How to Colonize The Outer Worlds | Because Space


– This episode of Because Space is bought to you by The Outer Worlds. I can’t wait to go on
this Titan cruise ship and finally sail the methane seas. What? You’re telling we we
haven’t colonized Titan yet for this to be possible? It’s so close! What if I told you there was a way to experience colonized
destinations in our universe in the comfort of your own home? Well, you can now in The Outer Worlds. In The Outer Worlds, we’re
flung into an alternate future where we can explore the
logistics and dynamics of interstellar travel
and planetary terraforming in the distant star systems. What could possibly go wrong? (upbeat electronic music) – Wonderful! Let’s get started. – Terraforming is essentially the process by which you make a planet,
a moon, or other bodies sustainable for humans to inhabit. There are several logistical
hurdles to overcome for this to be possible depending on how far
gone the environment is. For example, if a planet
already has liquid water, and needs a few seeds of life to help kickstart a sustainable ecosystem, this terraforming process
could be feasibly completed within a person’s lifetime. Taking something like Mars, and getting it to the point
where it has an atmosphere and liquid water again, takes orders of magnitude more effort. Yeah, that’s Mars. The science, cost, and
sustainability needed to terraform a planet for
long-term colonization poses some logistical barriers. So how could we go about it? Let’s start with the science. Always start with the science. Depending on where this body
is, and how much work it needs, the understanding of what
science need to be prescribe to turn a planet from drab to have may require technology and understanding that isn’t fully developed yet. To start, the biggest threat
today to astronauts in space and those who may travel beyond the Earth’s protective, magnetic field, is radiation. There are ways to protect
us living on Earth, but the ability for us to travel to another terraformed destination safely hinges upon the continued development of radiation protection both in transit and at the destination. The Outer Worlds takes place
in an alternate time line in the year 2355 where humans
have completely worked through these technological
and scientific hurdles. On your long journey
through interstellar space, you, the player, are being transported in a massive colony ship called the Hope. They’ve also perfected
the technology needed to put the passengers in a form of stasis over the 10 year trip
to the target exoplanet. This certainly is an ideal
way to avoid cabin fever on the long journey. Their ability to travel at
faster than light velocities also helps speed things up a bit, which is a stretch for
science fact currently, but necessary for science fiction. We have over 300 years to figure this out according to the game’s timelines, so, other than the travel speeds, it’s within the realm of possibilities. Hey, can I borrow that freezer? Another scientific hurdle to overcome when terraforming a planet is making (inhales and
exhales) breathable air! 21% of our air is in the form of oxygen. In The Outer Worlds, we
see them terraform Halcyon by sending large, towering machines that break down the CO2 in the atmosphere into oxygen and carbon. This ties nicely to technological
development going on today with the first demonstration
of such a machine to occur in real life on Mars
using the MOXIE instrument which is situated on
NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover. Could that technology be
perfected in a timeline set up by The Outer Worlds? It certainly is feasible! Just like understanding the
science needed to terraform, the cost can also vary
depending on where the body is, and how much work it needs. This is where the dynamic
between governments and corporations come to play. Today the space industry balances duties by leveraging private companies for routine, but difficult
feats like producing rockets. Private companies have an incentive to make space travel
affordable and reliable. This leaves topics like
pushing the envelope of science for the government sector. (bomb exploding) Detonating a nuclear weapon on Mars could kickstart the terraforming process. Ultimately, the hypothesis is that the heat generated
from the nuclear device would melt the polar icecaps, release large amounts of CO2, and a resulting global
warming would produce a more inhabitable world. This can cost trillions of dollars, and heating a planet is merely
the first factor to consider when terraforming. Nuking a planet does not address the process of seeding
plants and other life, which at our current level of technology would be cost prohibitive because the price to launch
large payloads to space is astronomical! Get it? Astronomical? (chime dinging) Plus, if a corporation
decided to lead this endeavor, you would imagine that they would also call much of the shots as to what, if any, changes
are made to the environment as the primary funding agency. That might lead to some sticky situations. The Outer Worlds takes
place on the Halcyon Colony which is exclusively
run by 10 corporations who purchased the colony so that they could operate independent of the Earth’s government. You can imagine that a colony run exclusively by the corporate sector without the balance
provided by the government can take some interesting
and dark possibilities that your character will
have the ability to explore in The Outer Worlds. So, assuming you’ve set up a nice, habitable, terraformed planet, how would you make this
a sustainable colony? You need resources in the
form of food, materials, and most importantly of all, people. It is a logical stretch that the entities funding the endeavor would have a large say in
the politics and logistics of who goes and what the
needs of the colony are. But maybe that’s giving
society too much credit. In The Outer Worlds, the selection process is
based on filling in job duties needed by the ruling corporations even if it means not always
finding the best person for their society. These corporations have also created towns which allow for people to
earn their say through labor, and generate resources
to sustain the colony. Fortunately in today’s world, there’s still a negotiation
among partnering organizations when it comes to space exploration, but they mainly deal with
science-based criteria along with balancing the needs
of maintaining the machines that sustain the crew. We have about 300 years to reach the technology
shown in The Outer Worlds, and the promise of human
colonies dotting the galaxy! Can we make it? Hopefully! Even though the game takes
place in an alternate history, we are definitely capable
of achieving many things that are outlined in the game. Eventually. The jury’s still out on
faster-than-light travel, but 300 years ago, did anyone
truly think we’d be able to get to the moon and back? Maybe some day our own descendants will reach The Outer Worlds Because Space! Thanks again to The Outer Worlds for sponsoring today’s episode. The Outer Worlds is a single player RPG from Obsidian Entertainment
and Private Division. Explore the edge of the galaxy by traveling to the Halcyon Colony where you’ll be embroiled in a vast, interstellar conspiracy, and only you can decide everyone’s fate. Pre-order The Outer Worlds
for PC, PS4 and Xbox One today so you can play when it
drops on October 25th! Welcome to the future! Try not to break it! (logo beeps and whirs)

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