Blue Origins Bezos predicts trillions of humans in the solar system

Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts there will be 1 trillion humans in the solar system one day Blue Origin rocket company plans to help get us there.

Bezos will spend a little more than $1 billion next year to support Blue Origin.

There are thousands of companies on the Internet. Bezos says there will need to be thousands of companies in space.

Bezos has given similar talks about his vision for the future of space.

How could we get to a trillion people in the solar system?

It will take a few hundred years for normal population growth to reach that level.

Within 20 years we will have several competing fully reusable rockets and space planes.

Within fifty years we will have molecular nanotechnology, factory mass produced molten salt nuclear reactors and nuclear fusion reactors and isotope produced positronic nuclear fusion propulsion.

Molecular nanotechnology and nuclear fusion could enable the earth to easily support 100 billion people.

We have already produced small but macroscopic quantities of carbon nanotube bundles with 80 Gigapascals of strength. This is 20 times stronger than Kevlar.

Scaling up production of that material would enable McKendree cylinders.

The McKendree cylinder is an O’Neill space colony using carbon nanotubes instead of steel, allowing the habitat to be built much larger. The habitat would have two cylinders approximately 460 kilometers (290 mi) in radius and 4600 kilometers (2900 mi) in length, containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space, nearly as much land area as that of Russia.

87 square meters of land area per person (including land for agriculture) yields a possible population for this structure of 76 billion people.

If a counter-rotating cylinder is included inside the outermost shell, the two layers must be separated by at least 50 kilometers of vacuum above the top of the atmosphere to eliminate atmospheric drag effects. Doubling the cylinder in this way increases the living area and counters gyroscopic effects so that the cylinders can be oriented in any chosen direction.

A full-sized McKendree habitat can be constructed from a large asteroid or dwarf planet, or from a number of smaller objects. A typical dwarf planet of 1000 kilometers diameter can contain enough material to build 12 Mckendree cylinders.

Utilizing a Ceres size asteroid of material with molecular nanotechnology could be used to build McKendree habitats for about 900 billion people. A fully colonization of Mars, Earth and several large McKendree cylinders would enable a trillion people in the solar system.

We have already identified 127 probably planet candidates in the solar system and 500 possibles.

It is estimated that there may be 200 dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt of the outer Solar System and possibly more than 10,000 in the region beyond.

230 thoughts on “Blue Origins Bezos predicts trillions of humans in the solar system”

  1. This is a grand vision from Bezos, though I will not be surprised if he is criticized, mainly from the green left, for suggesting that the earth could “easily support 100 billion people” with the aid of certain advanced technologies. I believe Bezos is correct, and I support population growth, though I also value, probably as much as almost anyone, “pristine” (usually meaning, I suppose, non-populated and otherwise “untouched”) wilderness. If sea colonies, skyscrapers and/or underground habitats were sufficiently utilized, the land surface of the earth could be much less populated than at present, with vacation destinations in many places offering everything from “raw” wilderness experiences to plush resorts. That said, concerning populating the solar system, I agree with the sentiment and wisdom of Mountaineer. Those most likely to go into space are least likely to be willing to reproduce. Along these lines I sometimes grin when I watch “Star Trek” (which I almost always enjoy), and see The Federation pushing outward into the galaxy, with human colonists apparently populating at least some newly discovered planets along the way. On the Enterprise (yes, a military/exploration vessel, but some children are aboard, at least in “Next Generation”), seemingly few of the senior staff chose to marry and/or reproduce (Chief O’Brian, in “Deep Space Nine,” is the only one who comes to mind, with Dr. Crusher and Worf having, I believe, one child each from a previous marriage and, I think, an affair, respectively). Remember, just to maintain a stable population requires at least two children per couple (at least 2.1 under current conditions in most Western nations).

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  2. This is a grand vision from Bezos though I will not be surprised if he is criticized mainly from the green left for suggesting that the earth could easily support 100 billion people”” with the aid of certain advanced technologies. I believe Bezos is correct”” and I support population growth though I also value probably as much as almost anyone”” “”””pristine”””” (usually meaning”” I suppose”” non-populated and otherwise “”””untouched””””) wilderness. If sea colonies”” skyscrapers and/or underground habitats were sufficiently utilized the land surface of the earth could be much less populated than at present”” with vacation destinations in many places offering everything from “”””raw”””” wilderness experiences to plush resorts.That said”” concerning populating the solar system”” I agree with the sentiment and wisdom of Mountaineer. Those most likely to go into space are least likely to be willing to reproduce. Along these lines I sometimes grin when I watch “”””Star Trek”””” (which I almost always enjoy)”” and see The Federation pushing outward into the galaxy with human colonists apparently populating at least some newly discovered planets along the way. On the Enterprise (yes a military/exploration vessel but some children are aboard”” at least in “”””Next Generation””””)”” seemingly few of the senior staff chose to marry and/or reproduce (Chief O’Brian”” in “”””Deep Space Nine”””””””” is the only one who comes to mind”” with Dr. Crusher and Worf having I believe one child each from a previous marriage and I think an affair respectively). Remember”” just to maintain a stable population requires at least two children per couple (at least 2.1 under current conditions in most Western nations).”””

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  3. Rough estimate, at over 10 times less dense: 1000 m^2/person * 10 m height * 0.1 (= 10% structural density) = 1000 m^3/person of structural material. At 3500 kg/m^3 (density of diamond; grapehe, CNTs, etc should have lower density) and 1 trillion people, that’s 3.5e18 kg of carbon. The asteroid belt alone is ~3e21 kg, of which ~75% are carbonaceous. Assuming conservatively ~20% carbon in such asteroids gives 3e21 * 0.75 * 0.2 = ~4.5e20 kg of carbon, which leaves plenty of wiggle room if more mass is needed than my estimate. There are also other sources of carbon and other materials.

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  4. Scaling up O’Neil colonies in this way doesn’t make a lot of engineering sense. As was pointed out in an earlier article, there’s a sweet spot, (Which varies according to the materials you’re using, but for steel it’s about 10 km in diameter.) where the colony has reached the size that the structural shell is thick enough to double as the radiation shielding. That’s the most efficient size for a colony. That, of course, applies to diameter, not length. But beyond a certain length to diameter ratio, rotating cylinders are subject to tumbling modes, so ideally you want to colonies to be reasonably short. This suggests that the most efficient colony size is (For steel, anyway.) about 300-400 square kilometers. For higher strength to weight materials, you could go larger, but the McKendree cylinder is a bit large for efficiency. You’d get more living space by building multiple smaller colonies. If you want more area, you *can* make the cylinders longer, arbitrarily long if you want, so long as they’re connected to some kind of rigid frame through bearings, to suppress instabilities. You would NOT want to be in a rotating colony that started tumbling, or went into a jump rope mode.

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  5. At New York City density of ~10000 people per km^2, 100 billion would only take a few percent of Earth’s surface. So it’s not as demented as you think. 10000 people per km^2 is 100 m^2 per person, so 84 m^2/person is only slightly denser than NYC. But one could make much less dense space colonies. There’s enough material for that in space. 84 m^2/person is a conservative figure.

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  6. The people pioneering space access and development today don’t have to be the same ones that’ll go in 100+ years. As space access gets cheaper, and the world’s economy keeps growing, more people from more countries will be able to go. Air travel is accessible to all but the poorest countries today.

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  7. According to wikipedia /wiki/Birth_rate : “The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1,000 total population in 2016. The death rate is 7.8 per 1,000 per year.” At these rates, the population doubling cycle is 66 years. If all deaths are eliminated, the doubling cycle would be 38 years. Radical life extension could come close to that, but there will still be some deaths from accidents and from people not able or not willing to undergo the necessary treatments. The longer life expectancy will also result in a longer reproductive period, which will likely be accompanied by a reduction in birth rates. Getting from 8 billion to 1 trillion takes 7 doublings, so at 66 years per doubling, that’s 462 years. 7 times 38 is 266 years. So call that 300-500, depending on assumptions.

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  8. 100 billions peoples on Earth ! 84 square meters for people in space ! What a demented vision ! Anyway as somebody said no industrialized country having some space hability is above the replacement rate. But maybe, the amish, Lubavitch and black africans will be saved by Bezos : he is working hard making space for them.

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  9. Rough estimate at over 10 times less dense: 1000 m^2/person * 10 m height * 0.1 (= 10{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} structural density) = 1000 m^3/person of structural material. At 3500 kg/m^3 (density of diamond; grapehe CNTs etc should have lower density) and 1 trillion people that’s 3.5e18 kg of carbon.The asteroid belt alone is ~3e21 kg of which ~75{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} are carbonaceous. Assuming conservatively ~20{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} carbon in such asteroids gives 3e21 * 0.75 * 0.2 = ~4.5e20 kg of carbon which leaves plenty of wiggle room if more mass is needed than my estimate. There are also other sources of carbon and other materials.

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  10. Scaling up O’Neil colonies in this way doesn’t make a lot of engineering sense. As was pointed out in an earlier article there’s a sweet spot (Which varies according to the materials you’re using but for steel it’s about 10 km in diameter.) where the colony has reached the size that the structural shell is thick enough to double as the radiation shielding. That’s the most efficient size for a colony.That of course applies to diameter not length. But beyond a certain length to diameter ratio rotating cylinders are subject to tumbling modes so ideally you want to colonies to be reasonably short.This suggests that the most efficient colony size is (For steel anyway.) about 300-400 square kilometers. For higher strength to weight materials you could go larger but the McKendree cylinder is a bit large for efficiency. You’d get more living space by building multiple smaller colonies.If you want more area you *can* make the cylinders longer arbitrarily long if you want so long as they’re connected to some kind of rigid frame through bearings to suppress instabilities. You would NOT want to be in a rotating colony that started tumbling or went into a jump rope mode.

