Does space dock even make sense?

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2019-06-07 11:50am

1. Agreed.

2. They have transporters and replicators. We never see them take full advantage of those technologies, either. For some reason, the Federation prefers to do things in a suboptimal way.

I mean, they should be able to build ships with the push of a button. One of the writers even acknowledged that. But they felt the show would lose its drama if they made things that easy for the Federation. So, here we are trying to find in-universe explanations.

3. Plenty of citizens seem to own (or timeshare?) small starships. I got the impression that it was lack of will rather than lack of resources that kept so many colonists planet bound. And Starfleet seems to have made the choice not to use black holes for energy. Who knows why.
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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Imperial528 » 2019-06-07 12:32pm

I feel like orbital habitats aren't nearly so useful to the Federation as they potentially are in real life. The Federation seems to terraform planets fairly routinely on human timescales, explicitly starting with worlds that have absolutely no life and no potential to develop life, and raising them to M-class within a few decades. And in this case, it seems they do use replicators on an industrial scale.

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Themightytom » 2019-06-10 12:38am

Imperial528 wrote:
2019-06-07 12:32pm
I feel like orbital habitats aren't nearly so useful to the Federation as they potentially are in real life. The Federation seems to terraform planets fairly routinely on human timescales, explicitly starting with worlds that have absolutely no life and no potential to develop life, and raising them to M-class within a few decades. And in this case, it seems they do use replicators on an industrial scale.
I don't think they terraform them quite that quickly. The Genesis device was a little TOO fast and was interpreted as the ultimate weapon, 80 years later they were terraforning on the order of decades, according to the dialogue where they found the sparkly lights that started shooting lasers at Data.

I don't know that orbital habitats are particularly accepted in the Star Trek Universe. It was a plot point in early DS9 that Sisko didn't want to raise Jake away from a planet. The Galaxy class starships were supposed to have families, and that seemed to go pretty poorly over all. Star Trek technology doesn't seem that solid overall, I can only imagine their space stations are about as rickety as their space ships. The Enterprise got wrecked by a superstring thing, the Voyager got quantum duplicated, a DS9 runabout shrank?

I wouldn't want to live on any of that. Even just using the transporters can get you split in half, duplicated, sent to a mirror universe, thrown through time, trapped as a worm with a mouth, turned into a child, etc. You'd have to imagine those incidents multiplied by a daily commute for millions to be a hazard.

Space Dock seems redundant with an actual shipyards nearby and various repair facilities, but I could see it being something of a landmark for the federation capitol. It seems dangerous to contain damaged or leaky ships in a structure.


I can't buy the "Hiding shipsl from telescopes" theory. Using visual scans seems absurd as a source of intelligence given light diffusion and speed of travel. In a busy space environment, can you really scope out a ship under construction from near enough to see it in a reasonable amount of time, with nothing ever blocking your view? I think things like the images we saw from the Argos Array were more likely visual extrapolations of sensor readings than a big ol' telescope, and if we accept that, then just putting a wall around a project isn't really adequate to defeat technology that can gather data. A frame can have just as many jamming devices mounted on it.


Do any other races have giant starbases that we have seen, by the way?

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Imperial528 » 2019-06-10 01:02am

Themightytom wrote:
2019-06-10 12:38am
I don't think they terraform them quite that quickly. The Genesis device was a little TOO fast and was interpreted as the ultimate weapon, 80 years later they were terraforning on the order of decades, according to the dialogue where they found the sparkly lights that started shooting lasers at Data.
I don't see how that contradicts what I said?

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-06-10 09:32am

Themightytom wrote:
2019-06-10 12:38am
I don't know that orbital habitats are particularly accepted in the Star Trek Universe. It was a plot point in early DS9 that Sisko didn't want to raise Jake away from a planet. The Galaxy class starships were supposed to have families, and that seemed to go pretty poorly over all. Star Trek technology doesn't seem that solid overall, I can only imagine their space stations are about as rickety as their space ships. The Enterprise got wrecked by a superstring thing, the Voyager got quantum duplicated, a DS9 runabout shrank?

I wouldn't want to live on any of that. Even just using the transporters can get you split in half, duplicated, sent to a mirror universe, thrown through time, trapped as a worm with a mouth, turned into a child, etc. You'd have to imagine those incidents multiplied by a daily commute for millions to be a hazard.
A lot of this is kinda hyperbole.

