Archive for the 'Exodus Earth' Category

Exodus Earth – Exoplanet

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in final installment of the exciting documentary series Exodus Earth. Today we join Dr. Singer exploring the possibility of mounting an interstellar voyage to the exoplanet Gliese 581c and establishing a permanent human colony there in the next century.

What kind of propulsion system would be needed to accomplish such a voyage? Basil must investigate extreme propulsion methods, including solar sails and nuclear bombs. And, what can we say about the mission’s destination?

Gliese 581c is an extrasolar planet orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581. It is the third planet orbiting this star. With a mass at least 5.36 times that of the Earth, it is classified as a super-Earth, a category which incorporates planets exceeding the mass of Earth but smaller than 10 Earth masses.

Gliese 581c initially generated interest because it was originally reported to be the first potentially Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of its star, with a temperature right for liquid water on its surface, and by extension, potentially capable of supporting extremophile forms of Earth-like life. However, further research on the potential effects of the planetary atmosphere casts doubt upon the habitability of Gliese 581c and indicates that the fourth planet in the system, Gliese 581 d, is a better candidate for habitability and possible colonization.

However this is based on scant observational evidence. One day we may find a more promising contender for our future aspirations. The prospects may vastly improve when the Kepler space telescope completes its survey and with the next generation space based advanced astronomical observatories such as NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder, the James Webb Space Telescope and their successors.

Exodus Earth – Exoplanet

Exodus Earth – Mercury

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards of establishing a human outpost on Mercury, the most extreme planet in the solar system. It is deadly hot on one side, but fatally cold on the other. Yet in craters near the pole Basil finds water, and conditions that might make Mercury home.

Exodus Earth – Mercury

Exodus Earth – Callisto

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards of establishing a human outpost in the Jovian system on the moon Callisto.

Callisto is one of the Galilean moons discovered by Galileo in January 1610 along with three other large Jovian moons—Ganymede, Io, and Europa.

Callisto is the third-largest moon in the Solar System and the second largest in the Jovian system, after Ganymede. Callisto has about 99% the diameter of the planet Mercury but only about a third of its mass. It is the fourth Galilean moon of Jupiter by distance, with an orbital radius of about 1,880,000 km.

Callisto is composed of approximately equal amounts of rock and ices, with a mean density of about 1.83 g/cm3. Compounds detected spectroscopically on the surface include water ice, carbon dioxide, silicates, and organic compounds. Investigation by the Galileo spacecraft revealed that Callisto may have a small silicate core and possibly a subsurface ocean of liquid water at depths greater than 100 km. Thus, like Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede, Callisto may prove to be another abode for life in the solar system.

Potential for Colonization and NASA’s Human Outer Planets Exploration (HOPE)

In the late 1970s when the British Interplanetary Society conducted its landmark unmanned starship study Project Daedalus, Jupiter’s moon Callisto was considered the most likely location for the centre of operations during the construction phase of starship Daedalus. Callisto was chosen because unlike Europe and the other other Galilean satellites it is not subjected to a huge flux of radiation due to Jupiter’s extensive magnetic field.

In 2003 NASA conducted a conceptual study called Human Outer Planets Exploration (HOPE) regarding the future human exploration of the outer solar system. The target chosen to consider in detail was Callisto.

It was proposed that it could be possible to build a surface base on Callisto that would produce fuel for further exploration of the Solar System. Advantages of a base on this moon include the low radiation (due to Callisto’s distance from Jupiter) and geological stability. It could facilitate remote exploration of Europa, or be an ideal location for a Jovian system way station servicing spacecraft heading farther into the outer Solar System, using a gravity assist from a close flyby of Jupiter after departing Callisto.

In a December 2003 report, NASA expressed belief that an attempt for a manned mission to Callisto may be possible in the 2040s.

Exodus Earth – Callisto

Exodus Earth – Mars

Mars is a world that holds a special mystique for humanity. We have been held under its captive spell for over a century. It is the one world where humanity expected to find life and sentience beyond the Earth. And, in the minds of many space visionaries today, Mars is the one world most likely to sever as a secondary planetary abode for terrestrial life and consciousness.

The colonization of Mars has been the topic of both romantic speculation and serious scientific study before the dawn of the Space Age. But, it has only been during the past forty years, beginning with observations of Mariner 9 and culminating with recent space missions of Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, that we can now assess the full resource potential of this world.

The surface conditions and availability of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable planet in the solar system other than Earth. While the Moon has been proposed as the first location for human colonization, unlike Earth’s moon Mars has an atmosphere thus giving it the potential capacity to host human and other organic life.

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer in exploring the potential, challenges and hazards facing humans as we try to make Mars humanity’s second planetary home. And, while we are many years away from being able to send people to Mars, some scientists and pioneering individuals are already practicing for the trip.

Exodus Earth – Mars

Exodus Earth – Venus

Venus is a hellish planet and within our solar system the world that is most reminiscent of Dante’s vision of Inferno. Today with our host physicist Dr. Basil Singer we explore the possibility of colonizing Venus.

Venus is perhaps the most difficult planet in the solar system that we could possibly colonize. Yet, the colonization of Venus has been a subject of much speculation and many works of science fiction since before the dawn of spaceflight, and is still much discussed. Are floating cloud cities hovering over Venus’ hellish surface in our future?

Exodus Earth – Venus

Exodus Earth – Titan

Today on Discovery Enterprise we begin a brand new series of exciting documentaries entitled “Exodus Earth” hosted by British physicist Dr. Basil Singer. In this series Dr. Singer explores one very important question – If Earth became uninhabitable, where would humans live?

With Dr. Basil Singer we explore the question does humanity have a future in the Cosmos beyond its planetary home the Earth. In Exodus Earth, the six-part series we investigate if humans could possibly call Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn’s moon Titan, and Jupiter’s moons Callisto and Gliese 581c home in the future.

In the name of science, Dr. Singer subjects himself to extreme temperatures; tests new survival technologies designed to keep humans alive in harsh environments; suffers the rigors of travel in zero gravity; explores ideas for new human habitats in the sky; and more.

Exodus Earth – Titan