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Aurora - a critique by Stephen Baxter and others
#2
A few more points;
An abiotic oxygen atmosphere would be possible on a waterworld, because the water would provide a barrier to prevent the oxygen ‘rusting out’ (to use Baxter’s phrase). But presumably the planet would be mapped beforehand to determine if there were any landmasses.
Mapping a planet at interstellar distances would be challenging, but surely not as challenging as getting 74 million tonnes up to 0.1c.
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An abiotic oxygen atmosphere would be possible on a waterworld, because the water would provide a barrier to prevent the oxygen ‘rusting out’ (to use Baxter’s phrase). But presumably the planet would be mapped beforehand to determine if there were any landmasses.
Mapping a planet at interstellar distances would be challenging, but surely not as challenging as getting 74 million tonnes up to 0.1c.
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Braking the ship could be possible if a rambrake (magbrake) were used- as described on this page
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/54ee3dd3291c0
but this would need some advanced planning.

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I would suggest that life-bearing planets be treated with caution and respect - complex biospheres are likely to contain pathogens, predators and/or be in edible or toxic. But a small fraction of biospheres might be compatible with terragen life; a larger proportion of biospheres could perhaps be compatible with modified terragens of various kinds, although this would be a technology for the slightly more distant future.

Planets with microbial populations or even prebiotic biospheres might be dangerous as well, but it might be slightly more acceptable from an ethical standpoint to sterilise a planet with this sort of basic biosphere, so long as samples of the original biota are preserved.
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RE: Aurora - a critique by Stephen Baxter and others - by stevebowers - 08-16-2015, 08:42 PM

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