Transporters are almost certainly much safer along 'fixed' routes, where the origin and destination are both well known and anomalous incidents en route are minimal. Out in the middle of nowhere around unknown planets with weird crap going on... sure, stuff happens. But say, Earth to Spacedock? Nah.

The Enterprise-D is acknowledged to be somewhat of an experiment, as far as families on ships go, IIRC.

Sisko's personal issues with raising Jake aboard DS9 are not necessarily symptomatic of Federation attitudes towards living on space stations.

While we do see quite a bit of wonky technology problems in Trek... that's the thing; we're only seeing a pretty limited view of their technology aboard, respectively, a Federation flagship regularly flying into strange parts of the universe, an ex-Cardassian station being retrofitted with Federation technology in a politically unstable region of the galaxy, and a lone Federation ship thrown to the other side of the galaxy with no resupply. If technology was truly as unreliable and dangerous as we see regularly, across the board... they'd talk about it. "Don't use that holodeck, you might never come out!" "Did you hear what happened with the replicator the other day, it blew up in Ensign Mork's face?" and so forth. They never do; they're supremely confident in their technology. That suggests that, arrogance aside, it DOES work reasonably well MOST of the time.
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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Batman » 2019-06-10 02:07pm

Also, even out at the frontier where the anomaly of the week happens, well, every week, 95+% of the time transporters work just fine.
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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Themightytom » 2019-06-12 06:17pm

I don't think it's really hyperbole, it's what we see in all series pretty regularly. One series, maybe it was a fluke, say, TOS, but TNG, DS9, VOY, different ships, all having bizarre transporter mishaps, you'd rather believe with that cross sampling that ONLY those ships had them?

Transporter psychosis is an actual diagnosis. The time travel transporter incident with the Defiant happened in Earth Orbit by the way, and Commander Sonack and friend in the motion picture was just "Oops, a piece burned out".

McCoy was sort of laughed at, but I mean, was he wrong? A lightening storm can mess with them, the alternate universe actually deliberately modified a transporter to cross dimensions.

An "anomaly" is obviously a catch all phrase for "something unclassifiable is happening" and it's regular enough they gave them classification levels AND associative principles.

The Galaxy class is widely claimed to be an experiment that failed, so, concession accepted there, Starfleet agreed that putting families on spaceships was not safe. Are they keeping Galaxy Class ships close to home? Nope, because that's not good enough.

Now as a counterpoint, how many families can you actually name on a space station, and how often are they depicted as being in danger? Where's the guy whose like "Yup, four generation spacedock born, over here..." Because it's been around for almost 100 years, OR.. it hasn't, and there's a reason.

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Themightytom » 2019-06-12 06:23pm

I mean I DO find it bizarre that Starfleet apparently built a fleet of ships with just... Empty decks? Apparently that's part of the Galaxy class model and they launched even the Enterprise with room to grow or whatever, so maybe Spacedock is mostly hollow, and they took all the surface area to put windows in. It makes a little more sense if it's just mostly empty space, and the modules are just scaled for ship types. Cruisers on top, escorts in the middle, shuttles and runabouts in the smaller areas, I don't see that many DOORS so I doubt it, and I still don't see a really good argument for even having a completely internal dock, but I really can't imagine what they need so much living space for, unless it's a giant hotel for crews that have to vacate their ships for repair or something, it seems overkill even then?

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by B5B7 » 2019-06-12 10:16pm

There is a background implication in many episodes that people on Earth regularly and often travel by transporter, and it is quite safe. The conditions under which it occurs are very stable. Their equivalent of a stroll in the park.
In regard to the problems on the spaceships, it is usually because of unusual interference - an alien substance or sabotage or experimentation or trying to exceed its usual capabilities, etc. Their equivalent of extreme sports.
Also in the TV shows and movies it is not just their transporters that malfunction but replicators, life support (hilariously because they wouldn't freeze nor run out of air), warp cores, etc. Their ships are simply not work safe compliant.
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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-06-13 11:41am

I'll accept that the Federation could build a Dyson Swarm if it wanted to. There are some problems, but those look solvable if the Federation is convinced the swarm is worth the effort.

Jub wrote:
2019-06-06 10:37pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2019-06-06 09:57pm
Megastrctures for energy generation look very similar to me. Sure, they will generate a shitload of energy. But the Federation already has plenty of energy production for what it wants to do. They have no need for more.
That's nonsense, given that they still have scarcity and have had issues rapidly building up new ships when faced with a threat. You always need more energy and should always be expanding. To fail to do so means that you need more energy and material harvesting.
You're claiming that energy production alone would allow that expansion. Something you haven't proven. Building the Dyson Swarm is the easy part. Taking the energy produced from all those separate satellites and doing something useful with it is where things get tricky. So How do you think they could get the energy from the swarm to somewhere it's useful ?

