Astro Shepherds

They will steward complex life to the solar system, maybe beyond..

What if instead a simple ark, the flood heroes and a ground crew built a craft with a sail and a destination?  A team would help build and prepare the travelers. The payload would be carefully organized in a way to optimize the journey and the target.  Just enough of a compliment to complete the journey and settlement.

When calamity strikes, it is difficult to find skills for both the tragedy / transition, as well as the post-apocalyptic reboot. The traveler must react appropriately to the challenges of the storm, but also withstand the slow steps needed to re-establish on the other side.

The need for the soldier and the farmer suggests settler waves that arrived over a period of time. The first arrivals need to establish basic infrastructure and security as a way of lessening the initial start-up in a new environment for those that follow.

Once the initial air, water, shelter and transportation are in place, building expanded capability become crucial, which includes food production, waste management, and resource harvesting. The complete system must account for all factors, a significant advance on Earth’s more gentle environment, where air and other life resources are more plentiful.

Psychological training is often spoken about in our quest to press beyond the Earth. Long missions away, in close proximity to crew-mates must account for tension, relief and hope. The nomad, the journey, the destination camp must become one.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a significant driver in our world. The best humans are often damaged by situations they have faced, and their struggle in the aftermath. Humans are formed by the monumental experiences of their lives, and these tend to be traumatic. You never know until it’s nearly gone is a human mantra.

Those who are less scarred may be preferred, but a long voyage will inflict its own extreme neural mapping.  This suggests the complimentary value of veterans more comfortable to the inhospitalities of such a journey, and provide a balance with more delicate souls.

There is a camaraderie among cosmonauts.  This new kind of human will likely manifest itself more firmly as humans begin to create themselves a network of stellar posts and the numbers of people out there, and travel between these places. Making human space travel more common place will have a significant impact on humanity. Human society functions better with diversity of people and tasks performed.

Even today’s second generation astronauts have begun to specialize away from the pure space pilots of the Apollo era. Terran explorers will become builders and settlers, and still, space travelers will feel themselves part of the extra-terrestrial community, not just the first six people on a long mission to X.

Another important consideration ahead is understanding which complement of symbiotic biology of species humans will take with them.  A host of bacteria, fungi, insects, plants and animals that together represent an advantageous biosphere for humans would accompany establishment missions.  Such multi-species payloads would be the new Noah’s Ark.

There are advances by scientists towards ‘de-extinction’, finding ways to re-animate lost species.  Work towards artificial uterus was released in 2017.

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These kinds of biological breakthroughs combine to become an extraordinary tool-set.  They may have the long-term possibility that space missions could travel long term with the components needed to revive fauna and flora upon arrival.

You may not want to take woolly mammoth on an interstellar mission, but you would want a catalog of animals from which to select species, appropriate to the mission needs.  Maybe you’ll  need chickens or may you need fish.

Astro-shepherds will be the stewards to bring complex life to the solar system, maybe beyond.  This new cohort will include advanced non-biologicals, like robotic shepherd dogs and horses. Migration is our legacy, it is our destiny..

Samanyolu
Interplanetary Transport Network – ITN

 

Aroh Wendelin
2019/01

Antarctica and beyond

Winter is the training ground for life to move beyond our aquarium into the cosmos.

Boreanaut

Deep winter is a model for astronaut – cosmonaut training.  You suit up with insulated boots, hooded parka, tuque, and thick gloves before hitting the pressure lock and going out-of-doors. Close to the poles, winter days are short, and it is often dark out there.

Thick boots cushion you from the salt and pellet ice pack, fresh snow, and melting slop. Headsets for music and phone calls keep the modern ‘Boreanaut’ plugged in. The cold can be tolerated, but the real test is the wind, which when cold, makes everything difficult.

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Boreas – the North wind

As the last great city on the northern edge of the America’s two giant megalopolis, winter is the harsh reality of living on the edge of the habitable zone.  Geography and meteorological constraints keeps population density from moving further toward the pole.

Regular winter temperatures below -20 C push the tolerance threshold of most people.  If it were any colder, we’d be on the moon is a common expression.

 

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Touch the Sky

The association of latitude and altitude tells me that were I to live at the equator, my biome / habitation zone would be at 3000 – 4000 metres above sea level.  Up in the higher latitudes and altitudes, one is naturally closer to the sky, closer to space, closer to the cold. Aurora at the poles are that eerie quiet, pulsing light that keep your gaze up.

The cold makes metal more brittle, and fine motor skills slower. Any project in winter requires extra preparation and accommodation.  Anything that needs to be done in space must be proven in winter.

It came as no surprise to learn that scientists use Antarctica as a test harness for space sciences.  Yes, you can drive a rover over rocks in climate deserts, but if you want to know how it’ll perform on the moon or Mars, drive it around the -50 degree temperatures of the polar regions.

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Off-World Driving Record (to July 28, 2014)

Northern Space Colonies

We’ve had years of the space stations, and the cosmonauts who have provided decades of science to our understanding.  The model could be taken to other cosmic bodies to be a mining community.

This northern city has winter in a large metropolitan, technically advanced setting.  You can imagine beyond a cosmic mining camp cluster.  Walking downtown streets and tunnels in the blizzard, and looking at the vibrant manmade bustle, it’s possible to see humans are soon ready to build a well-developed off world colony.

The Earth as the cradle of life is a warm drop in the vastness.  Living at its edge, the cold of winter and space challenges us to adapt and adopt. The perimeter of Earth’s bubble is the training ground for life to move beyond our aquarium.

It is here that we search how to further integrate life into the cosmos.  We seek ways by which life becomes a common & changing force beyond Earth, similar to how life has become ingrained into the fabric and chemical forces of Earth.

Extra terrestrial mandate

The biosphere of Earth has invested heavily to create the sentient, curious, able-bodied and extremely adaptable species that is human.  We are burning through the biomass as we advance our capabilities to mold our world.  Now our species is on the cusp of our true mandate; to take life off this planet and establish it elsewhere.  That ability will help us bring this biosphere to balance.

Cover image : Halley VI

Aroh Wendelin
2017-07-12 – last updated –