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  11. At New York City density of ~10000 people per km^2 100 billion would only take a few percent of Earth’s surface. So it’s not as demented as you think.10000 people per km^2 is 100 m^2 per person so 84 m^2/person is only slightly denser than NYC. But one could make much less dense space colonies. There’s enough material for that in space. 84 m^2/person is a conservative figure.

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  12. The people pioneering space access and development today don’t have to be the same ones that’ll go in 100+ years. As space access gets cheaper and the world’s economy keeps growing more people from more countries will be able to go. Air travel is accessible to all but the poorest countries today.

    Reply
  13. According to wikipedia /wiki/Birth_rate : The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1000 total population in 2016. The death rate is 7.8 per 1″000 per year.””At these rates”” the population doubling cycle is 66 years. If all deaths are eliminated the doubling cycle would be 38 years. Radical life extension could come close to that but there will still be some deaths from accidents and from people not able or not willing to undergo the necessary treatments. The longer life expectancy will also result in a longer reproductive period which will likely be accompanied by a reduction in birth rates.Getting from 8 billion to 1 trillion takes 7 doublings so at 66 years per doubling that’s 462 years. 7 times 38 is 266 years. So call that 300-500″” depending on assumptions.”””

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  14. 100 billions peoples on Earth ! 84 square meters for people in space ! What a demented vision ! Anyway as somebody said no industrialized country having some space hability is above the replacement rate.But maybe the amish Lubavitch and black africans will be saved by Bezos : he is working hard making space for them.

    Reply
  15. No, I don’t think we’ll stop once aging is “solved”. Which is going to be quite a while in happening; I won’t regard it as “solved” until people can live arbitrarily long lives without continual medical intervention. But, risk homeostasis; People respond to obvious safety features, like antilock brakes, by acting in a more risky fashion, arriving at about the same effective risk level. I expect that to continue being a part of our psychology. Make people more durable, and they’ll just engage in more extreme activities.

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  16. We will have to learn to make artificial gravity and control radiation economically first, than you can put people anywhere in space living in space structures not even connected to planets.

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  17. Competition between nations, cultures, ethnic groups, religions or ideological systems could all lead a group to expand its numbers this way. It’s a sort of depressing view of the future though. A self-replicating weapon or economic system might be more logical than an expanding population, but it depends on the shape of the world order.

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  18. That may be true initially, but do you really think we’ll stop going after the leading causes of death once aging is solved? Medicine is improving all the time, and so do safety measures. Accidents will need to be more and more extreme to remain fatal, the more time goes by. Eventually only major brain damage would kill you. Maybe not even that, if we develop an acceptable backup-and-restore system. Statistically, given infinite time, the probability of dying from *something* will always be 100%. But the half-life can get extremely long. And even at just 3 times current, that’s still much longer than the population doubling cycle. What do you think happens when the half-life exceeds the doubling rate?

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  19. The Shapers raise their kids in creches. But I agree with you. What is the point of having kids if you’re going to raise them in creches.

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  20. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence, to never reduce it as far as they exist and launch rockets. And they are focusing on the stuff that may return some actual revenue in the long term and take us to live into space also in the long term. Personally I’m not sure about SpaceX’s Mars fixation, I mean as a long term money maker. They could certainly rise and shine on the next decade, achieving some or all of their milestones. But even if they have resounding success, land people on Mars and return them, thus opening the interplanetary age, it is pending to see if there will be such a strong demand for trips to Mars afterwards by others than government projects. My hunch is they will end up propping up and growing the orbital and cislunar launch market with their big reusable rockets, the space close and far from Earth being the places most businesses would want to go in the next few decades. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe we will do an Apollo missions re-enactment, going to the Moon and Mars and then forget about it for 50 years. This time will be different. Having the rockets and landers provided by a private company will at least ensure they are still available after the Mars fever subsides, and government projects and interests will also ensure it remains inhabited by people permanently. Like they do keep McMurdo permanently inhabited, very much for the same reasons: maintaining the projects going and protecting the USA’s interests in Antarctica. But if there will be a rush of private interests to go so far from Earth is pending to be seen.

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  21. Science Fiction has dealt with this situation with the use of a “creche” system. This system posits that groups of children can be raised by professional caregivers. You could easily augment the staff using robots. Within a generation or two probably most kids will be raised by robots anyway. With artificial wombs, if the will was actually there, you could raise incredibly large populations in a century or two. Why anyone would wish to do so is another question entirely.

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  22. I’m all for the space colony thing. But why one trillion people? Why not a much more reasonable, say, 20 billion people, amortal of course (radical life extension) scattered throughout the solar system with a very slowly increasing population resulting from those few people who actually like having kids?

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  23. Even radical life extension still has people dying of accidents. I think I’ve seen estimates that, even with aging totally out of the picture, and assuming the lowest accident rate for any age segment, you’d only about triple the average life span. It’s just that it would become more of a half life than an average.

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  24. I can see some serious disadvantages outweighing the advantages for our preferred life styles if there were less than a billion people on Earth. Above that number, the disadvantages seem to begin to increase faster than the advantages. A billion off planet, sure, although I expect unaugmented organic humans will not be the bulk of those eventually living off planet (and possibly not even on it). Trillions is crazy though. Sure, it might be possible, but why would anyone want this? Even the solar systems resources are, at some level, finite. Some of us just like a bit of a room to swing a cat, or put up a storage shed without filing eight permits, being too close to the neighbor’s property line, or paying for an environmental impact study. If population even began to rise towards a hundred billion I can see that as easily being the biggest incentive possible for interstellar emigration. Or war. Or thought control. Or worse.

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  25. No I don’t think we’ll stop once aging is solved””. Which is going to be quite a while in happening; I won’t regard it as “”””solved”””” until people can live arbitrarily long lives without continual medical intervention. But”” risk homeostasis; People respond to obvious safety features like antilock brakes by acting in a more risky fashion arriving at about the same effective risk level.I expect that to continue being a part of our psychology. Make people more durable”” and they’ll just engage in more extreme activities.”””

    Reply
  26. We will have to learn to make artificial gravity and control radiation economically first than you can put people anywhere in space living in space structures not even connected to planets.

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  27. Competition between nations cultures ethnic groups religions or ideological systems could all lead a group to expand its numbers this way. It’s a sort of depressing view of the future though. A self-replicating weapon or economic system might be more logical than an expanding population but it depends on the shape of the world order.

    Reply
  28. That may be true initially but do you really think we’ll stop going after the leading causes of death once aging is solved? Medicine is improving all the time and so do safety measures. Accidents will need to be more and more extreme to remain fatal the more time goes by. Eventually only major brain damage would kill you. Maybe not even that if we develop an acceptable backup-and-restore system.Statistically given infinite time the probability of dying from *something* will always be 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. But the half-life can get extremely long. And even at just 3 times current that’s still much longer than the population doubling cycle. What do you think happens when the half-life exceeds the doubling rate?

    Reply
  29. The Shapers raise their kids in creches. But I agree with you. What is the point of having kids if you’re going to raise them in creches.

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  30. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence to never reduce it as far as they exist and launch rockets.And they are focusing on the stuff that may return some actual revenue in the long term and take us to live into space also in the long term. Personally I’m not sure about SpaceX’s Mars fixation I mean as a long term money maker.They could certainly rise and shine on the next decade achieving some or all of their milestones. But even if they have resounding success land people on Mars and return them thus opening the interplanetary age it is pending to see if there will be such a strong demand for trips to Mars afterwards by others than government projects.My hunch is they will end up propping up and growing the orbital and cislunar launch market with their big reusable rockets the space close and far from Earth being the places most businesses would want to go in the next few decades.Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe we will do an Apollo missions re-enactment going to the Moon and Mars and then forget about it for 50 years. This time will be different.Having the rockets and landers provided by a private company will at least ensure they are still available after the Mars fever subsides and government projects and interests will also ensure it remains inhabited by people permanently. Like they do keep McMurdo permanently inhabited very much for the same reasons: maintaining the projects going and protecting the USA’s interests in Antarctica.But if there will be a rush of private interests to go so far from Earth is pending to be seen.

    Reply
  31. Science Fiction has dealt with this situation with the use of a creche”” system. This system posits that groups of children can be raised by professional caregivers. You could easily augment the staff using robots. Within a generation or two probably most kids will be raised by robots anyway. With artificial wombs”” if the will was actually there”” you could raise incredibly large populations in a century or two. Why anyone would wish to do so is another question entirely.”””

    Reply
  32. I’m all for the space colony thing. But why one trillion people?Why not a much more reasonable say 20 billion people amortal of course (radical life extension) scattered throughout the solar system with a very slowly increasing population resulting from those few people who actually like having kids?

    Reply
  33. Even radical life extension still has people dying of accidents. I think I’ve seen estimates that even with aging totally out of the picture and assuming the lowest accident rate for any age segment you’d only about triple the average life span. It’s just that it would become more of a half life than an average.