As for building new ships, it seems that dilithium is a major factor in how many ships they can build as it's a critical component of a ships warp core. Why do you want to expand the ship building infrastructure far beyond what the dilithium supply can support ?
If they merely colonized the stars within 50 light years of Earth they'd already have 134 systems rather than the 150 systems in a federation of 8,000 light years that is canon. ]
You're assuming that all the stars within 50 light years are uninhabited. If any of them are inhabited by someone who doesn't want to join the Federation, then the Federation will not colonise it.

Then you need to consider that colonists agree to be colonists. The Federation seems to be letting them settle anywhere that isn't claimed by someone else. Do you want to force them to live in your idea of an efficiently used system ?

What about the colonists that want to live outside of Federation rule ?
I do wonder how many colonies were started by people who didn't want to live in the Federation. But, after time passed, the colony wanted to join the Federation for various reasons.

Why should the Federation try to limit the volume of its territory when that also limits the amount of available dilithium ?
If they Dyson swarmed these stars they'd be able to support trillions of sentient beings around each star rather than the pathetic 985 billion they have around 150.
The Federation doesn't have trillions of sentient beings it needs to support. It only has 985 billion. Why should they build an infrastructure to support orders of magnitude more people than they actually have ?
To spread out, to insist on only colonizing Earthlike planets the UFP creates tensions by claiming territory they don't need and can't currently fill. They're wasteful elitists only wanting to live on the choicest of planets around the choicest of stars while being too useless to properly use the resources they should have access too. They stifle their own stated goals of peace and harmony by being wasteful and cause wars because of it.
You're the one suggesting building an infrastructure to support a population they don't have. One to build more ships than they have the dilithium to fuel. You're the one looking wasteful here.

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-06-13 12:28pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2019-06-13 11:41am
You're claiming that energy production alone would allow that expansion. Something you haven't proven. Building the Dyson Swarm is the easy part. Taking the energy produced from all those separate satellites and doing something useful with it is where things get tricky. So How do you think they could get the energy from the swarm to somewhere it's useful?
Microwaves or lasers tend to be the ideas currently in favor among actual scientists. You could also use mirrors as part of your swarm and send concentrated beams to solar collectors deeper into the solar system. It's easy enough that there are real-life design studies based on the idea.

Is this not common knowledge these days?
As for building new ships, it seems that dilithium is a major factor in how many ships they can build as it's a critical component of a ships warp core. Why do you want to expand the ship building infrastructure far beyond what the dilithium supply can support?
Then manufacture more dilithium using that extra energy. You can literally turn lead to gold with enough spare energy, so why not start manufacturing artificial dilithium in a massive atom smasher or specialized lab?
You're assuming that all the stars within 50 light years are uninhabited. If any of them are inhabited by someone who doesn't want to join the Federation, then the Federation will not colonise it.
I can't prove that they aren't inhabited so you'll be required to provide proof of that. Best of luck.
Then you need to consider that colonists agree to be colonists. The Federation seems to be letting them settle anywhere that isn't claimed by someone else. Do you want to force them to live in your idea of an efficiently used system?
An efficiently used system would be more more habitable than the frontier outposts of the week we typically see in Star Trek. Arguably certain types of space habitats could be even more habitable than Earth if you're willing to spend the resources on building them.
What about the colonists that want to live outside of Federation rule?
Good for them. Mark that star on the charts and let them be until they contact you.
Why should the Federation try to limit the volume of its territory when that also limits the amount of available dilithium?
There is no dilithium scarcity. Any element can be made with enough energy and some knowledge of its atomic make-up. So build those Dyson swarms and start cranking the stuff out at whatever volume you'd like. Even better, create your own black hole or kugelblitz for greater than stellar efficiency.
The Federation doesn't have trillions of sentient beings it needs to support. It only has 985 billion. Why should they build an infrastructure to support orders of magnitude more people than they actually have?
Why are their populations so unrealistically low? Populations tend to expand to fill the space available to them and with easy space travel, let alone FTL travel, space just became nearly unlimited.

