terraforming?

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
September 26, 2014 - 1:54pm
I've been detailing star systems, denoting planets that are habitable as well as those that are candidates for terraforming. I believe that alpha dawn refers to GodCo as being in the terrafroming business, but is there any officially terraformed world in alpha dawn?
Comments:

iggy's picture
iggy
September 26, 2014 - 2:56pm
None of the worlds are listed as terraformed.  I view GodCo's present work as tweaking habitable planets to support plant and animals life from the core 4 races.  Making the new worlds more like home.  It would be fun to start GodCo into the giga-expensive realm of terraforming uninhabitable worlds.  The players could end up having to save an atmospheric generation plant from meltdown or destruction.  Failure means a fledgling colony dies.
-iggy

Ascent's picture
Ascent
September 26, 2014 - 7:06pm
GodCo is Zeb's, not Alpha Dawn. That's why no mention of terraformed worlds in Alpha Dawn. However, even in Zeb's, terroforming is only mentioned in relation to GodCo. Since GodCo is undersigned by CFM, then it is a very recent development. It is apparently meant to be used for a setting. I would think it is likely inspired by John Carter of Mars, in which case the atmosphere was terraformed from ice caught up in the soil and underground water flows.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 26, 2014 - 7:11pm
As per fan cannon, GODco as an extension of Fo1 views its activities in a religious context. First and foremost they are attempting to recreate yazirian colonies in the image of yazira. But they also realize that they live in a larger society with many other species and creeds so that they tone down the rhetoric and make their terraforming expertise available to the rest of the core four, all the while using what they learn in that process to refine their on going effort to recreate yazirian colonies in the image of yazira. I suppose one could say that they are recreating Hentz as the Garden of Yazira and other yazirian colonies are simply being recreated in the image of yazira thus the continual pressure to pilgrimage to the ark of yazira on hents
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 26, 2014 - 7:17pm
Ascent wrote:
GodCo is Zeb's, not Alpha Dawn. That's why no mention of terraformed worlds in Alpha Dawn. However, even in Zeb's, terroforming is only mentioned in relation to GodCo. Since GodCo is undersigned by CFM, then it is a very recent development. It is apparently meant to be used for a setting. I would think it is likely inspired by John Carter of Mars, in which case the atmosphere was terraformed from ice caught up in the soil and underground water flows.
As to udersigned by CFM (and CDC is in there too) the rim has some of the highest inhabited star systems with multiple inhabited planets would suggest that GODco is heavily involved in the rim and all the extra inhabited planets are being terraformed, though some must be using sealed dome envirionments.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
September 26, 2014 - 8:01pm
In the GodCo description, it does seem to indicate that there has to already be life on the planet and that such life is destroyed in favor of the new life. So would imagine they use means of genetic manipulation and pathogens to overtake and alter the life on the planet. If it were atmosphere-based terraforming, they would not bother reforming worlds with existing life on them.
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iggy's picture
iggy
September 26, 2014 - 10:33pm
The terraforming of a planet with an atmoshpere and life is a much simpler task than a world without an atmoshpere or the wrong stuff in the atmosphere.  Too often Sci Fi terraforms worlds that can not retain and atmoshpere so they would have to constantly pump gasses into the world for the inhabitants.  Or they terraform a world with the wrong gasses in the atmoshpere and fail at the science and engineering of changing or removing the unwanted elements in the atmosphere.  I see frontier tech being only at the level to take existing life world and modify them.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
September 27, 2014 - 1:55am
They could employ a method that is both crude and blunt: drilling into ice pack placing a nuke, actually a series of nukes that will flash vaporize the ice pack releasing millions of gallons of water, jump starting a green house effect and certainly wiping out some existing life.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
September 27, 2014 - 7:18am
That would not resolve the long term needs. To resolve long term needs, you need to introduce life on the planet that can process and regenerate the needed atmosphere.

Like I said, if all they wanted to do was affect the atmosphere directly, there would be no need of pre-existing life on the planet. The pre-existing life on a planet would clearly serve a purpose. But if you do not change that pre-existing life, all the atmospheric change you apply will mean nothing but cause a worldwide extermination. (Science has shown that only micro-organisms can withstand an atmospheric cataclysm of that sort. Besides needs of chemicals in the atmosphere, there are also needs of chemicals from other creatures that are created as a result of the chemicals they receive from the atmosphere, or that those creatures receive from other creatures who process the atmosphere or from other chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere. Then there is the photo-radiation of the atmosphere which changes when you change the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Too much or too little UV, X-ray, or infrared radiation and all life dies. Cause a temperature variance of a few degrees as a result of atmospheric change and most life dies.)

