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

Human Migration & the Need for More

The ebb and flow of the human tide

Like the great flood stories themselves, humanity revolves around a cyclical pattern of tranquility and upheaval.  We fluctuate between personal / familial comfort and social / adventure seeking.  Too much of one raises the value of the other.

Many of us grow up in a world with family structure.  Loyalty and fraternity extend to friends, clans and country.  We build into a community.  Families bring up children, and children may in turn have their own family.  This model has a comfort for most.

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Sumerian family life

Sometimes the place is bountiful and easy, while others are harsh and austere.  Finding the symbiosis between humans and their environment is a defining feature in human culture.

Why Leave?

Like in all animal populations, there comes a point when younger, less established individuals move out of their birth community.  It might be a locality is over-burdened and can no longer sustain further growth .  It is often that inter-personal struggle does not offer adequate personal opportunity or integration of the young into established social structures.  Packing up and moving on is in the fabric of our history.

Over the course of 10,000 generations, modern humans have reached nearly every region of the world, and have created existences in all manner of places.

In a simplistic viewpoint, this sounds like a benign growth model.  We know that at its core, growth and progress are struggle.    Even travel means finding food and shelter along the trail, and setting up to live somewhere is usually difficult and consumes a lot of energy and focus with no guarantee of success.

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Sisyphys (1548-1549) by Titian

 

Hardly the first

Since our earliest days, it has actually been rare to find some uninhabited corner of the world. Most of the time, when people arrive anywhere, there are already inhabitants.  Such visits by one culture to another vary from tourism to invasion.  The larger the cohort moving from one place to another, the more likely that there is tension and conflict.

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By User:MapMasterOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

 

Getting Crowded

It’s been more than ten thousand years since humans reached the tip of South America, considered to be the last point in the great human migrations out of Africa.  All easily habitable corners of this globe already have their communities.

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In the last century, our population has swelled to over 7 billion.  More of us are learning how to live in larger cities and taller buildings, but we are reaching the limits of our biosphere.  We have to contribute more to our upkeep.   We must understand more of the planet’s complexity, its balance and integration.  One way to do that is to simulate our understanding of the environment needed to sustain us in an environment that does not have those conditions.  Whether underwater or in space,  in deserts or arctic zones, advances in such places are a success to our abilities.

We need to come up with new corners to explore, to settle, to make home.

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Aroh Wendelin
2016/11