Monday, May 15, 2017

Proper Planet Colonization

There is a lot of science fiction out there that involves colonizing other planets.  One of the most common techniques of doing so involves people going into some kind of stasis while the ship makes the long trek through empty space in order to reach the destined planet.

The trouble is, most of the time these stories neglect the very real logistics of colonizing another planet, especially in television and movie programs, though some books get this wrong as well.

That being said, I’d like to go over some key requirements that need to happen in order to colonize another world:

  • Firstly, the crew cannot be LGBT in any way.  In fact, the less sexually deviant, the better because the point is to populate the planet with children, which most sexual deviancy precludes.  Even pick-up artists should probably be left out.  Really, you should only have married couples with men who have verifiable skills in key areas.  The primary purpose of women on this trip is to have many babies, though they can contribute in other capacities, but child-rearing is their primary one.
  • The crew must have workers with the following skills: engineering (all kinds), farming, carpentry, security, hunting, medicine, and architecture.  You will also need a large group of unskilled workers who can do a lot of grunt work without needing to understand why they are doing it.  Most of these skill are geared toward building and maintaining the initial settlement, as well as expanding outward.  The initial generation will probably not be able to do much other than simply survive, so you leave the exploration to future generations.
  • The entire crew should probably be of the same race.  This helps to ensure that there is more unity amongst the colonizer as well as a kind of tribal loyalty.  Because the last thing you need is a race war on a planet where your very survival is needed.  And while a race war is probably the most extreme situation, there are other things that happen, like racial isolation, colony break-ups, etc. which could contribute to the failure of the mission.
  • The entire crew and colonists should have the same religion.  Pretty much for the same reason that they should be of the same race.  They should also be of the same sect as well to help promote religious cohesion.
  • Besides the crew, you will need at least five years worth of food and water stored up.  While the ultimate goal of the crew is to be self-sustaining, they are going to a world that might be barely habitable, so there’s a good chance they won’t have enough food.
  • Raw materials for building should also be stored and taken with them as well.  More than likely, it will take time to acquire building materials on the planet and you really don’t want to set down on a place and live in a grass hut with hostile lifeforms who don’t know what humans are.  They would also need materials for building some kind of power-generation.
  • Lots of seeds from a variety of plants should be taken as well.  Wheat, barley, corn, various fruit trees and bushes, as well as many other flora should be stocked up.  There is no way to know for sure what kind of food will be available on that planet and you’ll need seed crop to be sustainable within that five year window.  Materials to build sufficient irrigation and crop protection should be brought as well.
  • Tons of livestock should be brought along as well.  Domestication takes generations and the wildlife on the planet may prove impossible to tame.  Therefore, you’ll need several times the number of farm animals than the colonists.
  • Pets should probably be taken as well, especially dogs.  Dogs would provide a very good way to defend against hostile lifeforms since they tend to have heightened senses.  Also, they do make good companions.
  • Since animals along with people are being sent, it goes without saying that plenty of food for them should be brought as well.
  • A vast library of books, both digital and hardcopies, should be sent with them.  The purpose of this to help educate the children but also to provide references for the skilled workers since no one person can remember everything about their skillset.
  • Huge amounts of medical supplies should be taken as well.  The ability to create new medicines as well as research tools should be taken as well.  Pathogens are the most dangerous of all lifeforms and the planet may have serious diseases which the colonists have no proper defense against.
  • Weaponry of all kinds should be taken.  Every colonists should be well trained in the use of firearms and basic combat techniques.  There is a good chance those skills will come in handy when encountering more complex lifeforms.
  • All lifeforms encountered should be considered hostile, no matter how docile they appear.  All plant-life, if any, should be considered poisonous and should not be handled without proper protection.  Until the threat of such lifeforms can be properly assessed and documented, it is better to make the assumption.

I know that this leaves a less than sexy background setting for a story, but this is the reality of colonizing another world.  And so often the science fiction stories I read get this all wrong.  I’ve read stories where the colonists engage in sexual promiscuity, which does not create a stable family unit, where just the people are sent over, where inadequate supplies are sent over, etc.

That is something that frustrates me.  I mean, if you’re going to have a science fiction story revolving around planet colonization, at least hint that there is more than just people and food rations on the ship.