9
   

Space travel? How far can we go?

 
 
g day
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 05:46 pm
You need to take alot of infrastructure with you to sustain life.

You must have an economical justified scientific reason for travel that exceeds the terrific cost of deliving said infrastructure a collosal distance.

To me this may one day be possible. I envisage it as 300 years away unless we have two major break throughs in 1) what is spacetime and 2) how to safely harness and control massive energy budgets. Of course such a break through could come in a few weeks time, in a few decades or never. It depends on our ingenuity or luck and teh true underlying nature of reality.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 09:10 pm
Tobruk wrote:
Travelling at the speed of light you would get to your destination instantly, from your point of view.

Sorry, this is incorrect. There is no theory that has even been proposed that I've heard of that would permit matter to travel at the speed of light.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 09:11 pm
NeoGuin wrote:
Brandon:

Ever see the movie "Event Horizion", why not do something like that to deal with the acceleration and deceleration.

I saw it a long time ago. Can you summarize for me what they did? I suspect, though, that the answer may be that we have neither the science nor the technology.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 09:17 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
Massless particles travel (or exist) at the speed of light, but even that isn't fast enough to cross inter galactic distances in reasonable time, and even getting to stars in our local galaxy would still take many years.

If you had the technology to reach almost the speed of light, then you could travel many light years in a period of time that to you would seem small - days, weeks, months, depending on how close to light speed and how far the star. To give a specific example, if you could travel at 99% the speed of light, then from your point of view, you could travel to a destination 10 light years away in under a year and a half.

However, from the point of view of those at your origin or destination, the duration of your flight would be much greater. In fact, from their point of view, the duration in years would be just slightly greater than the distance in light years.
0 Replies
 
Tobruk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 09:42 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
Tobruk wrote:
Travelling at the speed of light you would get to your destination instantly, from your point of view.

Sorry, this is incorrect. There is no theory that has even been proposed that I've heard of that would permit matter to travel at the speed of light.


I never said matter. I was just pointing out that from the POV of whatever is travelling at the speed of light.

You can get matter to travel at the speed of light.

You just need:

1. Infinite energy applied over a finite time
2. Finite energy applied over an infinite time.

See, easy. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 11:01 pm
Tobruk wrote:

You can get matter to travel at the speed of light.

You just need:

1. Infinite energy applied over a finite time
2. Finite energy applied over an infinite time.

See, easy. Very Happy

1. Impossible.
2. Won't work. I don't know what an infinite amount of time is, but, at any rate, a finite amount of energy will give you a speed below light speed no matter how you apply it.
0 Replies
 
Tobruk
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 12:53 am
I didn't say they were possible, just what you would need.
0 Replies
 
kev
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 01:57 pm
I'm a mere building estimator with no education of physics whatsoever, but a short while ago I watched a prog on the discovery channel in which this scientist said that no one had ever challenged einsteins theory that nothing which is mass can ever travel at the speed of light, which means that space travel is impossible.

The nearest star system to us is Alpha Centauri which at the speed of light would take about 10 years to get there and back, snag is Einsteins theory prohibits the speed of light travel so question is why is the USA wasting trillions of dollars on something which is impossible to ever achieve?
0 Replies
 
neil
 
  0  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 06:02 pm
Lots of people have challenged Albert Einstein's speed limit for mass. The scientist must have meant no one with credentials approved by all mainstream scientists. If we can accelerate to almost the speed of light in 15 months, humans can do the round trip to the three stars in Centauri in fifteen years Earth time, eight years ship time, according to Einstein math.
As far as I know only my million year trip is a serious proposal to start the trip to the stars in this decade.
There are some reasons it is unsafe to go almost the speed of light such as collisions with sub-atomic particles produce radiation that penetrates several feet of lead, you collide with lots more stuff than at slower speeds, and you can't tell what you are about to run into with even one second warning, unless you have thousands of pilot craft traveling millions of miles ahead of you sending you radar data by laser and/or radio. You can't make a significant course change to avoid a collision. Colliding with a one or two gram rock = pea size releases energy equivalent to an H bomb. Neil
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 08:01 pm
kev wrote:
I'm a mere building estimator with no education of physics whatsoever, but a short while ago I watched a prog on the discovery channel in which this scientist said that no one had ever challenged einsteins theory that nothing which is mass can ever travel at the speed of light, which means that space travel is impossible.

The nearest star system to us is Alpha Centauri which at the speed of light would take about 10 years to get there and back, snag is Einsteins theory prohibits the speed of light travel so question is why is the USA wasting trillions of dollars on something which is impossible to ever achieve?

First of all, as you approach the speed of light, you experience a relativistic effect called time dilation, which means that from your point of view, you can make the trip in as short a time as you like by getting close enough to light speed. At 99% of the speed of light, a 10 light year trip would take under a year and a half from your point of view. The people back home will see the trip as having taken quite awhile, just over 10 years in the case of that example, but for the traveller it can be as short as he likes, depending on how closely he can approach light speed.

