Callisto or Bust

Let me start this by saying I am a huge hippy and truly believe in peace and love and all that shit. But I am also coldly pragmatic and logical. So believe me when I say IF all the nations of the Earth today stopped spending money on weapons of war and instead spent that money, or even half that money, on space exploration and colonization, we'd have Lunar bases already, and would be well on our way towards colonizing the Solar System. Instead, we languish in low orbit, reverting to baser modes down below. I would not be surprised if mankind loses the ability to get to space in the near future. But! This is not the post for such soothsaying.

Instead, let's pretend it all works out swell and humanity is united in pursuit of spreading out, and colonizing. You could start with the Earth trojans as described previously, and build out from there, OR, you could just say "F it, let's go for it" and head directly for Callisto. Here:
All those white marks you see are water ice. Water is everything, and the easier it is to obtain, the better your chances of success. There's water on Mars, but you'd have to mine for it. On Callisto, on the other hand, it sits ready to melt in gigantic ice reservoirs, there for the taking. Land a ship on one of those huge white marks and you'd have all the water you'll ever need.
Ice not only, obviously, supplies water, but it also supplies hydrogen, and that is the fuel that makes this Universe go round, and we'd be wise to use it any way we can. So in one fell easy swoopies, you've got drinking water, greenhouse water, mining water, all kinds of water, all the water you'd ever need out in space - fun fact! The moons of Jupiter contain more water, by far, than all the water on Earth. Earth is dry in comparison. And all the hydrogen you can use, which could power fuel cells, nuclear reactors, and/or future space age tech.
But that's just the start. For Jupiter has Lagrange points too - as does everything that has an orbit, to greater or lesser degrees - and they are massive. And within them, at L4 and L5, sit a mighty collection of Trojan asteroids. And within them lies all the materials humanity would need to build enough tech to completely colonize the solar system and beyond.

Callisto is the perfect base for the ultimate conquest of the Galaxy by Humanity - and wouldn't that rock? Either we establish our presence with the Earth Trojans and build huge space craft there, well prepared to venture further out into space, OR we make a mad dash directly for the greatest prize in the Solar System - Callisto - Moon of water and metal and everything we need. Callisto is the 4th moon out of the major moons of Jupiter, and this makes all the difference. Callisto is not subject to the radiation baths the other 3 moons are, nor is it subject to the tidal pull of Jupiter, and thus it never experienced gravitational heating, and also thusly never differentiated. This may sound like a minor deal, but it means in truth all kinds of major elements sit on the surface/near the surface of Callisto, whereas on a differentiated planet or moon, all the heavier elements sink to the core as everything melts. So, unlike on Earth and Mars, Callisto would present rich treasures of concentrated ore at the surface, like found with asteroids but on a much larger level.

So, Callisto sounds pretty swell, right? How about a hypothetical base:
Wherever we go in space, we're going to need to grow plants. Unless we evolve into creatures that need not eat.

What I propose: We mine the Earth trojans, building large ships and a supply chain which then feeds a line of colonization from Mars into the Asteroid Belt and settling (for now) on Callisto, and there establishing mankind's next shining star. Using the Jovian trojans for an unending supply of any and every element desired, and all the water you'd ever need on Callisto, if we as a species were ever so lucky to make a permanent presence out as far as Callisto, then truly the entire Galaxy would be our next step, and immortality as a genetic representation. And is that not the goal of us all?!


Blue Collared Snob said...

I don't think we will lose our ability to travel into space but I figure it will become less of a Government run program and turn into more of a privatized space program. Right now like a lot of things the issue is space tourism but if there is money to be made out there then I am sure you will see shuttles with Halliburton on the side.
Have you ever seen the movie Outland with Sean Connery?

Redshirt said...

I have seen it. It shares a "Corporate Dystopian" theme with many other sci fi movies - Alien, Blade Runner, Total Recall, maybe even Star Wars, the prequels at least. In this way, this theme is the opposite of Trek, in which there are no Corporations. One assume everything's the Government, but it works out great! Cuz folks are civilized.

Corporate control of space might be beneficial in the short term, but it seems to me likely to be detrimental in the longer term. Corporations by definition compete, and this implies divides, and divisions are what cause all our problems.

Blue Collared Snob said...

How big would you think a mining colony would be on Callisto or an asteroid? Do you think it would be like Outland with hundreds or thousands of miners and support personal or do you think maybe more like Alien, 7 people on a huge ship that was probably mostly automated.
I would think that it would be mostly robotics to save space, air, food and water.

I get confused on the structure of Star Trek sometimes. I remember miners in TOS that were Federation Citizens but not working for Star Fleet. How did that work? It seemed to me to be more like a Western, the miners where having trouble with the Indians (Horta) so they called in the Calvary (Star Fleet). They weren't mining the ore specifically for Star Fleet were they?

Redshirt said...

Size would depend on function. A small outpost designed to establish a foothold? Would be as you described - few crew, lots of bots, and pretty barebones. What I'm talking about, however, is colonization. But even then, I can't imagine any other planet/moon providing a large scale home for human colonization - without the invention of artificial gravity. For, without Earth levels of gravity, our bodies break down quickly.

Instead, the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and beyond would be more like fueling stations. Easy access to water, low gravity making landing/taking off easy, and fun places to visit.

Giant space ships are the answer - ships so big they make perfect Earth gravity, and humans would live in almost natural settings.

So, in this theory, you'd need large enough lunar based infrastructure to supply water to giant ships holding thousands of people - a lot of water. And thus a large, spread out infrastructure, on many different moons - all close to trojan asteroid zones and their endless caches of raw minerals.

As for Trek, you have to somewhat separate TOS from TNG. TNG went full in on the Federation as perfect Socialist Utopia. In TNG, everyone on Earth and on many other planets is a citizen of the United Federation of Planets (UFP), or, The Federation. Star Fleet is the military organization within this galaxy spanning Socialist government.

I'm not sure what the Federation laws are regarding Fed citizens earning money from other governments - from the Ferengi, for example. I don't know why you'd need money unless you are buying from that other culture, since you certainly couldn't use the money in the Federation.

DS9 had a credit based rationing system for use on board the ship - this functions much like money, but the show made clear that it wasn't, but rather like bonus tickets to use in an amusement park.

Nerd out.