A colony on Mars

Basic colonization means the colonization of a planet, moon or an asteroid without trying to terraform it or to undergo large-scale transformations on its surface (like Industrial colonization requires). Basic colonization will probably be the first step before terraforming processes start. They will be created for research, strategic or even military purposes and they will facilitate construction of future terraforming plants.

Depending on conditions, small bases, settlements or emergency bases might be created.

Temporary bases Edit

The following types of bases will not be permanently inhabited:

Temporary research bases: When astronauts will visit nearby planets, moons and asteroids, they will try to build a base that will be their home for the time they will stay. Some bases can be brought directly from Earth in compacted modules, while some, might be created with the help of materials found on the planet surface. A base must produce electricity and heat, must have a radio transmitter and must recycle oxygen, water and food. In addition, it must have rooms for its inhabitants and other materials and tools needed. When astronauts will leave, these bases must be left in a standby status, to be reactivated when new visitors will come.

Emergency bases: When pioneers were exploring Antarctica, they stored some food in remote bases, where extreme Antarctic cold conserved it. This should also be the case in the future. For example, in case of Mars, a good idea is to place an emergency base on the moon Deimos. If a spaceship is unable to land, it can dock at Deimos and look for an alternative. Also, on the surface of Mars, an emergency base can exist. These bases should have the following resources: food, oxygen and water stored, propellant, a radio transmitter, medicine and medical equipment and rooms for people. A small backup ship can be docked there, able to take passengers down to the main Martian bases or back to Earth. Other bases should be built around all the gas giants and orbiting around Mercury and Venus.

Military bases: We suppose that in the first years the outer space will be peaceful, but after some time, there will be conflicts. These bases will not be permanently inhabited and will be semi automated. Also, they would be very important in defending planets from meteorites in systems like Epsilon Eridani, where collisions are common.

Cargo bases: These would be temporary used as landing platforms for cargo, needed for the construction of something bigger.

Permanent bases Edit

The following bases and settlements will be permanently inhabited:

Research stations: They will be the homes for scientists. These bases must provide them with everything they will need: air, water and food, so they must recycle all what human body produces. They must have a source of energy (solar, nuclear or others) and a backup source if anything goes wrong. These bases will have all equipment needed for sustaining life and for researches. Also, there must be ground or air vehicles. Each station must have resources (like water, food and oxygen) for enough time, if any system stops working. Also, since a spaceship will come from time to time, a landing platform is needed.

Space settlements: At some point, people will like to come to the new worlds. there might be tourists, scientists or engineers looking for minerals and future development. These settlements will be small first, but they must give to the people all they need for life. At this step, terraforming or paraterraforming is still impracticable because of costs. We might see even cities growing at some point. At this point, some buildings will be connected with tunnels or passages where air will circulate, while other buildings or underground constructions will be separated, connected through pipes and wires. Some constructions might have their own environment and will be self-sustainable. From this point, the first domes will be created, starting paraterraforming. Then, as population will increase, terraforming will become an option.

If terraforming never occurs Edit

It is possible that settlers will not want to terraform their new world or that the planet, moon or asteroid is not suitable for terraforming. In this scenario, cities will grow, with buildings completely insulated from the surrounding environment. Domes will be created for agriculture. In these conditions, we can see roads and railways being developed on the surface, but vehicles will be closed and will open doors only in stations.

Still, it is possible that on a planet there will be large cities with a high population, but the planet will not be terraformed. At some point, settlers will decide to change their environment and terraform. After that, all buildings and infrastructure will change.

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