Re: Colonize Atlantis!

Anders Sandberg (
05 Mar 1999 17:06:52 +0100

"Billy Brown" <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Hmm... check, check, check, check. Got all four (but not in the era
> > when the colony ships were originally sent, except for some of the
> > latest colonies).
> Well, this leads into something I've observed before about the difficulty of
> sublight space travel. Simply put, interstellar colony ships are much, much
> harder to build than most people seem to realize. I would argue that they
> are only possible if you already have very advanced automation, including
> free-roaming robots. You also need a huge energy source (either antimatter,
> advanced fusion & Bussard ramjets, or really huge laser arrays back home).
> In the real world, I expect this combination will actually be harder to
> achieve than basic nanotech.

Hmm, exactly what problems do you see? That they need to be *big* is obvious, you need space for a lot of frozen people, livestock and gametes, equipment for colonization (you have to be prepared for almost anything; most likely a portable asteroid factory would be a good idea), space for thawed people to work, protection against relativistic shrapnel and of course things like propulsion, shuttles and life support.

In my scenario nanotech is assumed to be harder than we currently think (for some reason), it has taken much longer to reach than expected and the simple nanotech is still rather limited. On the other hand, fusion power got cheap surprisingly fast (it is one reason for the presence in space, the hunt for He3).

> Mind you, I've ignored these problems myself a time or two in the interests
> of a good game concept. As you pointed out, its kind of hard to hang a
> story on a fast exponential curve.

Yes, but it is fun. Wait till you see my *other* roleplaying project! :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y