    Reply
  34. I can see some serious disadvantages outweighing the advantages for our preferred life styles if there were less than a billion people on Earth. Above that number the disadvantages seem to begin to increase faster than the advantages. A billion off planet sure although I expect unaugmented organic humans will not be the bulk of those eventually living off planet (and possibly not even on it).Trillions is crazy though. Sure it might be possible but why would anyone want this? Even the solar systems resources are at some level finite. Some of us just like a bit of a room to swing a cat or put up a storage shed without filing eight permits being too close to the neighbor’s property line or paying for an environmental impact study. If population even began to rise towards a hundred billion I can see that as easily being the biggest incentive possible for interstellar emigration. Or war. Or thought control. Or worse.

    Reply
  35. I’m not convinced that risk homeostasis is realistic in the long run. At some point, it starts getting increasingly difficult to take more risk. And the more technology it requires, the more opportunity there is for safety features. Once you have emergency medical nanobots embedded in your head, and capable of sustaining your brain until your body can be regrown (or something like that), what more are you going to do? Jump into the Sun?

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  36. I’m not convinced that risk homeostasis is realistic in the long run. At some point it starts getting increasingly difficult to take more risk. And the more technology it requires the more opportunity there is for safety features. Once you have emergency medical nanobots embedded in your head and capable of sustaining your brain until your body can be regrown (or something like that) what more are you going to do? Jump into the Sun?

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  37. The Shapers are the bio-tech people out living in city-states in the Saturn system in the novel Schismatrix. The Shapers were one of two major factions. They were of the ring council (30 space colonies in orbit of Saturn) whereas the Mech had something like 400 space colonies in the asteroid belt.

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  38. You don’t need artificial gravity, you just need a cylinder with a large enough radius that Coriolis forces are small. And the way you shield from radition is with a whole bunch of dirt. The problem isn’t science; it’s getting a critical mass of gadgets to the top of a gravity well. After that, things are relatively cheap.

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  39. Yep, the McKendre cylinders look like a titan project for another era. When space mining and machine self-replication have been dominated, making such enterprises not completely unrealistic. I’m thinking more The Culture level of sophistication than the 21th century. We should be thinking about manned inflatable labs in 0-G and early bolo stations, with other schemes emerging as there is need and money to be made from them. And even in those future ages, you could have several county or state sized colonies instead of a single humongous one way faster and with far less money. Redundancy also matters. Big but not overly big stations grouped in a same location, reachable with centripetal shuttles, would be more resilient to serious damage on any single one.

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  40. But why one trillion people? ” Because in order for Brian to retire in style, he’ll need that big of an audience for Next Big Solar System.

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  41. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence…” Especially since their main guy doesn’t Tweet material statements about the company while high on acid. “This time will be different. ” Famous last words.

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  42. …containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space, nearly as much land area as that of Russia.” “Oh look! I can see Russia Station from outside my house!” — Sarah Palin, looking out the viewport of her L3 space station residence at the next station over.

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  43. Or, one can build a ‘traditional’ O’Neill (“..that’s spelled with TWO ells!” — Col. Jack O’Neill, Stargate SG-1) for a fraction of the cost and less time, I bet.

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  44. The Shapers are the bio-tech people out living in city-states in the Saturn system in the novel Schismatrix. The Shapers were one of two major factions. They were of the ring council (30 space colonies in orbit of Saturn) whereas the Mech had something like 400 space colonies in the asteroid belt.

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  45. You don’t need artificial gravity you just need a cylinder with a large enough radius that Coriolis forces are small. And the way you shield from radition is with a whole bunch of dirt.The problem isn’t science; it’s getting a critical mass of gadgets to the top of a gravity well. After that things are relatively cheap.

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  46. Yep the McKendre cylinders look like a titan project for another era. When space mining and machine self-replication have been dominated making such enterprises not completely unrealistic. I’m thinking more The Culture level of sophistication than the 21th century.We should be thinking about manned inflatable labs in 0-G and early bolo stations with other schemes emerging as there is need and money to be made from them.And even in those future ages you could have several county or state sized colonies instead of a single humongous one way faster and with far less money. Redundancy also matters. Big but not overly big stations grouped in a same location reachable with centripetal shuttles would be more resilient to serious damage on any single one.

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  47. But why one trillion people? “”Because in order for Brian to retire in style”””” he’ll need that big of an audience for Next Big Solar System.”””

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  48. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX” but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence…””Especially since their main guy doesn’t Tweet material statements about the company while high on acid.””””This time will be different. “”””Famous last words.”””

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  49. …containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space” nearly as much land area as that of Russia.””””””Oh look! I can see Russia Station from outside my house!”””” — Sarah Palin”””” looking out the viewport of her L3 space station residence at the next station over.”””

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  50. Or one can build a ‘traditional’ O’Neill (..that’s spelled with TWO ells!”” — Col. Jack O’Neill”” Stargate SG-1) for a fraction of the cost and less time”” I bet.”””

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  51. Because if technology keeps going the way it has and nothing changes radically then in about 100 years or less when you have kids there will always be a live in nanny. In a thousand there will be literally Billions born every year. Think about it this way. There are 141 billion people born every year. If that rate never ever changed we would still have something over 200 billion people after a thousand years. That is that rate never changing. Also consider when we have something like artificial wombs, ai nannys or some such and all the other goodies everyone will think of people will be OK with having more kids. Most people I know that have kids now would like more they just don’t have the time to have more or the money.

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  52. Because if technology keeps going the way it has and nothing changes radically then in about 100 years or less when you have kids there will always be a live in nanny. In a thousand there will be literally Billions born every year.Think about it this way. There are 141 billion people born every year. If that rate never ever changed we would still have something over 200 billion people after a thousand years. That is that rate never changing.Also consider when we have something like artificial wombs ai nannys or some such and all the other goodies everyone will think of people will be OK with having more kids.Most people I know that have kids now would like more they just don’t have the time to have more or the money.

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  53. Sticking billions of people into one huge structure make the loss of that structure catastrophic. Each cylinder is an Ark that can potentially contain all the organisms, knowledge and ecosystems needed to reboot humanity in the event of a disaster, so better to have 1000 smaller cylinders with a million people each rather than one with a billion. Resilience. Also, if asteroid mining makes materials cheap and plentiful, and SPACE is unlimited, why would you pack people in like sardines in a can? The resources of the asteroid belt are greater than a thousand earths. When the invention of railways allowed people in London and New York to spread out to the suburbs, houses became larger and space per person increased. When the resources of the asteroid belt become available, this should be reflected in dwelling space per person. Sure, have a trillion people, living in a million different cylinders, each cylinder with a million people occupying ten thousand square kilometers (100 km circumference times 100 km length). Give each person an acre of surface garden space, with levels of residential living, indoor agriculture, industry, shops and transport networks below. Nothing stops you having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface. An acre per person is a million acres, 4000 square kilometers, which still leaves 60% of the surface available for parks and community buildings. It’s space, think big.

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  54. Sticking billions of people into one huge structure make the loss of that structure catastrophic. Each cylinder is an Ark that can potentially contain all the organisms knowledge and ecosystems needed to reboot humanity in the event of a disaster so better to have 1000 smaller cylinders with a million people each rather than one with a billion. Resilience.Also if asteroid mining makes materials cheap and plentiful and SPACE is unlimited why would you pack people in like sardines in a can? The resources of the asteroid belt are greater than a thousand earths. When the invention of railways allowed people in London and New York to spread out to the suburbs houses became larger and space per person increased. When the resources of the asteroid belt become available this should be reflected in dwelling space per person. Sure have a trillion people living in a million different cylinders each cylinder with a million people occupying ten thousand square kilometers (100 km circumference times 100 km length).Give each person an acre of surface garden space with levels of residential living indoor agriculture industry shops and transport networks below. Nothing stops you having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface. An acre per person is a million acres 4000 square kilometers which still leaves 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the surface available for parks and community buildings.It’s space think big.

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  55. ~140 *million* are born every year, not billion. But it’s more instructive to think in terms of percentages, or in terms of number born / dying per 1000 people. See my other post on that matter.

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  56. Where I live, that kind of thing is handled with an automated payment plan. I suppose you could still gamble away all your money, but if medical treatments are automated (and rare?) enough and storage is cheap enough that you could get them as a free service, then that wouldn’t matter either.

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  57. Well Bezos is bald, and after Elon Musk did the whole goldfinger costume thing, he had a sudden urge to do his take on the “One MILLION dollars” Dr. Evil movie quote with the upraised pinkie finger…

    Reply
  58. ~140 *million* are born every year not billion. But it’s more instructive to think in terms of percentages or in terms of number born / dying per 1000 people. See my other post on that matter.

    Reply
  59. Where I live that kind of thing is handled with an automated payment plan. I suppose you could still gamble away all your money but if medical treatments are automated (and rare?) enough and storage is cheap enough that you could get them as a free service then that wouldn’t matter either.

    Reply
  60. Well Bezos is bald and after Elon Musk did the whole goldfinger costume thing he had a sudden urge to do his take on the One MILLION dollars”” Dr. Evil movie quote with the upraised pinkie finger…”””

    Reply
  61. As came up the last time we had this subject: there IS one thing stopping you from having “100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface.” How do you keep it cool? Heat buildup from 100 levels, each with sunlight levels of heat generation if you want to have agriculture. Or even LED lighting and human habitation levels of heat output is going to stack up very quickly.

