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#1 2004-10-02 20:13:27

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,795

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

I was reading a Community Commentary titled:
Now it is time for us to discover our planet’s oceans
http://www.fosters.com/October_2004/10. … 02_04b.asp

Quote:
The United States has made breathtaking progress in space science and exploration. We landed on the moon and can now claim a much greater understanding of our solar system. We have even detected the presence of water on Mars. Its time we took on the last unexplored frontier: the oceans. Oceans cover some 70 percent of this planet yet vast expanses - almost 90 percent - remain unknown.

end quote:

This made me think about our many threads on teraforming, using celestial bodies from asteriods to comets, moons and much more.
We would mostly like to make bases on some if not all of the above meantioned. We know of some of the hardships and the overall costs to do a little explorations in the name of science. We also have talked about infrastucture needded to pull it off.
Here we have the last explored frontier on Earth and we have barely scratched its surface in the name of science and of exploration.
Nasa has used it for some simulations and for training for missions in space.
Learning how to construct a base in the oceans would be vary simular to having no atmospher or to even one that is toxic to breath. Why not make more use of it also as an Earth bond means to make this planet the next stepping stone to space as well.
We have much more to learn before we can go so lets make the most of what we have.

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#2 2004-10-03 00:56:52

comstar03
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From: Australia
Registered: 2004-07-19
Posts: 329

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Well, you are right , we could use the oceans as training areas to build an undersea facility that could train personnel for extended journeys or colonization effects for space.

we could also develop correct personnel structure, and social emvironments that would provide productive places for people to expand our understandting for long term space voyages, as well, study undersea resources and animals.

The deep trench activities provide the simulated pressures of venus and other planetary bodies like jupiter, saturn, neptune and uranus.  Working in space type suits everyday will give the fimilarisation for personnel. Scientist could work on new technology as well.

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#3 2004-10-03 13:53:29

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

The reason we have not colonised the oceans is that it is almost as hard as the colonisation of space and we have developed techniques that allow us to get at the resources of the ocean without the need for actual permanent manned prescence under the sea. Living underwater has many dangers that afflict aquanauts and they are prone to many illnesses.

Well that is the reasons that the politicians give for not spending on building underwater habitats, but Cousteau told my father once that the reason there is little attempt at making undersea colonisation possible is people look up at the stars they rarely look at there feet when the waves are lapping at them. In other words though people talk about colonising the sea it must be noted that there is hardly any advocacy groups etc as it really is beneath peoples notice and no one cares enough.

The people who live in habitats are in a unique situation they live in what we can make which is small cramped damp habitats. They run the risk of there habitats being corroded and broken by the pressure that it is under. The habitats are damp almost all the time and this leads to the commen occurence of ear infections. And as they cannot breathe the same gasses as they do on the surface it takes days to have this poisonous mixture depressurised from your body. And we have learnt the hard way that gas under pressure reacts differently than it does on the surface, and by hard way we have had people killed.

Saying that the sea has tremendous resources and as we use more and more of what is available on the land we will have to go and actually start the utilisation of these largely untapped resources. Untapped resources include the ability to garner energy from the sea both wave, current and geothermal from the black smokers. There is a lot of minerals and materials that could be mined from under the sea and simply picked up from the ocean bed. And there is also oil the worlds most important currency which can be found in the deeper parts of the worlds oceans but cannot be garnered in the way we do now using surface platforms.

Of course the downside is that treaties and agreements that bind what is done in the sea cannot be repealed and if you rise the ire of a group like greenpeace they will sail there boats after you. This is unlike space.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#4 2004-10-03 22:54:59

comstar03
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From: Australia
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Posts: 329

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Grypd,

That comes down to design and new forms of technology, remember that europa is a liquid planet and what we can develop on earth will add the development in space bodies with liquid surfaces. Also the development of outer shell pressures and inner shell pressures need to be examined and new technologies are required. To maintain ground pressure at 5000 feet below the ocean without effecting the crew within, that will help space vessel design for venus probes, help with jupiter and saturn missions and europa missions as well.

We just don't look at the science and technological developments and also the new biological information we could examine and understand that would help humanity.

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#5 2004-10-04 09:20:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,795

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

I guess the point I was trying to make was that even though we have the oceans right here for us to occupy, even though we have the technology and the sciencetific desire to explore ant to learn about them. We chose to not because it is hard to do, it requires great infrastucture to use everday and that what we have are depend on earth resources rather than becoming selfsufficient.

