Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Embryo Space Colonization

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Embryo Space Colonization - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Embryo space colonization is a theoretical interstellar space colonization concept that involves sending a robotic mission to a habitable terrestrial planet, dwarf planet, minor planet or natural satellite transporting frozen early-stage human embryos or the technological or biological means to create human embryos. The proposal circumvents the most severe technological problems of other mainstream interstellar colonization concepts. In contrast to the sleeper ship proposal, it does not require the more technically challenging ‘freezing’ of fully developed humans (see cryonics).

Embryo space colonization concepts involve various concepts of delivering the embryos from Earth to an extrasolar planet around another star system.

— The most straightforward concept is to make use of embryo cryopreservation. Modern medicine has made it possible to store frozen embryos in various low-development stages (up to several weeks into the development of the embryo).

— The technologically more challenging but more flexible scenario calls for just carrying the biological means to create embryos, that is various samples of donated sperm and egg cells.

— Self replicating machines could spread out to interstellar space, bring uploaded human minds with them and/or receive them via radio or laser transmission and build artificial electronic brains/bodies as needed. The uploaded humans can raise the children.

Regardless of the cargo used in any embryo space colonization scenario, the basic concept is that upon arrival of the embryo-carrying spacecraft (EIS) at the target planet, fully autonomous robots would build the first settlement on the planet and start growing food. More ambitiously, the planet may be terraformed first. Thereafter the first embryos could be unfrozen (or created using biosequenced or natural sperm and egg cells as outlined above).

In any event, one of the technologies needed for the proposal are artificial uteri. The embryos would need to develop in such artificial uteri until a large enough population existed to procreate by natural biological means.

Martin Margiela RTW Spring 1998 - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Martin Margiela RTW Spring 1998
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