    Reply
  62. As came up the last time we had this subject: there IS one thing stopping you from having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface.””How do you keep it cool? Heat buildup from 100 levels”””” each with sunlight levels of heat generation if you want to have agriculture. Or even LED lighting and human habitation levels of heat output is going to stack up very quickly.”””

    Reply
  63. The most grandiose scheme for colonizing the solar system, galaxy and then universe I am aware of, at least without faster-than-light travel or communication, is Marshall Savage’s The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. It is a fascinating read and contains much interesting data on solar system resources. It starts out describing a scheme for building floating sea colonies on earth using “sea-ment”, including details of their manufacturing/economic output. Savage, if I recall correctly, thinks 10 billion people is the ideal maximum population for the earth (with many people living in the just mentioned sea colonies), but his vision for the solar system vastly exceeds Bezos’s one trillion. I think he considers the total luminescence of the sun, estimates the average amount of power each person would require, and then divides that by 10 to be very conservative. I think this comes out to about 10e23, or 100 billion trillion. The materials requited for this population’s habitats are carefully considered and accounted for (most would live in water-lined bubbles in orbit around the sun, though what all these people would do for vacations, at least those who would want a “wilderness-like” experience, I do not think was addressed). Some replies have asked perhaps the most fundamental question of all: “Why increase the population?” Without getting into religion or philosophy, consider just one of the many benefits of a larger population: more periodicals and journals addressing ever more subjects of interest. (Perhaps they do not exist anymore, but if you have ever walked into a well-stocked newsstand you get the idea. The only way all those titles can exist is if each has some minimum number of supporters/readers.) Savage posits one advantage of a growing population most have not considered. At some critical number the combined population in effect transcends to a higher level of consciousness or symbiotic power (my words; I do not rec

    Reply
  64. The most grandiose scheme for colonizing the solar system galaxy and then universe I am aware of at least without faster-than-light travel or communication is Marshall Savage’s The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. It is a fascinating read and contains much interesting data on solar system resources. It starts out describing a scheme for building floating sea colonies on earth using “sea-ment” including details of their manufacturing/economic output.Savage if I recall correctly thinks 10 billion people is the ideal maximum population for the earth (with many people living in the just mentioned sea colonies) but his vision for the solar system vastly exceeds Bezos’s one trillion. I think he considers the total luminescence of the sun estimates the average amount of power each person would require and then divides that by 10 to be very conservative. I think this comes out to about 10e23 or 100 billion trillion. The materials requited for this population’s habitats are carefully considered and accounted for (most would live in water-lined bubbles in orbit around the sun though what all these people would do for vacations at least those who would want a “wilderness-like” experience I do not think was addressed).Some replies have asked perhaps the most fundamental question of all: “Why increase the population?” Without getting into religion or philosophy consider just one of the many benefits of a larger population: more periodicals and journals addressing ever more subjects of interest. (Perhaps they do not exist anymore but if you have ever walked into a well-stocked newsstand you get the idea. The only way all those titles can exist is if each has some minimum number of supporters/readers.)Savage posits one advantage of a growing population most have not considered. At some critical number the combined population in effect transcends to a higher level of consciousness or symbiotic power (my words; I do not recall exac

    Reply
  65. The most grandiose scheme for colonizing the solar system, galaxy and then universe I am aware of, at least without faster-than-light travel or communication, is Marshall Savage’s The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. It is a fascinating read and contains much interesting data on solar system resources. It starts out describing a scheme for building floating sea colonies on earth using “sea-ment”, including details of their manufacturing/economic output. Savage, if I recall correctly, thinks 10 billion people is the ideal maximum population for the earth (with many people living in the just mentioned sea colonies), but his vision for the solar system vastly exceeds Bezos’s one trillion. I think he considers the total luminescence of the sun, estimates the average amount of power each person would require, and then divides that by 10 to be very conservative. I think this comes out to about 10e23, or 100 billion trillion. The materials requited for this population’s habitats are carefully considered and accounted for (most would live in water-lined bubbles in orbit around the sun, though what all these people would do for vacations, at least those who would want a “wilderness-like” experience, I do not think was addressed). Some replies have asked perhaps the most fundamental question of all: “Why increase the population?” Without getting into religion or philosophy, consider just one of the many benefits of a larger population: more periodicals and journals addressing ever more subjects of interest. (Perhaps they do not exist anymore, but if you have ever walked into a well-stocked newsstand you get the idea. The only way all those titles can exist is if each has some minimum number of supporters/readers.) Savage posits one advantage of a growing population most have not considered. At some critical number the combined population in effect transcends to a higher level of consciousness or symbiotic power (my words; I do not rec

    Reply
  66. The most grandiose scheme for colonizing the solar system galaxy and then universe I am aware of at least without faster-than-light travel or communication is Marshall Savage’s The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. It is a fascinating read and contains much interesting data on solar system resources. It starts out describing a scheme for building floating sea colonies on earth using “sea-ment” including details of their manufacturing/economic output.Savage if I recall correctly thinks 10 billion people is the ideal maximum population for the earth (with many people living in the just mentioned sea colonies) but his vision for the solar system vastly exceeds Bezos’s one trillion. I think he considers the total luminescence of the sun estimates the average amount of power each person would require and then divides that by 10 to be very conservative. I think this comes out to about 10e23 or 100 billion trillion. The materials requited for this population’s habitats are carefully considered and accounted for (most would live in water-lined bubbles in orbit around the sun though what all these people would do for vacations at least those who would want a “wilderness-like” experience I do not think was addressed).Some replies have asked perhaps the most fundamental question of all: “Why increase the population?” Without getting into religion or philosophy consider just one of the many benefits of a larger population: more periodicals and journals addressing ever more subjects of interest. (Perhaps they do not exist anymore but if you have ever walked into a well-stocked newsstand you get the idea. The only way all those titles can exist is if each has some minimum number of supporters/readers.)Savage posits one advantage of a growing population most have not considered. At some critical number the combined population in effect transcends to a higher level of consciousness or symbiotic power (my words; I do not recall exac

    Reply
  67. As came up the last time we had this subject: there IS one thing stopping you from having “100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface.” How do you keep it cool? Heat buildup from 100 levels, each with sunlight levels of heat generation if you want to have agriculture. Or even LED lighting and human habitation levels of heat output is going to stack up very quickly.

    Reply
  68. As came up the last time we had this subject: there IS one thing stopping you from having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface.””How do you keep it cool? Heat buildup from 100 levels”””” each with sunlight levels of heat generation if you want to have agriculture. Or even LED lighting and human habitation levels of heat output is going to stack up very quickly.”””

    Reply
  69. ~140 *million* are born every year, not billion. But it’s more instructive to think in terms of percentages, or in terms of number born / dying per 1000 people. See my other post on that matter.

    Reply
  70. ~140 *million* are born every year not billion. But it’s more instructive to think in terms of percentages or in terms of number born / dying per 1000 people. See my other post on that matter.

    Reply
  71. Where I live, that kind of thing is handled with an automated payment plan. I suppose you could still gamble away all your money, but if medical treatments are automated (and rare?) enough and storage is cheap enough that you could get them as a free service, then that wouldn’t matter either.

    Reply
  72. Where I live that kind of thing is handled with an automated payment plan. I suppose you could still gamble away all your money but if medical treatments are automated (and rare?) enough and storage is cheap enough that you could get them as a free service then that wouldn’t matter either.

    Reply
  73. Well Bezos is bald, and after Elon Musk did the whole goldfinger costume thing, he had a sudden urge to do his take on the “One MILLION dollars” Dr. Evil movie quote with the upraised pinkie finger…

    Reply
  74. Well Bezos is bald and after Elon Musk did the whole goldfinger costume thing he had a sudden urge to do his take on the One MILLION dollars”” Dr. Evil movie quote with the upraised pinkie finger…”””

    Reply
  75. The most grandiose scheme for colonizing the solar system, galaxy and then universe I am aware of, at least without faster-than-light travel or communication, is Marshall Savage’s The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. It is a fascinating read and contains much interesting data on solar system resources. It starts out describing a scheme for building floating sea colonies on earth using “sea-ment”, including details of their manufacturing/economic output.

    Savage, if I recall correctly, thinks 10 billion people is the ideal maximum population for the earth (with many people living in the just mentioned sea colonies), but his vision for the solar system vastly exceeds Bezos’s one trillion. I think he considers the total luminescence of the sun, estimates the average amount of power each person would require, and then divides that by 10 to be very conservative. I think this comes out to about 10e23, or 100 billion trillion. The materials requited for this population’s habitats are carefully considered and accounted for (most would live in water-lined bubbles in orbit around the sun, though what all these people would do for vacations, at least those who would want a “wilderness-like” experience, I do not think was addressed).

    Some replies have asked perhaps the most fundamental question of all: “Why increase the population?” Without getting into religion or philosophy, consider just one of the many benefits of a larger population: more periodicals and journals addressing ever more subjects of interest. (Perhaps they do not exist anymore, but if you have ever walked into a well-stocked newsstand you get the idea. The only way all those titles can exist is if each has some minimum number of supporters/readers.)