There is just too much that can kill all life on a planet simply by changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and that atmosphere will never stick because if the life does survive, it will simply return the atmosphere to its previous state, because evolution does not happen in a few short years. And really, the amount of terraforming needed to transform the atmosphere of a planet with existing life would be far greater than if you were to tarraform a planet without life, because you have to contend with the life re-terraforming back to the atmosphere that is needed. Organisms that can process the new atmosphere will multiply, and those that can't will diminish, so that the multiplying lifeforms re-terraform the atmosphere back to its original state. Pushing against that tide would be something no one would want to invest money in.

So the obvious choice is to introduce self-replicating DNA-changing pathogens that are also self-terminating if a specific marker is not available, especially those organisms affecting atmosphere, but also those that rely upon the atmosphere. Then, after a time, you introduce a handful predators (Such as cats and dogs,) that come from a world with the desired atmosphere so that it can weed out the week and allow the most effective species on the planet to survive. Then as some species go extinct, you replace them with a new species that can survive against the predators and take up the role of the species that went extinct. You would also need to target any species that promote the former atmosphere.

This would thereby produce the effect of causing naturists to protest such methods. It would also be far more cost effective and thereby be attractive to investors. Creating massive atmosphere processing platforms in various locations around a planet for decades of operation before you can begin to earn back the money is just not cost effective. Investors like to see results and that definitely would not produce results for quite a while.
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Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
September 27, 2014 - 9:38am
Cause a temperature variance of a few degrees as a result of atmospheric change and most life dies.)

Do you have proof? The reason I ask is because I dealt with heat in the Kuwait desert during the day (120*) and freezing cold at night (60*). That is a 60 degree variance and life still exists out there.

Please explain.

v/r

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 27, 2014 - 11:07am
He's talking about a long term average global tempurature chage, not a local day/night variation.
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Ascent's picture
Ascent
September 27, 2014 - 1:43pm
What TerlObar said.

Note I said "most life", not all life. That said, I'm not just talking about the ability of animals to survive a few degrees of temperature variance. I am talking about the planet's ability to sustain life. You send the temperature of a planet up or down 5 degrees celsius and you could cause an ice age or a global flood or turn exaltant regions into desert plains. Besides those things there would also be either an increase of winds or a decrease of winds, either of which could devestate food sources and increase or lower temperatures. Creatures living underground could bake or be frozen. Mammalian creatures would be the best survivors, but most other plant and animal life could easily be wiped out with such temperature changes.
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"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
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Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
September 28, 2014 - 10:07am
Thank you, agreed.

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
October 12, 2014 - 10:21am
I have many questions along a couple of lines of thought concerning terraforming but I rarely am able to get online to ask. Let me try to foster some broad prospect thoughts along different lines from the community and I'll check pack with specific questions/secenarios when I can.

Take an example. I have a world that has no life. No water. A moderately toxic atomosphere but does contain Nitrogen and Oxygen. The Gravity is acceptable. the temperature is quite on the cold side. What processes and equipment are needed to terraform this world? I have ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.

Specific question: How much would GODco charge to terraform a world like this and how would it be paid? 

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 12, 2014 - 10:39am
Inigo Montoya wrote:
I have many questions along a couple of lines of thought concerning terraforming but I rarely am able to get online to ask. Let me try to foster some broad prospect thoughts along different lines from the community and I'll check pack with specific questions/secenarios when I can.

Take an example. I have a world that has no life. No water. A moderately toxic atomosphere but does contain Nitrogen and Oxygen. The Gravity is acceptable. the temperature is quite on the cold side. What processes and equipment are needed to terraform this world? I have ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.

Specific question: How much would GODco charge to terraform a world like this and how would it be paid? 


Short answer: they're going to be paid in credits. Smile

I think they'd sart with a suite of organisms (bacteria) that would push the atmosphere in the direction desired.

Perhaps seek to introduce some green house gases.

No doubt some scientist must keep an eye on things so you have to pay for that service.

I suspect the process goes like this:
1. you pay for a survey and GODco comes back with a proposal (or two) this is a flat fee but light years of travel are probably figured in.

2. You choose to hire GODco and contract for their serice that locks you in like a cell phone contract
However there are many different levels of contract and terraforming- just make the air breathable being the most basic contract but introducing hire animals and ballancing the ecosystem costs more.

3. GODco tries to up sell you on added features or to renew your contract early with incentive X in exchange for another 2 years of contract.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
October 16, 2014 - 10:22pm
Each world that has potential to be terraformed would be a unique case. There would be no mass produced terraforming kits sold at your local giant retail outlets. GODco would have multiple approaches developed for particular planets and would most likely use multiple methods to alter a particular aspect of a planet simultaniously. 

They would certainly bio-engineer plant life to assist processing and transforming gasses and perhaps even creating and enriching soil. They would also develop equipment to process the atmosphere. Machines that would work in some cases like CO2 scrubbers. They could break down gas compoounds. 

