Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

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doghunter1
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Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by doghunter1 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:48 pm

How long does it take to even build a space colony anyway?

Take Universal Century Gundam. If it's still used by subsequent sources, the Setting Notes for Mobile Suit Gundam had each Lagrangian Point/Side containing 35-40 colonies, most of which are O'Neill Cylinders, prior to the One Year War.

I mean, the war didn't start until UC 0079 so would construction of the first colonies have started before the switch from Western Calendar/Anno Domini to Universal Century?

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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:25 am

doghunter1 wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:48 pm
How long does it take to even build a space colony anyway?
It'd help if we had a firm statement as to what year UC0001 corresponded to. There are a couple different details that can be used to approximate it, but they all produce different answers. Like Side 1 Bunch 1 Shangri-La having been selected as the site for the 52nd Olympiad, an event that would occur in 2100 AD. There's usually a two year lead time on those decisions, meaning UC0020 would be 2100 AD and therefore UC0001 would be 2081. That'd put construction of the first space colony at 36 years.

It would appear that, by UC0079, it only takes a few years to complete a space colony. Green Noa 1 in Side 7 had only been under construction for two years at the time the One Year War started, and was somewhere around 1/2 complete.


doghunter1 wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:48 pm
I mean, the war didn't start until UC 0079 so would construction of the first colonies have started before the switch from Western Calendar/Anno Domini to Universal Century?
2045 AD is the date given for the start of construction on the first space colony in Side 1 Bunch 1, and the Universal Century was inaugurated in part to celebrate its completion.
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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by doghunter1 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:51 am

2045 AD is the date given for the start of construction on the first space colony in Side 1 Bunch 1, and the Universal Century was inaugurated in part to celebrate its completion.
And I'm to assume that colony in question isn't Laplace from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn?

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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:52 am

doghunter1 wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:51 am

And I'm to assume that colony in question isn't Laplace from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn?
Laplace is currently the first colony completed, so it technically retconned the older setting. The problem is that it is not an Island 3 type and not in L5/Side 1. So, it may not be counted as a migration(because it served as a bridge between Earth and space, meaning it may just be a larger space station and no one actually settled there for long?) and the celebration on it is for another remote colony in L5 never shown on screen. Anyhow, the Gundam Universal Century Memorial added the destruction of Laplace during the celebration to the below timeline, but removed the construction info.

That older setting timeline was questionable for quite some time as well, at least starting from Gundam Officials, UC0001 was listed as "the beginning of space migration" with supplementary info about Earth's population exceeding 9 billion and following Side 1 in L5, Side 2 was constructed in L4.

Let's say the setting timeline is still valid.
There have been fan calculations (https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/Universal_Century) for quite sometime now given the freeze frame bonus date stamps in 0080 and ZZ. However, these frames quite likely never were intended as official(just like the 2079 and 2087 stamps on screen, even more so than the 2079 and 2087 stamps, actually)


Anyhow, back to your original question, the colonies started building BEFORE the switch of calendars, because UC0001, no matter you consider it as the "completion date" of the first colony, or the "start of migration to space" date, the colonies must have been built at the time for these to happen.
However, it is obvious that they avoided telling you how long does it take to build one, so there aren't any transitional years of what year is UC0001(so you don't know how long has it been since AD2045).

G.K. O'Neill himself did estimate how long will it take to build one, his Model 4(with specs we use for O'Neill cylinders nowadays) was estimated to be completed in 2008.
https://space.nss.org/the-colonization- ... oday-1974/
So a 34 years build time by O'Neill, can't get more official than that for an estimated build time of an O'Neil Cylinder, can you?

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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Kuruni » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:09 am

I like how it's done in FC era, quick and simple!
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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Mafty » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm

Given the circumstances it seems as though colony construction probably happens quicker that would practically happen in real life(maybe 3-5 years?). If they were six colony clusters with forty colonies each( Side 7 was the newest), then that would equate to roughly 240 colonies across the Earth Sphere (not counting the early colonies like , ugh Moon Moon). There wouldn't be enough construction workers or equipment to build so many colonies if it took decades, also there is the vaguely defined "Snail" Colony Builder from Unicorn, so maybe that makes the process quicker.

This also leads to more questions about the colonies. For instance are all of the preceding six sides the same age? or did the EA keep building colony clusters as the population grew? Did the Lunar Cities predate the colony construction (I thought I read somewhere that Zeon Zum Deikun came from the moon), if that's the case then maybe the briefly seen undersea cities(ie Underhook) were the genesis for artificial habitation.