    Savage posits one advantage of a growing population most have not considered. At some critical number the combined population in effect transcends to a higher level of consciousness or symbiotic power (my words; I do not recall exactly how Savage describes it). This process then repeats at certain population milestones.

    Reply
  76. As came up the last time we had this subject: there IS one thing stopping you from having “100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface.”

    How do you keep it cool? Heat buildup from 100 levels, each with sunlight levels of heat generation if you want to have agriculture. Or even LED lighting and human habitation levels of heat output is going to stack up very quickly.

    Reply
  77. Sticking billions of people into one huge structure make the loss of that structure catastrophic. Each cylinder is an Ark that can potentially contain all the organisms, knowledge and ecosystems needed to reboot humanity in the event of a disaster, so better to have 1000 smaller cylinders with a million people each rather than one with a billion. Resilience. Also, if asteroid mining makes materials cheap and plentiful, and SPACE is unlimited, why would you pack people in like sardines in a can? The resources of the asteroid belt are greater than a thousand earths. When the invention of railways allowed people in London and New York to spread out to the suburbs, houses became larger and space per person increased. When the resources of the asteroid belt become available, this should be reflected in dwelling space per person. Sure, have a trillion people, living in a million different cylinders, each cylinder with a million people occupying ten thousand square kilometers (100 km circumference times 100 km length). Give each person an acre of surface garden space, with levels of residential living, indoor agriculture, industry, shops and transport networks below. Nothing stops you having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface. An acre per person is a million acres, 4000 square kilometers, which still leaves 60% of the surface available for parks and community buildings. It’s space, think big.

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  78. Sticking billions of people into one huge structure make the loss of that structure catastrophic. Each cylinder is an Ark that can potentially contain all the organisms knowledge and ecosystems needed to reboot humanity in the event of a disaster so better to have 1000 smaller cylinders with a million people each rather than one with a billion. Resilience.Also if asteroid mining makes materials cheap and plentiful and SPACE is unlimited why would you pack people in like sardines in a can? The resources of the asteroid belt are greater than a thousand earths. When the invention of railways allowed people in London and New York to spread out to the suburbs houses became larger and space per person increased. When the resources of the asteroid belt become available this should be reflected in dwelling space per person. Sure have a trillion people living in a million different cylinders each cylinder with a million people occupying ten thousand square kilometers (100 km circumference times 100 km length).Give each person an acre of surface garden space with levels of residential living indoor agriculture industry shops and transport networks below. Nothing stops you having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface. An acre per person is a million acres 4000 square kilometers which still leaves 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the surface available for parks and community buildings.It’s space think big.

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  79. Because if technology keeps going the way it has and nothing changes radically then in about 100 years or less when you have kids there will always be a live in nanny. In a thousand there will be literally Billions born every year. Think about it this way. There are 141 billion people born every year. If that rate never ever changed we would still have something over 200 billion people after a thousand years. That is that rate never changing. Also consider when we have something like artificial wombs, ai nannys or some such and all the other goodies everyone will think of people will be OK with having more kids. Most people I know that have kids now would like more they just don’t have the time to have more or the money.

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  80. Because if technology keeps going the way it has and nothing changes radically then in about 100 years or less when you have kids there will always be a live in nanny. In a thousand there will be literally Billions born every year.Think about it this way. There are 141 billion people born every year. If that rate never ever changed we would still have something over 200 billion people after a thousand years. That is that rate never changing.Also consider when we have something like artificial wombs ai nannys or some such and all the other goodies everyone will think of people will be OK with having more kids.Most people I know that have kids now would like more they just don’t have the time to have more or the money.

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  81. ~140 *million* are born every year, not billion. But it’s more instructive to think in terms of percentages, or in terms of number born / dying per 1000 people. See my other post on that matter.

    Reply
  82. Where I live, that kind of thing is handled with an automated payment plan. I suppose you could still gamble away all your money, but if medical treatments are automated (and rare?) enough and storage is cheap enough that you could get them as a free service, then that wouldn’t matter either.

    Reply
  83. The Shapers are the bio-tech people out living in city-states in the Saturn system in the novel Schismatrix. The Shapers were one of two major factions. They were of the ring council (30 space colonies in orbit of Saturn) whereas the Mech had something like 400 space colonies in the asteroid belt.

    Reply
  84. The Shapers are the bio-tech people out living in city-states in the Saturn system in the novel Schismatrix. The Shapers were one of two major factions. They were of the ring council (30 space colonies in orbit of Saturn) whereas the Mech had something like 400 space colonies in the asteroid belt.

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  85. You don’t need artificial gravity, you just need a cylinder with a large enough radius that Coriolis forces are small. And the way you shield from radition is with a whole bunch of dirt. The problem isn’t science; it’s getting a critical mass of gadgets to the top of a gravity well. After that, things are relatively cheap.

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  86. You don’t need artificial gravity you just need a cylinder with a large enough radius that Coriolis forces are small. And the way you shield from radition is with a whole bunch of dirt.The problem isn’t science; it’s getting a critical mass of gadgets to the top of a gravity well. After that things are relatively cheap.

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  87. Yep, the McKendre cylinders look like a titan project for another era. When space mining and machine self-replication have been dominated, making such enterprises not completely unrealistic. I’m thinking more The Culture level of sophistication than the 21th century. We should be thinking about manned inflatable labs in 0-G and early bolo stations, with other schemes emerging as there is need and money to be made from them. And even in those future ages, you could have several county or state sized colonies instead of a single humongous one way faster and with far less money. Redundancy also matters. Big but not overly big stations grouped in a same location, reachable with centripetal shuttles, would be more resilient to serious damage on any single one.

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  88. Yep the McKendre cylinders look like a titan project for another era. When space mining and machine self-replication have been dominated making such enterprises not completely unrealistic. I’m thinking more The Culture level of sophistication than the 21th century.We should be thinking about manned inflatable labs in 0-G and early bolo stations with other schemes emerging as there is need and money to be made from them.And even in those future ages you could have several county or state sized colonies instead of a single humongous one way faster and with far less money. Redundancy also matters. Big but not overly big stations grouped in a same location reachable with centripetal shuttles would be more resilient to serious damage on any single one.

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  89. But why one trillion people? ” Because in order for Brian to retire in style, he’ll need that big of an audience for Next Big Solar System.

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  90. But why one trillion people? “”Because in order for Brian to retire in style”””” he’ll need that big of an audience for Next Big Solar System.”””

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  91. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence…” Especially since their main guy doesn’t Tweet material statements about the company while high on acid. “This time will be different. ” Famous last words.

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  92. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX” but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence…””Especially since their main guy doesn’t Tweet material statements about the company while high on acid.””””This time will be different. “”””Famous last words.”””

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  93. …containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space, nearly as much land area as that of Russia.” “Oh look! I can see Russia Station from outside my house!” — Sarah Palin, looking out the viewport of her L3 space station residence at the next station over.

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  94. …containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space” nearly as much land area as that of Russia.””””””Oh look! I can see Russia Station from outside my house!”””” — Sarah Palin”””” looking out the viewport of her L3 space station residence at the next station over.”””

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  95. Or, one can build a ‘traditional’ O’Neill (“..that’s spelled with TWO ells!” — Col. Jack O’Neill, Stargate SG-1) for a fraction of the cost and less time, I bet.

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  96. Or one can build a ‘traditional’ O’Neill (..that’s spelled with TWO ells!”” — Col. Jack O’Neill”” Stargate SG-1) for a fraction of the cost and less time”” I bet.”””

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  97. Well Bezos is bald, and after Elon Musk did the whole goldfinger costume thing, he had a sudden urge to do his take on the “One MILLION dollars” Dr. Evil movie quote with the upraised pinkie finger…

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  98. I’m not convinced that risk homeostasis is realistic in the long run. At some point, it starts getting increasingly difficult to take more risk. And the more technology it requires, the more opportunity there is for safety features. Once you have emergency medical nanobots embedded in your head, and capable of sustaining your brain until your body can be regrown (or something like that), what more are you going to do? Jump into the Sun?

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  99. I’m not convinced that risk homeostasis is realistic in the long run. At some point it starts getting increasingly difficult to take more risk. And the more technology it requires the more opportunity there is for safety features. Once you have emergency medical nanobots embedded in your head and capable of sustaining your brain until your body can be regrown (or something like that) what more are you going to do? Jump into the Sun?

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  100. No, I don’t think we’ll stop once aging is “solved”. Which is going to be quite a while in happening; I won’t regard it as “solved” until people can live arbitrarily long lives without continual medical intervention. But, risk homeostasis; People respond to obvious safety features, like antilock brakes, by acting in a more risky fashion, arriving at about the same effective risk level. I expect that to continue being a part of our psychology. Make people more durable, and they’ll just engage in more extreme activities.

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  101. No I don’t think we’ll stop once aging is solved””. Which is going to be quite a while in happening; I won’t regard it as “”””solved”””” until people can live arbitrarily long lives without continual medical intervention. But”” risk homeostasis; People respond to obvious safety features like antilock brakes by acting in a more risky fashion arriving at about the same effective risk level.I expect that to continue being a part of our psychology. Make people more durable”” and they’ll just engage in more extreme activities.”””

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  102. We will have to learn to make artificial gravity and control radiation economically first, than you can put people anywhere in space living in space structures not even connected to planets.

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  103. We will have to learn to make artificial gravity and control radiation economically first than you can put people anywhere in space living in space structures not even connected to planets.

