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Set2: Lifespace.

Editorial opinion from

Martha Adams

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Having worked through Adra's Set1, you have roughly designed a place in space, somewhere, that people might live their lives there, do careers, and start the next generation that would live there. However. As you worked out practicalities for your basic Settlement, maybe you skipped quickly past some details. Such as: Air, water, warmth, food, waste management. All that stuff. The lifespace. How do you make an off-Terra lifespace?

The off-Terra version of this challenge was not faced by human settlers ever before in history. Always, earlier settlers had air to breathe; water to drink; local resources for food growing naturally. Etc, etc. But the settler in space, truly starts from zero. For a quick appreciation of this reality, look at a picture from Mars. Remembering the air anywhere there is more than five hundred times too thin to support your life. But also, it's mostly CO2.

And, Mars is a nicer place for humans than anywhere else in the Solar System (except Terra). Thus, to have a lifespace off Terra, you must bring it with you or you must make it. The expectable resolution of these options is both: bring a minimum lifespace with you for a starter (and a minimum industrial base); then build larger lifespaces, your settlement, and a larger industrial base primarily from local materials. The settler's life in space requires the industrial base to make all the settler needs -- in a sense, to make the following generations of settlers.

The core site requirements given in Set1 are: Watts; Water; Work. These requirements provide a useful short list of things to think about, but they don't outline the environment us humans need for a lifespace. To get that, we need to dig deeper into the work. Among other resources, our lifespace requires: good air; comfortable temperature; water; food; a wide range of machineries (industrial base); other people; low noise levels; waste recycling including a method to recycle human cadavers. (This is a very short abstract from a very long list of things we assume and take for granted here on Terra.)

This node gets you started on some of the requirements for a lifespace.

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