Inhabited Gas Giants

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Tom Kalbfus
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Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:16 pm

Suppose the main world of a system was an inhabited gas giant, suppose that it not only was inhabited but had billions of inhabitants, lets say it was a World similar to Jupiter but in the habitable zone of a Sun like star, and it had 4 rocky luna sized worlds, plus 50 smaller moons down to asteroid size and a set of rocky rings at about the size of Saturns, the inner orbit is filled with asteroids closer to the Sun, there is a second smaller Saturn sized gas giant further out from the Star at about 2.8 AU, it has some icy moons more like Jupiter's orbiting it, there is another Neptune sized gas giant at 5.2 Au, and another Neptune sized gas giant at 10 AU from the star, and two more snowball planets orbiting further out each about the size of Mars.

Suppose this system was in the OTU. The rocky moons of the gas giant are bombarded by lethal radiation belts, the inner most moon is highly volcanic with huge plumes constantly being thrown into space. Down in the gas giant's atmosphere, the environment is mostly radiation free. You have a hydrogen-helium atmosphere, the gravity is around 2.5 times that of Earth, and the temperature of that atmosphere at the 2 bar level is a balmy 15 degrees centigrade on average with water clouds and weather. Would humans want to use Traveller technology to actually inhabit this gas giant? They could do that or mostly live under ground on one of the planet's moons, Which do you think they would choose to do. Would the starport also be located within the gas giant's atmosphere?
PsiTraveller
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:12 pm

Well they could live on floating cities (Bespin??) or Drinaxian in nature.

gravity control allows no thrust to be felt, so maybe the interior of the city is always at 1g. As long as the system never went down then they could live on a floating city inside the gas giant.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:05 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:12 pm
Well they could live on floating cities (Bespin??) or Drinaxian in nature.

gravity control allows no thrust to be felt, so maybe the interior of the city is always at 1g. As long as the system never went down then they could live on a floating city inside the gas giant.
In the campaign, I'm working on, there is an inhabited Solar System where each world is a standin for a nation existing today, taken out of Bio of a Space Tyrant by Piers Anthony but updated for the 21st/31st century. Communism for example has fallen in the former Union of Saturnian Socialist Republics, there was a brief interval of democratic government in the 2990s followed by a dictator from 3000 to 3018, where 3018 is the current year. Saturn is a combination of Russia, Ukraine, some balkan countries such as Georgia, Kazakistan, a few others plus Mongolia and China. To make things aa little simpler, events took a different turn, Saturn was united under a single somewhat despotic government, ethnic Chinese take an increasingly important role, so basically the Russian part of the planet declined and it now has an ethnic Chinese leader, we'll call him Xi Han. Xi Han is a ruthless leader, there is a group of multi-billionaires that keep him in power, There are a bunch of government controlled corporations ruling much of the planet, and Saturn has some imperialistic designs on some extra-solar worlds out there.

The other gas giant is Jupiter, which is a combination of the United States, Canada, and latin American from Mexico all the way down to Agentina Because of a dictoator that briefly took over the United States of Jupiter, the planet was united under a single government, when the dictator was deposed, democracy was restored, but the planet remained united under a single government. The capital of the planet and largest city is a metropolis called Empire City, it has a population of 80 million, there is a president, a senate, and a house of representative as well as a Supreme Court, it is also a teaming financial and commercial center as well as the seat of an international body called the United System, where various interplanetary governments send to representative to discuss their differences, much like the UN today. Empire city is a huge city, basically a flattened spheroid within a gas envelope 100 kilometers in diameter, and about 10 kilometers from top to bottom in the center, at the roof is a 10 km wide apperature opening to the atmosphere where a plasma wall keeps the breathable atmosphere below seperated from the hydrogen helium atmosphere outside. Giant heat exchangers down below dump the excess heat from the citie's central fusion reactors which provide the energy for life support, heating and the giant antigrav generators below. Some condensers also dangle to collect water from the water clouds to fill the cities resevoirs and provide drinking water for the citizens within. smaller ships typically enter through the 10 km wide hole in the roof, the plasma wall allows passage of spaceships through without letting in the hydrogen.
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby phavoc » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:20 am

It's possible technologically, but the question comes down to "why?" It will be riskier and more expensive to have floating cities than it would to locate the colonies on moons, or use larger asteroids to create habitats (or even build O'Neil or other types of colonies).

