If we were to really “Boldly go” into space, then I would look at successfully colonizing the solar system. I would say that means going with the proper scale to do the job.
If we were wanting to make a viable and sustainable colony here on earth out on a large desert area, then we would go with tens of thousands of people, heavy construction equipment, power plants, green houses, years of supplies, desalinization gear, minerals and chemicals to make the desert farmable. Plus there would be plan for business. I would think of Las Vegas as the example.
For us in the solar system. Bolding Going means not just exploring new worlds but building and populating them.
As Captain Kirk is always telling his Chief Engineer Scotty. Scotty we need more power. Star Trek ships generate power in the range of 790 Terawatts. The International Space station generates about 128 kw Captain Kirk is correct we need more power.
Industrialization and development of space will take a lot of power. A serious start would look at putting a gigawatt of power in space. With that we can start to power the construction of a real space infrastructure. Not the many terawatts of the enterprise but a good start. The naval and transport ships on the ocean have power levels of hundreds of millions of watts and they are moving hundreds and sometimes thousands of people (like the Enterprise’s).
To generate a gigawatt with reasonable weight would involve either nuclear power or mass production of solar panels from lunar regolith. The mass production of solar panels from lunar regolith involves seeding the production with robotic mining systems and maybe a megawatt or five of power.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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