Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pressurised solar system.

  [vote for,

Unspired by a comment in the linked idea.

If we could get hold of enough air, what we ought to do is pressurise the entire solar system.

This air would become a vast solar atmosphere, held by the Sun's gravity, and decreasing in density exponentially from the sun.

There are, it's true, a few problems to be worked out. For one thing, the whole solar atmosphere would need to be spun up to speed, otherwise it would drag on the planets and be embarrassing.

Moons would have to go, as far as I can tell, but they could be usefully redeployed as independent planets. Since space travel would be much easier (using Airbus A380s, for instance), these new planets would be perfectly visitable. And of course they'd all be inhabitable once we'd installed WiFi and coffee machines.

The only insurmountable problem, then, is where to get the air from in the first place. Popping the entire world supply of bubblewrap would be a sensible starting point.

MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2015

The Linked Idea Very_20loud_20noise
[MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2015]

Replica Hindenburg to travel Earth -> Moon The_20Hindenburg_2c_20but_20in_20space
...I forget which unsung genius came up with this notion.. [not_morrison_rm, May 31 2015]

Could we flood it with water? Planequarium
[theircompetitor, May 31 2015]


       We envisage that the in-flight entertainment system would need to be upgraded.   

       A trip to the moon would take only about 20 days - much shorter than sail-powered transatlantic crossings; yet these sailing trips were conducted almost entirely without the benefit of tray tables or small packets of cashews.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2015

       //Moons would have to go, as far as I can tell   

       Nahh, just attach them to their usual planet with a long brass rod, like one of them ornery thingies.   

       While Earth would get cooler, as the sunlight has to go through much more air (and the clouds in it), it would be warmed by the convection current, if there was an up and down perpendicular to the plain of the eccentric.   

       //without the benefit of...small packets of cashews.   

       Hurrah! They invariably end up all over your neighbour once you have managed to rip open the industrial-grade sealing of the packet.
not_morrison_rm, May 31 2015

       [MB], if you had a level common Imperialist insulated teafork of common sense, you'd realize that no world is inhabitable unless it is supplied with donuts.   

       Therefore, instead of wasting all the air supply on all of the heretofore empty space, just create a donut of atmoshsphere orbiting the Sun along the orbital route of each planet.   

       Fly up from the planet's surface, and out to the point where you want to begin your transfer orbit, light off a few RATO bottles (yeah, now they're known as Rocket Assist To Orbit engines) and you're on your merry way - no longer to be worried about the Vne in atmosphere of your A380, your only limitation now is that everybody's gonna die; and since that's true in any case, it's no big deal.   

       Arriving at the other donut - er, orbit - being able to make final approach in atmosphere will ease up that airbag thing like we see on Mars all the time.   

       Moons - you're right, they can't be allowed to run around at speeds different from the air flow, but putting them at the L4 & L5 Lagrange points (the Trojan points) would allow them to share in the party. So there could still be weather satellites, communications satellites, spy satellites - but now you could add spam satellites and maker-bot cosplay drone satellites.   

       The quantity of air needed would not be a problem, necessarily; the amount of hot air produced by U.S. politicians (*all* of them, mr. [bigsleep]) in the current run-up to presidential elections will be approximately five and a quarter times as much as needed. For either task.
lurch, May 31 2015

       // There are, it's true, a few problems to be worked out. For one thing, the whole solar atmosphere would need to be spun up to speed, otherwise it would drag on the planets and be embarrassing//   

       And all the planetss orbit in the same direction....It's like it was meant to be!
Ling, May 31 2015

       Planets would end up tidal-locked with the Sun pretty quickly, unless interstitial air pressure was minimum... say just enough to run the jet engines ?
FlyingToaster, May 31 2015

       It would all come down to how much pressurization was wanted relative to the current vacuum.
wjt, May 31 2015

       [bigsleep] Sorry lost me in that very thin air. What would the air's ionisation rate be like?
wjt, May 31 2015

       True, not rate, mean probability of survival period in sol space.
wjt, Jun 01 2015

       Gives new meaning to global warming.   

       Also: you could start off with just pressurizing a single solar cooker. Then you already have a pressurized solar system, with much less effort.
pashute, Jun 01 2015

       It seems to me that THAT much air in that much volume of space surrounding the Sun, would collapse under its own gravitational self-attraction and double (or more!) the mass of the Sun.   

       Have you read any of Karl Schroeder's "Candesce" stories? They feature a large-ish enclosed volume of air, with artificial fusion-reactor suns and populated places that resemble O'Neil colonies. The enclosed space is quite large, but not so large for gravitational self-collapse.   

       There is also a Larry Niven novel, "The Integral Trees" that features a volume of UNenclosed air, orbiting close to a neutron star or black hole (I forget which, it has been so long). Apparently the gravitational gradients near the star are sufficient to keep the atmosphere at a breathable pressure.
Vernon, Jun 01 2015

       //collapse under its own gravitational self- attraction// Well then, we just need to spin it up to a decent speed.   

       It is quite widely believed that the Earth (to pick a planet at random) does not fall into the Sun on account of its speediness.   

       By a remarkable coincidence, the orbital velocity of air needed to stop it falling into the sun, at the position of Earth's orbit, happens to be exactly the same as the Earth's current orbital velocity. So it should all work out quite nicely.   

       I suppose one small snag would be that the daily rotation of the Earth would lead to roughly 1000mph winds at some point above the equator. However, the equator is quite warm and a cooling breeze may be a good thing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2015


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