1. frank4man says:

    Good article. Unmanned everything would need to go to Mercury first to bore the deep tunnels needed for life. I’m thinking some machinery embedded in an icy comet or asteroid for protection from the hazardous radiation that can destroy machinery of both biological and mechanical kinds. Energy generated by temperature variances would be nearly free after the initial set-up. Again, we don’t know how much gravity is needed for normal biological development, but I can see spinning chambers used for processes that require higher gravity than Mercury can provide.
    Except for the initial problems of arriving and setting up before being melted, I can see Mercury as being much more viable than Mars for permanent settlement.

    • tt_perry says:

      Well, I think machinery could support the radiation well enough to get a colony started without having to be encased in a comet. Humans could also land on the nightside to start a colony, but they’d have a definite time clock to dig deep enough to survive the day (they’d probably have to use explosives). Not that the night would be all that friendly, but heating the cold is a doable thing–but surviving the daytime in the open just isn’t going to happen.

      I will get to it when I discuss Mars, but the general thoughts most people have on Mars ignores a lot of real problems. One of the biggest being that Mars has no reliable sources of energy. On the grounds of energy alone, Mercury is more viable than Mars.

      But it is easier to travel to Mars from Earth for sure. And easier to set up a colony on the surface (though not a good idea on Mars, either). So we will likely see a colony on Mars first, but a Mercury colony might be more successful. As per what you said.

      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Heh, my fifth grade teacher read Corrie Ten Boom’s book to the class, so I was reminded of that when you mentioned your fifth grade teacher.

    I haven’t thought much about living on Mercury. It being so close to the sun would concern me a bit. Being able to live safely on a planet’s surface sounds so much more appealing, but I’ve noticed that my tolerance for staying inside depends on a lot. If I know I can’t go outside or am not allowed to (like in a quarantine) that bothers me a lot more than if I stayed inside because I decided playing on the computer was more fun. Thinking about living underground on Mercury kinda feels the same. The fact that I couldn’t go to the surface might bother me in and of itself.

    Something that would greatly factor in people being able to have a good quality of life underground, in space or even an early moon colony would probably depend in part upon having a few small luxuries and a decent amount of mental stimulation. Do the aesthetics of the place feel cramped or monotonous? If so, and people are staying at the colony long term, they might need to consider designing the colony differently. Or at least having some kind of virtual reality stations available for people to play in and get at least some of the same visual stimuli they would have on earth.

    I do use the idea of underground colonies as an easy out for dealing with some of the peskier problems of how my chars could survive in certain worlds and situations.

    Have you listened to Isaac Arthur on youtube? He talks about a lot of the science of colonizing space, sometimes in relation to science fiction.

    • tt_perry says:

      I’ve watched a couple of Isaac Arthur videos but am not a regular viewer.

      As for Mrs. Ten Boom, I actually think I goofed–the name of the well-known Christian speaker influenced the name I put in the post. I think her real name was Mrs. Ten Ham–so I will go back and change that detail now.

      As for living underground, it’s an interesting aspect of human psyche. Would humans who had always lived underground find that normal? Would a large space underground with stars projected on it be enough to alleviate claustrophobia?

      I imagine though that a new colony would have pretty low quality of life. Everyone working long hours to excavate new tunnels and manufacture new goods, that kind of thing. Though that would depend on the population growth of the new colony. If the growth was high, that would imply more hard work to make room for the next generation and feed everyone. Which might lead to the people in such a colony to look back at the lifestyle of Earth as horrifically decadent…

      Anyway, it’s definitely something I find interesting to consider.

    • Travis Tyree Perry says:

      Ok…and I’m curious what inspired you to post that here. Care to elaborate?

      • notleia says:

        Star Trek is a natural progression of talk about space. I guess I’ll post a funnier one next time.

        • Travis Perry says:

          I thought you were trying to make a deep comment about how Kirk as portrayed in TOS of Star Trek had some philosophical connection to whether planets would be colonized or not. Or how they would be colonized.

          Or perhaps there was some hidden commentary as to whether I am like Kirk from TOS or not.

          I wasn’t expecting you to say in effect, “Here’s a random article.”

          (I must have bored you.)

          • notleia says:

            I COULD do that. The narratives about how space will be colonized have been based pretty heavily on the narratives of how the American plains were colonized, which are subject to the same bull honkey as Kirk Drift. Now that cowboys aren’t popular, it’s been sublimated into zombie and post-apocalyptic fic.
            Nobody but granny hippies and gay cottagecore aesthetes want to tell stories about how weaving and knitting will save the day against frostbite (I’m not a granny nor gay but I’m guilty of that). Inter-tribal aggression will probably just lead to a lotta dead people without any higher purpose served, but luckily humans have already invented a lot of d*ck-measuring rituals that could largely take the place of actually killing anyone. Y’know, like sports have in the modern era (ask E.O. Wilson).

            PS: But it seems to me like you’re too much of an introvert to be either OG Kirk or the Zap Brannigan version of Kirk.

What do you think?