Secondly, travel between the stars is as far beyond our technology as ours is beyond that of cave men. We are working on our own solar system at the moment.

Finally, they now believe that Man evolved in Sub-Saharan Africa, and I'm sure that when some distant ancestor of ours suggested looking over the next hill, a number of people told him that it was a foolish waste of time, and his efforts would be better spent in trying to forage for nuts and berries. However, it should now be clear that settling the rest of Africa and other continents was very productive.

By the way, Alpha Centauri is 4.3, not 10, light years away.
kev
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 10:05 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:


By the way, Alpha Centauri is 4.3, not 10, light years away.


At the speed of light 4.3 going + 4.3 coming back +allow 1 year for exploration = 10 years give or take.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2004 10:45 pm
kev wrote:
At the speed of light 4.3 going + 4.3 coming back +allow 1 year for exploration = 10 years give or take.

Okay. Count me in.
0 Replies
 
kyleechols
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 06:39 pm
@Brandon9000,
Absolutely impossible. First off, Einstein clearly stated in his theories on special and general relativities that breaking the speed of light barrier was fantasy, and he did not entertain the idea. These people do not speak as one who has studied the fields in astronomy. I've written countless articles, and even if we could break the light speed barrier by 1000x its maximum, reaching other galaxies would still take millions of years...even eons, and even hundreds of eons.
To say we currently lack the ability to space travel is a horrendous understatement, and the prerequistires to exoplanetary habitation are far more unimaginable than we can currently understand, though we know more than enough to realize that the odds of finding a single suitable planet even half as good as earth are one in infinity. With those infinitesimal arguments aside, currently our Voyager probes average 35,000-39,000 mph and are just about the fastest manmade objects ever created (except for Helios which used a gravity slingshot), so just for you I drew up a list of where we are now in terms of space travel and where we'd need to be in order to make it even to Proxima Cenatauri within 1 day of constant space travel. Keep in mind that we'd first need about $108,000,000,000,000 (trillion) for the antimatter fuel and ship parts, plus another 75-100 years to build it and perfect it. If all ~340 million Americans gave NASA $350,000 today, NASA would still be short money to make a starship building project work out.

1) Proxima Centauri-- 4.243 ± 0.002 ly//24,925,371,582,299 miles away
--At 35,000 mph-- 81,353.6 years, that's 1,016.9 eighty year long human generations
--At 150,000 mph-- 18,928.5 years, that's over 3× the length of all recorded human history!!
--At 35,500,000 mph (9,300 mi/s // 5% light speed)-- 85 years, that's exactly 1,014.286× our current max speed of 35,000 mph from Voyager
--At 670,616,629.3843951 mph (1c//Light Speed)-- 4.243 years
--At 1,700c//Star Trek's Warp 9.2//1.14005x10^12 mph-- 21.86 hours, which still takes nearly one full solar day for our closest star to earth!!!

2) Gliese 581c 20.3 ± 0.3 ly//119,336,095,075,627.08 miles away
--At 35,000 mph-- 388,957.65 years, humans learned to walk upright in less than 1/3 this amount of time!!
--At 150,000 mph-- 90,756.78 years, humans learned to walk upright in this amount of time
--At 35,500,000 mph (9,300 mi/s // 5% light speed)-- 383.48 years, America could be born and grow past us now in this amount of time
--At 670,616,629.3843951 mph (1c//Light Speed)-- 20.3 years, a newborn turns into a legal adult and can drink booze in other countries haha
--At 1,700c//Star Trek Warp 9.2//1.14005x10^12 mph-- 4.3615 days 104.677 hours. Nearly a week just to get to one of our closest so-called habitable planets (aside form the fact that if a human stepped foot on the planet he'd crushed squashed from the gravity)

HD 85512b 36 ly//211,630,513,434,609.6 miles away
--At 35,000 mph-- 689,777.1 years, same as traveling around Earth 9,442,987,081 times (9.5 billion)
--At 150,000 mph-- 160,947.9 years
--At 35,500,000 mph (9,300 mi/s // 5% light speed)-- 680.06 years, Rome arose and expanded past Greece in this amount of time!!!
--At 670,616,629.3843951 mph (1c//Light Speed)-- 36 years, it would take decades even though you're traveling at 983,571.05616 ft per millisecond!!
--At 1,700c//Star Trek Warp 9.2//1.14005x10^12 mph-- 7.735 days, at the speed of light it'd still take over a week of non-stop light beam speed travel!

