Skip to comments.From Astronaut-Hero To Space-Trucker: The Human Spin on Space Commercialization
Posted on 05/17/2012 6:11:59 PM PDT by KevinDavis
The cast of Alien, in Ridley Scotts 1979 sci-fi blockbuster, may actually be more akin to future space-farers than our citizen heroes from NASAs Apollo era. After all, the film presents a view of space travel that is based as much on economics as wanderlust and this is arguably as it should be.
How can anyone forget the hangdog eyes of Harry Dean Stanton, who so clearly is out that far in space solely for the cash? The crew of the Nostromo, the films ore-carrying cargo vessel under threat from a ravenous extraterrestrial, inherently understands that sometimes great profit only comes with great risk.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
With the growing interest in private space, I suspect the speed of technological advancement will increase exponentially.
Besides, 1/10th light-speed gets us to the nearest star in 50 years or so, and pushing a star-wisp type probe to those speeds should be within reach even now.
And you are already wrong, because we have hardware out past the heliosphere, in interstellar space.
The faster technology goes, the faster it can go, sorta like a jet engine. I expect to see more amazing things in my lifetime.
Just a few years ago, we weren't sure if there were exoplanets, and today, the count of them rises faster than I can keep track of.
Look I like a good science fiction novel too, but is is pure escapism.
691 confirmed exoplanets with another 2321 current candidate planets.
That assumes that the craft itself is moving. The most probable methods of FTL involve the craft staying still, inside a bubble of warped space-time. And the BUBBLE is moved. . . but the craft never changes velocity. Hence, relativistic collisions would not be a problem.
OF course, the specific method of creating and deflating that bubble, and changing the position of the bubble, is the trifling technical details we have yet to solve. . . .
I prefer to believe that we have much to learn about physics that may entirely change the way we look at problems.
That space probe would take 80K years to get to the nearest star and it was launched in the '70s. 54 years for a probe launched in 2020 would be a heck of a log-log curve.
You suffer from limited vision, and a fixation on current methods for solving problems.
There are companies writing software for computers that haven't been built yet, because the statistical probability of the computer being available when the software is finished is so high, and so well recognized (Moore's Law).
The human genome program was started well before there was any possibility of it being finished in a human lifetime.
You can read how that worked out with modern DNA sequencing.
Progress is made by dreamers, not the ones that say it can't be done.
Basically, length contracts and mass goes up as you approach light-speed, with mass approaching infinite as you approach the speed of light. Most of these effects aren't really noticeable until you're at ~99% or above of lightspeed. But as mass goes up, the energy required to accelerate it to even higher speed goes up exponentially. . .
I did catch some info about how we're not just finding hot Jupiters now, and actually finding planets closer to the size of Terra.
Not just in my lifetime, but just in the last decade has humanity's view of the universe changed so much.
Lots of data to plug into Drake's equation.
In this case no one is even talking about FTL travel. Just fast. Around 12% the speed of light is what we’re currently technologically capable of and that’s damn fast.
One of the interesting forward shielding ideas I’ve seen is pushing a large cloud of tiny aerogel spheres ahead of the craft to snag those little particles that would kill a craft. The big ones would be easy enough to steer around.
We get the impression of asteroid fields being these rocky minefields that you would have to carefully thread your way through. The reality is that the average distance between asteroids in our asteroid belt is more than a million miles.
I think project Deadelus is the correct route to take. I believe the Bussard ram jet was one of preferred propulsion systems after VASIMIR.
Like so many of these things, bigger really is better as long as you don’t have to heft it off the surface of the earth.
Cheap, for some values of cheap, and lots of redundancy.
And it gives us about 50 years to work out the tech to hear them when they get there.
Boy, I found this rather visionary site with a discussion from 2008 on VASIMR and the Nuclear Question. Even there an optimistic time is given as 4000 years, and optimistic speeds are given of 1/300 c.
We went from no space program to putting a man on the moon in 9 years. If more people actually believed we could reach a good percentage of the speed of light, and actually thought outside the box about propulsion, maybe we could start working on stasis pods for long hauls to other solar systems.
Instead of saying outright that it can’t be done.
Yeah, and that whole thing about things becoming heavier the faster they go? Well, we’re weightless in space, and I’m sure spaceships are weightless in space, so that whole thing about becoming heavier in space, where there’s no gravity or drag acting upon you...
Which is why we use a Brussard ramjet.
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