyone else have opinions on the matter? Bryan 20:43, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree that there is a split in the community support here. I think that debate should be mentioned in the Location section, and the sub-titled organized according to these debates. I'll do that and see what people think. Chadlupkes 20:28, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I think "space habitats" have sufficient differences from Mars Settlements or Lunar Colonies to warrant a different article. I would think eventually as stubs fill out "Space Colonization" would be an introduction to general issues with links to other vast subtopics. Lazyquasar 03:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
As an advocate of colonies in free space I can confirm that the two concepts are quite different and there exists two almost advesarial groups of advocates supporting space habitats and colonies on planetary surfaces. There is a long and interesting history to the idea of space habitats which is separate to that of the idea of colonising other worlds. The idea of colonies in free space reached it's highest popularity in the 1970's under the leadership of Professor Gerard K O'Neil. Because arguments for space habitats are counter to planetary habitats the two groups became hostile to one another. For various reasons the popularity of colonies in free space has waned since then whereas the idea of planetary habitats and terraformong (especially Mars) has come to the fore again Markac 99 (talk) 20:27, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

split article

I moved the fictional depictions party to Space Colonization in Popular Culture.

Thank you --noösfractal 09:37, 4 September 2005 (UTC)


Hello, I added the objections section and the favourite anti-space arguments of my group of friends (some of whom are pro-space, some con). I hope the arguments put forward are OK, and that I am not treading on anyones tows for lumping a big lets not in the middle of your lovely article which kinda says lets go!. I really like the whole topic, and I thought it would be polite to just explain what I dumped. All the best, --Dan|(talk) 21:23, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I saw (and appreciate) the various 'counter objections' that have been added to the objections section that I started. This is good, but the different arguments (pro and con) should be more clearly separated under this heading. I have trivially split the arguments into an "objections" section with a "counter arguments" sub section, however, a series of paired paragraphs under sub sub sections might be better. i.e. "OBJECTIONS: Point 1 : Counter Point 1 : Point 2 : Counter Point 2". This is kinda how the section was written, but their was no clear distinction between the pro and con arguments, which made it a little confusing to read. Sorry if my edits bother the author... -Dan|(talk) 11:11, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Sub-standard Writing

This article gives the impression that it was written by some middle school kid, saying obvious things without actually knowing anything or providing insight of any kind. 07:05, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

"Obviousness" is in the eye of the beholder, bear in mind that ideally a Wikipedia article should be a good introduction to a subject for someone who doesn't know anything in particular about it to begin with so we should make sure all the basics are covered (either here or in related articles with prominent links). That said, by all means take a crack at cleaning up the language and adding more non-obvious or insightful material. Almost all Wikipedia articles are in need of that sort of work. Failing that, perhaps you could provide some more specific suggestions to help suggest stuff for people to do? Bryan 07:45, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Moon locales

I took out ", but the most likly place for a Lunar colony would be the equator (ease of access from Earth) and to get hydrogen from the poles would be like going from Los Angeles to New York for a glass of water." The Moon's rotation is so slow that getting to the poles is not that much harder than getting to the equator. The poles have an additional potential advantage of constant access to solar power, so it is not obvious where the best place for a colony might be. On Earth, access to water has often determined where people settle.--agr 13:47, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I concur with your reasoning as does NASA.[1] Interesting, the article cites constant sunlight and access to volatiles. Neglects to mention easy constant access to shade for heat sinks and radiators. Lazyquasar 03:25, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Space Colonization

A few of us have been trying to start up a new Wikipedia:WikiProject Space Colonization (shortcut WP:SPACE) to organize work on topics of direct relevance to this article. Hop on over if you're interested. - Reaverdrop 16:08, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857–1935, was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of cosmonautics): "The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one can not live in a cradle forever!". --ajvol 10:02, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Can asteroids be legaly claimed

Does anyone know how to legaly claim an asteroid, can asteroids be legaly claimed so no one else can colonize them, hs it ever been done?

According to current law, resources cannot be claimed "in situ", but can be claimed after extraction. Following this logic, an asteroid cannot be claimed as property intact, but one could mine the entire thing and claim the billion or so tons of material produced. siafu 13:06, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
So I throw away a "waste" rock and the rest of the asteroid is my beneficiated ore? 8) If "current law" is the moon treaty ... according to[2] no space traveling nation ever signed it. Lazyquasar 03:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
It's far from clear who would even have legal jurisdiction over such things. Also, even if such a law existed, it would be largely irrelevant except in a theoretical since, since at the present no government has a practical way of enforcing it. (talk) 00:21, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Failed "good article" nomination

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of August 22, 2006, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: There are too many one-sentence paragraphs, and a general lack of flow in the writing. The long quote from Michael Griffin really doesn't belong in the lead section; also, the "Justification" section suffers from erratic capitalisation, and is too much a list of different people's views.
2. Factually accurate?: It seems generally accurate, although very speculative. Citations would help greatly to determine the its accuracy. As it is, the lack of citations is the major reason why the article fails. As it is, many sections have the air of original research; it's hard to tell whether the ideas mentioned have the support of authorities in the field, or whether they are simply the speculations of the author.
3. Broad in coverage?: My knowledge of the subject is not wide enough for me to comment on the article's thoroughness.
4. Neutral point of view?: Generally the article has a very pro-colonization tone. The objections to colonization are not treated very sympathetically, and are rebutted within their own section as well as in the section devoted to rebuttals. It might help if someone opposed to space colonization helped to edit these sections.
5. Article stability? Seems stable enough.
6. Images?: Given the length of the article, more images would be welcome, in order to break up and illustrate the text.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be resubmitted for consideration. Thanks for your work so far. --MLilburne 14:27, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Created Sun Colonization Article

I created an article on the Colonization of the Sun. Please give it a chance. Mrld 17:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

As amusing as the idea is, I'm afraid it runs afoul of Wikipedia:Nonsense and Wikipedia:No original research, particularly because it only cites Wikipedia itself. Note also that the method described would not work, because there is nothing with a melting point greater than the equilibrium temperature at a few solar radii from the surface. The only reasonable method to survive so close to the Sun is to hide behind a very good mirror, or to build a Dyson sphere. Michaelbusch 17:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I have not read the article given its been deleted but when I read the title above my first thought was of independant dyson sphere solar sail supported colonies around a star; for example a star with only asteroids and gas giants. With this in mind I dont think having a separate article is needed as any information on these related to solar wind riding colonies just falls under space colonisation anyway210.56.86.131 (talk) 01:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

General cleanup and addition of relevant data and citations

I've added some data pertaining to various locations, advantages, disadvantages. I've also cleaned up some of the one-sentence paragraphs and removed some redundant entries and unverifiable assertions. I've also marked a few items as citation needed in the hopes the original author or someone with them will provide them. I'll try to check back over the next few weeks and clean them out if not provided (I'll be gathering some of mine as well). I have more citations to add myself, but don't have them handy right now.

It seems to me that the article also needs a more cohesive structure. Perhaps something along the lines of breaking out the aspects of colonization such as as general risks that each location shares, energy generation methods, etc.. This would make the location-specific text not need to repeat the risks/dangers that are common. Instead these sections could illustrate how they deal with the risks/requirements. Or am I out in left field here?

I intend to get to more of this over the next few days to include a better footnote/references section - but that I'll tackle last. If someone wants to help out with that part I'd be happy. :) Ucntcme 23:21, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I've removed most of your additions. While they are interesting, they are lengthly, uncited, and largely redundant. The material concerned would be appropriate on the various colonization sub-pages (e.g. Colonization of Mars). The article definitely needs clean-up, but in the form of editing rather than additions. Michaelbusch 16:41, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Then the sections on locations are redundant, incorrect in several cases, and uncited as well. For example, there is no dispute or debate as to whether Mars has valuable ores, it is a known fact.
It is not. There are very few concentrated ores on Mars. I'm working with 4Frontiers at the moment, and we've barely managed to find water and iron. Michaelbusch
Perhaps the locations would be better replaced by a See also section that links to the various subpages instead of calling each out and talking about them. IN particular the energy section is heavily in need of citations and makes claims that are vague and unverifiable, as well as entirely irrelevant. The Method section contains no methodology at all. The Space Transportation Section makes several claims that are uncited (per Wikipedia docs, references to Wikipedia pages don't count as citations), the section about Analogues is flat wrong, as the /cited/ material I put there demonstrates, and lacks any citation whatsoever. Likewise the Moon section makes assertions without cite. I am curious as to why you removed the citation needed tag from assertions that clearly needed citation. Is that not what it is for? But hey if you want this article to remain incorrect, unverifiable, and generally of poor quality I guess I can take my experience, knowledge, and references, of the subject elsewhere. No skin off my nose.
I'm not suggesting that. I want you to provide your citations, and remove redundant material. I didn't intend to remove the citation needed tags, but that may have gotten lost in removing the redundant material. I agree strongly that the article needs serious revision, but your additions make the article far too long and confusing. Query: what exactly are your experience, knowledge, and references? I have not seen the last. Michaelbusch 22:53, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Phobos and Deimos

The article said, incorrectly, that Phobos could contain water ice. We may say definitively that it does not. Spectral observations (Rivkin et al. 2002, Icarus 156, 64-75) indicate a composition similar to dehydrated carbonaecous chondrites, while radar detects no ice (both in the near surface, from Arecibo, and at depth, from MARSIS on Mars Express). On theoretical grounds, we would have expected both objects to devolatize by now. There may be small amounts of water in hydrated material, below the threshold imposed by the spectroscopy, but there is no ice. You need to be in the outer main belt to retain water ice in vaccum over the age of the solar system. I have edited the article to reflect this. Michaelbusch 01:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks; very informative. Tell me, roughly how big could these 'small amounts' of hydrated material be though?WolfKeeper 01:55, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
<1% water by mass (or it would have shown up spectroscopically). That is a conservative upper bound. Andy Rivkin may be able to get bounds lower than that, but I am not certain. Michaelbusch 05:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
So, still some chance then, ~1% hydrates would probably be enough to be useful, there's far lower concentration in useful ores on Earth. But I'm not exactly banking on it. Spectroscopic analysis presumably wouldn't rule out hydrates under the 100m of regolith in any way either, but it's a lot of digging, and I bet it's nasty, sharp abrasive stuff to dig through.WolfKeeper 06:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The Arecibo radar penetrates to ~2 m depth. MARSIS penetrates to several km depth, and sees nothing, except for an echo from the rim of Stickney. There is no ice there. Hydrates are another matter, but if there were any at depth, you'd expect exposures in fresh craters, and there are none. The Arecibo radar tells us that the near-surface material is smooth on cm-scales and very low-density (1.4 g/cm^3), so digging would not be a problem, especially given the low gravity. But we now run into original research. Michaelbusch 07:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The flip side of this is that very little water ie needed to sustain human life. A closed system can capture and purify water (as liquid, vapour, hydrates etc) endlessly (talk) 22:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Redundant counterarguments section removed

I took this away, from under the "Objections" heading. It is biased, redundant, and misplaced.

