In more interesting news from Mars… its night sky pulses and glows with ultraviolet light. See here for more info on the research results. This of course makes an even better argument for using the recently developed bright fluorescent objects I mentioned in my last blog.
But there is even more interesting news. Ceres, a minor planet in the Asteroid Belt has a reservoir of brine below its surface. See here for how the discovery was made.
Between these discoveries our projected likely future in expanding into the Solar System has suffered a major shift from what we have come to know and love in science fiction. Shortage of water is significantly reduced – we know how to extract pure water from brine, and it looks like brine is scattered much more round the Solar System that we previously thought – Ceres is unlikely to be the only large Asteroid Belt object with brine beneath its surface.
The solids making for energy conversion from ultraviolet have several uses, including reducing the danger from that particular radiation, as well as making light available in the tunnels. But apply the principle to other solids that can do energy conversions… you get the picture.
Just as DNA is to life and mathematics is to robotics, so is energy converting materials to Solar System colonisation.
In other words, it is time for a major new wave of Solar System colonisation stories. The recently published ones, lovely and entertaining though they are, are now sadly transferred to the realms of fantasy. We don’t have any published stories that use these technologies as the basis for colonisation.
Of course, the above is only the start to the science fiction world building that will be involved. There will be synergistic developments and knock-on effects. There may also be new discoveries coming shortly that will result in another paradigm shift – but the ones mentioned above are already big enough to justify writing stories of a new Solar System order.