Back to the main topic. If they could build colonies (relatively) quickly and house people before the colony was complete (Ie side 7 and Industrial 7) then the universal century may well have started when the first colonies were open for habitation(maybe Lapalace was to be a governmental capital or residence or something).

Another issue is the case of the people displaced in the wars, where do they all go? It's shown that many colonies are heavily damaged (at times to the point of being abandoned) the surviving civilians can't return to earth, so where are all of the millions of displaced survivors put? Sweetwater is a double sized refugee colony, but it still doesn't seem to be big enough to house everyone who would be rendered homeless after the One Year War. So that might be another reason to step up production on newer colonies in the later parts of the UC era.

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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:11 pm

Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
Given the circumstances it seems as though colony construction probably happens quicker that would practically happen in real life(maybe 3-5 years?). If they were six colony clusters with forty colonies each( Side 7 was the newest), then that would equate to roughly 240 colonies across the Earth Sphere (not counting the early colonies like , ugh Moon Moon).
Six Sides with 35-40 Bunches apiece c.0079... though it's worth noting that some Sides eventually ended up much bigger than that. Side 2 Bunch 85 is mentioned in Zeta Gundam.


Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
This also leads to more questions about the colonies. For instance are all of the preceding six sides the same age? or did the EA keep building colony clusters as the population grew?
Apparently not... Side 1 Bunch 1 was completed in UC 0001 while Side 2 Bunch 1 was completed in UC 0034.


Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
Did the Lunar Cities predate the colony construction (I thought I read somewhere that Zeon Zum Deikun came from the moon), if that's the case then maybe the briefly seen undersea cities(ie Underhook) were the genesis for artificial habitation.
Nope, they came later. Von Braun was the first permanent lunar settlement, and it was established in UC 0027.

Zeon Zum Deikun was born in UC 0009, before there were any permanent settlements on the moon.


Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
Back to the main topic. If they could build colonies (relatively) quickly and house people before the colony was complete (Ie side 7 and Industrial 7) then the universal century may well have started when the first colonies were open for habitation(maybe Lapalace was to be a governmental capital or residence or something).
Laplace was supposed to be the official residence for the Prime Minister of the Earth Federation. It a colony, but wasn't actually used for colonization purposes.

The Universal Century started with the completion of the first space colony (Side 1 Bunch 1).


Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
Another issue is the case of the people displaced in the wars, where do they all go? It's shown that many colonies are heavily damaged (at times to the point of being abandoned) the surviving civilians can't return to earth, so where are all of the millions of displaced survivors put? Sweetwater is a double sized refugee colony, but it still doesn't seem to be big enough to house everyone who would be rendered homeless after the One Year War. So that might be another reason to step up production on newer colonies in the later parts of the UC era.
"Wherever".

Neither the Federation nor the Principality of Zeon were great about keeping records regarding relocations, forced or otherwise. A big part of Cima Gaharu's grudge against Zeon was due to the forced resettlement of the people in her home colony of Mahal to parts unknown when Mahal was converted into the Solar Ray.

Presumably the colonies that could be repaired were, and many were relocated when the Sides were reorganized after the One Year War. There was also new colony construction after the war, like Sweetwater, Industrial 7, and Green Noa 2 (Gryps).

(Quite a lot of the people whose home colonies were attacked died, so that would have reduced the burden on the refugee resettlements as well.)
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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Chris » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:44 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:25 am
It'd help if we had a firm statement as to what year UC0001 corresponded to. There are a couple different details that can be used to approximate it, but they all produce different answers. Like Side 1 Bunch 1 Shangri-La having been selected as the site for the 52nd Olympiad, an event that would occur in 2100 AD. There's usually a two year lead time on those decisions, meaning UC0020 would be 2100 AD and therefore UC0001 would be 2081. That'd put construction of the first space colony at 36 years.
It's probably best not to use the Olympics as a firm data point given that they've been canceled before due to world wars or most recently delayed by COVID. There could conceivably be more such cancelations/delays in pre-UC history, so we don't really have any way of knowing for sure that the 52nd Olympiad would happen in 2100.

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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:40 pm

Chris wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:44 pm
It's probably best not to use the Olympics as a firm data point given that they've been canceled before due to world wars or most recently delayed by COVID. There could conceivably be more such cancelations/delays in pre-UC history, so we don't really have any way of knowing for sure that the 52nd Olympiad would happen in 2100.
It's actually probably the single most reliable data point we have because of how the Olympic committee's numbering system works. They still increment the Olympiad number every four years even if the Olympics are not actually held during that period. The Games of the 6th Olympiad (1916) were not held due to the First World War (1914-1918), so the next time the games were held it was the Games of the 7th Olympiad in 1920. If the currently-delayed games of the 32nd Olympiad are unable to be held prior to the end of 2022 then the next Olympics will be the 33rd Olympiad (2024-2027, hosted by Paris).

