It can be said that energy is the basic currency of the universe, and a measure of the development of a civilization. According to the Kardashev scale, this level of development is associated with the ability to exploit and use energy of that civilization, and is divided into 3 levels:
(in addition, it is also proposed to add system IV – universe and system V – multiverse, but we don’t talk about it here for the time being)
It can be seen that humanity on Earth is still at level I. So what advanced techniques and technologies do we need to advance to level II – harnessing the energy of the sun? The simplest answer lies in a hypothetical idea, of a megastructure called the Dyson Sphere.
Popularized by Freeman Dyson in 1960, with the continuous development of human civilization, an abundant and sustainable energy supply will be an indispensable need for us, and the Dyson Sphere is the Top ideas for this problem. The idea involves building a superstructure that surrounds an entire star, and absorbs almost completely the energy it radiates. Every second more than 4 million tons of matter in the sun’s core is synthesized into energy, so with the construction of a Dyson sphere at the sun, we have more than enough energy for all our science projects. , research and discovery for the next millennia and beyond.
So let the imagination fly a little, how with the current technology, science and technology of the Earth, we can build such a super architecture in this solar system? The answer is absolutely possible, but it won’t be easy.
Such a large superstructure would be easily destroyed by outer space objects such as meteors, so the most feasible and simplest option is a Dyson “cage”, made up of many mirrors around the orbit directing the sun, reflecting light back to a certain solar power station. With that said, it’s clearly not that simple. The sun is so big that we need a lot of satellites. If each satellite is 1 square kilometer, we need 3 million billion satellites to cover the entire sun. Trillions, billions of tons of materials would be needed, not to mention energy, to get them to orbit the sun. We will need a permanent infrastructure close to the sun and have enough materials to carry out the long-term construction process. Mercury, with its closest position to the sun, a gravity of only one third of Earth’s and an abundant source of metals, would be the optimal choice, assuming in the future we have the technology to make Heat resistant alloy, high corrosion resistance.
The automated infrastructure on Mercury will include three main missions: harnessing solar energy on Mercury to operate the facility, mining Mercury metals and materials to build satellites, and transport satellites to solar orbit. The initial transportation will be very difficult, and we can hardly use boosters because it is very expensive and difficult to reuse. Instead, we can use an electromagnetic rail, creating acceleration to shoot satellites into orbit. The initial transports will require a lot of stored energy, but it will become easier later when there are more mirrors around the sun’s orbit, directing the light-energy back to the base on Mercury. As a result, construction can take place much more quickly.