Also, expanding efficiently, even if just with swarms of mining drones and manufacturing ships gives access to orders of magnitude more resources which would serve to end what little scarcity remains within the UFP.
You're the one suggesting building an infrastructure to support a population they don't have. One to build more ships than they have the dilithium to fuel. You're the one looking wasteful here.
They're literally wasting 38,460 septillion watts per second by not Dyson swarming the sun, let alone the hundreds of other stars within their territory. That's energy their never getting back so why not capture it and use it for something? Even just using it to create stockpiles of antimatter or to terraform the other rocky bodies in the solar system is far less wasteful than what they're actually doing.

They could be planning long term, gathering mass and energy for when the universe eventually goes dark, something I'd imagine a society such as the Culture would be doing, instead of being wasteful and provoking war via expansion.

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-06-19 01:47pm

Jub wrote:
2019-06-13 12:28pm
Microwaves or lasers tend to be the ideas currently in favor among actual scientists. You could also use mirrors as part of your swarm and send concentrated beams to solar collectors deeper into the solar system. It's easy enough that there are real-life design studies based on the idea.

Is this not common knowledge these days?
Three problems with that:
- Waste heat at the receiving point. We are talking a shitload of energy, which means a shitload of waste heat (unless you want to claim, and prove, 100% efficiency at the receiving point). What materials could withstand that ?
- The width of the beam expands over distance. So anything around the receiver is going to have to deal with being hit by all that energy.
- If someone hacks into the system telling the satellites where to send the energy, they can point it at other things in the system. Melting whatever they point at. Trek isn't very good at computer security but, even if they were, this would pose a major political obstacle for your swarm.

I'm thinking that political opposition is going to be the biggest hurdle for a dyson swarm. Especially if it doesn't solve any of the Federations problems in a reasonable timeframe.
Then manufacture more dilithium using that extra energy. You can literally turn lead to gold with enough spare energy, so why not start manufacturing artificial dilithium in a massive atom smasher or specialized lab?
Is that something Trek science is capable of ?

We are talking a substance that is used to control matter/antimatter reactions. That's not normal matter, but you're the one claiming it can be created just like normal matter. Please prove it can be created by Trek tech if they put enough energy into it.
I can't prove that they aren't inhabited so you'll be required to provide proof of that. Best of luck.
I'll concede this point.
An efficiently used system would be more more habitable than the frontier outposts of the week we typically see in Star Trek. Arguably certain types of space habitats could be even more habitable than Earth if you're willing to spend the resources on building them.
Why do you think people are leaving Earth to found colonies in Star Trek ?
How do you convince them that your habitats meet their goals better than settling an uninhabited planet ?
Why are their populations so unrealistically low? Populations tend to expand to fill the space available to them and with easy space travel, let alone FTL travel, space just became nearly unlimited.
Please show me the population growth rate calculations you used to conclude that the population is unrealistically low. What kind of birth rates are we talking about ?
They're literally wasting 38,460 septillion watts per second by not Dyson swarming the sun, let alone the hundreds of other stars within their territory. That's energy their never getting back so why not capture it and use it for something?
Capturing it to store brings the problem of storage, which tends to be explosive due to the energy density involved. It seems safer to let the energy be "wasted" than storing it.

As for using it, they need to have some reason to use it. Building a large fleet for the sake of a large fleet isn't a good reason. Nor is building that large fleet to collect resources for the sake of collecting resources. You need to find a problem that the current fleet can't handle and building a dyson swarm to build a larger fleet is the quickest way to get the fleet to the necessary size. So, how long are you thinking the swarm itself would take to build ?

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Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-06-19 06:43pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2019-06-19 01:47pm
Three problems with that:
- Waste heat at the receiving point. We are talking a shitload of energy, which means a shitload of waste heat (unless you want to claim, and prove, 100% efficiency at the receiving point). What materials could withstand that ?
Why are you assuming you'd send all that energy in a single beam rather than from a single solar collector (or perhaps a small cluster) to a specially designed receiver station? Also, Star Trek has some pretty nifty tech that can withstand phaser hits for at least a little while, why are you assuming they can't deal with some simple microwaves or focused light?

Also, please do the math and show how large a solar collector you'd need to threaten to melt something on earth and how tight the beam would have to be. You made a claim, so I'll expect you to support it.
- The width of the beam expands over distance. So anything around the receiver is going to have to deal with being hit by all that energy.
No shit, that's why you park your receiver somewhere where nothing else gets bathed in that energy and then beam from it to your destination. That second distance will be short enough that you won't have nearly so much bloom.

