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MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"

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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by cthia   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:57 pm

cthia
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Lab: Milspec-555
Professor: Hard Nose Grindstone III PhD.


Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has fallen to me to stress the utmost importance of the success of this mission. It appears to the Admiralty that convincing you underlings of the grave circumstances that belie this project is more difficult than the project itself. I will begin by submitting this to you...

It has long been known that every citizen of this great planet will not be evacuated in time. There will be sacrifices. Since you personally do not wish to take part in this exercise, then we will assure you that the only fair thing to do is leave you and all of your family behind.

Be that as it may. Let us make one thing perfectly clear. If anyone is found to leak this classified project, or your unwanted notions of the impossibility of the task at hand, to the unsuspecting public, at risk of panic, WILL BE SUMMARILY EXECUTED!!!


We have less than a year to pull this off gentlemen. We are wasting time. If you have nothing to offer the salvation of your home planet or loved ones, withdraw from the course in a dishonorable disgrace. The notion that a spacefaring species cannot save a percentage of its population in the midst of an imminent planetary catastrophe is absurd.

Tell that to the many rich Manticorans on the richest planet in the richest star system in the galaxy, who want off.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Impending disaster < 12 months.


If applicable, please turn in your course card. Transcript will be sent via registered mail to CO.

You have failed to smell the stench of death.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:55 am

Jonathan_S
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Weird Harold wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote::D That sounds like at least 6 impossible things; guess it's time for breakfast ;)


Nope, there's still three more impossible things before breakfast. :P

The idea comes, in part, from an online comic that features a 'venue' named Bubbleopolis.

As for "impossible things" I'm like Will Rogers when he suggested raising the North Atlantic to 212F as a solution to submarine attacks in WWI. When told that was impossible, he replied, "I leave that stuff to the engineers. I'm just the idea man."
Mostly just wanted to put in the Alice in Wonderland allusion - imagining 6 impossible things before breakfast.
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 am

Jonathan_S
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cthia wrote:Lab: Milspec-555
Professor: Hard Nose Grindstone III PhD.


Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has fallen to me to stress the utmost importance of the success of this mission. It appears to the Admiralty that convincing you underlings of the grave circumstances that belie this project is more difficult than the project itself. I will begin by submitting this to you...

It has long been known that every citizen of this great planet will not be evacuated in time. There will be sacrifices. Since you personally do not wish to take part in this exercise, then we will assure you that the only fair thing to do is leave you and all of your family behind.

Be that as it may. Let us make one thing perfectly clear. If anyone is found to leak this classified project, or your unwanted notions of the impossibility of the task at hand, to the unsuspecting public, at risk of panic, WILL BE SUMMARILY EXECUTED!!!


We have less than a year to pull this off gentlemen. We are wasting time. If you have nothing to offer the salvation of your home planet or loved ones, withdraw from the course in a dishonorable disgrace. The notion that a spacefaring species cannot save a percentage of its population in the midst of an imminent planetary catastrophe is absurd.

Tell that to the many rich Manticorans on the richest planet in the richest star system in the galaxy, who want off.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Impending disaster < 12 months.


If applicable, please turn in your course card. Transcript will be sent via registered mail to CO.

You have failed to smell the stench of death.

The obviously solution is a coup to overthrow the insane idiots threatening to execute a majority of a planetary population for failing to accomplish an impossible task. The death toll of the revolt with be vastly lower than the death toll of the evacuation attempt :D

I'm not sure Manticore, which probably sees the highest traffic density in all of space courtesy of the Junction, sees enough ships to carry even 500 million people in a year, much less the nearly 3 billion system(s) population. Building a new ship takes the better part of a year, even for the most efficient yard, and without sitting on a major wormhole network simply letting getting the message out that you need (and are somehow paying for) emergency convergence of all the people carrying ships you can find will take months on its own. Even for a all costs hero project you're looking at a lead time of 10-20 years, not 12 months, to build the infrastructure and ships necessary to evacuate a whole planet or system.
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Weird Harold   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:58 am

Weird Harold
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Jonathan_S wrote:I'm not sure Manticore, which probably sees the highest traffic density in all of space courtesy of the Junction, sees enough ships ...


Which is why evacuation plans can't think in terms of "ship" but must think in terms of Mega-scale "rescue suits" or "lifeboats."