Silentlight 01:00, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I placed it in its own section, and remeoved several redundancies. How is it any more biased than the Objections section?? Noclevername 02:27, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


User: has been putting up merges on things like merge the Pluto Colonization article to the Kuiper Belt Colonization one. Does anyone know if this is accurate. Because I took the merge down and he flipped and has violated the 3 revert rule. I have stopped editing to avoid an editing war. But I think that the C0olonization of comets and space dust is totally different from Pluto. Can some one tell this user, because he doesn't listen to my warnings. See: Colonization of Pluto and Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Mrld 22:08, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

In situ

"Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, space habitation, etc.) is the concept of permanent autonomous (self-sufficient) human habitation of locations outside Earth using In Situ Resource Utilization."

This is the opening paragraph of this article. Just a couple of nitpicks: In Situ Resource Utilization is capitalized here as if it's a printed plan or program or whatnot. Is it? Can we get a citation or a link to another Wiki article? Also, if a permanent human habitation was developed on the moon or Mars, but was not autonomous and did not use "I.S.R.U.", wouldn't it still be considered a space colony? Applejuicefool 17:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

In usual terminology, a colony is largely autonomous. Something that is autonomous would require the use of local resources, so I have re-phrased the lead. Michaelbusch 17:22, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Nice wording. I particularly like the use of the very intelligble phrase "local resources" to link to the buzzword ISRU. Philcha 22:37, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm missing something, or perhaps the colony article is incomplete, but I find nothing there that indicates autonomy. Applejuicefool 18:58, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Consider the original meaning of the word: "The term colony is derived from the Latin colonia, which indicated a place meant for agricultural activities". More importantly, permanent habitation of space requires autonomy. Michaelbusch 19:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the etymology gets us very far. Colonia is indeed derived from colere = "to farm" (our words "culture" and "cultivate" are derived from other grammatical forms of the same word). In normal Roman use coloniae were military outposts (garrisons) which were meant to be self-supporting, but the military aspect was the real motive for founding them. "... permanent habitation of space requires autonomy" is dead right - hauling food, etc up from the surface of the Earth is economically impossible. Philcha 22:37, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know if military bases count as "colonies" (I imagine they don't), but they're certainly not autonomous. Also, it would definitely be impossible to haul supplies to the Moon or Mars from Earth's surface using today's technology, but it wouldn't be so hard to imagine hauling supplies from a hydroponic space station facility (or to Mars from a similar facility on the Moon). Sure, such solutions are sci-fi pipe dreams at this point, but hey, they could happen. Applejuicefool 15:09, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

A nearby settlement that required supplies from earth of integrated circuits and paid for them with gems could be workable. Total self reliance isn't always necessary. (talk) 22:19, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Should Justifications and Objections be near the start?

I suggest the "Justifications" and "Objections" sections should immediately follow the table of contents. In general it's best to know what one is trying to achieve and why (or why not), before analysing technological and economic factors in detail. Here I think it will give readers an answer to the natural question, "Why should I spend time reading this article?" (even if they disagree).

If this suggestion is accepted, the item I've just added to "Outside the Solar system" about Stephen Hawking's advocacy should be in "Justifications" (which I hadn't spotted because it's so far down the article). Philcha 22:20, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that at this point the reasons are less important than the technical and economic feasibility questions. Of course costs and benefits have to be balanced off against each other, and a serious effort to address that is inseparable from feasibility. But my guess is that most folks coming into the article cold will first need to be convinced that the idea is feasible enough to merit serious thought, then they'll want to know if it sounds nice, and then they'll want to review the problems. There is inevitably POV here implicit in the order: if the consensus were that space colonies were a terrible idea, absurdly impossible and or deadly dangerous, then putting that early on would likely be a good idea, to get it out of the way. Personally, thinking it's interesting, I'd rather make a case for technical feasibility, then describe why such things might be attractive, then face the questions and problems.
Also, on a related issue, I've been wanting to improve the "Rationale" section of the Space exploration article, with subsections both pro and con. This is still pretty chaotic (and likely to become more so), but it does seem that there is a lot of natural overlap with similar discussions here, so those of you who are interested might like to keep an eye on it. (And of course I may appropriate good stuff here for that article.)
Thanks, Bill Wwheaton (talk) 23:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Energy sources

I think this section ignores other well-canvassed possibilities, e.g. electrodynamic tethers generating energy from Jupiter's enormous magnetic field and using Helium 3 for fusion (Jupiter apparently has a lot of 3He and 3He is said to be an easier source of fusion power than deuterium. To make room for this I'd reduce the amount of space spent on solar power. Philcha 22:52, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid those two don't work out from technical and economic standpoints, at least in the short term. Michaelbusch 23:13, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Can you please point to explanations of why they don't? Even better if they also explain what we'd have to do to make them viable.
Your comment also highlights a philosophical issue which this article needs to resolve. Should it deal with what is (a) both possible and feasible with current technology; (b) possible but economically unfeasible; (c) consistent with our current understanding of the laws of nature and just a little beyond our current reach; (d) theoretically possible but well beyond our current reach? If it includes (b),(c) or (d), I think the article should also state to which category approach belongs.Philcha 23:39, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
The problems with 3He from Jupiter are, first, it seems discouragingly beyond present technology to get anything off Jupiter in significant quantities due to its very high escape velocity (even to reach orbit from the equator, taking advantage of its rotation, needs about 30 km/s; compare with the total velocity capability of the Saturn V of about 12 km/s and its total mass to payload ratio of about 60 = 6,000,000/100,000, [in pounds, where payload is the Apollo CSM/LM stack] and then ponder the practical difficulty of assembling a Super-Saturn V on Jupiter), and second, 3He fusion also has significant problems (fusion still not at break-even even with the easiest D/T fuel; still higher temperature needed for 3He + D; associated D+D reactions would still produce neutrons), though it may be viable sometime in the future.
Tethers only extract energy from an orbiting body (which would have to be replenished somehow), they do not obtain energy from an unlimited or renewable source. The 3He you could at least ship back to Earth (John S. Lewis valued it at 16 billion $US per ton in 1997), but there is no obvious practical way to get energy to Earth from a tether, though it might be useful in situ in certain situations.
I would class both of these as (d) on your scale above. Sorry so negative and so late, hope it is useful to someone. Wwheaton (talk) 17:20, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
This is a (d) scale idea, but anyone have any thoughts on the possibility of harnessing electricity from Io? It builds up an electrical charge which it discharges on Jupiter in a continuous charge of 3 million Amps. Norbytherobot (talk) 04:10, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

I removed "at no cost" from the discussion of solar power in space. Of course, people will not have to pay for the sunshine and we won't be able to save money by not using a solar power facility once it is built. However, the capital costs of establishing solar power facilities will be considerable. The imprecision of the words "at no cost" is the problem. --Fartherred (talk) 16:56, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Gas giants, food supply, life support and transhumanism

I don't find this section convincing as it stands. I notice there's no link to a main article (as there is for e.g. Venus) - perhaps because someone's doing the research for one, or perhaps because there's a shortage of usable references.

There's no mention of the high wind speeds on Jupiter and even more so on Neptune - these would be a serious problem for "floating colonies".

"Jupiter would be less suitable for habitation due to its high gravity, escape velocity ..." makes little sense - if the floating colonies are at an altitude with 1G gravity, escape velocity from that altitude is the same as from Earth's surface.

Food supply would be a real problem for floating colonies, because the gas giants' atmospheres are deficient in carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus and lots of trace elements.

In fact I think the whole article pays too little attention to food supply and chemical requirements for life support. If these are not met, a colony cannot be self-sufficient and therefore is likely to be economically unviable - unless one goes for the transhumanist approach (as I do for that reason - specifically mind uploading, in which case water and gravity are just nuisances to be avoided). Philcha 23:39, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

The one-g point above Jupiter would be well outside its atmosphere, so no floating colonies, but perhaps a structure at that hight supported by orbital tethers. Noclevername 20:58, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
This would be impossible, due to the massive and intense radiation belts surrounding Jupiter. siafu 02:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
The information I got here suggests otherwise-- the 1-g level should not be near the radiation belts. If you have other numbers, I'd be willing to look at them. Noclevername 01:25, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
You're going to have to be more specific than that for a reference; that's just a page with 2 dozen essays on it. It also occurs to me that the claim: "at an altitude with 1G gravity, escape velocity from that altitude is the same as from Earth's surface" is not true either. The force of gravity varies with the inverse square of the distance r, while the escape velocity varies with the inverse square root of r; they do not correlate linearly. siafu 16:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Nuts, I thought that was the right link. Anyone have the data on the correct 1-G altitude of Jupiter? I'm in the middle of some RL and everything's kind of unfindable here. (Actually, this is getting kind of off-topic, it may be sufficient just to have the article say something like "there are several reasons why Jupiter and environs would not make an ideal site for colonization-- its gravity well, unpredictable wind conditions and radiation belt" --worded better than that, of course). Noclevername 17:34, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Using the value for the mass of Jupiter of 1.8986×1027 kg, the distance at which the force of gravity is 1 G (i.e., at which 1 kg weighs 9.81 N) is 113,649.5 km (as an aside, the distance from Jupiter's center at which the escape velocity is the same as it is on the Earth's surface is 1,000.993 km, a difference of almost a full order of magnitude). This is only 16,000 km from the orbit of Metis, the innermost of the mini-satellites, and according to the table I found on p. 167 of Zubrin's Entering Space, the radiation dose on the surface of Metis is 18,000 rem/day. That's an awful lot; about 30 times as much as is received on the surface of Europa. So, I think we can count this one out as a real possibility, unless you have a source than can point out what I'm missing. siafu 19:16, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Who butchered the Criticisms section?