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  104. Competition between nations, cultures, ethnic groups, religions or ideological systems could all lead a group to expand its numbers this way. It’s a sort of depressing view of the future though. A self-replicating weapon or economic system might be more logical than an expanding population, but it depends on the shape of the world order.

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  105. Competition between nations cultures ethnic groups religions or ideological systems could all lead a group to expand its numbers this way. It’s a sort of depressing view of the future though. A self-replicating weapon or economic system might be more logical than an expanding population but it depends on the shape of the world order.

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  106. That may be true initially, but do you really think we’ll stop going after the leading causes of death once aging is solved? Medicine is improving all the time, and so do safety measures. Accidents will need to be more and more extreme to remain fatal, the more time goes by. Eventually only major brain damage would kill you. Maybe not even that, if we develop an acceptable backup-and-restore system. Statistically, given infinite time, the probability of dying from *something* will always be 100%. But the half-life can get extremely long. And even at just 3 times current, that’s still much longer than the population doubling cycle. What do you think happens when the half-life exceeds the doubling rate?

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  107. That may be true initially but do you really think we’ll stop going after the leading causes of death once aging is solved? Medicine is improving all the time and so do safety measures. Accidents will need to be more and more extreme to remain fatal the more time goes by. Eventually only major brain damage would kill you. Maybe not even that if we develop an acceptable backup-and-restore system.Statistically given infinite time the probability of dying from *something* will always be 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. But the half-life can get extremely long. And even at just 3 times current that’s still much longer than the population doubling cycle. What do you think happens when the half-life exceeds the doubling rate?

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  108. The Shapers raise their kids in creches. But I agree with you. What is the point of having kids if you’re going to raise them in creches.

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  109. The Shapers raise their kids in creches. But I agree with you. What is the point of having kids if you’re going to raise them in creches.

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  110. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence, to never reduce it as far as they exist and launch rockets. And they are focusing on the stuff that may return some actual revenue in the long term and take us to live into space also in the long term. Personally I’m not sure about SpaceX’s Mars fixation, I mean as a long term money maker. They could certainly rise and shine on the next decade, achieving some or all of their milestones. But even if they have resounding success, land people on Mars and return them, thus opening the interplanetary age, it is pending to see if there will be such a strong demand for trips to Mars afterwards by others than government projects. My hunch is they will end up propping up and growing the orbital and cislunar launch market with their big reusable rockets, the space close and far from Earth being the places most businesses would want to go in the next few decades. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe we will do an Apollo missions re-enactment, going to the Moon and Mars and then forget about it for 50 years. This time will be different. Having the rockets and landers provided by a private company will at least ensure they are still available after the Mars fever subsides, and government projects and interests will also ensure it remains inhabited by people permanently. Like they do keep McMurdo permanently inhabited, very much for the same reasons: maintaining the projects going and protecting the USA’s interests in Antarctica. But if there will be a rush of private interests to go so far from Earth is pending to be seen.

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  111. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence to never reduce it as far as they exist and launch rockets.And they are focusing on the stuff that may return some actual revenue in the long term and take us to live into space also in the long term. Personally I’m not sure about SpaceX’s Mars fixation I mean as a long term money maker.They could certainly rise and shine on the next decade achieving some or all of their milestones. But even if they have resounding success land people on Mars and return them thus opening the interplanetary age it is pending to see if there will be such a strong demand for trips to Mars afterwards by others than government projects.My hunch is they will end up propping up and growing the orbital and cislunar launch market with their big reusable rockets the space close and far from Earth being the places most businesses would want to go in the next few decades.Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe we will do an Apollo missions re-enactment going to the Moon and Mars and then forget about it for 50 years. This time will be different.Having the rockets and landers provided by a private company will at least ensure they are still available after the Mars fever subsides and government projects and interests will also ensure it remains inhabited by people permanently. Like they do keep McMurdo permanently inhabited very much for the same reasons: maintaining the projects going and protecting the USA’s interests in Antarctica.But if there will be a rush of private interests to go so far from Earth is pending to be seen.

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  112. Science Fiction has dealt with this situation with the use of a “creche” system. This system posits that groups of children can be raised by professional caregivers. You could easily augment the staff using robots. Within a generation or two probably most kids will be raised by robots anyway. With artificial wombs, if the will was actually there, you could raise incredibly large populations in a century or two. Why anyone would wish to do so is another question entirely.

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  113. Science Fiction has dealt with this situation with the use of a creche”” system. This system posits that groups of children can be raised by professional caregivers. You could easily augment the staff using robots. Within a generation or two probably most kids will be raised by robots anyway. With artificial wombs”” if the will was actually there”” you could raise incredibly large populations in a century or two. Why anyone would wish to do so is another question entirely.”””

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  114. I’m all for the space colony thing. But why one trillion people? Why not a much more reasonable, say, 20 billion people, amortal of course (radical life extension) scattered throughout the solar system with a very slowly increasing population resulting from those few people who actually like having kids?

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  115. I’m all for the space colony thing. But why one trillion people?Why not a much more reasonable say 20 billion people amortal of course (radical life extension) scattered throughout the solar system with a very slowly increasing population resulting from those few people who actually like having kids?

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  116. Even radical life extension still has people dying of accidents. I think I’ve seen estimates that, even with aging totally out of the picture, and assuming the lowest accident rate for any age segment, you’d only about triple the average life span. It’s just that it would become more of a half life than an average.

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  117. Even radical life extension still has people dying of accidents. I think I’ve seen estimates that even with aging totally out of the picture and assuming the lowest accident rate for any age segment you’d only about triple the average life span. It’s just that it would become more of a half life than an average.

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  118. I can see some serious disadvantages outweighing the advantages for our preferred life styles if there were less than a billion people on Earth. Above that number, the disadvantages seem to begin to increase faster than the advantages. A billion off planet, sure, although I expect unaugmented organic humans will not be the bulk of those eventually living off planet (and possibly not even on it). Trillions is crazy though. Sure, it might be possible, but why would anyone want this? Even the solar systems resources are, at some level, finite. Some of us just like a bit of a room to swing a cat, or put up a storage shed without filing eight permits, being too close to the neighbor’s property line, or paying for an environmental impact study. If population even began to rise towards a hundred billion I can see that as easily being the biggest incentive possible for interstellar emigration. Or war. Or thought control. Or worse.

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  119. I can see some serious disadvantages outweighing the advantages for our preferred life styles if there were less than a billion people on Earth. Above that number the disadvantages seem to begin to increase faster than the advantages. A billion off planet sure although I expect unaugmented organic humans will not be the bulk of those eventually living off planet (and possibly not even on it).Trillions is crazy though. Sure it might be possible but why would anyone want this? Even the solar systems resources are at some level finite. Some of us just like a bit of a room to swing a cat or put up a storage shed without filing eight permits being too close to the neighbor’s property line or paying for an environmental impact study. If population even began to rise towards a hundred billion I can see that as easily being the biggest incentive possible for interstellar emigration. Or war. Or thought control. Or worse.

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  120. Sticking billions of people into one huge structure make the loss of that structure catastrophic. Each cylinder is an Ark that can potentially contain all the organisms, knowledge and ecosystems needed to reboot humanity in the event of a disaster, so better to have 1000 smaller cylinders with a million people each rather than one with a billion. Resilience.

    Also, if asteroid mining makes materials cheap and plentiful, and SPACE is unlimited, why would you pack people in like sardines in a can? The resources of the asteroid belt are greater than a thousand earths. When the invention of railways allowed people in London and New York to spread out to the suburbs, houses became larger and space per person increased.

    When the resources of the asteroid belt become available, this should be reflected in dwelling space per person. Sure, have a trillion people, living in a million different cylinders, each cylinder with a million people occupying ten thousand square kilometers (100 km circumference times 100 km length).

    Give each person an acre of surface garden space, with levels of residential living, indoor agriculture, industry, shops and transport networks below. Nothing stops you having 100 levels between the outer shell and the inner surface. An acre per person is a million acres, 4000 square kilometers, which still leaves 60% of the surface available for parks and community buildings.

    It’s space, think big.

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  121. Rough estimate, at over 10 times less dense: 1000 m^2/person * 10 m height * 0.1 (= 10% structural density) = 1000 m^3/person of structural material. At 3500 kg/m^3 (density of diamond; grapehe, CNTs, etc should have lower density) and 1 trillion people, that’s 3.5e18 kg of carbon. The asteroid belt alone is ~3e21 kg, of which ~75% are carbonaceous. Assuming conservatively ~20% carbon in such asteroids gives 3e21 * 0.75 * 0.2 = ~4.5e20 kg of carbon, which leaves plenty of wiggle room if more mass is needed than my estimate. There are also other sources of carbon and other materials.

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  122. Rough estimate at over 10 times less dense: 1000 m^2/person * 10 m height * 0.1 (= 10{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} structural density) = 1000 m^3/person of structural material. At 3500 kg/m^3 (density of diamond; grapehe CNTs etc should have lower density) and 1 trillion people that’s 3.5e18 kg of carbon.The asteroid belt alone is ~3e21 kg of which ~75{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} are carbonaceous. Assuming conservatively ~20{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} carbon in such asteroids gives 3e21 * 0.75 * 0.2 = ~4.5e20 kg of carbon which leaves plenty of wiggle room if more mass is needed than my estimate. There are also other sources of carbon and other materials.

