Colonizing the Solar System: The Basics – Water in Orbit

This is the first of my thought experiments about colonizing the Solar System.  I’m of the view that we won’t wait until we have space elevators or anti-gravity drives. When selecting start colonizing, getting into orbit will be a lottery of effort. Personally, I believe that when humanity gets serious about the Solar System, well still be struggling to get into orbit. I suspect that an early goal for long term settlement will be a consistent and ready supply of water in orbit.

If there’s water on the moon or on an asteroid close to Earth. That will be the primary objective. To establish a settlement and a mechanism for reliably and routinely getting the water for there into Earth orbit. It could be stored above geostationary orbit (where there is less junk) and decelerated into a lower orbit as needed.

The first permanently inhabited colony in space may be on a chunk of ice. Once the cost of moving heavy propellant into orbit is removed then travel time around the Solar System can be reduced and the amount of useful equipment brought into space increased.

In my timeline, this is what has happened. The first colonies were set up to guarantee a ready supply of fuel.


Book Review: Daughter of the Revolution

Daughter of the Revolution
by Becca Patterson

DoTRThis was a great little YA science fiction romp with some thought provoking social commentary. Set in a distant future, I liked the way it portrayed the challenges that youth faced.

Originally the book made my list as I believed it would hit the social commentary about equality criteria. It was put to me as set in a matriarchy. What was interesting was that the matriarchal nature of the setting was actually quite subtle. Enough of the main characters were male that the full matriarchal nature of the setting remained in the background and it was only made obvious by the number of minor characters that were female. It seemed that female was the default for any minor characters. It didn’t give a sense of female privilege and it didn’t make me question any of my male notions on life. In fact it seemed to me like the setting was based around equality.

Where it did shine was in the commentary on youth and the increasing demanding world that they inhabit. They don’t become full citizens unless they graduate. Given the much harsher life those that don’t graduate college experience it’s a great analogy for the struggle that the young face today. Another interesting facet is children can be adopted out to corporations. Again, given the crippling nature of sued the loans, it’s another great analogy. In some way, I wish it had explored these concepts more.

The plot itself is wide ranging with a lot of danger and conflict for the characters. It’s a nice mad dash across that systems with enough twists and turns to keep the story moving. The characters are likeable though perhaps a little too effective given they are essentially schoolkids.

It certainly makes it into the softer side of science fiction with FTL travel (they’d travel between star systems) and enigmatic aliens called ‘Others. It still made the reader think. Characters were tied to their tablets (smartphone anyone?). All in all a good read.

I am open to review requests for certain specific genres.