I just restored it, if anyone thinks it needs changes please address them here on the talk page (that's what it's for). Noclevername 03:06, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

On a related issue (duplicating a notice three sections earlier; pardon), I've been wanting to improve the "Rationale" section of the Space exploration article, with subsections both pro and con. This is still pretty chaotic (and likely to become more so), but it does seem that there is a lot of natural overlap with similar discussions here, so those of you who are interested might like to keep an eye on it. Thanks. Wwheaton (talk) 23:32, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Merge material from Space exploration

Template:Resolved Would someone from the community of space colonization editors please take a look at Space exploration to see if the material there should be merged into this article? Space exploration has *two* sections on colonization, in addition to a "Main article: Space colonization" link. Could that article keep one of the sections, and the link, and then just have a brief intro to the topic of space colonization? (Sdsds - Talk) 20:51, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

No fiction please

Please do not add fictional material to space colonization pages. There already exist articles dealing with fiction related to all the major bodies of the Solar System, and many of the fictional references were simply copied from those articles, creating an unnecessary duplication. If a space colonization page does not have enough material to make it an informative article, adding references to fiction (often having nothing to do with colonization) does not help it at all. RandomCritic 17:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I would agree, and also think there should be a separate article for the games, probably titled Space colonization (games). Hope I'm not being a snooty elitist, but I hate to see the "serious" technical, economic, and other issues get diffused unnecessarily, and maybe lose the focus of the article. Game designers could still use the technical article as a resource, but discussions of pure game issues would not get mixed up with it. I would hesitate to do this without discussion and feedback, but might do it if there is no significant objection from the game community. Bill Wwheaton (talk) 22:18, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure. Since it denotes that it's fiction, it really shouldn't matter. I do have an issue with some games being on that list, such as Halo, but generally from what I can see it doesn't really diffuse the point....reinforces it if anything. It simply states that Space Colonization is present in all types of mindsets, including the works of fiction and literature. It is not as if people will specifically come to this article and see the words fiction and either be diverted immediately or be distracted in the long run. Leonnatus (talk) 15:12, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


Removed this bit:

However, since some believe that the world population may stabilize[1], eventually the Earth's polulation may stabilize for a time.

...As original research. Noclevername 01:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


"There is no dark side of the Moon", really. From the perspective of a solar power station at Sun-Earth L1, the Moon passes behind the Earth on a regular basis. So the current claim in the article that, "Continuous energy could be beamed to the lunar surface from a solar power satellite at the Lagrange L1 location" is dubious. What is the source for this claim? (sdsds - talk) 19:42, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't have any references but it occurs to me that from the Sun-Earth L1 point you could beam continuous power to the moon but not directly, but with a suitably positioned satellite (probably more than one actually) in earth orbit which could act as a relay for the microwave power from the solar collector and direct the energy towards the moon while the moon fell on the night side of earth, in precisely the way one uses communication satellites to relay signals around earth. MttJocy (talk) 08:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me if I am being dense, but I don't quite get it. Earth/Sun L1 is about 4X farther from Earth than the Earth/Moon distance. So although a power satellite out there would presumably not be precisely at L1 (I think spacecraft there have to be actively maintained along the unstable Earth-Sun direction, and usually "orbit" L1 in the transverse plane), it would see almost a full Moon, all the time. So the side it would see would be just the side in daylight, which would not need power. An alternative, Earth/Sun L2, on the far side of the Earth away from the Sun, would see the DSOTM (?! So there is one, actually...! I always thought it was a mythical place!). But does it really make sense to beam power so far? This is 30X farther than the Earth-GSO distance, which gives a factor of about degradation in combined antenna gain factor for the transmit & receive antenna system, so they would have to be correspondingly larger to avoid big losses. Seems like we'd do better to just run high-tension lines around the Moon from solar panels near its equator. Wwheaton (talk) 22:04, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Just fixed a dreadful typo in my old post above, for which apologies to all confused by it. Wwheaton (talk) 15:31, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

It definitely does seem possible for power to be beamed to Earth or the Moon, from the Sun. As interest in this route, therefore leading to funding, starts to form, a project of this kind is bound to begin. Not only can power be beamed with accuracy using microwave/laser technology but a complex network can eventually be created (hundreds maybe thousands of years into the future) that can transfer energy to many different parts of the solar system. This type of technology is what could be used for powering the space elevator, and future deep space crafts that will not carry fuel. (talk) 01:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Ugly imperialist word!

Colonization as a word should be avoided, it is as much tainted as the holocaust. Look at what happened to the inca, the redskins or the negros from Africa who got sold as slaves, or how the british imperialists destroyed China with their opium wars.

Maybe americans, as a young country, who only had a few colonial affairs (the Philippines mainly), do not understand the gravity of this issue, but Europe is still much troubled by the atrocities of colonial era and these extra-terrestrail projects would certainly get more support, if there was more politically correct name to it, that awakes no memories of either Cortez or General Custer in the readers minds. (talk) 13:27, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I doubt that this objection will find much traction in the context of space, assuming we find no alien life in the near future. Then there will be no ethical issue about the relation between different species, and the damage one might do to the other. Of course the term "space settlement" would avoid the problem, but I fear "colonization" is probably too well established to change.
But also, even though the prospect of old-fashioned colonial oppression seems remote based on what we know now about the nearby universe, we should not forget that it could arise unexpectedly at any time. There is certainly some possibility that life (microbiology, at least) exists in our own Solar System, though the likelihood of advanced life seems fairly remote at the present. But even if there are only ancient microbes, on Mars say, we would have to face up to the possible catastrophic effect human presence might have on such life forms (not to mention the effect it could conceivably have on us ....) And we will also need to face the issues raised by the likely destruction of the natural alien environments we encounter, even in the absence of life. Knowing the human species (based on troubling past experience), I doubt these issues are going to stop the program, but it would probably be wise to notice that they do exist, and could become serious at any point. Keeping the old bad word seems to me to be prudent, if just to remind us that the danger is lurking out there. Changing a word without changing the reality, for PR or political correctness, is not necessarily such a good idea, after all. I personally am strongly in favor of human expansion into space, but if we forget the lessons of history, we could get into serious ethical (or practical) trouble down the line, eventually on a cosmic scale. Wwheaton (talk) 15:17, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
As a note I understood that the use of the phrase 'space settlement' was to deliberately avoid the use of the word 'colony'. Even though there is apparently no intelligent life in the solar system and any colonisation activity would be to unpopulated areas the words colony and colonisation are objectionable to some people and doesn't help when trying to promote the idea of the settlement of space. Markac 99 (talk) 20:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Any further political correctness issues anyone wants to raise? I mean really! Talk about taking to extremes. Perhaps we should just give up, ban the entire english language and take up speaking french. If anything the use of 'imperialist' to describe a word in the english language if anything indicates that the individual in question has a axe to grind with western nations over history that is exactly that - history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
The purpose of the article on [[Space colonization]] is not to promote the practice but to describe it. Colonization is a better word than settlement because it includes both robot and human colonization, but there can be no settlement without humans. --Fartherred (talk) 01:18, 27 July 2010 (UTC) It should be clear that space colonization is a potential future activity. The opinions of notable sources which favor this activity and oppose it can both be included clearly identified as opinions. --Fartherred (talk) 12:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Not to raise controversy, but just to illustrate a point: Settlement can also be a very contentious word to many people, for example when regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank. I think Colonization will just have to do. Norbytherobot (talk) 04:11, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Racial issues

The article should discuss the issue that space colonies be limited to members of one race. What is the purpose of exporting earth's racial problems to space? These could be avoided, possibly forever, by limiting the population of space colonies to members of one particular race. There might be a white space colony, and a black space colony, and a Chinese space colony, etc., where members of those individual races could live together harmoniously. (talk) 05:40, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I must say I have extremely mixed feelings about this. At the worst, it could lead to the evolution of implacably hostile human subspecies, and plant the seeds of future terrible conflict on a cosmic scale. Surely we have had way too much of that in the past century. On the other hand, I am not sure I am wise enough to set myself against the wisdom of biological diversity, which seems to be one of Life's fundamental strategies ("Try everything!"), and which a more permissive attitude might support. I am certain I would oppose limiting all colonies to racial uniformity , however, though I might be willing to accept some that were selective, as long as they did not impose discrimination on others. The space environment is fundamentally different than Earth, in that space and energy are not really problematic. That does change things. Good question! Wwheaton (talk) 04:10, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely! But Mr. doesn't go far enough with his brilliantly incisive and civilized idea. I believe that divisions based on skin pigmentation alone are too liberal, politically correct and "wishy-washy". What we need is segregation based on ..... well ..... everything. What I'd like to see is some future space-habitat, asteroid, moon, or planet populated by nothing but fairly white, fat, red-haired, tone-deaf, good-natured, slightly dyslexic dentists, with the colony "next-door" hosting light-to-medium black, slim-though-prone-to-obesity-in-middle-age, melancholic, lactose-intolerant, cross-dressing doctors who are all good at playing chess, etc., where members of those individual groupings could live together harmoniously. Yes; a sensible policy for a happy universe. -- DropShadow (talk) 12:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
What should do is segregate his ideas into an article on Avoiding racial and ethnic tensions in space, where he can "live" harmoniously with similarly right-minded people while not being bothered by, or bothering, those not sharing such views. There could also be articles on Historical blindness in space, Flat-earthers in space, Cannibals in space, and other hyperfine divisions of humanity rocketing unmolested throughout the cosmos. OK, just kidding. If he can find reliable (non-crazy) secondary sources seriously discussing such ideas from a policy point of view, he should by all means start a section on this. But I'm not holding my breath... EEng (talk) 17:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I guess this means that MR would only be allowed on the space habitat set aside for radical racist extremists. (talk) 10:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
There is only one race: the human race. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:29, 30 October 2010 (UTC)


I think the concepts mentioned in this section need to recognize that, with the barely conceivable exception of anti-matter propulsion, no credible means of getting up to more than about 10% of the speed of light is known. Even with nuclear fusion, the most energetic realistic form of on-board propulsion, the rocket equation poses tremendous problems for a ship that is to accelerate to say, 0.1c , possibly coast for a while, and then decelerate to the speeds of stars in the Galaxy. Laser sailing with beam-driven propulsion seems potentially able to achieve similar speeds, but nothing seriously approaching light speed, due to the redshift (and accompanying loss of energy and momentum in the beam) of the source, if for no other reason; and it also has the serious problem of not being able to stop at the destination without some other means of propulsion.