The 52nd Olympiad is 2100-2103. Cancellations or delays won't actually change that, unless the Olympic committee completely changes how it does business.
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Re: Time Needed to Finish a Space Colony

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:53 pm

Mafty wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:49 pm
Given the circumstances it seems as though colony construction probably happens quicker that would practically happen in real life(maybe 3-5 years?). If they were six colony clusters with forty colonies each( Side 7 was the newest), then that would equate to roughly 240 colonies across the Earth Sphere (not counting the early colonies like , ugh Moon Moon). There wouldn't be enough construction workers or equipment to build so many colonies if it took decades, also there is the vaguely defined "Snail" Colony Builder from Unicorn, so maybe that makes the process quicker.
Side 7 was the newest AND on hiatus during the first colony is constructing and unfinished because EF passed a bill to put the migration project on hiatus due to the discovery of requiring certain number of people on Earth to support the colonies. (This is supposedly before the EF paliament becoming corrupted and used their positions to stay on Earth)
So Side 7 only has 1 (unfinished) colony in 0079, and later in 0087 two(with the addition of Gryps).
This also leads to more questions about the colonies. For instance are all of the preceding six sides the same age? or did the EA keep building colony clusters as the population grew? Did the Lunar Cities predate the colony construction (I thought I read somewhere that Zeon Zum Deikun came from the moon), if that's the case then maybe the briefly seen undersea cities(ie Underhook) were the genesis for artificial habitation.
No, the settings stated specifically on the UC0001 entry that Side 2 in L4 follows Side 1 in L5. I interpret this sentence as Side 1 was constructing before UC0001 and Side 2 started construction in UC0001.
Back to the main topic. If they could build colonies (relatively) quickly and house people before the colony was complete (Ie side 7 and Industrial 7) then the universal century may well have started when the first colonies were open for habitation(maybe Lapalace was to be a governmental capital or residence or something).
There are two different but not conflicting settings about the start of the UC calendar:
1) First Colony completion
2) Beginning of migration to space

Which essentially are the same thing.
The first colony completed is likely Laplace, however, since Laplace already housed many people in it as we see in the plot, they may not consider that as the start of the migration.

There are other pieces of information we can draw from:
1) Migration does not have to be after the completion of a colony.
As we have seen in the very first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam, Side 7 is a half completed colony with people living in it. In Unicorn, we also have people living in a constructing colony.
2) Colonies can be build at the same time, they don't have a 1 at a time limit.
Obviously. Even if they can build a colony in a year, there's no way they can match the number in 0079.

I'd say Laplace is the first colony completed, but people started living in it before its completion, yet due to its administrative purposes, it is not considered as migration.(so people are just there to work, and the living quarters are dormetories instead of permanent homes.)
Side 1 bunch 1 is the first colony to be migrated into, whether it is completed does not matter, since Laplace is the first one, and they can start the migration process while the colony is still in contruction. From what we see in Unicorn, the construction seems to be rather stable and the structure is likely too large for people to care. I do believe they completed the colony before the migration for the following reasons:
1) Testings have to be done, this is the first Island 3 type built.
I mean, it is really hard to convince people that it is safe if no testing was done previously. Though I will not be surprised if prototypes or non-living ones are built for other purposes beforehand and not called a colony just to show that it is safe to live in.(So that it does not contradict with the "1st colony completed in UC0001") However, if they are building the colony with the same method as in Unicorn, they likely can do a lot of testings and show that the process is safe and people may buy the idea. Not everyone will, but as long as you get a small percentage out of the 8 billion+ people, that's way more than enough to start filling the colony.
2) The first half of the migration isn't mandatory, but voluntary.
The demograph likely included many that are poor and have nothing to lose, since migrating means a security of job and pretty good living conditions, and likely pretty well paid if you are the first few batches of volunteers since you will be the role model to lure more people into migrating. They are likely given a lot of priviledge and will maintain contact very often with families and friends on Earth. It does not help the cause if the colony isn't finished and they keep telling people on Earth that they hear this noise and feel that rumbling every so often and causes them unease. I mean, as a tourist, seeing this huge thing building itself is cool; as a resident, this is very scary.
Another issue is the case of the people displaced in the wars, where do they all go? It's shown that many colonies are heavily damaged (at times to the point of being abandoned) the surviving civilians can't return to earth, so where are all of the millions of displaced survivors put? Sweetwater is a double sized refugee colony, but it still doesn't seem to be big enough to house everyone who would be rendered homeless after the One Year War. So that might be another reason to step up production on newer colonies in the later parts of the UC era.
Other colonies, Lunar cities and illegal immigration to Earth.
The last part is simple, the WB ported a few hundreds to Earth in show.
With the annhilation of communication and surveillance satellites in the beginning of OYW by Zeon, it wouldn't be hard to immigrate your own batch to Earth, at least until the satellites are restored some time after the war.

