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How do you seed ship?

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
This is for a story that I am trying to write.

The basic assumption is that technology is so advanced that we can make organs tissues and whole animals with the same ease we can make cars hammers and flashlights.

Seed ships are a sci-fi concept that extrapolates from the futurology idea that, space is big, and you do not live long enough to make the journey to colonize another star system. There are generation ships but that is not the story I want to write.
There is also hibernation, the idea that you freeze a person and they "sleep" on the way to the star system and wake up when they are there.
The problem with that is that an average human is 75kg. There is a limit to how few people you need to have the genetic diversity to support a population.
Let for the sake of simplicity say that number is 150 individuals. or 75 breeding pairs.
So you need 11 250kg of people on your ship to have that number.
But an embryo is less than a gram, so you need 150g of embryos to have the same population. You can have ten kilograms of embryos and you can get 10000 people as the base of your new colony. In the story, I am going for 600 000 embryos.

So a seed ship gives you more people, at the cost of having to grow, raise, and educate them over 18 years to get productive colonists.

That is the basic concept oversimplified. This is what my story will have in it.

So now I like to ask you for help, ideas, and/or feedback.

First off the ship is fully automated. There will be some focus on Human AI interaction but the core of the story is not about that.

The seed ship is launched and it has in it all the industrial capabilities a civilization requires to function on it, resource extraction and food production included. But it only has so much on board, it needs additional resources and energy to support itself and the people.

So the plan for the ship is.
Travel to a star system, approach some resource-rich area, Something like a planetary system of Saturn or Jupiter. But not for the gas giants but for the moons and moonlets and other matter orbiting it are the target.
Delta-V and the rocket equation apply to the setting. A large moon is more expensive to mine than a small rock. Titan has 0,138g of surface gravity. But tiny Anthe has only 0,00012m/s2. But Anthe is only 1,8km big and it is not that resource-rich because its density is only 0,5g/cm3(half the density of water), earth is ten times as dense at 5,514g/cm3.
So a good medium in between a large rock moon and a snowball moonlet will likely be the best idea.

The ship will use the resources it will find to construct an orbital station. It will be a ring station using centrifugal forces to simulate gravity and over time be expanded into a full-length O'Neill cylinder.
This will be where the embryos will be brought to term, raised, and educated.
The ship will use the remaining resources, to expand its resource gathering operation, expand its production capabilities, and with that expand the orbital living area.
Solar power will be the main power source.
Because of the low sunlight for every 1km2 of solar panels there would need to be about 20-50km of mirrors to direct the sunlight to the panels
So the first generation that came from the embryos will be born in space, it will be the second generation that will start colonizing a planet.

To simplify. The goal is to build the space industry and population first and then do a planetfall and start building roads and houses.

I intend to make the story as hard sci-fi as possible. The only handwavium are the fusion-powered rockets, and the ability to 3D print living organisms.
 

Eliar

Well-known member
I find the whole first space colony then planetfall 2 step counterproductive tbh.

Raising an entire generation of people in an essentially sterile enviroment and then introducting them to a habitable? planet is bound to end in disaster since the local microbes and whatnot will make short work of them.

So you would be vastly better served to limit the initial operation to automatons and AIs building the space industry while conducting in depth survey of your target planet in order to tailor made your prospective colonists to fit the local enviroment?
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
So you would be vastly better served to limit the initial operation to automatons and AIs building the space industry while conducting in depth survey of your target planet in order to tailor made your prospective colonists to fit the local enviroment?
The point of a seed ship, as I see it, is to seed a system/export your species.
The people that stay behind are not getting any return on investment.

A civilization that can build an interstellar spaceship most likely already has most of its population back home in space habitats.
A garden world can hold realistically 15 billion,(after that you no longer have a garden world) with space habitats a star system can hold 15 trillion.

Technically we don't even need a habitable planet.
A world can be terraformed from orbit. Or just skip that part and strip-mine a planet to make more habitats and have even more living space.


As for tailoring the prospective colonist to the local environment. That is one of the core parts of the story.
 

Mr Wumbo

Well-known member
The point of a seed ship, as I see it, is to seed a system/export your species.
The people that stay behind are not getting any return on investment.
I think Eliar meant that you use AI first to fully exploit the planet, including fully researching its ecology and prepares the colonists to be fully adaptable with the new enviroment before you start building a population.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
I think Eliar meant that you use AI first to fully exploit the planet, including fully researching its ecology and prepares the colonists to be fully adaptable with the new enviroment before you start building a population.
It has to be said.
Your signature is an eyesore.

But nevermind about that.

I want to limit the sorry run to a single lifetime. I have a focus point character, would not call the character the main character, more of a witness to it all. The story runs for about 50 years.
While it makes sense to do the colonization gradually, the time frame would not fit. The seed ship trip takes 200 years. Communication takes 20 years. And the seed ship took 70 years to build in the first place.
But if I misunderstood and you meant keep the embryos on ice till the planet is ready for them.
I don't actually know if an embryo on ice has an expiry date, but I think it would have, and waiting likely centuries to be done with terraforming may not be possible.
or Eliar meant that the colonist could be genetically modified to be better suited for the planet.
That could work.
But I don't want to do it. It sounds like a slippery slope all the way down to handwavium territory. You can end up with an octopus with a human head, or something. I wouldn't even know how to begin writing something like that.
 

Ravan

Gone
The added weight of the additional supplies to feed them as you raise them to adulthood completely offsets (and then some) the weight savings from not just freezing adults. Your scientists are not thinking clearly.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
The added weight of the additional supplies to feed them as you raise them to adulthood completely offsets (and then some) the weight savings from not just freezing adults. Your scientists are not thinking clearly.
The phosphorous?
That is the only element that is not in abundance in a star system. A living thing has about 1-1,4% of Phosphorous in it.
Phosphorous accounts only 0.0007% of matter. So even if the ship doesn't bring its own(no reason why it shoun't) so for every kilogram of matter the ship harvest on average it will still get 0,7grams of the stuff.
Even if we assume poor not ideal extraction methods and poor sources getting 1 gram of phosphorus out of every ton of matter gathered you still can have enough resources to feed your biological matter production.
 
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