This means we are talking about trip times of decades or a century even to reach the nearest stars. The technology needed to build a self-sustaining colony, with a life time of a century, could well be enabling for such concepts. Shielding against radiation would not be significantly affected by such low speeds beyond that which would be needed to protect against cosmic rays (conservatively, 1000 gm/cm², the same as provided by the Earth's atmosphere). Interstellar dust would probably not be a serious issue either, once far from the Solar System, perhaps avoiding especially dusty regions. The local solar neighborhood seems to have very low density of dust and gas, on the order of 0.01 protons per cm³. Section would be more relevant and more credible if it were edited with these realities in mind. Wwheaton (talk) 00:55, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I have reworked this section considerably, in line with the above considerations. I have omitted anti-matter propulsion, with some sorrow, from the mix of relevant possibilities, as I consider it to be beyond the pale of reasonably predictable technology, except possibly for reaching high sub-relativistic speeds, because of its severe energy losses to neutrinos and gamma-radiation. (My general criterion has been "no magic allowed".) I feel this section still leaves much to be desired, but I hope it is somewhat better than what we had before, and that people will use it as a place to start for improvement. At the same time I think the section is fundamentally important, as it could conceivably hold the key to the long-term survival of intelligence in the Galaxy, if it turns out, as it may, that Earth holds the only intelligent life in it. Wwheaton (talk) 03:53, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

contested statements removed

  • Present-day launch costs are very high — $3,000 to $25,000 per kilogram from Earth to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). {{Fact|date=July 2007}}
  • Note that plant based life support systems are very inefficient in their use of energy; about 1–3% energetic efficiency is common. {{Fact|date=March 2007}}
  • Near Earth Asteroids, which have all the materials needed (with the possible exception of nitrogen {{Fact|date=October 2007}})
  • In the 1950s and 1960s, . . . Krafft Ehricke published [his] ideas. {{Fact|date=March 2007}}*According to this view, there is nothing in space that we really need, adding that moving beyond the solar system is totally impractical in any reasonable time scale {{Fact|date=February 2007}}.

Please do not return this information to the article without a citation.--BirgitteSB 17:04, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Minimum sustainable size of self-contained ecology

I have reverted recent edits by User:Comp25 (talk). They certainly reflect valid issues, but do not provide any significant references, and thus no credible information. The question of what is the minimum size needed for a sustainable ecology (with or without humans in the mix, on or off a planet), independent of the need for continual re-supply from Earth, has never been established. In my opinion it is very urgently needed, and it would be a big contribution to this article for someone to do the literature research needed to find out what is actually known and has been done. The Biosphere II experiment has provided some information along these lines (mainly by turning up problems, I think), and is a noble attempt, but has by no means solved the problem. An environment lately discovered [3] at a depth of ≥2 km[2] in a gold mine in South Africa seems to contain only a single species of sulfate-reducing bacteria, living in a purely mineral environment; the energy input ultimately seems to derive from radioactive U/Th in rocks. As far as I know this is the only independent closed ecology apparently not coupled to the larger Earth biosphere that is known.

I (and many others) believe the economics of an independent, sustainable, space ecology (again, on or off a planet) are likely to be very favorable due to the very abundant supplies of energy and all needed materials, but details of how such an system might actually work seem woefully lacking. Wwheaton (talk) 15:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. Template:Cite web
  2. Chivian et al, Science 10 October 2008, Vol. 322. no. 5899, pp. 275 - 278

lternative or addendum for the future of the human race

As an alternative or addendum for the future of the human race, many science fiction writers have focused on the realm of the 'inner-space', that is the computer aided exploration of the human mind and human consciousness.

Alternative or addendum for the future of the human race

The following paragraph was deleted & re-inserted from the "Objections" section:

"As an alternative or addendum for the future of the human race, many science fiction writers have focused on the realm of the 'inner-space', that is the computer aided exploration of the human mind and human consciousness."

I deleted it again, mistakenly thinking it had been in the lead paragraph (& have reverted my deletion), but I am still in doubt as to whether it qualifies as an "objection". My guess is that both alternatives will be explored, as they are not mutually exclusive, and are both interesting to my mind. That leaves the question as to whether the above paragraph should go in as an "objection" or not? Any other opinions? Wwheaton (talk) 22:30, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

As an objection the inner space exploration alternative is about as relevant as the alternative of spending more money on welfare. I think it should be replaced with a general statement about other claims for financial support. --Fartherred (talk) 12:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Article title and English variations thereof

I suggest renaming this article to "Spacy colony." Some English variations use "space colonisation"; others "space colonization". Neither of these is inherently preferable. "Space colony" avoids the possibility of a dispute per WP:ENGVAR#Opportunities for commonality. (sdsds - talk) 03:56, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh dear. Better yet, I would suggest "S**** c*****(*******)", which would remove all possibility of offending any person of any race, creed, nationality or handedness. Viva Wikipedia! Water.writ (talk) 05:14, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow. How many times have I seen the US vs ROW argument rise up on Wiki and how many times have I seen it needlessly turn into a 'we are better than you' argument from one side or the other. I even had one of my own articles once edited by someone else just to change my spelling (I wont say if its US or ROW) into the other by someone who was nice enough to call my choice of spelling vandalism. (How I don't know since the article was added by me). Lets not let this silly argument ruin the site. Both spellings are legitimate. (talk) 01:57, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

AI robots

I personally think space colonization will occur using AI robots in the future. when Mind uploading is successful, then it will be far easier to colonize other planets, since robots/nanobots can survive far different conditions and can be powered directly by sunlight so no food/air/water is needed, and can survive in a vacuum no problem. also they can last far longer, so a interstellar mission lasting >1000 years is no problem. also it will be possible to send data as light to decoder probe on other star with decoder there that will upload mind to computer, so once single probe sent rest can be done at lightspeed. space colonization will occur, but it wont be biological humans, it will be ai robots. (talk) 15:06, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

What a shame that would be (talk) 18:52, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
You mean IF mind uploadingis becomes possible. Been watching too much Matrix and Caprica maybe? (talk) 12:12, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

list of flight durations

See Talk:Interplanetary spaceflight#list of flight durations

I think that it would be usefull to provide a list with the shortest durations for flights between notable locations (planets, moons, Larrange points, etc.) together with the launch windows repetition periods and/or future dates. Something like a mini Interplanetary Transport Network focused on human spaceflights (eg. minimum time instead of minimum energy). Alinor (talk) 15:01, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

It might be useful to explain that there is no such thing as a shortest duration trajectory or date. (Your observation is well taken, because it represents a misconception distributed by the media.) A rocket with an enormous ... *stupendous* ... amount of fuel will reach a given place soonest. Oppositely, rocket mission that seeks to economize -- above all other consideration -- might wait decades for an ideal launch situation, and spend decades in flight. There isn't anything intuitive to pass on to casual readers, except that flights to distant places are liable to take longer. Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 16:47, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but a list can be compiled comparing the different destinations with some "default rocket" (for example Saturn V or Ares V or whatever - just to be the same for all) - as you say "distant - longer", but because "distant" is not clear enough in orbital sense, etc. it would be nice to have such table as: "Flight times with Ares V rocket: Earth to Moon for 3 days, launch windows period 1 day; Earth to Mars for 6 months, launch windows period 3 years; Earth to Mercury for 6 years, launch windows period 3 years; etc." This way it would be clear that some "nearer" destinations are actually more distant... Alinor (talk) 21:52, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Your comment sent me down an interesting train of thought. Rockets are built for particular missions, but suitability up to this point is not always at the forefront of selection reasons. To borrow a phrase from Artificial Intelligence wisdom, "When the only tool you've got is a hammer, every problem you see looks like a nail." E.g., if the United States wants to launch something to the ISS, the only option it has is the Space Shuttle. If the ESA launches, the main option is an Ariane 5. So. The problem is that choosing any (currently available) vehicle biases and predisposes flight duration data. E.g., getting to Earth's moon in a Space Shuttle would be ... what phrase should I use? ... wildly out of the intention of the design.
So it may be more a matter of how long an (undesigned) purpose-built rocket would take to reach a planet for one particular mission. At the moment, the only purpose-built rocket that could even get to the moon was the Saturn V. (And the plans for that were destroyed, as it happens.) Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 17:26, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but I think such a comparision would be useful to get a general idea and compare realy how distant (measured as time-for-travel) each destination is. About the launch windows here is a table about pure orbits, without taking into account gravity-assist possibilities: Orbital period - synodic period (it seems that it is ~2 years for Mars, ~1.5y for Venus and main asteroid belt, ~4 months for Mercury, ~1 month for Moon and outer solar system). From the articles of the various space probes and "colonization of ..." I can get some of the time lenght data, but it is not consistent (using the same vehicle) and also in most of the cases it is optimized for energy (reaching the target with maximum instrument/fuel-for-operations load) instead of reaching the target in the fastest reasonable/achievable time (as required for human spaceflight). Alinor (talk) 17:49, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I found this (related to Delta-v budget?) with two tables: "Delta V required for travel using Hohmann orbits: Solar System", "Synodic Periods and Transit Times for Hohmann Travel: Solar System", etc. (no gravity-assists here). As I understand if the required delta-v state in table1 is provided the spacecraft will travel for the blue-time-in-table2-lenght and will have launch windows with green-time-table2-periodicaly?
So, the missing piece now is what delta-v provide for example: Ares V; Earth Departure Stage; Orion on itself; Altair descend; Altair ascend? (I assume that for Earth-to-Mars trip the sum of Ares+EDS+Altair descend should be >= table1 value for Earth-to-Mars and that for Mars-to-Earth trip the sum of Altair-ascend+EDS should be >= table1 value for Mars-to-Earth?) Alinor (talk) 18:54, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting! Unfortunately my specialty working with NASA was far from orbital mechanics, so I should let others comment. I'll note that one of the authors of the book wrote,
(One thing) "I'll admit to is that my numbers are NOT the most efficient possible for any particular trip."
Also note that the calculator used by Erick Max Francis [4] includes
"For all orbital transfers, it is assumed that the durations of application of deltavee are much shorter than the duration of the flight time. That is, burns are treated as instantaneous (that is, orbital transfers are "impulsive"). This is a good approximation in most cases (even with chemical rockets), but not with more exotic drive systems like ion drives or solar/magnetic sails."
It's considerations such as these I was thinking about, i.e., that it's possible, perhaps even likely for example, that a *very* efficient exotic rocket, say around 2020, would be sent years ahead of a manned flight to Mars. But such wouldn't be necessary for people to reach Earth's moon.
On a different note, the review for "Spaceship Handbook" is glowing[5] "I am amazed at the quality and amount of material covered in this book." Tempting, tempting. Piano non troppo (talk) 23:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Nick Bostrom