The "city-bubble" idea is a "rescue suit" writ large -- it's just a bubble with enough air to last until a ship can pick up the survivor(s). Ships can be gathered to tow city-bubbles to a new planet or moon at leisure; towing a couple of of million people is more efficient than cramming a few thousand inside your ship.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by MuonNeutrino   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:01 am

MuonNeutrino
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quite possibly a cat wrote:First, I swear I remember contra-grav rings that you could just put around something.

I think you may be thinking of the 'counter-grav collars' from 'Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington', the scene with Honor sorting things out after the collision in the passageway:

Changer of Worlds wrote:"And you," she wheeled on the missile tech who had just begun to gloat at his rivals' stunned expressions, "get that push-pull back under control, tighten the grav-collars on those missile drives before they fall right out of them, and see to it that you stay in the right heavy tow lane the rest of the way to wherever you're going!"

"Uh, yes, Ma'am!" The missile tech recognized command voice when he heard it, even if it did come from a midshipwoman who looked like someone's preteen kid sister, and he knew better than to irritate the person who had produced it. He actually braced to attention before he scurried back over to the bundle of drive units and began adjusting the offending counter-grav collars...

I certainly admit that there's not much detail, but to me the line about tightening the collars suggests that they need to be secured to whatever they're lifting. Anyway...

quite possibly a cat wrote:However a Grayson type city is already sealed so you could probably haul that into space. Obviously a vacuum ready city would be a bit tougher than one that's just sealed against heavy metals.

The problem here is that, as the description of the construction of the Mueller school dome illustrates, the dome stuff seals *above* ground, but underground it's still anchored into bedrock like any other major construction. Grayson domed cities are just that - cities with domes over them. If you need to bring along layers of bedrock for a normal city, you'll need to bring along layers of bedrock for a Grayson city, and it's the stupendous weight of that bedrock that's the real problem.

For the rest of it, it's not a question of simply sustaining large populations in space. I completely agree with you that the honorverse is perfectly capable of that. If it were constructed in advance, the honorverse is indeed 100% capable of taking the population of a planet and sustaining it in space habitats instead. The problem is that we're not asking simply 'can the honorverse support planetary populations in space', for which the answer is manifestly yes, but rather we're asking 'can the honorverse evacuate a planetary population in the face of catastrophe', which is a lot harder. By definition, we're talking about a population that is currently living on a planet, which means they probably don't have a billion people's worth of space habitats or hibernation ships ready to go (I don't think that *every planet* is going to have a fleet of these ships waiting, and if not then you have massive travel time lag to get them all there), and as Jonathan_S's post shows, transporting that many people even over short distances (even just from surface to orbit to board the colony ships) is an extremely non-trivial task. It's *moving* the people that's the real problem, more than just housing them.

Weird Harold wrote:You're thinking far too small. NYC is far bigger than a measly 10km in diameter. It would be neither wise nor necessary to cut a hemisphere of bedrock/substrate, but both wise and necessary to include as much atmosphere as possible. A spherical bubble of 10-15 miles radius would probably work about right. with the center of the bubble about half the radius above ground level.

As for placement and powering of the bubble generator, that's an engineering problem and I refer you to the Will Rogers quote above your last post. :p

I know 10km radius (not diameter) is a bit small. I was intentionally being conservative - that was a *best* case scenario, practically speaking you'd need an even bigger size. You are correct that the center of the sphere doesn't necessarily have to be at ground level, but you still need enough bedrock for the whole thing to not just fall apart - with the tower sizes they have in the honorverse, I don't care how much countergrav you have they'll still need some massive foundations just for wind resistance. Even if the average depth of the rock under the city you cut out is only 1 or 2 km (and it'll likely have to be at least that much just to get enough area), that's still an enormous amount of rock.