I view any exploration of the moon and even any of the other possible teraforming planets much in the same way. Going for science is only part of the equation to for fill, with colonization the second part. But they need to go hand in hand at the same time or we will never colonize anything permanently. What will be built will be temporary structures to support the science and once the money goes away all will go with it for a time until some one or something happens to change everyones view point on what needs to be achieve by exploring.

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#6 2004-10-04 09:22:02

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Grypd,

That comes down to design and new forms of technology, remember that europa is a liquid planet and what we can develop on earth will add the development in space bodies with liquid surfaces. Also the development of outer shell pressures and inner shell pressures need to be examined and new technologies are required. To maintain ground pressure at 5000 feet below the ocean without effecting the crew within, that will help space vessel design for venus probes, help with jupiter and saturn missions and europa missions as well.

We just don't look at the science and technological developments and also the new biological information we could examine and understand that would help humanity.

Frankly for 5000 feet below the sea we have very few vessels that can accomplish the task of going that deep. Man has been that deep but we where at the mercy of the current and there is life down there, stuff of nightmares some of it but life. Recently with the advent of improved ROV's places like the mariannas trench have had more visitors.

We rarely go deeper than 300 feet this being the range that nuclear submarines cruise around and we have frankly trouble finding them. To explore a planet like Europa will be the stuff of generations of explorers using all our best techniques like sonar and side scan sonars. Certain recent developments allow us to really look at images under the sea like lasers that work under the water but range is limited. So it will take a long long time and remember seas are not really static places, large sand banks are moved in a tide and deposited elsewhere by another.

To design the new forms of technology needed to colonise the Sea there must be a need to do so and the will to want to. At the moment there is no such need, so the advances in undersea technology will not happen. And I have to ask who would live in a rather dark undersea base or a gleaming modern surface town. (apart from me)


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#7 2004-10-04 09:29:06

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,795

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

And I have to ask who would live in a rather dark undersea base or a gleaming modern surface town. (apart from me)

I think you hit it with regards to colonizing other worlds. Living in a bubble not able to go out side of it. Makes wanting to do it not so atractive for many. So those that are not die hard fans of space say why bother investing all that money for it, if it has no practical purpose other than to do science.

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#8 2004-10-04 09:42:41

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

And I have to ask who would live in a rather dark undersea base or a gleaming modern surface town. (apart from me)

I think you hit it with regards to colonizing other worlds. Living in a bubble not able to go out side of it. Makes wanting to do it not so atractive for many. So those that are not die hard fans of space say why bother investing all that money for it, if it has no practical purpose other than to do science.

Ah but we have already seen that we can create communities if they have an economic reason for existence. These communities will eventually become a real permanent place to live. Places that supply these modern mining camps also have a tendency to become more civilised and less boom town over the duration. Why will we build communities well the reason is simple if you are going to a posting that will be for 12 months or more then you will want to take your family. Having families means schools and other support infrastructure like stores, libraries, real major hospitals etc. Mining camps just want for bars and other forms of entertainment but if families are involved then they get civilised.

We do not have this on oil rigs as they are usually so close to shore that they can get a quick helicopter ride to land and as they are close they can have 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#9 2004-10-04 11:29:34

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

*Pardon the brief "trip down memory lane":  I remember the Jacques Cousteau specials as a kid. 

It seemed speculation about undersea colonies and farming was nearly as prevalent as the push to go further into space. 

New trench depths were "awed" and "oooh'd" over in news stories, and "The Bermuda Triangle" was a hot topic.  "The Man from Atlantis" starring Patrick Duffy didn't last long as a TV series, but I definitely remember it.

Gyrpd mentioned "black smokers"; have seen those in documentaries.  Cool.  And all the exotic, strange sea creatures -- every so often something new and bizarre is "discovered."

It definitely is a compelling frontier of its own.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#10 2004-10-04 11:36:59

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,795

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

One not only of exploration but also for learning and to teach us how to plan as if we were going to the moon or to mars is how I vision the use of the oceans.

Yes, I too remember the Jacques Cousteau specials as a kid.

Much like the moon missions of the apollo age we have done basically the same things with the exploration of the oceans, we come to visit for a while but we do not stay.

