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View Diary: Getting to Know Your Solar System (28): Saturn (Vol. 3) (42 comments)

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  •  strap on wings, flap your arms, and fly on Titan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Khun David

    Combine the Moon's gravity with an atmosphere thicker than Earth's and you've got yourself the future air sports capital of the solar system.

    Hot air balloons and eventually giant Cloud Nine habitats lifted by waste heat that would be significantly hotter than the cryogenic outside temperatures: from colonists, biological life support systems, air-cooled nuclear power, industrial activities, etc.?  

    I admit it; I'm mesmerized by the idea of floating cities on places like Titan and Venus and now apparently Saturn itself.  How would that work when Saturn's atmosphere is also made mostly of hydrogen?

    •  The challenge of flying in a wingsuit on Titan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Khun David

      would be the temperature.  How much weight of heating and insulating systems would you have to add to the suit to avoid instantly freezing solid as you pass through thick cryogenic air?  Think about how hard it is to stay warm swimming even with a drysuit in 32 degree Arctic water, and then realize that on Titan the air is -290 F, moving, and full of frost and organic vapors that absorb heat.  So it may be doable, but there are tremendous challenges once you get there.

      As for Saturn cloud cities, although it's mostly hydrogen, the pressure is at several atmospheres once you get low enough to have decent temperatures, so a 1 atm interior would be much less dense, although it would also depend on the weight of the hull and other factors.  Saturn would seem to be the second best place in the solar system for cloud cities, after Uranus, and by far the most economically attractive.  

      Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

      by Troubadour on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:27:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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