Terraforming Starseeds

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Terraforming Starseeds

Postby halcyon1234 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:22 pm

There's a lot of planets out there, but not many of them are suitable for human life. But, did you know that until recently (for certain geological definitions of recently), neither was Earth? And then some bacteria came along, and made it nice for plants, which poisoned the atmosphere with oxygen-- a few more steps-- and here we are. All it took was the right mix of habitat-engineering bacteria that the environment couldn't handle. They thrived, and made a world.

I propose making starseeds. It's going to be a long time until we're actually ready to go out to other planets (or to even get there), so we might as well get an early start on creating them.

First, get a bunch of asteroids in the "planet-killer" range. There's plenty just sitting there between Mars and Jupiter. Drill into them, and fill them with a nice mix of microscopic organisms that can create human-friendly environments. Plug the asteroids back up. Make sure they're nice and thick and made out of the right materials to keep their innards safe from cosmic rays, radiation, micrometeor impact, etc. Put a rudimentary auto-pilot on board with some thrusters.

Now, find some planets that are suitable for being converted, and throw rocks at them. Get it good-enough, and the autopilot will take care of the rest. Pick as many planets as you want, and throw as many rocks as you want. The cost per rock is cheap. They're already in space so you aren't worried about a gravity well (aside form the sun, of course). You don't have to worry about a braking system, either.

When the starseed get to it's destination, it'll hit the planet. The initial destruction should help to minimize the effectiveness of the native environment. The destruction of the asteroid will release the microrganisms, who can go about doing their thing to the environment.

Luck is a factor. The organisms have to survive the trip, and the impact. The autopilot needs to actually hit the planet. The organisms have to interact with the native environment just right. But throw enough rocks, and hit enough planets, and the law of averages is on your side.

Eventually, we'll end up with some perfectly terraformed planets just waiting for us to arrive. We could even launch some slow-ships after each starseed that'll arrive after a delay, and monitor the planet. If the terraform work, land and wake up the passengers. If not, figure out the next closet starseed, and try again.

We might want to think about being good neighbours, too. Equip each starseed with a very noisy radio transmitter that'll start broadcasting a few decades before impact. If we're going to accidentally hit a inhabited planet, they should pick up the radio signal, and have more than enough time to figure out how to divert or destroy the incoming starseed. The autopilot could also be programmed that if it detects signs of life from it's target, to miss, or dump itself into their sun.
Name: Lorne Kates
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:57 am

Re: Terraforming Starseeds

Postby halcyon1234 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:21 pm

I still think we need to start giving extrasolar planets Earth-facials now, so that they're ready by the time we're ready to take off.
Name: Lorne Kates
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:57 am

Re: Terraforming Starseeds

Postby tellurium » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:41 am

10 What a great idea, and what an interesting story/book this would make. :?
Name: Susan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:03 am

Re: Terraforming Starseeds

Postby aburt » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:10 pm

And congrats on tying for 2nd place in the contest! It'd be so cool to have other planets to live on.
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Name: Andrew Burt
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:59 am

Re: Terraforming Starseeds

Postby crit25564 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:50 am

Hmmm, it's not a bad idea... let's just hope the aliens didn't have it first!
Name: Mike Serfas
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:59 am

Re: Terraforming Starseeds

Postby crit18373 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:45 pm

"Hmmm, it's not a bad idea... let's just hope the aliens didn't have it first

Duh! ;) How do you think we got here? Intelligent Design?

Name: Robert Dale
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:07 am

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