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#11 2004-10-04 16:34:23

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

One of the few advocacy groups for exploration of the sea is the Cousteau society. Since the Death of Jacque the Cousteau society is becoming more and more involved in the conservation of the oceans and is developing a couple of new vessels. (the original Calypso was involved in a collision a few years ago and sank though refloated it is now a museum)

Like everything the 50s and 60s everyone thought we where going to live in a bright new world the jetson age. But the dream died somewhere and we are in a world where no one seems to want to invest in creating this dream again. The oil industry is the only force that has pushed as out from the coast. But this has reached its limits the oil can only be found in much deeper water than the use of oil rigs allows or it is in places where it is impossible to erect rigs. You may yet see underwater oil extraction plants coming as it may be the only way to get to some of these sources. But again only if it makes economic sense.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#12 2004-10-04 16:53:06

comstar03
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From: Australia
Registered: 2004-07-19
Posts: 329

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Grypd, and others

Well, to build technologies and train long term space voyages you are in a bubble or cramped space vessel. You need to train the personnel to work within these environments, and also make the environment on the outside hostile for humans to get the right responses from the brain.

We want the personnel for space to understand the dangers and also be able to work within these environments. Undersea permanent outposts provide two simulated environments (1) weightlessness and the ability to move and (2) hostile environment for humans for explore within. This will provide good quality environment for training, education and testing of technologies and processes for outer space missions and long term missions.

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#13 2004-10-06 07:26:48

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

South Pacific Odyssey

*Found this at astrobiology.com, which is linked to spaceref.com. 

Will be studying the Lau Basin.  Will be fascinating to watch this unfold.  A link to SPO is provided in the article.  A win/win endeavor definitely; not only for here at home but also for considerations regarding the greater Solar System and certain other bodies within it.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#14 2004-10-06 07:36:33

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

So the big question I have is , Does any one have numbers on the cost of setting up such studies...
How we will monitor the vents for life or have a permanent base for the study at that ocean depth...

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#15 2004-10-06 08:32:42

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

At the moment the study of the deepest parts of the sea are best done by telerobotic rovers which can stay on station for  as long as the surface crew can hold out. The experts at this are the Japanese but they have some up and coming competition from the Chinese who need this technology for there plans for the Spratly islands.

Study of hydrothermal vents by this means are in terms of exploration reasonably cheap you just have to pay wages and the cost of the vessel the dives are based upon.

Its when we need these vessels to remain on station for extended periods of time that it becomes cheaper to create a more stable and less long term expense of a rig. But if we want to do this away from the continental shelf we do not have a means to remain on station permanently. We are completely at the disposal of the weather then.

Usually near the Hydrothermal vents are quite high raised areas called seamounts which are the extinct reamains of the vocanoes themselves moving on. These subsurface or sometimes higher mountains are possible to station rigs on to do long term study but they would be at the constant risk of severe weather damage and this leads to the possibility of creating subsurface habitats for study of the sea. Frankly though the cost is prohibitive but with the recent advances in technology in creating underwater reinforced concrete structures this may not remain so. Some of the best such places are located in the Atlantic and the seamounts are in themselves one of the most importantplaces to study wildlife left to explore. The reason they are the home of the most commen coral reef. The cold coral reefs are at extreme risk of being destroyed and with it the home and breeding zones of some of the most important species of fish in the ocean


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#16 2004-10-07 16:03:29

sethmckiness
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From: Iowa
Registered: 2002-09-20
Posts: 230

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

The experts at this are the Japanese

 

Don't count out Alvin and the rest of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  My sister went down in Alvin three times studying the high sulfur enviroments and the symbosis that enable the organisms to flourish through bacteria.  I don't know the details, but I know Alvin is pretty high tech.  It is being replaced though with something newer and better. 

I think the tech required for Ocean Colonizing, especially at deep depths is above what we have now.  It would be expensive.  Probably on par with a Mission to Mars, Zubrin style.

Oh well.


We are only limited by our Will and our Imagination.

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#17 2004-10-08 17:46:54

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

The Alvin is a research submarine par excellence but it is quite old as these things go and has been passed by a lot more modern designs though they all appear to be of roughly similar shape. In this case a reinforced ball to hold the crew with motors and other systems bolted on or located in the equipment section. The woodshole institute is a wonder for marine science but it is a public center and is totally interested in all sea sciences and not what the Japanese and Chinese have in mind for the Ocean. Both the Japanese and Chinese new submarines are being pushed by commercial and strategic concerns. The concerns are the new consumer fuel of the 21st century gas hydrates and they are found usually deep deep underwater. It is for this reason alone that the submarines and super ROVs are being constructed and the reason Japan is doing major research into autonomous ROVs that will allow the automated collection of this fuel source.