I edited the Nick Bostrom bit to make it more straight forward as English, but I am not certain that the source is reliable. We have accepted some less than perfect sources for this type of article in the past, but there is the potential that we could improve. I must put in some time.--Fartherred (talk) 21:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Yea, I wrote that. Thanks for correcting my english but I don't understand why you think that source is unreliable. It's from his personal website How can you get more reliable than that?--Tired time (talk) 22:39, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
No doubt, Nick Bostrom accurately represented his own views on his own website. Who is Nick Bostrom? The Wikipedia article on him does not contain in line citations, but I found a New York Times article (14 August 2007) on him that substantiates that he is a Swedish philosophy professor at Oxford. So does this qualify him to speculate in a general way about colonizing space? Are his speculations relevant to the article. If people could really upload their consciousness to computers, (as Nick Bostrom indicates might be possible) wouldn't we want to outlaw that so that computers haunted with human programs don't take over the world? If it would be necessary to upload human souls to computers in order to colonize space, that might be the one reason that it should not be done. Do you want to help bring about a computer life form that will extinguish humanity?--Fartherred (talk) 00:29, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Have a read of Greg Egan's novel Permutation City if you'd like a nice intellectual challenge on this subject. Piano non troppo (talk) 03:19, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Uploading consciousness to computers is a bit irrelevant here. He did not say that it is necessary to colonize space. In the article he writes:
While this estimate is conservative in that it assumes only computational mechanisms whose implementation has been at least outlined in the literature, it is useful to have an even more conservative estimate that does not assume a non-biological instantiation of the potential persons. Suppose that about 1010 biological humans could be sustained around an average star. Then the Virgo Supercluster could contain 1023 biological humans. This corresponds to a loss of potential equal to about 1014 potential human lives per second of delayed colonization.
After this he tries to prove, that even if simulated reality is not possible, colonizing space should be a chief goal for utilitarians. The argument is very simple: If space was colonized, more people would live. If more people would live, more happiness would be generated. Happiness is the main goal of utilitarians, therefore utilitarians should try to achieve space colonization. As a philosophy professor, Nick Bostrom qualifies to make such an argument. Furthermore, he is "Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University" so in my opinion, he is also qualified to speculate about colonizing space, but the only speculation about colonizing space in my paragraph is "If space was colonized, more people would live". The off topic part: He is talking about simulated reality where an individual inside the simulation wouldn’t necessarily know that it’s inside a simulation. Even if an individual in simulation knew that he is in simulation, very very probably there would be nothing he could do to take over the world outside his simulation.--Tired time (talk) 04:30, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Although Nick Bostrom apparently has discussed mind uploading and artificial intelligence, that is not the topic of his to which you referred. A source that would discuss the potential application of AI to establishing a colony on Mars would be relevant.--Fartherred (talk) 05:53, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

This discussion reminds one that Space colonization is itself a major subtopic of "The Future Evolution of Humanity", which is a subtopic of "The Meaning and Future of Life and Intelligence in the Cosmos", etc, etc. Rather like nested Russian dolls, eh? Personally I think we have to look back at the biological history of life, as we know now know it on Earth, to really address such questions. But to keep this article manageable we should probably restrict it to the near-term (? less than a century?) prospects and technological issues of human expansion and settlement, and just note (and link out to) the higher (ie, broader) levels. Wwheaton (talk) 23:54, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Do we have articles in Wikipedia on The Future Evolution of Humanity and all that stuff? I think, that it is not reasonable to restrict Justification section to near term because many of the biggest benefits will come many centuries from now (like ensuring long term survival of humanity). As for technological prospects, maybe there could be a section about prospects of distant future where we could write about speculations like Dyson sphere, because it's still space colonization, article is not called "near-term prospects of space colonization". I agree though, that such a section shouldn't be large and just note broader levels.--Tired time (talk) 12:52, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Artificial intelligence is being used on Mars for exploration now. It just is not advanced enough to run an industrial establishment on Mars now in the absence of human beings. If that advance comes within twenty or thirty years, I will not be surprised. It is the uploading of human consciousness to computers that is not a predictable outcome of advances in the line of current development. It might be possible to program an AI running an industrial establishment on Mars to have simulated selfishness and ambition without the actual consciousness. Since that would be about as dangerous as the real thing and serve no practical advantage, I don't think we have to worry about someone doing it.--Fartherred (talk) 04:24, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Instead of transhumanism, we should be on the lookout for an authoritative consideration of the problem of some programmer taking control of the computer running a highly automated Martian colonial industry for selfish purposes; then having a confederate hide him and his stash of loot before authorities regain control. It seems to be a more profitable line of inquiry.--Fartherred (talk) 16:14, 26 October 2009 (UTC)


After reading the method section (which by the way, should be renamed somehow) I felt that the most important unanswered question there was "what would they eat?". Does anyone has any information on that?--Tired time (talk) 12:12, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

NASA has been doing work on this, in theory and in practice for decades. The emphasis is on giving people a familiar diet, one with high quality food and interesting variety. (Notice how often descriptions of what is being carried to the ISS include perishables.) I attended a NASA lecture some years ago on progress for moon food -- where there is at least some gravity. Even then, research was quite advanced, using hydroponics, etc. Many decisions had been made about what was viable and what not. Chickens were an unexpected problem -- since they were on the "must have" list. On Earth's moon, they have full flight capabilities. Lol. Piano non troppo (talk) 16:26, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Image links removed

What is Brian Everlasting's reasoning for removing the "Spacecolony1" image and the "Internal view of the Stanford torus" image?--Fartherred (talk) 17:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Seeing no explanation for the removal of these images, I will restore them.--Fartherred (talk) 17:02, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Brian Everlasting has still not responded with his reason for removing an image link. I will restore it again.--Fartherred (talk) 20:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Image is from the 1970s, and obsolete. Brian Everlasting (talk) 02:44, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing obsolete about the O'Neill cylinder design pictured. All three of the designs coming out of the Stanford study were feasible (albeit mind-bogglingly expensive). --IanOsgood (talk) 04:02, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

The article now has two images of Mars, two of the Moon and two of orbital space habitats. What could be more balanced than that?--Fartherred (talk) 07:14, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Just a passing comment: unless I've missed some really startling developments over the last 40 years, image captions such as Moon colony (1995) and A pair of space colonies (1970s) are misleading, to say the least. They don't all have to say, "artist's conception" -- for variety they could say, envisioned by and so on. EEng (talk) 17:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Argument of Cost

The section 'argument of cost' and the next two sections refer to the issue solely based on US space spending. Since NASA does not engage in space colonization they appear to be irrelevant as well as not providing a worldwide view of the topic. I intend to delete these sections unless someone makes a strong counterargument. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamougha (talkcontribs) 18:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the section badly needs improvement, as do a number of the other parts of the arguments pro and con. However, I oppose deletion. Of course space colonization involves the whole human species, it is not something about the US program alone. Yet the US space program is large and important in the global context at this point in time, and its justification (fraction of GDP, say), relative to other national needs and priorities, is an important part of the larger issue, a data point for that discussion.
The question of the justification and rationale of space colonization is vast. Of course it involves costs and benefits, but both must be considered in the broadest terms (ie, certain vs conjectural, material vs philosophical, present costs vs future benefits, etc.) This article will be useful, in part, in proportion as it succeeds in mapping out this huge field of issues in a clear and well-organized way, documenting what is known about it, and what has been argued (always by verifiable reliable sources, of course) over the past century since it became a debatable possibility. This kind of wide, balanced vision is not Wikipedia's strongest point, unfortunately, especially when so many of us necessarily come here with odd bits of wisdom and scraps of our available time. But let's strive to build on the material we have.
Does anyone have ideas about how the whole rationale arguments ought to be organized and laid out in the article? It seems to me that is what we chiefly need, a framework to build on. Wwheaton (talk) 22:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
We're speaking here of "The argument of cost", "Military spending", and "Social spending programs"? All the existing material rather repeats political bandstanding on various positions. A couple days ago someone was criticizing my community for spending money on salaries for railroad crossing guards (there have been several suicides there in the last months, a fad which we're desperate to stop). Their argument? The money would be better spent elsewhere. There's really nothing very profound about people observing they want more money spent on their own interests. You think? Piano non troppo (talk) 22:50, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yup, determining priorities for the allocation of finite resources is a universal human problem. For society it is political, and usually somewhat provisional. All we can do here is present the case as fairly as possible, on the basis of the sources we can find. Wwheaton (talk) 23:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
If the issues you address were the main problem then I would simply improve those sections. The main issue is that US spending on space exploration and science are totally irrelevant to the costs of space *colonization*. Nothing in those sections is relevant to the topic. Jamougha (talk) 05:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Per the above discussion, I've removed the sections. Wwheaton's comment that Wikipedia is not strong on giving a wide, balanced view is well-taken. In this case (having worked with NASA for many years), I don't know of a reliable source for a balanced view. The problem with using NASA as a source is that they must invest a major portion of their effort justifying costs any way practical. (That factor and resulting arguments can also be seen in "The argument of benefits" section.) The possible (and past) benefits are tangible, however the comparative benefits are original research — even though it comes from NASA it's still original research speculation. Among typical NASA workers the public justifications are treated casually — sometimes I would even say as a joke. More particularly, I was on a project where a professional was brought in, instructing us how to give palatable "newsbites" to reporters. I.e., the paras that were removed aren't about truth, they're about "image". It's probable that billions invested in improving breakfast cereal would have revolutionary consequences, but that's equally WP:NOTCRYSTAL. Piano non troppo (talk) 10:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

The argument of need

When on the 8th of August, 2008 Jimbatka added an attribution to J. Richard Gott III he was mistaken. John Tierney was careful to put quote marks around direct quotes of J. Richard Gott III in the cited article. The words put into the article attributed to Gott are apparently John Tierney's words inspired by Gott.--Fartherred (talk) 07:20, 5 December 2009 (UTC) I will go ahead and correct the mistake. If someone thinks I err, we can talk about it.--Fartherred (talk) 21:14, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Possible ways of establishing civilisations on other planets:

Mars- Terraforming is a possible way, however, somehow we would need to form an ozone layer and magnetosphere. Living underground is another possible way of habiting Mars.