Also, there wouldn't really be millions of survivors. Space is harsh, and tries to kill you more than your cat.
The colonies filled with GG gas are intact, but Everybody Dies™, you may get a dozen of them in space suits/normal suits that lived,(The manga "Ixtab of space" showed that Shiro Amada is one of these lucky persons) but most that are not in a confined area that did not have any air exchange with the other portion of the colony at the time would have died.(The gas kills even if your skin is in contact, so gas masks are not useful) If you do not know there's poisonous gas around and took off your suit, you are dead. They don't seem like having a good quarrentine system that completely separates air circles.(considering filters are usually enough for normal circumstances, not surprised. Also, O'Neill isn't a medical or pandemic expert, neither are Tomino nor any of the later setting crews so no one will think that is necessary until likely this pandemic. I did wrote an essay on the seasonal journal of my local astronomy club about how to design to avoid and deal with a zombie infection on a space colony 2~3 years ago which is certainly ironic to the current situation, not as ironic as Death Stranding though.) If you wait for help after surviving the toxic gas, none were likely to arrive.
Those being nuked aren't really going to fare much better. Maybe a little better because having a big hole in your colony with air being sucked away to space meaning there's still places where you can shut down gates and have reasonable reaction time to put on your space suit. However, think about why Zeon nuked the colonies. They nuke them because they want to get the EFSF fleets stationed at the colonies destroyed. I doubt one nuke making a big hole in a colony works and considering they seemed to have 2 major docks on both ends on each colony and likely pretty hard to tell which side is the military dock, you at least get 2 nukes on each colony. Radiation, shock waves and debris aren't too survivable.

Think about it, EFSF is in chaos, they retreated back to Lunar II, no one on the EFSF side is going to send out rescue ships in thousand or even tens of thousands to save these civilians. Zeon didn't really care about you, they are the ones launching the attack and people sufferring from the attacks aren't going to be really friendly to you, seriously.
Saving them wasn't Zeon's top priority. The little number of ships they used for transporting the Zakus and nukes/GG gas containers can't hold millions of people, even if they can, I doubt they will want to because of the simple riot control is hard reason.(Also, killing people in war along with your enemies is one thing, killing captured, unarmed civilians is another) just the simple fact that they launched nukes and toxic gas to kill the masses in billions is a pretty clear indication that they do not care if the people in the colony lives or not, actually, it tells pretty clearly that they want them dead.

So, the survivors, if any, are left with whatever space ships they can find, which wouldn't be many and likely shot on sight by Zeons fearing the ship is EFSF related, in their damaged colony in a debris field with a time limit(oxygen left in their suits). The ships likely won't start if you are not the rightful legal owner of it anyway and civilian ships likely didn't survive the blast because it was the docks that got the direct hit by nukes.

A handful of them may get lucky, especially the ones which their Side isn't completely destroy and you still have nearby colonies to send out rescue ships maybe in a week or so(at least after the One Week War), but rescuees are likely in the thousands, not millions.
Nuked colonies aren't going to be of much use, but gased ones will be.(As GG gas will decompose relatively shortly and became unharmful) In 0083 we know that they are collecting these colonies and rebuilding Sides, so you will get a period where you have more living places and not enough people to fill them to their design capacities, at least until some time in 0093, where the population grew back to the 9 billion mark.(which is quite ridiculously implausible but not completely impposible with "your chances are not zero, just pretty close to zero" as one of the old threads calculated)
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:40 pm
It's actually probably the single most reliable data point we have because of how the Olympic committee's numbering system works. They still increment the Olympiad number every four years even if the Olympics are not actually held during that period. The Games of the 6th Olympiad (1916) were not held due to the First World War (1914-1918), so the next time the games were held it was the Games of the 7th Olympiad in 1920. If the currently-delayed games of the 32nd Olympiad are unable to be held prior to the end of 2022 then the next Olympics will be the 33rd Olympiad (2024-2027, hosted by Paris).

The 52nd Olympiad is 2100-2103. Cancellations or delays won't actually change that, unless the Olympic committee completely changes how it does business.
The problem is that this is the same type of freeze frame bonus as the dates shown in 0080 and ZZ, we really don't know how serious are they going to be and did it go into the settings.
Many of these dates contradict each other.
Last edited by MythSearcher on Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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