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  123. Because if technology keeps going the way it has and nothing changes radically then in about 100 years or less when you have kids there will always be a live in nanny. In a thousand there will be literally Billions born every year.

    Think about it this way. There are 141 billion people born every year. If that rate never ever changed we would still have something over 200 billion people after a thousand years. That is that rate never changing.

    Also consider when we have something like artificial wombs, ai nannys or some such and all the other goodies everyone will think of people will be OK with having more kids.

    Most people I know that have kids now would like more they just don’t have the time to have more or the money.

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  124. Scaling up O’Neil colonies in this way doesn’t make a lot of engineering sense. As was pointed out in an earlier article, there’s a sweet spot, (Which varies according to the materials you’re using, but for steel it’s about 10 km in diameter.) where the colony has reached the size that the structural shell is thick enough to double as the radiation shielding. That’s the most efficient size for a colony. That, of course, applies to diameter, not length. But beyond a certain length to diameter ratio, rotating cylinders are subject to tumbling modes, so ideally you want to colonies to be reasonably short. This suggests that the most efficient colony size is (For steel, anyway.) about 300-400 square kilometers. For higher strength to weight materials, you could go larger, but the McKendree cylinder is a bit large for efficiency. You’d get more living space by building multiple smaller colonies. If you want more area, you *can* make the cylinders longer, arbitrarily long if you want, so long as they’re connected to some kind of rigid frame through bearings, to suppress instabilities. You would NOT want to be in a rotating colony that started tumbling, or went into a jump rope mode.

    Reply
  125. Scaling up O’Neil colonies in this way doesn’t make a lot of engineering sense. As was pointed out in an earlier article there’s a sweet spot (Which varies according to the materials you’re using but for steel it’s about 10 km in diameter.) where the colony has reached the size that the structural shell is thick enough to double as the radiation shielding. That’s the most efficient size for a colony.That of course applies to diameter not length. But beyond a certain length to diameter ratio rotating cylinders are subject to tumbling modes so ideally you want to colonies to be reasonably short.This suggests that the most efficient colony size is (For steel anyway.) about 300-400 square kilometers. For higher strength to weight materials you could go larger but the McKendree cylinder is a bit large for efficiency. You’d get more living space by building multiple smaller colonies.If you want more area you *can* make the cylinders longer arbitrarily long if you want so long as they’re connected to some kind of rigid frame through bearings to suppress instabilities. You would NOT want to be in a rotating colony that started tumbling or went into a jump rope mode.

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  126. At New York City density of ~10000 people per km^2, 100 billion would only take a few percent of Earth’s surface. So it’s not as demented as you think. 10000 people per km^2 is 100 m^2 per person, so 84 m^2/person is only slightly denser than NYC. But one could make much less dense space colonies. There’s enough material for that in space. 84 m^2/person is a conservative figure.

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  127. At New York City density of ~10000 people per km^2 100 billion would only take a few percent of Earth’s surface. So it’s not as demented as you think.10000 people per km^2 is 100 m^2 per person so 84 m^2/person is only slightly denser than NYC. But one could make much less dense space colonies. There’s enough material for that in space. 84 m^2/person is a conservative figure.

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  128. The people pioneering space access and development today don’t have to be the same ones that’ll go in 100+ years. As space access gets cheaper, and the world’s economy keeps growing, more people from more countries will be able to go. Air travel is accessible to all but the poorest countries today.

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  129. The people pioneering space access and development today don’t have to be the same ones that’ll go in 100+ years. As space access gets cheaper and the world’s economy keeps growing more people from more countries will be able to go. Air travel is accessible to all but the poorest countries today.

    Reply
  130. According to wikipedia /wiki/Birth_rate : “The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1,000 total population in 2016. The death rate is 7.8 per 1,000 per year.” At these rates, the population doubling cycle is 66 years. If all deaths are eliminated, the doubling cycle would be 38 years. Radical life extension could come close to that, but there will still be some deaths from accidents and from people not able or not willing to undergo the necessary treatments. The longer life expectancy will also result in a longer reproductive period, which will likely be accompanied by a reduction in birth rates. Getting from 8 billion to 1 trillion takes 7 doublings, so at 66 years per doubling, that’s 462 years. 7 times 38 is 266 years. So call that 300-500, depending on assumptions.

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  131. According to wikipedia /wiki/Birth_rate : The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1000 total population in 2016. The death rate is 7.8 per 1″000 per year.””At these rates”” the population doubling cycle is 66 years. If all deaths are eliminated the doubling cycle would be 38 years. Radical life extension could come close to that but there will still be some deaths from accidents and from people not able or not willing to undergo the necessary treatments. The longer life expectancy will also result in a longer reproductive period which will likely be accompanied by a reduction in birth rates.Getting from 8 billion to 1 trillion takes 7 doublings so at 66 years per doubling that’s 462 years. 7 times 38 is 266 years. So call that 300-500″” depending on assumptions.”””

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  132. 100 billions peoples on Earth ! 84 square meters for people in space ! What a demented vision ! Anyway as somebody said no industrialized country having some space hability is above the replacement rate. But maybe, the amish, Lubavitch and black africans will be saved by Bezos : he is working hard making space for them.

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  133. 100 billions peoples on Earth ! 84 square meters for people in space ! What a demented vision ! Anyway as somebody said no industrialized country having some space hability is above the replacement rate.But maybe the amish Lubavitch and black africans will be saved by Bezos : he is working hard making space for them.

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  134. The Shapers are the bio-tech people out living in city-states in the Saturn system in the novel Schismatrix. The Shapers were one of two major factions. They were of the ring council (30 space colonies in orbit of Saturn) whereas the Mech had something like 400 space colonies in the asteroid belt.

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  135. You don’t need artificial gravity, you just need a cylinder with a large enough radius that Coriolis forces are small. And the way you shield from radition is with a whole bunch of dirt.

    The problem isn’t science; it’s getting a critical mass of gadgets to the top of a gravity well. After that, things are relatively cheap.

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  136. Yep, the McKendre cylinders look like a titan project for another era. When space mining and machine self-replication have been dominated, making such enterprises not completely unrealistic. I’m thinking more The Culture level of sophistication than the 21th century.

    We should be thinking about manned inflatable labs in 0-G and early bolo stations, with other schemes emerging as there is need and money to be made from them.

    And even in those future ages, you could have several county or state sized colonies instead of a single humongous one way faster and with far less money.

    Redundancy also matters. Big but not overly big stations grouped in a same location, reachable with centripetal shuttles, would be more resilient to serious damage on any single one.

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  137. “Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence…”

    Especially since their main guy doesn’t Tweet material statements about the company while high on acid.

    “This time will be different. ”
    Famous last words.

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  138. “…containing 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles) of living space, nearly as much land area as that of Russia.”

    “Oh look! I can see Russia Station from outside my house!” — Sarah Palin, looking out the viewport of her L3 space station residence at the next station over.

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  139. This is a grand vision from Bezos, though I will not be surprised if he is criticized, mainly from the green left, for suggesting that the earth could “easily support 100 billion people” with the aid of certain advanced technologies. I believe Bezos is correct, and I support population growth, though I also value, probably as much as almost anyone, “pristine” (usually meaning, I suppose, non-populated and otherwise “untouched”) wilderness. If sea colonies, skyscrapers and/or underground habitats were sufficiently utilized, the land surface of the earth could be much less populated than at present, with vacation destinations in many places offering everything from “raw” wilderness experiences to plush resorts. That said, concerning populating the solar system, I agree with the sentiment and wisdom of Mountaineer. Those most likely to go into space are least likely to be willing to reproduce. Along these lines I sometimes grin when I watch “Star Trek” (which I almost always enjoy), and see The Federation pushing outward into the galaxy, with human colonists apparently populating at least some newly discovered planets along the way. On the Enterprise (yes, a military/exploration vessel, but some children are aboard, at least in “Next Generation”), seemingly few of the senior staff chose to marry and/or reproduce (Chief O’Brian, in “Deep Space Nine,” is the only one who comes to mind, with Dr. Crusher and Worf having, I believe, one child each from a previous marriage and, I think, an affair, respectively). Remember, just to maintain a stable population requires at least two children per couple (at least 2.1 under current conditions in most Western nations).

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  140. This is a grand vision from Bezos though I will not be surprised if he is criticized mainly from the green left for suggesting that the earth could easily support 100 billion people”” with the aid of certain advanced technologies. I believe Bezos is correct”” and I support population growth though I also value probably as much as almost anyone”” “”””pristine”””” (usually meaning”” I suppose”” non-populated and otherwise “”””untouched””””) wilderness. If sea colonies”” skyscrapers and/or underground habitats were sufficiently utilized the land surface of the earth could be much less populated than at present”” with vacation destinations in many places offering everything from “”””raw”””” wilderness experiences to plush resorts.That said”” concerning populating the solar system”” I agree with the sentiment and wisdom of Mountaineer. Those most likely to go into space are least likely to be willing to reproduce. Along these lines I sometimes grin when I watch “”””Star Trek”””” (which I almost always enjoy)”” and see The Federation pushing outward into the galaxy with human colonists apparently populating at least some newly discovered planets along the way. On the Enterprise (yes a military/exploration vessel but some children are aboard”” at least in “”””Next Generation””””)”” seemingly few of the senior staff chose to marry and/or reproduce (Chief O’Brian”” in “”””Deep Space Nine”””””””” is the only one who comes to mind”” with Dr. Crusher and Worf having I believe one child each from a previous marriage and I think an affair respectively). Remember”” just to maintain a stable population requires at least two children per couple (at least 2.1 under current conditions in most Western nations).”””