Europa- An underwater dome could be built with a light source, allowing photosynthesis, and an artificial gravity source. This technology could also be used in Earths oceans, but it would somehow need to withstand the deep sea pressure. Giant submarines are another alternative to this. Oxygen could be drawn from the ocean, or created through photosynthesis

Titan- Titans extreme cold temperatures mean that an artificial heat source would be needed. Thermal heat domes would be an option. The planets low gravity and high air density mean that floating citys would be easy to achieve.

Saturn, Uranus and Neptune- Floating cities in the atmosphere or in orbit of the planets.

On the Sun- They say its a bit hot but them scientists are wimps. We could live there, but maybe only at night. (just kidding)

P.S.- I'm no expert so make sure you give me feedback on the faults. Post below with your username. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Epic Jamal Binbanasa (talkcontribs) 22:29, March 28, 2010 (UTC)

It's not clear what you're asking here. Most of these are already discussed in the article. Those that aren't are either of questionable practicality (what benefit, for example, would a floating city on Titan have that a much more straightforward land base would not?) or involve extremely dubious science (artificial gravity source??). 00:04, 21 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
If anything the best place for a floating city would be Venus. 50 - 70 km up, equal pressure and temperature (shame about the acid rain). Plus ordinary air is a lifting gas, hence the cities 'bubble' would raise the colony. Could be used as a base of operations while inner system asteroids are relocated to form a small ring of moons to use for development into a solar shield and a solera. As the shield let teh atmosphere freeze teh cities would just slowly drop down onto the surface as the atmosphere rained out. (talk) 10:41, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
That's interesting, and superficially conceivable. But not clear what such a colony would do, economically, to justify its existence. It could be a possible alternate to orbiting spacecraft for in situ exploration of the surface. Robotic mining might be possible if (buoyant, I guess) transportation up and down from the surface could be arranged. Then you would want to have your spaceport there above. But what could possibly be valuable enough to export, that you could not get cheaper from Mercury or the asteroids? See NASA Venus Exploration Analysis Group, [6] and especially "Pathways for Venus Exploration" [7], p 22. Wwheaton (talk) 18:04, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Thats an excellent point and one that I have thought about a lot. Whatever happens on Mars/Venus it is clear that the economics and the very way of life will all be adapted around the improvement of those worlds. (Much like we will be doing so on Earth soon). This will be especially so with Venus. The entire colonisation effort will need a mentality along the lines of 'what can we do to profit financially that as a side-effect improves these worlds'. Most of the effort on the surface will be paid for by communities who will see it as being in their best interest to improve their own conditions since they live there. This is why 'Mars to Stay' is a must as nobody wants to invest money into colonisation efforts that will stop making a profit when Mars decides to grab hold of the 'nationhood' concept and run with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:35, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Objections to Space Colonization Not Allowed?

Sorry to rain on anyone's parade, but I think a dose of realism could be allowed in this article. There is a very small Objections section which contains some objections to the notion of space colonization, but some users (I am looking at you, Trekphiler) do not want to let this happen. I made a simple observation that "It is difficult and expensive to send humans into space." and this was removed, claiming that it was off-topic, uncited and represented a particular POV. Considering that this whole article is a rambling mess of speculation and wishful thinking, I find that odd. Diderot08 (talk) 16:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

If you are talking about this edit, I have to agree that it is unnecessary. Sentence "It is difficult and expensive to send humans into space." is just a restatement of the first sentence in that paragraph which is "Colonizing space would require massive amounts of financial, physical and human capital devoted to research, development, production, and deployment." Also costs are discussed in paragraph "The argument of benefits". The following paragraph you wrote begins with "If the goal is to explore space then robotic spacecraft have been very successful in exploring every planet of our solar system." But who says that the goal is to explore space? Such a goal is not mentioned anywhere else in debate section. Then the following details about our space exploration becomes irrelevant.--tired time (talk) 16:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I've also removed it. Claiming that other editors "do not want to let" criticism into the article is counterproductive. The reality is that the text you added constitutes unreferenced opinion. Whether or not such problems exist with other text in the article does not make it acceptable to add more such material. We cannot add our own opinions into articles; we can only add that which can be referencd to reliable sources. --Ckatzchatspy 17:03, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? ;p It's unsourced & POV. The tone is far from neutral. And it leaves an impression of "this is impossible" when the same could've been said about going to the moon in 1960: it's impractical with systems in current use. That isn't the same as "current technology" by any stretch of the imagination; I've seen design proposals using '80s tech which could make it perfectly feasible. None of them are in current use, but surely, the tech has advanced since then... Raise the objections in a neutral, NPOV tone, with sources, I'll leave it in. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:56, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Trekphiler is right here. Had NASA's budget not been decreased then they would have pressed on to send Apollo to Mars in the eighties with the goal of having permanent settlement by the end of the century. Economics and politics prevented this - not lack of technology. The main killer is lack of infrastructure. We cannot go to the moon today - the best we can do is send Soyuz around it with a booster and a Zond-class heat shield, and thats only if we attach it to a booster. It would take years to develop the infrastructure to go back. Economics, politics and loss of hardware always kill the space program - but that does not mean with a return of these we cannot see space colonisation become an option again. (talk) 10:48, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Scare quotes around the words: science fiction

User: put scare quotes around the words "science fiction" without any explanation. I believe these are not helpful. It is an established fact that science fiction refers to faster than light travel. See Faster Than Light #21: Warp Drives. This is so well known that it does not need a reference in the article. There is no reason to consider it a dubious opinion of an unspecified source that faster than light travel has been considered science fiction. Therefore I will remove the scare quotes. --Fartherred (talk) 22:59, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Terrestrial analogues to space colonies

The reference to half-open systems is incorrect. The text is:

Other half-open systems are [[flight endurance record|record long-distance flights]], long-distance [[single-handed sailing|(single-handed) sails]], [[oil platform]]s, [[prisons]], [[bunker]]s, small [[island]]s and [[underground base]]s.

None of these examples shows partially closed life support systems. I will alter the text. Fartherred (talk) 11:37, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Self contradictory sentence

There is no night in space, and no clouds or atmosphere to block sunlight.

was modified by user to

There is no night in space (on the sun-facing surface of non rotating/ tidally locked bodies in stellar orbit), and no clouds or atmosphere to block sunlight.

Since something cannot be in space and on the surface of a celestial body at the same time the sentence becomes self contradictory. To make this more clear I will replace "space" with "free space". If user has something significant to add about colonies on tidally locked bodies, he should add it elsewhere in the article. --Fartherred (talk) 16:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Merge proposal of Space and survival and Space colonization

I think the article Space and survival should be merged into this one. The title "Space and survival" is a POV title anyway, and the article seems to exist to advance the position that humans should colonize space to survive. A more appropriate name for this article would be Justification for space colonization; but in fact I'm suggesting a merge into the Space colonization article, which seems more appropriate. If the size of this article is too large, I would suggest reducing the "Location" section somehow, possibly by creating a need article (something like List of proposed locations for space colonization). Mlm42 (talk) 02:24, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree, merging the two would be a good idea. Tideflat (talk) 15:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree also. That page has such a POV tone, tho, it would be better to fix it, first. It's also entirely lacking sources for its main claims AFAI can tell. (IDK if they can all be substantiated, but IIRC Pournelle mentions most of them.) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 21:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I disagree with the general positions documented in [[Space and survival]] but there are notable reliable sources that put forward those positions. The article includes supporting sources, just not in line citations. The thing to do to improve Wikipedia would be to attach specific supporting sources to the statements they support, and add contrary points of view with supporting sources. It seems to me that [[Space and survival]] is too long to merge into [[Space colonization]] and too much material would need to be cut to make an article of manageable length. There are enough problems with this article as it is without asking for more work. Fartherred (talk) 18:09, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Instead, why don't someone add a section in Space colonization that say something about survival in space, then add "Main article: Space and survival" on top of that section. I believe that method is better. SyahirSQRT2 (talk) 3:15, 7 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I understand the proposer's reason and worth considering but I disagree too - similar to above. Survival in space had to be solved for the Apollo missions and the ISS but neither of them are colonization. CharlesC (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the purpose of the article Space and survival. The article does not deal with survival in space; rather, the article deals with justifications for colonizing space as a solution to ensuring the survival of the human race. As such, I strongly agree with the proposal that the articles should be merged. In fact, I would go as far to say that most of the Space and survival article could be scrapped, as there isn't a single in-line citation in the entire thing. Some of the non-POV references could provide material for integrated into this article's debate section, but on the whole, I don't really thing that Space and survival provides much anything new. --Nick2253 (talk) 09:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that Space and survival should have more inline citations. But it does have a long list of references at the end covering the topics of the page. I suspect that the reason it has no inline citations is just because the principle author of the article hadn't worked out how to do it yet. E.g. the first mention in the "Further Reading" section at the bottom of the page supports the first major statement in the article. I've made it into a ref just now, so future editors of the page can see how to do it, don't have time to go through the whole article right now.
I suspect that probably all the material in the body of the article can be backed up similarly by citations using the "Further reading" at the bottom of the page - since is fairly common for newbie wikipedians with expert understanding of a subject to write articles with few or no inline citations.
It's about a different topic, this article is about the practicality of space colonization as well as the ethics of space colonization and with a balanced neutral POV - while Space and survival is for advocates of space colonization as something required for survival of the human species. It is appropriate to have a short section here summarizing it, but I think attempting to merge the two would make this page confusing, if all the material was included as it is putting forward such a strong POV - and that Space and survival is a widely enough held POV to need an article of its own - so long as it is made clear that it is a POV. I have just edited the first paragraph of the article to make it's POV clear.
So, I disagree with the Merge proposal and suggest it should be kept as a separate article, but needs to be improved particularly with more inline citations so the reader can see how each statement is supported by the background material, and knows where to go to find out more, and the POV of the article must be stated clearly. Robert Walker (talk) 23:48, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I too disagree; This article discusses an something which is often used as an argument for space colonization, and thus it should be mentioned in the article there about. However, this is its own separate thing, space survival could no doubt hold other things in its category. Beacons with data, and cultural artifacts, for example could also be 'survival in space, but not the colonization thereof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree with merge. The article claims that "space and survival" is a position "that the long-term survival of the human species and civilization requires proper use of the resources of outer space", but it has no reference supporting it. Such a position surely exist among many people, but there's still no evidence that it's called "space and survival", and it's already described more comprehensively and better referenced in the Space_colonization#Justification-section than in the entire article of Space and survival. I thank Robert Walker for trying to fix the lack of wp:in-line citations, but there's been no progress on that part for months now, and I see little hope in ever having it reach acceptable amounts. I find no information in the Space and survival article that justifies being in a separate article, so let's merge them now. Mikael Häggström (talk) 16:35, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Disagree with the merge. Survival in Space is something we can talk about in the present tense, while colonization is speculative for the mid to far future. Chadlupkes (talk) 23:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