I also awaiting your math on how much the various transmission methods will spread and why this couldn't be solved with something like a series of relay stations if it is an issue.
- If someone hacks into the system telling the satellites where to send the energy, they can point it at other things in the system. Melting whatever they point at. Trek isn't very good at computer security but, even if they were, this would pose a major political obstacle for your swarm.
Assuming that any given satellite is powerful enough to melt anything, that they can be easily hacked, and that Star Fleet has no way to respond to this is such a disaster were to happen is a bunch of negatives I can't disprove. Once again you'll need to show your work here if you want to stay in this debate.
Is that something Trek science is capable of?
Why wouldn't they be? All matter and anti-matter are formed of very basic particles the only difficulty is getting those particles to arrange into the form of matter/anti-matter that you need at the moment. That can generally be solved with high levels of computational power and a supercollider both of which want all the energy they can get.
We are talking a substance that is used to control matter/antimatter reactions. That's not normal matter
Please prove this claim. As far as we know Dilithium is mined from fairly normal planets and was formed by completely natural processes. As such it would seem to be fairly bog standard matter that the UFP has found works well in controlling A/AM reactions. Given that the mechanism behind this has, to my knowledge, never been explained there's no reason Dilithium has to be particularly exotic.
Why do you think people are leaving Earth to found colonies in Star Trek ?
I could only speculate given the sheer number of reasons people travel and have traveled and settle/resettle in real life. If you have proof that there's some major driving factor that invalidates people living in full earth gravity space habitats or even becoming info-morphs and living on a server somewhere please provide it.
How do you convince them that your habitats meet their goals better than settling an uninhabited planet ?
You literally invite them into your space colony or make an advertisement touting the benefits of life on your habitat. The same way you convince people of anything.

One way might be to offer more living space than Earth's major cities can with each new settler getting say 20 acres in your new habitat while still having light minute communications with Earth. That would likely sell a lot of people on making the jump.
Please show me the population growth rate calculations you used to conclude that the population is unrealistically low. What kind of birth rates are we talking about ?
For Earth alone, using the current population of ~7.7 billion and a growth rate of 1.2% annually (the current growth rate) we'd produce 471.8 billion people in the 345 years between now and the start of TNG. That's for one planet. I could calculate a sliding scale where birth rates decline, but I suspect that once space colonization becomes a reality and space is no longer a constraint combined with hitting a level of resources that don't require one, or possibly both, parents to work will see a new and prolonged baby boom which could serve to even out population growth.

That's nearly half a trillion people just from one planet and the entire UFP is supposed to have just under a Trillion from all their member worlds. Does that seem realistic to you?
Capturing it to store brings the problem of storage, which tends to be explosive due to the energy density involved. It seems safer to let the energy be "wasted" than storing it.
Who cares if antimatter bunker 4672 explodes when you purposely built it far enough away from anything else that a full reaction couldn't possibly harm anything? Space is huge and the level of reaction you can get from a well-designed storage tank should be minimal by comparison.
As for using it, they need to have some reason to use it. Building a large fleet for the sake of a large fleet isn't a good reason. Nor is building that large fleet to collect resources for the sake of collecting resources.
That is actually a worthy goal if one wishes to start collecting and merging galaxies because one realizes that such is the best way to survive in a galaxy that no longer produces new stars. The UFP thinks small when they could be thinking of ensuring that all member species survive not just the deaths of single stars but the deaths of every star.

[/quote]You need to find a problem that the current fleet can't handle and building a dyson swarm to build a larger fleet is the quickest way to get the fleet to the necessary size. So, how long are you thinking the swarm itself would take to build ?[/quote]

The Swarms build speed is scalable and depends on how many resources you want to devote to the mining and building phase of the plan. It scales really well depending on what you allow materials to be gathered from and how many of those materials you convert into more miners and fabricators (with the intention of either recycling those assets or sending them onward to the next mega project that somebody has cooked up). It also depends on just how fast Trek can build things, which I don't know if we have solid numbers for.

I can quote an idea somebody else has put forward about building a Dyson swarm with modern Earth technology and extrapolate from their though.
Bob Swindell wrote:We DO have the technology, or at least theoretical technology within our grasp, of creating a Dyson swarm, or an orbital cloud of space stations that functions the same as a Dyson sphere in harvesting most if not all of the sun’s power output.

So let’s run a few quick numbers and very rough assumptions.