Other tactics can be used to introduce gasses into the atmosphere if needed. Select gasses can be harvested from near by planets (or imported) and released to the target world. 

I would suspect that each job would be billed based on the difficulty of the processes required. A client would propose a potential world to GODco and GODco would then do their own detailed survey (for a fee or course) and then present the client with a proposal. As Jedion mentioned, there would be any number of options and levels to chose from. However my question about cost in payment was derived from question "who could afford it?" Surely it would be billions of credits on average. Would GODco take substantial credit deposit and "stock options" in the planet, as it were? Would they negotiate for soil in mineral rights or something like that?

Another thing to consider is that GODco would certainly keep their methods and means as classified as possible. Their terraforming teams would be almost cult-like in their loyalty and secrecy. 



Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 18, 2014 - 1:06pm
I doubt credits would be the primary source of payment. A terraforming company would look for long term sustainability, thus their terraforming a world would be as much an investment in what that world could produce as earning a profit. Also, being a religiously controled corporation, they would no doubt seek to have religious freedom to spead their message to the new inhabitants of the terraformed world. Credits would be required for the initial endeavor, certainly, but ultimately GodCo would want a cut of the world's exports along with freedom to preach.
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"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 21, 2014 - 6:17am
Hienliens Farmers in the Sky explores terraforming of Ganymede orbiting Jupiter.

Each homesteader signed up for the use of the rock crusher and had to wait their turn to use it to grind rock into dirt. this dirt was however quite sterile and unsuitalbe for growing things until it was seeded with nutrients (compost and biological waste)- a process that took timewith the main character choosing to cover a larger area by only doing narrow strips of good dirt on the theory that eventually the whole field would fill in.

One mistake the author made is that the character that imported a seedling apple tree from Earth and gave the main character and apple to eat in a scene then took the core and carefully cut out the seeds giving them back to the main character to plant- apple cultivation doesn't work like that. seeds from a Granny Smith do not produce trees growing a Granny Smith. Each seed from an apple will produce a tree with a different tasting apple from the next seed. Some of which will be bitter and good for nothing but cider. Commercial apple cultivation is based on grafting trees are grown and Granny Smiths buds are grafted onto the new tree and this is how a whole orchard will grow the same apple.

None the less the book is interesting from the terraforming point of view even if it has all the typical flaws of a hienlien novel.

Of note the terraforming of Ganymede factored in the activities of the homesteaders. GODco would not go with the homesteader model of a family and their cabin, but would perhaps have a more tightly controlled model based on the yazirian clan structure. a group of employees that function like a clan or there could be homesteading clans looking for a new start. This is probably what did happen on places like Yast and Scree Fron where there is an extensive ag business so established clans might not be looking for new terraforming experiences unless the clan had grown large and was looking to branch out and thus a new terrafroming venture is actually a new opportunity for some of the junior members of the clan.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 21, 2014 - 10:04am
You need trees to graft to. Thus the seeds, as you can't plant an apple tree twig in the ground and expect it to grow. So you can grow an orchard as long as you have the seeds. You can make that orchard grow granny smith apples as long as you keep cutting twigs and grafting. What the seeds grow are crab apples. All apples are modifications of crab apples.

View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
November 22, 2014 - 4:02pm

So far as I’ve come across it, creating an acceptable stratum of fertile soil would be the biggest challenge.  It sounds odd to say it, but making dirt may be the biggest difficulty in terraforming.  As Jedion pointed out; rapid erosion of rocks will not create a growing medium.  One possibility may be a genetically engineered plant that grows in large, thick mats. This plant requires no soil nutrients due to its manufacturing what it needs from the solar energy and the atmosphere. It is programmed to spread and thrive for “x” generations, dying back at the end of each cycle. The die back creates an organic medium suitable for growing other plant life.  After “x” generations (cycles) the original plant is programed to die. By that time a modest layer of soil has been generated. This process can also enrich the atmosphere at the same time.

Another option would be to have aquatic life forms similar to plankton (preferably larger) in shallow bodies of water. Those bodies of water can be dredged and the material redistributed.  Either of these options would be very slow. 

Hauling in soil, compost, and or manure from other worlds would be an option, but one that I feel would be very undesirable. It could introduce unwanted seeds, bacteria, germs and who knows what else.  Would dumping such material in the upper atmosphere be an effective way to sterilize it? Would there be anything left that would be usable by the time that it hit the ground?  

Does anyone have other ideas or insights?


iggy's picture
iggy
November 23, 2014 - 11:31am
I used this concepts of introducing life forms to terraform a planet in my Jurak Hangna Cybernuk article in FE6.  In this case it was a subset of the full terraforming you mentioned.  The sathar tried to sathar-form the already inhabited world by introducing a bio-engineered creature that would have eventually altered the environment to the sathar's liking.  This is the best understanding frontier scientist have for the existance of the cybernuk.
-iggy