The opening sentence says that space colonization refers to "autonomous" habitation, when clearly some proposals (such as the Moon or Mars) are far from autonomous. So I think this should be removed, and replaced with a word like "permanent". Mlm42 (talk) 02:39, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be a lot of flexibility here in the use of "colony" rather than something like "station" or "facility". My understanding of "colony" as commonly used is a permanent, self-sufficient settlement, not merely a science station (like Antarctica). (Certainly O'Neill & Pournelle are talking about something beyond mere "space stations".) Broadly speaking, tho, even that might fit the def "colony" as used here. That said, I'd suggest clarifying the intent, & making clear the examples aren't (all, always) "colonies" of the narrowest usage. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 15:02, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree that a "colony" must be self-sufficient. For example, if people went to Mars to live there permanently, but were occassionally delivered supplies from Earth, it would still be a colony, and not just a "space station" or a "science station"; yet it would not necessarily be self-sufficient. This is inline with the usual use of the word "Colony" - there is no need to be self-sufficient. I can't see all of O'Neill's book, does he actually define colonies to be self-sufficient? Even if he does, I can't imagine this is a widely held point of view. Mlm42 (talk) 16:44, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
It's one of the things O'Neill argues for to support really big habs. IMO there's a big difference between occasional visits & the likes of ISS or Mir, which are nothing like self-sufficient. I'm not going to say "entirely self-sufficient", because AFAIK, that's functionally impossible for a terrestrial colony, & unlikely for one off-world with known tech. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 01:27, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Right, so we agree we're not talking about entirely self-sufficient colonies. For this reason I think it's misleading to use the term "self-sufficient" in the opening sentence. Why not simply replace this term with "permanent"? Mlm42 (talk) 01:52, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I could live with that. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:12, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
On the basis of the definition of the word, it would seem that a colony does not need to be self-sufficient. Also, I am not opposed to restricting the idea of the article to permanent colonies. The idea of self-sufficiency comes into the arguments for colonies. There is not much point in establishing a colony unless it can be self-sufficient. Better yet, it should return dividends to Earth. I have seen web sites that are wholly or mostly devoted to the industrial potential necessary for self-sufficiency and profitability. This is the sort of thing the article should mention. Fartherred (talk) 21:18, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


I have been reading multiple media articles regarding reproduction in space. Some of these articles have been rather startling I am just curious as to whether or not the scientific community regards this a major setback, and we should consider re-editing many of the pages or if it. Ooor... if this is just lousy reporting. (I am rather confident we will make into space btw). My understanding is that generally scientist are certain we can colonize beyond earth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Trilobite12 (talkcontribs) 03:18, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

From what Pournelle & O'Neill say, shielding (regolith or waste from asteroid mining) would take care of the issues raised. (Conception in transit wouldn't be a problem, given SPS-powered flights.) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:57, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
If we just ignore the problem of human reproduction in a space colony, I think most people will get the right idea, that it is not the critical concern that will determine whether or not such colonies are established. If someone adds statements claiming human reproduction will be an insoluable problem, and has references, then we need to go to the references that explain that shielding and centrifugal force can address the problems of ionizing radiation and lack of weight. Fartherred (talk) 21:36, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Info box

I'd like to propose a standard info box for space colonization articles. Here are some suggested items that would be common to most venues:



Image caption

Primary body (e.g. Sun, Jupiter, ...)

Surface gravity

Surface area, km-sq, Earth land area units

Surface temperature range

Surface composition

Atmosphere pressure

Atmosphere composition

Orbital period

Length of day

Solar constant

Magnetic field

Radiation levels

Orientation to ecliptic (affects seasons, polar conditions)

Light round trip time to Earth

Delta V from Earth

Hohman transfer time from Earth

Escape velocity

Past exploration

Special features/locales

Comments and additions?--agr (talk) 12:40, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Such a box seem nice enough, but habitats in free space would not benefit from the box. Fartherred (talk) 21:43, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I don`t think such a box could make much sense. One could include nearly every place in the Solar System.
Moreover, the day length would interfere with so many and so important other factors that it could be quite misleading to have such a topic in the box. The Sun does not shine with the same strength at every spot in its system, so that the sheer length of the day could not well be compared to what we are used to call day, from Earth. The length of the day also deviates from that on Earth so strongly at many places that it could anyway hardly be of big interest for us, any more. On the Moon and many other celestial bodies, there would moreover arise the problem that the length of the day varies between different places and between different times on the surfaces of these bodies. Once mankind will have gained the ability to establish noteworthy space habitats, there will also very probably already have taken place so decisive other technological revolutions that the sheer length of the day will by far not be as important, at all, as it is today, any more. In the empty space between the celestial bodies, the Sun is anyway shining all the time.
When one extrapolates the development to the present day, one will also expect that settled places will more and more tend to move. --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 22:07, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Argument on nationalism

I wrote that a citation is needed after the argument on nationalism section mainly because I think it needs to be rewritten. I should see the source of arguments before rewriting. Fartherred (talk) 22:17, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

As written, it's clumsy, & there appears to be too much emphasis on Sanger, but I tend to agree with the sentiment. Judging by the results after Apollo 8 & the publication of the pic of Earth from space, which led to Earth Day... (The green zealots owe us a big one! And they're busy trying to kill off the space program...!) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 23:19, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I`d like to draw Your attention to the fact that I have already rewritten the section, in the course of my rearrangement of the whole Debate section, the last days. It could be that there have got some grammatical errors resp. other linguistic awkwardnesses into the text, by that, due to certain problems that I have with the English language. One could find such errors — and the according better earlier formulations — on this page showing the changes that I have made to the section.
Eugen Sänger is one of the biggest authorities on spaceflight. In his work de:Raumfahrt (Sänger), he also describes his vision of spaceflight "on the day after tomorrow". I have therefore thought that one could use certain statements of this book also to source some aspects in the section on nationalism of the article at hand. I have already ordered the book at a library so that I shall be able to give the full quotations, together with translations into English, within the next days. --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 12:28, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I did notice your efforts with the article, Hans. Thanks. If you keep writing in english you should eventually get as good with it as with your native German. You should surpass me since I am not particularily talented as a writer even though I have the advantage of a native.
I am unfamiliar with the abreviation that you use, "resp." I suspect some others also are unfamiliar with it. That is why I removed it from the article. Raumfahrt sollte ein gutes buch sein, aber ich spreche sehr schreckliche Deutch. Providing translations of the relevant quotes is more than I would expect. Fartherred (talk) 19:12, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
No, no, I am going to insert those quotes and translations. That is a good practice for me. Thank Your for Your endorsement regarding my efforts with the English language, and thank You for the hint regarding the abbreviation resp.; I had already assumed that this could be rather unfamiliar to many! Thanks God, I have good possibilities to dive into the cosmos of English, now, by means of the Internet. It is nearly as if I had coincidentally been born into some far-away province of the Anglo-Saxon region, itself, here in Germany and Austria. Everything is getting bigger, as quickly as never before in the course of known history, nowadays. One should therefore even already strongly expect that such shifts take place also from one language to an other language, today, as they earlier took place from a dialect to the language that the dialect belonged to. Particularly in rocketry, there have anyway been many people who went from Germany to the USA (Hermann Oberth, Wernher von Braun, Willy Ley...). It is for sure an interesting enigma for somebody who loves science fiction as much as I to grow up in Germany and then to see that the studios that possess the necessary technical equipment are all over there, on that other planet! --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 21:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me retract my complaint on the clumsiness. For somebody writing in a second language, it's better than I'd have done. :D Nice work. I do continue to have misgivings about reliance on a sole source, even one so well-respected. I also (& not just here) dislike the express naming of authors; I don't see the need, if the work itself is cited. In any case, Hans, welcome. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I think the changes I made to the german portion of my post above are corrections of spelling. Is that so? Fartherred (talk) 05:08, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, You have made two good corrections. — The sentence would correctly have to run:
"Raumfahrt sollte ein gutes Buch sein, aber ich spreche ein sehr schreckliches Deutsch."
"Ich spreche ein sehr schreckliches Deutsch" (Template:IPA-de) sounds rather unusual. More common would be "Ich spreche leider nur ein sehr schlechtes Deutsch" (Template:IPA-de. But the sentence is, with the genus of the noun "Deutsch" corrected to from female to neuter, correct, and it is refreshing to hear some uncommon, but correct phrases, from time to time. --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 12:37, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction, Hans. I should take from that that in general german adjectives agree in gender with the nouns that they modify, not just occasionally. I think I should abstain from using german until I am willing to put sufficient time and effort into it to do some good. Fartherred (talk) 23:31, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Different than in English, there are not only those things divided into masculine and feminine, in German, which obviously are of a certain gender (like men, women, boys, girls), but also many other things. That is the same as in French.
German, though a difficult language, is also a very beautiful one. I would stongly recommend to learn it, also because it seems to me that it is still quite alive. You should just refrain from any texts that have been written only after 1967.
There is a stretch from about 1943 to 1967 when there practically only appeared books in Germany that were really written in a plain, beautiful, and hearty style. --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 23:58, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Mayboroda and ASD