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  141. I’m not convinced that risk homeostasis is realistic in the long run. At some point, it starts getting increasingly difficult to take more risk. And the more technology it requires, the more opportunity there is for safety features. Once you have emergency medical nanobots embedded in your head, and capable of sustaining your brain until your body can be regrown (or something like that), what more are you going to do? Jump into the Sun?

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  142. No, I don’t think we’ll stop once aging is “solved”. Which is going to be quite a while in happening; I won’t regard it as “solved” until people can live arbitrarily long lives without continual medical intervention.

    But, risk homeostasis; People respond to obvious safety features, like antilock brakes, by acting in a more risky fashion, arriving at about the same effective risk level.

    I expect that to continue being a part of our psychology. Make people more durable, and they’ll just engage in more extreme activities.

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  143. We will have to learn to make artificial gravity and control radiation economically first, than you can put people anywhere in space living in space structures not even connected to planets.

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  144. Competition between nations, cultures, ethnic groups, religions or ideological systems could all lead a group to expand its numbers this way. It’s a sort of depressing view of the future though. A self-replicating weapon or economic system might be more logical than an expanding population, but it depends on the shape of the world order.

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  145. That may be true initially, but do you really think we’ll stop going after the leading causes of death once aging is solved? Medicine is improving all the time, and so do safety measures. Accidents will need to be more and more extreme to remain fatal, the more time goes by. Eventually only major brain damage would kill you. Maybe not even that, if we develop an acceptable backup-and-restore system.

    Statistically, given infinite time, the probability of dying from *something* will always be 100%. But the half-life can get extremely long. And even at just 3 times current, that’s still much longer than the population doubling cycle. What do you think happens when the half-life exceeds the doubling rate?

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  146. Blue Origin is going slower than SpaceX, but I believe they definitely will have a strong presence in space a decade hence, to never reduce it as far as they exist and launch rockets.

    And they are focusing on the stuff that may return some actual revenue in the long term and take us to live into space also in the long term.

    Personally I’m not sure about SpaceX’s Mars fixation, I mean as a long term money maker.

    They could certainly rise and shine on the next decade, achieving some or all of their milestones. But even if they have resounding success, land people on Mars and return them, thus opening the interplanetary age, it is pending to see if there will be such a strong demand for trips to Mars afterwards by others than government projects.

    My hunch is they will end up propping up and growing the orbital and cislunar launch market with their big reusable rockets, the space close and far from Earth being the places most businesses would want to go in the next few decades.

    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe we will do an Apollo missions re-enactment, going to the Moon and Mars and then forget about it for 50 years. This time will be different.

    Having the rockets and landers provided by a private company will at least ensure they are still available after the Mars fever subsides, and government projects and interests will also ensure it remains inhabited by people permanently. Like they do keep McMurdo permanently inhabited, very much for the same reasons: maintaining the projects going and protecting the USA’s interests in Antarctica.

    But if there will be a rush of private interests to go so far from Earth is pending to be seen.

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  147. Science Fiction has dealt with this situation with the use of a “creche” system. This system posits that groups of children can be raised by professional caregivers. You could easily augment the staff using robots. Within a generation or two probably most kids will be raised by robots anyway. With artificial wombs, if the will was actually there, you could raise incredibly large populations in a century or two.

    Why anyone would wish to do so is another question entirely.

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  148. I’m all for the space colony thing. But why one trillion people?

    Why not a much more reasonable, say, 20 billion people, amortal of course (radical life extension) scattered throughout the solar system with a very slowly increasing population resulting from those few people who actually like having kids?

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  149. Even radical life extension still has people dying of accidents. I think I’ve seen estimates that, even with aging totally out of the picture, and assuming the lowest accident rate for any age segment, you’d only about triple the average life span.

    It’s just that it would become more of a half life than an average.

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  150. I can see some serious disadvantages outweighing the advantages for our preferred life styles if there were less than a billion people on Earth. Above that number, the disadvantages seem to begin to increase faster than the advantages. A billion off planet, sure, although I expect unaugmented organic humans will not be the bulk of those eventually living off planet (and possibly not even on it).

    Trillions is crazy though. Sure, it might be possible, but why would anyone want this? Even the solar systems resources are, at some level, finite. Some of us just like a bit of a room to swing a cat, or put up a storage shed without filing eight permits, being too close to the neighbor’s property line, or paying for an environmental impact study. If population even began to rise towards a hundred billion I can see that as easily being the biggest incentive possible for interstellar emigration. Or war. Or thought control. Or worse.

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  151. Rough estimate, at over 10 times less dense: 1000 m^2/person * 10 m height * 0.1 (= 10% structural density) = 1000 m^3/person of structural material. At 3500 kg/m^3 (density of diamond; grapehe, CNTs, etc should have lower density) and 1 trillion people, that’s 3.5e18 kg of carbon.

    The asteroid belt alone is ~3e21 kg, of which ~75% are carbonaceous. Assuming conservatively ~20% carbon in such asteroids gives 3e21 * 0.75 * 0.2 = ~4.5e20 kg of carbon, which leaves plenty of wiggle room if more mass is needed than my estimate. There are also other sources of carbon and other materials.

    Reply
  152. Scaling up O’Neil colonies in this way doesn’t make a lot of engineering sense. As was pointed out in an earlier article, there’s a sweet spot, (Which varies according to the materials you’re using, but for steel it’s about 10 km in diameter.) where the colony has reached the size that the structural shell is thick enough to double as the radiation shielding. That’s the most efficient size for a colony.

    That, of course, applies to diameter, not length. But beyond a certain length to diameter ratio, rotating cylinders are subject to tumbling modes, so ideally you want to colonies to be reasonably short.

    This suggests that the most efficient colony size is (For steel, anyway.) about 300-400 square kilometers. For higher strength to weight materials, you could go larger, but the McKendree cylinder is a bit large for efficiency. You’d get more living space by building multiple smaller colonies.

    If you want more area, you *can* make the cylinders longer, arbitrarily long if you want, so long as they’re connected to some kind of rigid frame through bearings, to suppress instabilities. You would NOT want to be in a rotating colony that started tumbling, or went into a jump rope mode.

    Reply
  153. At New York City density of ~10000 people per km^2, 100 billion would only take a few percent of Earth’s surface. So it’s not as demented as you think.

    10000 people per km^2 is 100 m^2 per person, so 84 m^2/person is only slightly denser than NYC. But one could make much less dense space colonies. There’s enough material for that in space. 84 m^2/person is a conservative figure.

    Reply
  154. The people pioneering space access and development today don’t have to be the same ones that’ll go in 100+ years. As space access gets cheaper, and the world’s economy keeps growing, more people from more countries will be able to go. Air travel is accessible to all but the poorest countries today.

    Reply
  155. According to wikipedia /wiki/Birth_rate : “The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1,000 total population in 2016. The death rate is 7.8 per 1,000 per year.”

    At these rates, the population doubling cycle is 66 years. If all deaths are eliminated, the doubling cycle would be 38 years. Radical life extension could come close to that, but there will still be some deaths from accidents and from people not able or not willing to undergo the necessary treatments. The longer life expectancy will also result in a longer reproductive period, which will likely be accompanied by a reduction in birth rates.

    Getting from 8 billion to 1 trillion takes 7 doublings, so at 66 years per doubling, that’s 462 years. 7 times 38 is 266 years. So call that 300-500, depending on assumptions.

    Reply
  156. 100 billions peoples on Earth ! 84 square meters for people in space ! What a demented vision ! Anyway as somebody said no industrialized country having some space hability is above the replacement rate.

    But maybe, the amish, Lubavitch and black africans will be saved by Bezos : he is working hard making space for them.

    Reply
  157. This is a grand vision from Bezos, though I will not be surprised if he is criticized, mainly from the green left, for suggesting that the earth could “easily support 100 billion people” with the aid of certain advanced technologies. I believe Bezos is correct, and I support population growth, though I also value, probably as much as almost anyone, “pristine” (usually meaning, I suppose, non-populated and otherwise “untouched”) wilderness. If sea colonies, skyscrapers and/or underground habitats were sufficiently utilized, the land surface of the earth could be much less populated than at present, with vacation destinations in many places offering everything from “raw” wilderness experiences to plush resorts.

    That said, concerning populating the solar system, I agree with the sentiment and wisdom of Mountaineer. Those most likely to go into space are least likely to be willing to reproduce. Along these lines I sometimes grin when I watch “Star Trek” (which I almost always enjoy), and see The Federation pushing outward into the galaxy, with human colonists apparently populating at least some newly discovered planets along the way. On the Enterprise (yes, a military/exploration vessel, but some children are aboard, at least in “Next Generation”), seemingly few of the senior staff chose to marry and/or reproduce (Chief O’Brian, in “Deep Space Nine,” is the only one who comes to mind, with Dr. Crusher and Worf having, I believe, one child each from a previous marriage and, I think, an affair, respectively). Remember, just to maintain a stable population requires at least two children per couple (at least 2.1 under current conditions in most Western nations).

    Reply

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