The Instigator
Karoz
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
KevinL75
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Colonization of Space, Luna, and Mars in the next 20 years.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,273 times Debate No: 506
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (11)

 

Karoz

Pro

At humanities current technology level there should be nothing stopping us from actually starting colonies on at least the moon.

Surely the benefits of colonization would be worth it as well. With the natural resources on Earth quickly becoming depleted, new sources for resources would help us develop faster. If we had a colony and a couple mines/refineries on the moon we could even make more trips to the moon WITHOUT polluting Earth's atmosphere or wasting anywhere near as much fuel.

The benefits wouldn't end there either. With all the minerals we'd be mining and processing on the moon we could construct satellites and ships for cheaper, as well as being able to expand upon the colonies. We could also put a scientific research station on the other side the moon where all the "noise" from Earth wouldn't make listening for alien races harder.

All the extra resources and moon colony expansions(built with moon-resources) as well as the low gravity and atmosphere on the moon could lead to the construction of space ships that don't have to be designed with Earth re entry in mind. This would let us create much faster and larger ships compared to NASA's shuttles.

A larger and faster spaceship could travel to Mars and back to Luna in a much shorter time. When this larger ship is in orbit of Mars its much larger cargo hold would let it construct a facility on Mars in less trips than any other ships could.
KevinL75

Con

I have no qualms with your argument regarding the potential advantages of a viable colony on the moon on Mars, but I do think that you're adopting entirely too many assumptions and generalizations when it comes to the speed and ease with which such colonies could be erected.

You said: "At humanities current technology level there should be nothing stopping us from actually starting colonies on at least the moon."

This is what we said about 50 years ago, and it turned out not to be true at all. We haven't landed men (or anything) on the moon in 30 years, and to my knowledge, not many have been dreaming up more effective ways in which to do that.

You said: "moon colony expansions(built with moon-resources) as well as the low gravity and atmosphere on the moon"

What moon-resources? The moon was created when a massive meteor hit the Earth and expelled enough material into space to create a satellite. All of that material came from the same layer of the forming Earth - and that layer is not very rich in natural resources. Also, the moon does not have an atmosphere.

You said: "A larger and faster spaceship could travel to Mars and back to Luna in a much shorter time."

This seems easier said than done.

Beyond all that, there's the question of how to get water, oxygen, food, and fuel to the moon, and how to do things like heat a potential colony.
Debate Round No. 1
Karoz

Pro

"What moon-resources? The moon was created when a massive meteor hit the Earth and expelled enough material into space to create a satellite. All of that material came from the same layer of the forming Earth - and that layer is not very rich in natural resources."

You say that like it's a fact. Scientists have not been able to agree on how our moon was actually formed and there are several different theories. Until we do a little more research and visit the moon again, there's no real way to know for sure.

That being said, there are several resources on the moon. We haven't actually drilled into the moon yet though so there's no way of knowing what's under the ground, but samples taken from the moon landing have had all sorts of minerals in them.

"Also, the moon does not have an atmosphere."

That statement is false. The moon does indeed have an atmosphere, but it is so thin that ships wouldn't risk burning up when leaving the moon or landing on it. Ships constructed on Earth need a lot more considerations.

"You said: 'A larger and faster spaceship could travel to Mars and back to Luna in a much shorter time.'

This seems easier said than done."

Have you seen some of the larger boats(Such as ferries and crew ships.)? If we tried we could build a space ship of the same size, the only reason we don't currently make ships that large is because it would be too difficult getting it through our atmosphere. As for speed, the larger the ship the more thrust it could have.

"Beyond all that, there's the question of how to get water, oxygen, food, and fuel to the moon, and how to do things like heat a potential colony."

I knew you'd bring up oxygen and food. Oxygen and food would be no problem, a forest and some crops should help with that. We don't even need to send fuel to the moon either, nuclear power could replace fuel. As for heat, I don't think that would be a very big problem at all. Along with the nuclear power, there could be solar panels gathering energy.

The only thing that might be an issue is water. Water could be recycled and filtered, but that filtered water would only last so long. Unless there were some underground ice reserves on the moon, shipments of water would have to be sent to the moon every once in a while. But there is some indication of ice on the moon.