I know nothing about this "accumulating space device." It seems like a large amount of strange stuff suddenly dumped upon Wikipedia. The [[Space colonization]] article needs impovements in sources, but all of the stuff about Mayboroda that was recently removed seemed to make more problems of lack of reliable sources. I don't know if it qualifies as spam, but it takes time to make the determination. The use of russian language sources seems problematic.Fartherred (talk) 23:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I rv'd the add because it had me thinking spam, too. Looks like I'm not the only one. A glance at the paper makes it sound legit, but without knowing its provenance... There could also be issues of adding what looks self-published. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 23:32, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I added a link above. Fartherred (talk) 23:41, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
See Talk:Colonization of Mars#The newly inserted section on ASD. As there is no evidence of reliable discussion of this "device" in relation to well, anything, It's been removed from other articles. As for the articles on this supposed device and its inventor, the ASD one shows absolutely no evidence of notability and the other highly suspect. It even self-references Wiki articles changed by the creator! I doubt they'd survive Prodding. ChiZeroOne (talk) 00:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

{{Failed verification}}?

The web page [ The Eros Project] contains headline: "Fifty Year Development Scenario". So it seems to me to support the text "very long period required for the expected return on those investments". I will make the text conform more closely to the source and remove the {{Failed verification}} template. Perhaps when the source was checked previously the pertinent text was missing. Web pages can change without notice. Fartherred (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

What is needed for a reliable source?

I do not know why Headbomb should have removed the statement about radiation causing infertility on Mars if not shielded against. It is a true statement and the reference value should not depend upon the publisher. There are three Ph.D. authors associated with respected institutions who wrote the paper. From a cursory overview it seems like solid stuff. If someone disagrees with the statement the right thing to do is find a reference, perhaps a better reference that disagrees with the statement. This paper should be the source of more statements pertinent to the article. The Journal of Cosmology might not be best source in itself, but I think it can be relied upon to accurately copy a scholarly paper that it publishes. Fartherred (talk) 19:23, 25 September 2011 (UTC) I altered the above by adding link.

The subject of the paper cited does not support Journal of Cosmology's alleged bias. If accepting anything published by that Journal gives it some respectability, I am willing to tolerate it. People can decide for themselves what is a reliable article and what is not. Fartherred (talk) 22:13, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Journal of Cosmology cannot be considered reliable source, they are a fringe publication (and by that I mean anti-Big Bang, anti-Darwin, etc...). This does not mean that this particular paper is bad or as fringe as the rest of the journal ([8], [9]), but this is a journal which accuses people who disagree with its authors to be terrorists ([10]), and then create attack pages for them ([11], [12]). It's very possible that radiation could cause infertility, but that would need to be established in a proper peer-reviewed medical journal. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 00:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I do not find HEADBOMB's arguments against The Journal of Cosmology to be convincing. First I note that the web address of the journal is The first web reference that HEADBOMB uses is (#8) Http:// which does not seem to me to be the work of the journal and therefore should not be held against it. Likewise for the second reference (#9) . In the third reference, (#10) Someone quotes a Journal of Cosmology defense of itself against critics in which some ill chosen language is used. This does not reflect the merit of articles that they publish. The fourth reference refers to a web address (#11) being for sale, but certainly not the web address of The Journal of Cosmology. This web address of critics of The Journal of Cosmology seems to be evidence that some people with very poor taste are involved in the criticism. For the fifth reference (#12) again a webpage that is not The Journal of Cosmology quotes that journal as describing P.Z. Myers as a "frothing at the mouth lunatic". It goes on to say it finds no evidence of froth but I find more evidence of poor taste on the part of the critics of The Journal of Cosmology. HEADBOMB has basically said nothing actually against the journal he criticizes except that he disagrees with many of the things they publish. Fartherred (talk) 02:09, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Apparently there is some connection between the web address and the address I will have to reevaluate this. Fartherred (talk) 02:34, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
What did P. Z. Myers write about the paper by Richard Hoover that prompted such an emotional response from The Journal of Cosmology? He wrote that the journal is "the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics." In non academic criticism like that and the non academic response neither party can be proud, but we are all human. A better response would have been: "I know of this journal and a specific critique of its failings is not worth my time." That is not what news sources would print. The exchange that occurred does not detract from the merits of the paper on Radiation Hazards and the Colonization of Mars: Brain, Body, Pregnancy, In-Utero Development, Cardio, Cancer, Degeneration by Tore Staume, Ph.D., Steve Blattnig, Ph.D, and Cary Zeitlin, Ph.D. which has a list of references 13 screens long. What is more troubling is that JOC has been reported to have failed in its editing duty to bring a published paper up to academic standards, has listed as Ph.D.s authors who were in fact not Ph.D.s, and is suspected of doing less than due diligence in getting peer review before publication.web page of Leila Battison Battison is convincing which leaves a reader with a task that readers should not expect, that of evaluating a source for its trustworthiness. For various reasons I will leave HEADBOMB's edit as it is. Fartherred (talk) 05:49, 26 September 2011 (UTC) is the website of Rhawn Joseph, who is one of the editors of the journal and someone who mostly publishes in there. Since the journal came under extremely heavy criticism from various groups, they pulled the article out, and Joseph hosted it on its website and claimed to be "censored". Most scientists making such a claim would resign from the board of a journal if they indeed believed their articles was pulled out for political reasons, rather than scientific reasons. Concerning vs. vs., they were (until this affair) complete mirrors of each other. However since they published the attacks on Myers, they claim that is unaffiliated with, but this was not so before the attack page on Myers. Even now both websites are nearly identical mirrors of each other (and what journal would allow such a blatant copyright violation to continue if the websites were truly unassociated?), and is for sale for 6000$ (the price dropped since the Hoover affair, as they were asking 250,000$ back then). And there's also the fact that the "official" website advises its readers to contact, and the website's logo features both "" and "". It's their attempt at damage control, but they did an extremely half-assed job to cover their tracks and erase history.
This more or less covers the relation between these websites.Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 06:07, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Water from sulfuric acid

In reference to Badon's edit at 05:22 hours on the 22nd of May, there was no contention that water exists in the atmosphere of Venus. The article stated that these (sulfuric acid clouds) may have a certain benefit....for the extraction of water. It is elementary chemistry that sulfuric acid is manufactured by adding water to sulfur trioxide with the intermediary action of sulfuric acid. Extracting water from sulfuric acid reverses this action removing H2O from H2SO4. Whether removing water leaves sulfur trioxide or elemental sulfur and elemental oxygen depends upon the process but sulfuric acid can certainly be a source of water. So I will revert Badon's edit. - Fartherred (talk) 08:17, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

British Interplanetary Society

I moved the following entry in the "Advocacy"-section to here, because before reinsertion I think it needs a referenced specification about whether it specifically advocates space colonization:

Mikael Häggström (talk) 11:57, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Reinserted with references. Some of the article titles published in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society include "Two New Propulsion Systems for Use in Space Colonization", "The resources of Mars for human settlement", "Terraforming Mars: conceptual solutions to the problem of plant growth in low concentrations of oxygen", "Terraforming Mars: dissolution of carbonate rocks by cyanobacteria", "Genetic modification and selection of microorganisms for growth on Mars", "An estimate of the prevalence of biocompatible and habitable planets", "What makes a planet habitable, and how to search for habitable planets in other solar systems" and "Sociology of an interstellar vehicle" among others. I think its safe to say they promote space colonization. (talk) 23:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

intergalactic space travel

the information about intergalactic space travel seems to be wrong. millions of years travel time? not according to this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:30, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Except that depends on propulsion methods that don't exist. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Afterthoughts of reading the entire article

The article itself provides a fairly good amount of information, but I just can't help myself yearning for more. I suppose my intention of navigating to this page is to see actions taken by government/commercial spaceflight corporations in realizing space colonization, and as such, I find it quite bizarre that Bigelow Aerospace isn't referenced at all within this article. Any thoughts? 天佑吾國 (talk) 22:07, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

My main thought on your comment is that Bigelow should probably be mentioned, but on the other hand, the focus of their company in all the public statements I've read to date is on-orbit destinations (leasable by corporations, nation states, and particularly well-heeled individuals) and interest in a lunar base. Don't recall much from Rbt. Bigelow about colinization, per se. The lunar base stuff has not gotten beyond conceptual thought, and any colonization thought, it would seem, is way behind that. In that way, the colonization concepts and plans from SpaceX/Musk and from Mars One are quite different than Bigelow.
That being said, if you have a source for Bigelow and space colonization, please add it into the article. Cheers. N2e (talk) 23:12, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
After going through some of the discussions here, I get the feeling that there is a consensus (correct me if I'm wrong) that there are too many sections in the page already, so adding in an additional section could be contrary to what I assume to be consensus, hence I'm not quite following the WP:BRD cycle. In any case, I would really like to advocate my stance of adding in an additional section, maybe titled "Current progress". I believe Bigelow Commercial Space Station should be added to the corresponding new section since it is a space station and can thus be considered space colonization, but I am not confident in my citation skills. I'd prefer to have more input first before I actually perform an edit. 天佑吾國 (talk) 03:53, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, the real issue here is that I still feel myself requiring more information after reading through the whole article. Adding the section can be a remedy to that; however my aim here is find out whether or not other editors feel the same as I do, and then discuss more of the course of action required in order to address shared feelings for the article. 天佑吾國 (talk) 04:51, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I see you have added a brief sentence mentioning Bigelow. That's fine. I added a couple of links to it, and provided a citation for one-half of the statements you made. Perhaps that can serve as an example of how you might add a source citation for the second half of the statement you wrote, although you may have to look for a more recent source to get the current planned BA-330 launch date correct. Cheers. N2e (talk) 20:47, 3 August 2013 (UTC)