The Earth’s aphelion is about 152,000,000 km (the maximum radius of its elliptical orbit). Since we want the Earth to still get some sunshine, we’ll put our Dyson radius at 160,000,000 km. That gives us a potential shell of 32 Quintillion square kilometers.

A relatively small Stanford torus capable of housing 10,000 people would, stood on its edge to maximize its disc face to the sun, have an area of 2.5 square kilometers.

Stanford torus - Wikipedia

For safety, let’s give it lots of elbow room. Let’s say it is no closer than 100 km to the nearest next habitat. That now takes up 31,416 square kms. That means within one orbital ring, we can fit 2.5 million of these habitats, or tilted at different orbital planes in rings going out from the first ring, you have plenty of room for over 10 trillion Stanford torus habitats, each with 10,000 inhabitants. And you are still capturing less than 1% of the sun’s energy output.

How much mass is that? One Stanford torus requires about 10 million tons of material, including metals, rock or soil for radiation shielding, and water/air. That’s 102 quintillion tons of material (102x10E18 tons). For comparison, that is about 10 times the total mass of the asteroid dwarf planet Ceres. So there’s PLENTY of material in our solar system to go even this far and consume all the asteroids and quite a number of moons and comets. We could ratchet up the swarm density a hundred fold (so that the toruses were actually within sight of each other and noticeably blocked the sunlight from outside the solar system, housing a combined total of 10 quintillion inhabitants comfortably) if we were willing to cannibalize most of the Jovian moons entirely along with large chunks of some of the planets (Mercury seems like it’s not doing much right now).

How much time would it take? An unbelievably huge amount of time by our standards. The first one made could be done within 20 to 25 years of full tilt dedicated effort. Now that you have your lunar infrastructure in place, torus numbers 2 through 10 could be done in half that time. The next hundred could be done in half that. After that you are now completing one per year for the next few hundred, then several per year when you reach a thousand. It would be a slow exponential growth rate. When you reach a million habitats, you may be producing several hundred or even several thousand per year. But to reach a swarm of trillions of habitats, it would still take you millions of years. The Earth wold have gone through several geologic periods of glaciation and warming in that time. And old habitats would have had to be replaced. Your production capacity may plateau out as all your effort goes into replacing old habitats rather than growing your total number.

By the time you had even a partial Dyson swarm in place, over 99% of all of humanity would be living in space.

Not even going to touch on harvesting Hawking radiation. Can’t really be done for trillions of years when the background temperature of space cools a lot more than the temperature of an event horizon.

Edit: Corrected for a math error in the mass of the swarm and what it would take to make it.
This is for modern Earth. Given that Trek won't have to bother with doing anything so mundane as setting up space manufacturing infrastructure and given that they can build something the size of a Galaxy Class at a rate of around one every 2 to 4 years by Mike's own calculations they should be able to build the larger in surface area but far less massive and energy-intensive torus stations being proposed here at a rate of at least tens per year with very little investment.

I'm going to assume that the just Earth's manufacturing capacity, expanded slightly to accommodate this project, will start out producing 20 collectors/habitats per year and double that rate every five years as more energy is available to power expanded mining and construction efforts. There will obviously be variables that cannot be accurately factored into such projections but I'll present that math here to give an idea of how quickly this can be done even at a fairly slow starting rate and rate of growth.

I'm going in 30-year chunks to save time. With the first 30 years of this project, you'll have 6,300 collectors built. After 60 years you're at 409,500 collectors and well into the swing of building these stations. After 90 years you're at 1.542 million collectors and could have 15.420 billion people living on them. In 120 years you're at 72.944 million collectors and now have living space for almost the entire official UFP population to live around a single star. By year 150 you're at 3.702 billion collectors and can carry 37 times the UFP's entire population around Sol. At year 180 you're at 196 billion collectors and the end is finally in sight. When year 210 of this megaproject comes around you'll have hit the 10 trillion habitat goal that our initial outline suggested we aim for, with a population capacity of 100 quadrillion people and the capacity to fill in the empty 99% of your swarm's area if you desire more collection capability.

Keep in mind that is this conservative estimation given how easily Trek should be able to manufacture these, simple by Trek standards, solar collectors. If we stretch the limits of their transporter and AI technology to their logical limits we could probably increase this rate even further and complete the project in a mere 100 years and finishing the swarm in decades to follow. You could also slow things down and divert this manufacturing capacity to building other projects at any time, holding at a steady pace rather than increasing the production rate for a decade in order to build something else.

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