I believe the Japanese do have plans to construct underground cities,
owing to shortage of aboveground real estate. Given seismic activity,
not the best place for it.
On 1 Feb 2001, at 12:08, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> Here is an idea that I have been toying with recently. We have
> earth-based frontiers that can be reached cheaper and earlier than
> space-based frontiers. These might serve as practice areas where we
> can demonstrate viable space technologies in a safer environment.
> People could visit or study these environments to see what works and
> what doesn't. We can then adapt these technologies to space. Those
> that already live in these environments will already be experienced
> colonists in hostile environments.
> For example, bases on the Moon, Mars or the Asteroids might be
> underground to escape from radiation. Could we build an underground
> city? I'm thinking about deep underground, at least thousands of
> feet and maybe much more. We would have to learn to tunnel from
> inside the base, shore up as we go, keep air-tight (or water-tight)
> as we go. We would need to maintain temperature balance and oxygen
> levels. We could try to use biosphere-type balancing to keep up
> levels. We would have to develop remote telecommuting for jobs
> outside the base, or develop our own means of business from within
> the base. We would have to learn to grow plants without natural
> sunlight. We would have to adapt to living underground without going
> topside. This would develop and demonstrate many requirements for
> underground space bases, but would be close enough to earth for
> visiters to see and to evacuate in case of emergency. Maybe the
> technology developed there could be patented or somehow sold to help
> fund and advance space colonization.
> Many of the Gas Giants planets have oceans within their moons. Could
> we create an undersea base in the middle of some ocean? We would
> have to adapt to the cold and dark. We would need to adapt to the
> pressure and build structures for that environment. These would have
> to resist corrosion from constant water contact. We would need to
> have regular access to the outside environment. We would try to
> figure out how to grow plants in the cold, dark water. We would need
> wetsuits that were heated, and would need to carry our own oxygen.
> We would want to learn to extract oxygen from the water, and safely
> use hydrogen fuel. We would need to figure out a means of waste
> disposal that didn't contaminate the water around the base. We even
> would have to explore and contend with new types of marine life not
> seen topside. (Scientist estimate that most deep-sea marine life has
> not been observed.) We would have to learn to anchor our bases to
> wet and possibly unstable surfaces. We would need to develop water
> craft for transportation, and develop tools and building materials
> that work underwater.
> I think these two ideas merit further attention. I predict that
> underground or undersea colonies would occur before colonizing other
> worlds. I also think that the technologies developed in these two
> environments would be a precursor to space colonies. These colonists
> would be seen as the forerunners of space colonists. They may even
> invent the technologies required for space colonization, and may
> provide the largest number of space emigrants. Any exports developed
> >from these frontiers would be much easier to ship topside for profit.
> We could develop more efficient and more profitable exports later for
> overcoming the long-distance shipping to earth that space colonies
> would encounter.
> Harvey Newstrom <http://HarveyNewstrom.com>
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