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Writer's Block: If you could visit anywhere in the solar system, where would it be? - Caffeination / Livejournal Notebook
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Writer's Block: If you could visit anywhere in the solar system, where would it be?



I've heard good things about Earth, and figured - why not? I've been spending a lot of time there, ever since. The LJ staff might want to try it, some time.

The solar system just doesn't have that many good travel options, really. There is Mars, and the environment there is unthreatening enough that one could put a man in a spacesuit on its surface with a clear conscience, but most of this system is not so benign. Somebody wrote about visiting Saturn. Beautiful, yes, but the temperatures in the gaseous - liquid transition zone are so high that one would be incinerated, instantly, and the pressures would be enough to crush one so quickly that one wouldn't have time to know that one was dying. Jupiter is like that, only worse. Venus - pressures are lower, but still, being comparable to those found at the bottom of the ocean, more than high enough to kill, tearing through any suit we'll be making any time soon, temperatures are akin to that of a broiler, and the atmosphere is laced with sulfuric and sulfurous acid. Even the robots sent there lasted for only about 20 minutes before they were destroyed by the environment. What chance would a man have? Io - the innermost moon of Jupiter, is bathed in enough ionizing radiation that one would end up with radiation poisoning in under an hour, if exposed on the surface, while one busily hoped to not be taken out by a lava flow.

You get the idea. Aside from the Moon and Mars, what is there that won't kill the hapless visitor? There are asteroids, I suppose, but how scenic is a big, airless rock, with minimal geology? We can go, but it won't be a pleasure cruise in space. No, until we have starships, or human idiocy does enough damage to Earth that Mars and the Moon look like attractive alternatives, I'll stay here.

It's nice knowing where your next gulp of air is coming from, and the cultural opportunities are a lot more interesting.



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