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View Diary: Scientific American Gives Details on the Russian Meteor (277 comments)

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  •  I'm with you and agree with those who (8+ / 0-)

    think the vast unexplored terrain and resources under the sea will provide a place of refuge, a new source of basic resources and drive innovation long before we establish a colony on mars, etc.

    Putting a man on mars is sexy (right now) because there are a lot of big egos with too much money and nothing really to do with it, and they are not inspired by solving the various problems that plague the earth's poorest and disadvantaged.

    Don't get me wrong, the mission to the moon, the space shuttle, the space station, and all our probes, and now the Rover, these are all important discovery projects. But we have already contaminated our atmosphere and everywhere we have been and will take our problems with us wherever people try to establish a colony.

    •  More instances of human civilization (6+ / 0-)

      means more possible solutions being attempted.  It's called distributed computing, and it makes everyone more likely to find the right path.

      Pour yourself into the future.

      by Troubadour on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:35:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great analogy (4+ / 0-)

        But I've become convinced that there is much to be gained by exploring under the sea, and we are spending a fraction of the money there, and that short-changing ourselves the longer we wait.

        When people talk about mass extinction I think it's such a land-centric point of view. It turns out that the capacity to create light in the darkness of the ocean evolved independently many times. And of course, creatures of the sea evolved an enormous variety of eyeballs and pigments to exploit or hide from those signals.

        •  The problem with undersea as a solution (4+ / 0-)

          is that it's high-pressure, and also dependent on the food chain in the top few meters of the ocean, which is vulnerable to disruption.

          Pour yourself into the future.

          by Troubadour on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:55:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely the ocean should be explored (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour, LilithGardener

          but why must Mars and the Marianas Trench be mutually exclusive? We can do both. I imagine exploitation of the seabed will likely come sooner than extraterrestrial exploitation simply due to free market forces as people expand the search for raw materials. We've been going underwater way longer than we're been leaving the atmosphere.

          This does strike me as a "be careful what you wish for" though.

          "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

          by sixeight120bpm on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:17:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely we can do both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sixeight120bpm

            I'm not arguing for any cuts to space research and exploration.

            But we spend a fraction of research / exploration dollars on undersea research and development.

            Our explorations and trips in space have lead to enormous innovation, and I think if the oceans were explored with 100x or 1000x more funding we will find innovative ways to deal with the main problem and even harness it to accomplish some needs - the pressure rises quickly with depth.

            Undersea dwelling compartments, though, might be completely viable in geodesic domes, that connect or detach, for example. An undersea elevator "pod" might simply move up and down on the basis of pumping air or removing air, or moving water from one compartment to another, allowing buoyancy to do the work, in a manner similar to scuba where a diver uses weights on the belt to sink, and air in their lungs to rise.

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