Skip to comments.Is NASA Covering Up the 100-Year Starship?
Posted on 10/29/2010 2:27:01 PM PDT by Dallas59
The director of NASA's Ames Research Center in California casually let slip mention of the 100-Year Starship recently, a new program funded by the super-secret government agency, DARPA. In a talk at San Francisco's Long Conversation conference, Simon Pete Worden said DARPA has $1M to spend, plus another $100,000 from NASA itself, for the program, which will initially develop a new kind of propulsion engine that will take us to Mars or beyond.
There's only one problem: The astronauts won't come back.
The 100-year ship would leave Earth with the intention of colonizing a planet, but it would likely be a one-way trip because of the time it takes to travel 35 million miles. Thats a daunting prospect, partly because of the ethical dilemma, and partly because it may be the only recourse.
"What psychological challenges should we anticipate in those who volunteer in good faith and with great courage, yet find themselves confronting misgivings or loneliness or feelings of rage or beset with mental illness?" asked Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
If there are no political ads on Mars, where can I sign up?
By the time this thing is ready they could send smart robots.
Give them a World of Warcraft account and they won’t even notice they’re on Mars.
can you imagine being stuck on a starship for your entire life with your ex-wife.
Which would probably buy just the toilet paper for a space mission. They are going to have to add a lot of zeros to those numbers to get anything like what is implied here.
100 years to travel 35 million miles? It takes just a few months to get to Mars. I think they mean nearest star.
All my Exs live in Texas. That’s why I live on Mars.
If they were building a new super-secret propulsion system that could far surpass current chemical rocket designs, then it would take them about 1 week to get to Mars.
An "advanced" propulsion system that gives us the ability to make one-way trips to Mars? What are they talking about? Using squirrel farts so it takes 10x longer to get there?
Mars at its closest to Earth is around 55M, not 35M miles.
Must be the new Muslim math.
So sorry, that was 55M km....
Can we send the DUmmies back to their home planet?
Heh, and they’re hiding space aliens in area 51. When friends asked me whether I knew where to find the aliens I always told them that the aliens were hidden along the Texas border. For some reason they took a long time to catch on that I wasn’t talking about space aliens.
My recent lying, cheating, pompous, arrogant, and more-than-mildly-sociopathic ex-girlfriend would be bad enough...
No, but I can imagine a tragic life-support accident.
Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel about her...:)
... and home schooling! Otherwise the 100 year ship will be full of corpses for the last half of the voyage.
No offense, I think it probably won’t work. Too small of a group, one or two people die and there’s not enough expertise left. Too many people, greater the chances of personality clash and factions developing. Leading to deaths and we’re back to scenario one (not enough expertise left).
They’re not going to get very far on $1.1 million.
Didn’t Heinlein or Clark write a book about it....”The Ark” or something like it.
That would have been a story!
Reminds me that the New Horizons project team was partially selected on age - they had to be around (as in “not retired”) when the spacecraft whizzes by Pluto in 2015.
Must be some misunderstanding. Unless we KNOW that there is a habitable planet at Alpha Centauri or another nearby star, it would be a suicide mission.
Have these idiots ever heard of the moon? If you want to develop and test equipment to colonize another world, it makes sense to do it where you can rescue the test subjects if things go wrong. It’s also much easier to resupply them and change personell if needed.
Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky was a generation starship novel, as was Aldis’s Starship (kinda dumb US title, revealing the big secret in the title). And then there was the TV show The Starlost.
I liked the Space: 1999 episode with Joan Collins on the generation starship that suffered an accident and the survivors turned to cannibalism to survive.
Other than that, we can get to Mars with current technology and you'd have to assume that if Germany had won WW-II, human feet would have been on Mars again no later than around 1990.
so, we were dating the same woman I hear
“The 100-year ship would leave Earth with the intention of colonizing a planet, but it would likely be a one-way trip because of the time it takes to travel 35 million miles.”
Um, at only 1,000 mph, you can go 876,000,000 miles in 100 years. Wow “journalists” suck at math. Or at English. Or both.
Now, at “space shuttle” speed of about 17,500 mph, you’d go 15,330,000,000 miles in 100 years, or about 0.26% of a light year. The closest star is about 4 light years away, and the closest known exoplanet is about 10.5 light years away. Even ion engines used on exploratory satellites aren’t nearly fast enough to reach those, so yeah, they definitely need a faster engine than existing ones.
PS Incidentally, at “space shuttle” speed, you could reach Mars in about 5 months if you timed the launch properly with respect to the Earth’s and Mar’s orbits. Of course, the shuttle isn’t designed for that kind of trip.
Real astronauts use diapers...
There’s a 30 min. audio transcribed adaptation from the 1950s “X Minus One” radio show called, surprise, “Universe”.
Can we volunteer people for this one way mission..maybe like the entire cast of The View, Jersey Shore and the Daily Show?
Just stop there and cover all the bases.
These long distance space travels have been considered since the 1950’s by scientists and science fiction writers. Gerard O’Neill was a big advocate of them, and I remember attending a lecture of his that included multi-generational travel. I asked if “technological atrophy” in the culture would be a problem, since folks on the ship don;t have ‘real’ jobs that push their mental limits.
“Universe” and its sequel, “Common Sense,” make up the novel Orphans in the Sky. If you enjoyed “Universe,” check out the novel, the second half works well.
It might take up to 2 years to get to Mars. The mission would continue as long as the astronaut was alive, which could be 100 years. The trek would only be a small part of the mission.... maybe...
“Can we volunteer people for this one way mission..maybe like the entire cast of The View, Jersey Shore and the Daily Show?
I believe a sizable contingent of WH czars and staff, not to mention an ex-POTUS, will be seeking work in about 2 years.
Cool, um, neato to observe, I probably wouldn't want to be any where
near it, especially on any planets.
There is one contmeplated means of traveling between the stars that might work at present. Using a pusher plate secured to the rear of the ship you drop nuclear warheads out the back and set them off at say several minute intervals. Theoretically you could reach about 10% of the speed of light. Of course radiation is a problem and shockwave absorption.
There was a pilot for a new TV series, that didn’t get picked up a while back in 2008 maybe, where they used this type of propulsion after they had started to leave the solar system.
On a pop culture aside, I would like to see a scifi series based on near future technology. A generational ship to a distant star system, where the ship carried a small cities worth of people and stories revolved around human interaction in such a circumstance. Say a five season arch with multiple generations of characters. Please no lame excuses for leaving like global warming, the suns to hot, pollution!!! How about mankind wants to explore and colonize the universe, for adventure and profit like Christopher Columbus, Megellan.
Does anyone here remember how Harcourt Fenton Mudd dealt with his space bride?
You mean he might actualy end up doing something positive with his life?
"The historical records indicate that your elapsed time calculation is in error."
Imagine one Muslim on the crew.
By the time they get to Mars, either everyone has converted, or all but one crew member has had their throats slit.
That’s 0bama’s “Muslim outreach” in action.
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