I've read PA's Bio series, and one of the reasons there were colonies like that was because the better real estate had been taken (and also humanity was stuck in the solar system and had multiple polities within the system).

So if you are going to have that many people you'd need a backstory on why they are living in the atmosphere of a gas giant.

Or not... hand wavium works great, but if you are going through the effort to create such a society it's good to have a logical reason why.
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:47 am

phavoc wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:20 am
It's possible technologically, but the question comes down to "why?" It will be riskier and more expensive to have floating cities than it would to locate the colonies on moons, or use larger asteroids to create habitats (or even build O'Neil or other types of colonies).

I've read PA's Bio series, and one of the reasons there were colonies like that was because the better real estate had been taken (and also humanity was stuck in the solar system and had multiple polities within the system).

So if you are going to have that many people you'd need a backstory on why they are living in the atmosphere of a gas giant.

Or not... hand wavium works great, but if you are going through the effort to create such a society it's good to have a logical reason why.
The main reason is that up until 18 years ago, this setting didn't have a warp drive or any sort of FTL drive, and they were stuck in this Solar System for 1000 years, the invention of the warp drive occured at the beginning of the 31st century, it was largely the result of the collaboration of two of the system's superpowers Jupiter and Saturn, In this setting, the Warp Drive replaces the matter transporter that Piers Anthony used, instead of that we have the warp drive instead.

Now just because there was no FTL drive for 1000 years doesn't mean people didn't colonize other Star Systems, they did, but the governments of the Solar System had no control over them. because of the danger of high velocity impacts with spaceships, velocities for crossing the interstellar void were limited to 25% of the speed of light for city ships/generation arks, and 10% of the speed of light for smaller sleeper ships (using low berths), this means that the furthest stars that were reached by slower than light colony ships are about 100 light years away. So these people think they are on their own, and suddenly warp ships from Sol start arriving, they have very different customs particularly for the colonies established by sleeper ships. The Warp ships suddenly start arriving on their colony worlds and in many cases stirring up all sorts of trouble. A lot of the outer colony worlds have established their own governments, and suddenly hordes of immigrants start arriving. What do you think would start happening then?

Of course not everybody is going to leave the Solar System just because they can, lots of people are comfortable living in civilized space with high industry, but the Saturnians in particular are bent on establishing an Interstellar Empire, Jupiter on the other hand is building an Interstellar Navy to put a check on Saturnian expansionism, and they also want to establish trade with these outer colonies. And of course there are the survivalists. The Solar System is in a state of Cold War between the worlds allied with Jupiter and those allied with Saturn, both worlds have Interplanetary Ballistic Missiles (IPBMs) armed with antimatter warheads pointed at each other's cities. Neither side wants to risk an Interplanetary War, but the Saturnians try to test the limits and exploit any weaknesses that they can find in their adversaries.
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:52 pm

Larry Niven wrote a couple of books about a similar situation, so perfectly possible.
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steve98052
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby steve98052 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:02 pm

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:38 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:02 pm
See also:

http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Jgd-ll-jagd
These are creatures that evolved in a gas giant as opposed to just living there. Humans didn't evolve to live in space either, that is why they wear spacesuits.
golem64
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby golem64 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:30 pm

If you want some good inspiration, Iain M. Banks has awesome and hilarious gas giant dwellers in his excellent novel The Algebraist.
Condottiere
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Condottiere » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:05 am

Assuming there's some economic value in it to colonize the moons.

Floating cities would have the advantage that they could move out of the way of maybe a meteor strike, or the dark side of the moon when a solar flare is predicted.
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Re: Inhabited Gas Giants

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:42 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:05 am
Assuming there's some economic value in it to colonize the moons.

Floating cities would have the advantage that they could move out of the way of maybe a meteor strike, or the dark side of the moon when a solar flare is predicted.
They would be a good place to refuel your starship, they could sell processed fuel at a cut rate price. They would also be a good place to operate a fusion reactor, the gases of the gas giant would provide cooling and fuel.

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