Monday, November 30, 2015

Trans-Arctic Ocean Shipping Considerations

If annual decrease in the area of the Arctic ocean icepack at some future point brings development of direct shortest distance east-west hemisphere ship traffic of containers, passengers etc from rail heads in Europe and North America on the Arctic Sea littoral perhaps Alaska and Canada each will have rail roads to points south. One hopes that non-polluting electric systems are advanced in advance to create less habitat displacement.

I have wondered if Arctic sea-floor pipelines could be made to carry cargo with self-driving cargo modules through the pipe. Self-driving vehicles obviously have great potential for new transportation infrastructures across not only the north, but in dangerous areas of the world with a profusion of improvised exploding devices. It might also be possible to have self-driving ferryboats wait for passengers on seldom used routes, or for buses to self-drive as-needed when enough passengers arrive.

Obviously military uses for self-driving vehicles and weapons platforms exist, yet it is in trans-Arctic and Lunar transport infrastructures that the most interesting possibilities can be found.

N.A.S.A. is looking into lithium and gas sulfur hexafluoride to power space vehicles (ref S.A. Nov 2015 page 24), yet it might be that low temperature superconductors will allow mass transit highways to be placed on the moon with some conducting wires dropped into place.

Darker Martian Chronicles

If Intelligent Life Ever Existed on Mars

What if Martians created a civilization, or even Venusians that let Venus thermal power run amok, that was consumed by wild, voracious nanobots evolved from a designer's replication program?

Building nanobots that reproduced themselves in order to construct complete urban infrastructures on unpopulated planets would have a potential for getting out of control. Nanobots with the power to create could be made with flaws that permit them to destroy. What if Mars once had beautiful cities and bicycle paths in post-modern aesthetic form that were reduced to dust overnight in a swarm of over-exuberant nano-consumerism leaving nothing behind but a world devoid life or stick frame architecture?

Advanced civilizations could create traps on attractive planets seeding them with nanobots waiting like ticks or chiggers to attach themselves to visiting biological life forms or their vehicles and return to consume the origin planet of prey.

So often one hears space-Utopians speak about how life may be discovered, or that no one has ever gone before, and that everything will change for humanity of they find life elsewhere; so so it does as well when a wolf steps inside a box or snap trap.

Instead of a Pee Wee Herman vs. Bambi and the Zombies on Mars fantasy sports approach, gambling with skill it might be better to send astronauts to Mars and not plan to return them. They should be supported by machines in improving caves on mars and in making glass to allow thick, safe greenhouse space.

Transport should be all-electric with ground power lines laid around a spiderweb by self-driving vehicles that can draw power from a prime power source. Building up the Martian permanent infrastructure to support water and food production for locals could be done before during and after the first arrivals. They should be hardy engineering types with a few scientists, and fewer than 20 in number for the first decade.