To use your example of new york city, you'd need a slab at least 60km across. If you approximate it as a 1km thick cylinder (it'll be thicker at the center and thinner at the edges, but this is an estimate), that's now ~7.6e15 kg. So even if you use a more efficient bubble-cutting scheme, if you want realistic sizes you still end up with over seven quadrillion kg of rock - even more than last time. Even if you try to cut it in half and shave it to a half-km depth (which strikes me as probably the absolute minimum plausible depth given the km-scale height of honorverse towers), that's still almost four quadrillion tons of rock. I refer you to my previous post for how hard that'll be to lift. ;)

And I'm pretty sure that quote is intended as a cautionary tale, not an exemplar. :P Seriously, though, ideas are well and good, but we still have to ensure they're at least vaguely plausible. While I certainly am not trying to accuse you of anything even *remotely* on his level of insanity, that's how you get skimpers. It shouldn't stop anyone from proposing ideas, but we don't get to dismiss difficulties as simply 'engineering problems' if we actually care about getting solutions.
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MuonNeutrino
Astronomer, teacher, gamer, and procrastinator extraordinaire
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Weird Harold   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:18 am

Weird Harold
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MuonNeutrino wrote:You are correct that the center of the sphere doesn't necessarily have to be at ground level, but you still need enough bedrock for the whole thing to not just fall apart - with the tower sizes they have in the honorverse, I don't care how much countergrav you have they'll still need some massive foundations just for wind resistance. Even if the average depth of the rock under the city you cut out is only 1 or 2 km (and it'll likely have to be at least that much just to get enough area), that's still an enormous amount of rock.


I think you're ignoring the first big problem with my idea: Bubble sidewalls that can cut through kilometers of bedrock don't exist and cutting that much rock with a force field is likely going to create some explosive problems. Explosive problems that would make Project Orion look absolutely under-powered and reasonable.

Second, "Contragrav towers" don't just extend upwards. They have basement levels -- apparently LOTS of basement levels -- and you'd have to cut below those levels or through those levels (at least on the outskirts of your ground level in the bubble. Anchoring the towers after lift-off won't be a problem because most of the bubble will be in micro-gravity. (gyms, hospitals, and similar places will have grav-plates.)

Perhaps it would be simpler to just get people to move to parks and preserves without buildings to worry about?

The main point of the "bubble-city" idea is to get people to quit thinking in terms of ships and habitats. If a planet can be evacuated on short notice, it is going to require (inflatable) lifeboats or the kind of survival balloons like passenger liners carry in the Honorverse.

"Bubble Cities" would be ideal because they would bring all of the housing and technology along with the people. Lesser bubble technology would be easier to develop (and build) but would require more space for housing and logistics as well as the people.

More physical/tangible "Lifeboat" or "Ark" technology could very easily be built given enough time. It would probably cost more and be more difficult to store and/or build quickly.

So...

Some sort of Force Field "bubble" to hold air, water, food and people. Contra-grav to lift the bubble into space. Probable some inertial compensation or grave plates to permit towing to a "safe harbor."

The "Bubble" doesn't have to be spherical and it doesn't have to be big enough to pick up an entire city; a neighborhood at a time or even one contra-grav tower at a time would work. The trick is to pick up as much as possible in each bubble.

I figure if the Assitti can pick up Grantville and transplant it by accident, the Honorverse should be able to do at least the pickup on purpose. :mrgreen:
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by pappilon   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:32 am

pappilon
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QV Cities in Flight by James Blish. I think I read them when they first came out. They even had prolong, but it was not available to one and all.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by George J. Smith   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:26 am

George J. Smith
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Stargate Atlantis anyone? :roll: :mrgreen:
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A man should live forever, or die in the attempt
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Daryl   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:35 am

Daryl
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A planetary phase generator could simply shift the planet out of phase with our universe until the danger was past, then resynchronize it. Leave the design to the engineers.
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Re: MILSPEC-555: "EVACUATING A PLANET"
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:19 am

Jonathan_S
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Weird Harold wrote:[
I think you're ignoring the first big problem with my idea: Bubble sidewalls that can cut through kilometers of bedrock don't exist and cutting that much rock with a force field is likely going to create some explosive problems. Explosive problems that would make Project Orion look absolutely under-powered and reasonable.

[snip]

Some sort of Force Field "bubble" to hold air, water, food and people. Contra-grav to lift the bubble into space. Probable some inertial compensation or grave plates to permit towing to a "safe harbor."

Of course the other bubble sidewall issue is we’ve never seen any example I can recall of an Honorverse sidewall or “force field” capable of holding air. If they had such a thing you’d think they’d use it to temporarily close off and pressurize boat bays.
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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