Mars wouldn't have the same water issues though, because there is plenty of ice on Mars.
KevinL75

Con

You said: "You say that like it's a fact. Scientists have not been able to agree on how our moon was actually formed and there are several different theories. Until we do a little more research and visit the moon again, there's no real way to know for sure."

You're right that there are several theories, but there are several theories for just about everything. Creationism and geocentricity are both "theories." The theory I referenced is by far the most scientifically accepted, and the one with the most evidence to back it up. Given that, I have every reason to believe that there are very few resources on the moon.

You said: "That being said, there are several resources on the moon."

You originally referenced moon-resources when you were talking about constructing a colony. The moon would have to have an array of resources similar to those of Earth if we were actually intending on using its resources to fully construct a colony. Not to mention the fact that these resources would have to be present in copious amounts.

You said: "That statement is false. The moon does indeed have an atmosphere, but it is so thin that ships wouldn't risk burning up when leaving the moon or landing on it. Ships constructed on Earth need a lot more considerations."

It's so thin as to be considered negligible for all intents and purposes, not just for landing and launching ships. I'll get back to atmosphere a bit later in this argument.

You said: "As for speed, the larger the ship the more thrust it could have."

The more thrust a ship has, the more (and more powerful) fuel it needs. I'm not saying it would be impossible, I'm just saying that I'm not aware of any breakthroughs that would suggest the 20-year timeline you originally put forth.

You said: "a forest and some crops should help with that."

First of all, a forest and crops would require water, which you've already acknowledged is a problem. Secondly, forests and crops don't grow in anything - they grow in nutrient-rich soil. The surface of the moon is rocky and hard. Finally, you assume a forest on the moon could produce oxygen. An atmosphere is required to keep that oxygen around long enough for it to be breathed by humans, and carbon dioxide is required for that oxygen to be produced in the first place.

You said: "As for heat, I don't think that would be a very big problem at all. Along with the nuclear power, there could be solar panels gathering energy."

Making energy requires initial energy to run the power plant, and a system of distribution, both of which I see being a huge problem on the moon.

All of that being said, I'd like to add one more thing: In hypothesizing about colonizing space, I think one's imagination tends to take entirely too many things for granted. The majority of items used every day by people (pencils, silverware, toothbrushes, toilets, linens, lightbulbs, glass, plastic, etc.) are made from resources that are most likely either not found on the moon, or not found in sufficient quantities to refine and turn into products.

I believe that if a colony on the moon were to exist, the vast majority of its everyday items would be imports from Earth.
Debate Round No. 2
Karoz

Pro

"First of all, a forest and crops would require water, which you've already acknowledged is a problem. Secondly, forests and crops don't grow in anything - they grow in nutrient-rich soil. The surface of the moon is rocky and hard. Finally, you assume a forest on the moon could produce oxygen. An atmosphere is required to keep that oxygen around long enough for it to be breathed by humans, and carbon dioxide is required for that oxygen to be produced in the first place."

Erk.. You're getting a little off track here. I never once said the forests or crops would be planted in the moons soil, or on the moon. Ever heard of bio-domes and the like? A good Sci-Fi series to watch would be Andromeda, in that series they keep some plants INSIDE their ship to help produce oxygen.

Also, the surface of the moon is actually rather dusty. I'm not much of a farmer, but some treatment might make it possible to use for growing crops. Plants can grow in almost anything.

"Making energy requires initial energy to run the power plant, and a system of distribution, both of which I see being a huge problem on the moon."

A power plant on the moon was what I was getting at. But solar panels would help as well. As for distribution, of course "power lines" wouldn't work. Underground pipes might be more appropriate.

"All of that being said, I'd like to add one more thing: In hypothesizing about colonizing space, I think one's imagination tends to take entirely too many things for granted. The majority of items used every day by people (pencils, silverware, toothbrushes, toilets, linens, lightbulbs, glass, plastic, etc.) are made from resources that are most likely either not found on the moon, or not found in sufficient quantities to refine and turn into products.

