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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:32 am 
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One thing I'm thinking about, which I'm not sure if it is plausible: in my Visions of Empire setting, a particularly large space colony (essentially a hollowed-out asteroid with vast transparent inserts to let sunlight in) built by the Precursors about 3,000 years ago. Assuming it was abandoned but not damaged, can its environmental seals survive that long, and can the internal ecology survive? Could be very cool to explore.

(UWP would probably be E165000-G or even A165000-G once you activate and repair the stardock)

This is a TL15 or even TL16 structure...

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:36 am 
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For some inspiration...

http://thechive.com/2015/11/10/stunning ... 7610706465

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:00 pm 
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The only way would be if the self-repair systems and the central computer were still around. Seals dry up and need replacement. Micrometeors damage surface structures etc. and need to be repaired/replaced.

Definitely need a central computer with repair robots/drones to keep the place going. Of course, then the human explorers are "vermin" that need to be eliminated.

Ray Bradbury had a short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" that might be a good inspiration...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:18 pm 
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3000 years is a long time, would the power source still be running? Would they have packed enough fuel to last that long? (assuming the power plant is some kind of fusion reactor). It's a lot of time for things to run down in - even with advanced tech, system will still fail.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:43 pm 
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Solar power might be the only way to keep things running that long. At least the panels could be repaired, or scavenged from other panels to keep ONE panel working to provide the minimum power. The image might be quite cool of this asteroid with three hundred odd solar panels, almost all of them stripped to frames, but FOUR that are still bright and working - if obviously patched.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:20 pm 
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On the other hand this could have a partially- or barely- functioning AI (or even expert system) with some robots and probes, mining nearby rocks for some raw materials to keep the automated production line of maintenance robots working to keep things running... Hardly capable of doing anything more than that.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:51 pm 
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One, barely functioning Fuel Processor that can produce barely 1Dton of refined fuel per week; just enough to keep things operating. It used to be able to produce 20Dtons per week, but has been patched up so many times that this is all it can do, and it takes constant babysitting to get it to work...

The other two Fuel Processor plants have been long stripped for parts and are abandoned now; occasionally "mined" for the raw materials to be recycled into new tools.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:16 pm 
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Ah found it.

I remember this thread from a while back, and I thought I'd put in something because I'd been thinking about something similar lately.

I think it could very well work. I think if your species had a very long view, they might build something that could last that long.

Power Issue:

* Solar energy from the local star would be the key. At TL16, efficiency of solar power collection could be great enough to do any number of interesting things. Particularly in the life zone - the space station wouldn't have to worry about heating - the greater threat would be trying to radiate the heat and distribute the heat evenly over the station. The most obvious solution to the even heating would be spin, but at a high technology level they might have come up with a kind of passive solid-state electrical generation system that takes advantage of temperature gradients to generate power so they'd intentionally not make the thing spin (the ultimate choice I think would be if you want to have gravity or not). If, say, electrical wiring is literally like veins of gold that run through the meteorite hull or something along those lines, it'd be very difficult to damage the "wiring" of the vessel.

The Impacts Issue:

* Big hunks of rock have survived billions (or perhaps even more) years without being pulverized by micrometeors. If the hull is thick enough, I'm sure it could survive quite a few impacts, especially in such a "short" time period as 3,000 years.

* Whipple Shields! It's good enough for satellites. Perhaps the space station is simply surrounded by a brute force solution of whipple shields, a hundred layers deep, but each layer is extremely thin. It'd only take a like 4-5 layers to actually stop any given micrometeor, but the designers really didn't want to mess with things for a long, long time. The windows, perhaps are actually some sort of many-meters thick liquid (at least at room temperature and higher - something that isn't a problem because it's in the life zone) that quickly crystallizes upon contact with vacuum after finding it's own "surface tension" ; essentially a transparent, self-sealing window and ablative shield.

* Passively generated shields. I remember reading an article a while back that said that scientists had figured out a theory behind a micrometeor shield like a "plasma" shield that'd be quite low powered. If the high-tech builders had some sort of solid-state system that was designed to be extremely durable, and essentially immune to breaking except by physical destruction, it might have its own weak plasma deflector shield that has been in operation for thousands of years, powered by solar energy.

* I remember another article I was reading about an idea that we could herd meteors away from earth using even a small satellite using a "gravitational herding" effect. A loony idea I had a while back was, what if a space station were surrounded by hundreds, possibly thousands (or even more) rocky bodies placed at precise points some hundreds of kilometers out or something which would sort of act like a passive gravity "duct" where any micrometeor would be deflected away. While such a system would eventually fall victim to entropy, the builders might have put in sufficient backup so that they wouldn't have to fool with it for geologically short but long for us humans time - say, like 5,000 year long maintenance-free lifetime.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:29 pm 
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I think that a TL16 society taking the "long View" in all of its designs makes a lot of sense. Remember, artificial Anagathics are TL15, so by TL16, everyone in the race has a life span of hundreds or thousands of years. Buildings will be designed to last longer because the individual that buys it could live in it for centuries, not years like now. The idea of a disposable society is likely replaced with the idea of a durable society. Spending 10 years to master a skill is nothing to someone who lives a 1000 years, and the entire society is likely to start taking the long view of everything. At TL16, that 500 year project to terraform a planet isn't so daunting. You could do TWO in your lifetime...

Solid state Heat to Electricity is quite plausible - piezoelectric circuits can theoretically do that.

One interesting idea for a "shield" that I came up with is a Black Globe Generator. The sensors pick up a large meteor/asteroid on a collision course and the BGG is activated and ALL the energy of the impact is shunted to capacitors which allows provides enough power to last decades... Since the system was designed to do this, the capacitors would also be designed to handle that kind of energy...

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