Outgrowing the planet is not a bad thing

Dr. Phil Metzger posted an epic 48 tweet thread on Twitter explaining why megaconstellations (e.g. SpaceX’s Starlink) are inevitable, as is their eventual demise as better tech comes online.

Looking at the evolution of life, from single celled organisms to bipedal apes rapidly outgrowing the planet, as the exponential growth of information is a novel (to me at least) approach and provides an interesting perspective.

“I would bet that if we find alien civilizations somewhere else in the galaxy, or in a galaxy far, far away, we will discover that they ALL developed megaconstellations right before they got industry off their planets & divorced their information systems from their biosphere.”

This is wild stuff and well worth a full read.

 

No ordinary spacecraft

I’m not sure there is such a thing as an “ordinary spacecraft”, but there certainly has never been a spacecraft like SpaceX’s BFR. The sheer audacity of someone trying this is balanced by the earnestness of the effort, and the whole process is fascinating to watch unfold. This article investigates some of the challenges SpaceX is facing.

“To be able to launch, refuel in orbit, endure months of flying through space, land on Mars, leave that planet, and safely return to Earth — then do all that over again — the BFR can’t be an ordinary spacecraft.”

Space business

Admit it: you’ve always been curious.

Terraforming, counterpoint…

“The article’s basic mistake is in thinking Mars is a closed system. But no planet is a closed system.”

 

Whither terraforming?

Humans love the idea of a rebel. But only the idea. Take action too far outside the box of current experience and you begin to hear the Greek Chorus of naysayers heckling you, gleefully glomming onto anything that might pull you back within accepted norms.

Such has been the case recently regarding a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy, which reported that there does not appear to be enough CO2 on Mars to allow for terraforming. I can’t count the number of articles that have floated through my various feeds starting with the mocking phrase “Sorry Elon…” Google it yourself and see what I mean.

Continue reading “Whither terraforming?”