I believe that if a colony on the moon were to exist, the vast majority of its everyday items would be imports from Earth."

I'll grant you that this hypothesis relies heavily on whether or not there are enough of the correct type of resources on the moon. But I'm sure several asteroids have brought the correct type of metals and minerals, if they weren't there before.

Of course the moon would mostly be a launching pad for colonizing Mars, which has plenty of known resources at its disposal(Which includes water.).
KevinL75

Con

You said: "I never once said the forests or crops would be planted in the moons soil, or on the moon. Ever heard of bio-domes and the like? A good Sci-Fi series to watch would be Andromeda, in that series they keep some plants INSIDE their ship to help produce oxygen."

Well I think we need to assume there would be forests and crops on the moon, because just having them inside ships, etc. would only be a viable (ish) solution for oxygen inside ships. If we're sustaining a colony and producing oxygen with a forest, that forest would need to be planted on the moon. Also, even a biodome uses a lot of resources from Earth, so that's not a be-all end-all solution.

I think you're focusing too much on the Sci and not nearly enough on the Fi.

"Plants can grow in almost anything."

If we consider plants as an entire kingdom of life, this could be true. But we're talking about very specific types of plants - those that can be eaten, and trees. Crops certainly can't grow in almost anything.

"But I'm sure several asteroids have brought the correct type of metals and minerals, if they weren't there before."

Again, there's an issue of scale. Let's say we need tungsten to create the filaments for lightbulbs. Maybe there's a chunk of tungsten in an asteroid 100 miles from our colony, but we need much more than a chunk - we need enough to mine, process, and use on a large scale. The presence of the necessary elements isn't enough - abundance matters just as much.

"Of course the moon would mostly be a launching pad for colonizing Mars, which has plenty of known resources at its disposal(Which includes water.)"

To my knowledge, Mars has ice which we believe to be water ice. I don't believe we've discovered any flowing water. If we were to use this ice, we'd need to cut away chunks of it from the poles, transport it to a more temperate region of the planet, and melt it. Also, if we're going to be mining Mars for resources, we'd need to transport a whole lot of previously made equipment to the planet - it's not like we can just grab a rock, start chipping away, find some iron, and build a house.

All in all, I think the ideas you have are inviable in the time period you laid out, and your argument relies on a lot of assumptions that you haven't convinced me should be accepted.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by lazarus_long 9 years ago
lazarus_long
Arrrrrgh.....I'd like to see more of a move to space as much as anyone else, but Karoz needs to watch a little less Sci-Fi Channel and a little more Science Channel. Reality is NOT at all like Star Trek...
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
i kno but you said it would be easier to comunicat w/ them...Still look at us...our race is pretty vivious w/ all the killing and murdering of our selfs and animals...what ifd there are people more vivious...all im saying...is that if we can't handle what we might find don't look for it...
Posted by Karoz 9 years ago
Karoz
This debate didn't really have to do with aliens at all really.

Also, you've been watching too many movies. Movies are supposed to have "evil aliens", or else they'd be boring.
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
Do we really want to comunicate with aliens and creatures from outer space?...did it ever occur to you that they might ot want to be found or they might be vicious...
Posted by KevinL75 9 years ago
KevinL75
I didn't say we needed to transport it TO melt it, I said we needed to transport it - if we did establish a colony on Mars, I highly doubt it would be at one of the poles.
Posted by Karoz 9 years ago
Karoz
Your responses seemed to differ majorly from my intended points, assuming I meant things which I didn't mean.

Obviously when I said water I meant ice, not flowing water.

You also don't need to move ice to a temperate region to melt it.. Do you live in the stone age or something? We have plenty of technology(Such as fire! Ooo!) that can melt ice a lot faster than leaving it out in the sun light.

To be honest I found you were struggling for points to help you try to win the debate, straying away from the original intent of what I was saying and trying to twist it to fit your point, you also flat out stated invalid facts throughout your argument.
Posted by Karoz 9 years ago
Karoz
"we could even make more trips to the moon"
was supposed to be "we could even make more trips to space".
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
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