The technology for deep underwater colonisation is not above our capacity it is though above the limit we would fund for a manned prescence in the depths for the actual returned product. We have permanently manned habitats at the moment but they are tourist orientated. I have to ask if a nuclear submarine can maintain permanent under the surface operations at 200 feet for 6 months, Why is there no permanent station at that depth. My only answer is at the moment there is no reason to do so.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#18 2004-10-22 10:41:36

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

The deep-sea manned submersible Alvin goes into retirement after 40 years of remarkable work in the world's oceans.
The article talks about some of it's accomplishments and of what will replace it sometime in the future.

Science salutes its ocean giant
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3757732.stm

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#19 2004-10-22 13:48:04

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
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Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

I would go live under the sea if I had enough economic, social and recreational reasons to do so. I don’t see why the colonies have to be wet all the time. Have mix of drains, pumps, air exchanges and dehumidifiers. I suspect the majority of the colonies would be inside a concrete dooms at a lower pressure then the outside see. Perhaps there would be a few windows. The alternative is to have cameras and TV screens which broadcast the image from various outside cameras. I wonder if a colony could tunnel into the surface of the sea without worrying about thermal vents or massive leaks.

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#20 2004-10-22 16:40:29

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

The problem is not the capacity to create sea colonies we have that now. And with the improvements in structural concrete and as you said dehumidifiers etc they will not really be damp or clammy. The problem is like Space colonies trying to find a real economic reason to create such a structure.

Like the Moon treaty the oceans have a treaty that stops certain economic development further than a countries legal borders. This Treaty is the Law of the sea. Frankly for a binding docuement it is as leaky as a sieve, it stops developed countries from creating anything including mining the sea beds as it puts them open to a legal challenge that could easily be won by any country that has a sea shore.

Again it is not the lack of technology that would allow the creations of cities under the sea its will and a good reason. It also does not help any building in the Sea of an ocean habitat is likely to get you the permanently anchored prescence of the Eco warriors screaming any time you slightly do anything.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#21 2004-10-22 16:51:12

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
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Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

What are they going to do drop bombs and kill a bunch of people for the sake of the enviornment? If we can live under the sea then global warming concerns become alot less meaninfull. Especially if the ocean produces alot of planckton. Besides to eco wariors really have the best guns?

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#22 2004-10-22 17:11:03

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,847

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

What are they going to do drop bombs and kill a bunch of people for the sake of the enviornment? If we can live under the sea then global warming concerns become alot less meaninfull. Especially if the ocean produces alot of planckton. Besides to eco wariors really have the best guns?

No just a lot of background support with the addition of the press and they board your construction boats disrupt your operations, generally just annoy until some poor worker snaps and you are seen as a violent thug pushing off the conscience of the world. And as for CO2 it has been found that the sea has absorbed a lot of the CO2 we have produced, the problem being is that it causes molluscs and shell bearing aquatic animals to have problems forming there shells.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#23 2004-10-22 17:28:00

Mad Grad Student
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From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
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Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

I really don't see any needs to colonize the oceans. Colonizing the oceans is a bit like examining all the rooms and moving the furniture into a mansion, then deciding to go set up your bedroom underneath the front lawn. All people are dependant on tehcnology for survival to some degree or another, but do we have to go live someplace where we need technology crammed down our throats just to survive? Hmm, I feel like getting some fresh air. Well, if you live under the surface of the ocean, too bad, there isn't any.

Colonizing Mars or space in general is a different matter altogether. By going to Mars we are really going somewhere. Somewhere, new, exciting, where no one's ever been before. Granted, the oceans are the same to some extent, but why go there when the rest of the planet is so much better? When it's a completely new planet, everything changes. It's a bit like the difference between someone living in England in the 18th either going to "colonize" the local landfill or going to live in the New World. Conditions are bad either place, but there's a real accomplishment in the new world.

Besides, the oceans and Antarctica are the only parts of Earth as yet untouched by humans. Is this a bad thing? C'mon, let's keep at least a bit of our planet as a reminder of what it can be like without artificial influence.


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#24 2004-10-22 19:00:02

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Its all about the money. Sooner or later we'll find something that will justify the cost.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#25 2004-10-25 06:30:22

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,795

Re: Earths Oceans Explored - but why not colonized

Lets say that the president did put forth a vision for sea colonization much like he has for the space program. As Commodore put it is all about the money. Even if there is a direct an instant return on the investment it still would take some convincing the congress to appropiate the funds needed. That is part of the problem for the space vision that we have been given is enduring today.

As we have noted in the funding thread we can do better first by getting the information to the public of the importance of doing this but also of the indirect returns venture though not only scienctific gain but also by others.

But who would be in charge of the viewing prgramming, accuracy of the content and of the broadcast station its self?

A sea colony could also act as a nuclear attack safe haven for humanity in the event it should ever happen.

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