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Pluto. 5-years after New Horizons..


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"There is a case that habitability on Pluto may be just as good as on the closer icy moons. In fact, if Pluto is the standard for dwarf planets found in the Kuiper Belt generally there may be many more habitable worlds out there."
 
 
There's a lot of real estate out there in dwarf planets too.  Even just in our Solar system there are hundreds of known dwarf planets, and probably hundreds more that we haven't seen yet.  (Even Hubble couldn't see much further than the inner bit of the Kuiper Belt.)  Yes, I said hundreds of planets in our own system, and each able to be the resource base for its own swarm of habitats. 

How about this for another thought.. If the Kuiper Belt isn't enough then there is also the Oort cloud.  No reason to expect there not to be thousands of more planets - dwarf and otherwise -  out in the Oort cloud, which some models say extends out to over 120,000 AU.  64,000 AU is 1 light-year.  The nearest star system to our own is less than 4 LY away.  If it is similarly constructed then by the time we're reaching the limits of our system we should be inside the outer edges of the next system over.  Up the side of one gravity well and down the other.  All accessible without having to resort to magic technology like "warp" drives, though building all those colonies and expanding the frontier that far might take us a while.  Rome wasn't built in a day after all.
Edited by efaardvark
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I considered that actually when the Pluto flyby happened and we saw that Pluto had an atmosphere. That said, I think we should focus on getting established on Mars first before we dream too far ahead. Right now all eggs are in the Blue Planet's basket and a single planetwide extinction event will end us all. One colony at a time :)

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42 minutes ago, Beocat said:

That said, I think we should focus on getting established on Mars first before we dream too far ahead. Right now all eggs are in the Blue Planet's basket and a single planetwide extinction event will end us all.

That's being worked on too.  A fully-fueled Starship in orbit is halfway to anywhere in the solar system. 

Speaking of which, there's currently something of a 24/7 watch on Elon's little Boca Chica project at the moment.  They've done a number of engine test-firings with the Starship prototype (serial number 8 ) in the past couple weeks and the FAA has given clearance to 15km altitude for the next "hop", which is expected to happen any day now.  Elon has said there's about a 1 in 3 chance of everything going smoothly.  We'll see.  Should be exciting either way.

And after that there's SN9 already being built in the nearby high-bay.

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