Traverse Milky Way Galaxy (our galaxy) 120,000 ly// 705,435,044,782,032,000 miles diameter
--At 35,000 mph-- 2,299,257,015.032 years, this means that if you left about 3 billion years ago you'd arrive in time to see the first single celled organism be born on earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--At 150,000 mph-- 536,493,303.51 years, this means that if our ancestors left BEFORE the dinosaur age they'd be just arriving today
--At 35,500,000 mph (9,300 mi/s // 5% light speed)-- 2,266,873.1 years, yes this means millions of years, so if you left 2 1/4 million years ago you'd arrive in time to witness genus Australopithecus become extinct and the rise of proto-humankind
--At 670,616,629.3843951 mph (1c//Light Speed)-- 120,000 years, humans would learn to walk upright and be millennia older than us today in this amount of time
--At 1,700c//Star Trek Warp 9.2//1.14005x10^12 mph-- 70.588 years 87.5% of the average American lifespan (~80 yrs). The average astronaut is not capable of getting his "wings" usually until around mid-40's ot later, so this is obviously a no-go. Sadly, the world average age is only 66.76 years.

Reach Andromeda Galaxy (one of our closest neighbor galaxies) 2,500,000 ly//14,696,563,432,959,000,000 miles away (14.7 quintillion miles)
--At 35,000 mph-- 47,901,187,813.2 years, so if you went on this voyage nearly 50 billion years ago, the earth itself still wouldn't be born for another 33 billion more years once you arrived!!!
--At 150,000 mph-- 11,176,943,823.1 years, humans wouldn't be born for 3+ billion more years
--At 35,500,000 mph (9,300 mi/s // 5% light speed)-- 47,226,523.2 years, Proto-primates became primates in about this amount of time
--At 670,616,629.3843951 mph (1c//Light Speed)-- 2,500,000 years, arrive at the time Australopithecus went extinct
--At 1,700c//Star Trek Warp 9.2//1.14005x10^12 mph-- 1,470.59 years, Romans would be born on Palatine Hill in 751 B.C. and their Empire would fall utterly in less time than this (~1,227 yrs)

I've written a list also detailing planetary prerequisites for humanoid life as well, and the idea of forcibly "terrforming" a planet is zero to none when you do the studying for it.
STAR REQUIREMENTS--
Star must have a stable habitable zone-- that is, a barrier around the star which allows a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure within this barrier to form water (and thus, life). A planet must be close enough to benefit from this barrier but far enough away to be at a safe distance (around 93,000,000 miles average distance).
Proper "aging" orbit: Because many stars both move at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour (planets do not!) and because their luminosity increases as they age, these two prime factors must be taken into consideration as well when determining the eligability of a star in a system to support life on a nearby planet and achieving a proper, lasting orbit. Assuming the planet is both capable of supporting water and any life at all (more below), it must have a proper orbit around its sun and properly drift away from the sun as it ages or else the habitable zone will become unstable. This eventual instability would mean that either all life on the planet would be destroyed or that life would be prevented from forming to begin with.
The sun itself must be a specific class of star and to be a stable sun range between early F, G (our Sun), to a mid-K type star. The star cannot be highly variable nor magnetically unstable. Others stars are either too dim and too cool (red dwarfs), or put out too much radiation and kinetic energies (such as a blue giant), which would also destroy life.
This "sun" must be a main-sequence sun that will remain stable for billions of years for evolution to take place (evolution means we all life originated from rocks...literally, read about it in full before you endorse it!)
Low stellar variation
High metallicity (star have a high metal content allows for better fusion, longer life, balanced and stable luminosity, and perhaps even a more stable habitable zone.
BASIC PLANETARY REQUIREMENTS--
Axial tilt of 23-24 degrees is necessary. This lets the weather be relatively stable and thus becomes a candidate for life. Notice the degree of tilt is only a 1 degree difference? This is because even a couple degrees of more or less tilt would dramatically change the weather patterns on the planet!
Composition of the planet surface must be similar, if not virtually identical, to earth.
Atmosphere must have a proper ratio of carbon, hydrogen, oxides (like oxygen gas and ozone), carbon oxides, and nitrogen gas, neon, krypton, and many more.
A molten iron planetary core; our planet would be harmed by the suns radioactive rays without an iron core to protect us.
According to evolutionary theory, the planet must be stable for at least 100 million years for life to form - most planets would not follow this. On the same token, evolutionary theory admits that while it might take 100,000,000 years for evolution to culminate into "us," it may have taken well over +4,000,000,000 years just for evolution to even begin. The planet then, might require as much as four billion years of stability to allow for human life to safely develop and flourish before plantary death.
This new "earth" must be the same size as earth. Planets too small and too large cannot support atmospheres, have far too strong of a gravitational pull, cannot support water formation or life, and often do not have iron cores.
A moon that is about 1/3 the size of the planet must be present and at the proper distance from the planet and the sun in order to regulate the planet's orbit around its sun.
This planet and its moon must both orbit the sun in a way that it can have a good path in order to properly ellipse around the sun.
Neither the moon nor the planet itself should be moving too fast or all life would die or fail to form. Furthermore, the moon and planet must maintain orbit around the star itself which may be moving in excesses of 3,000,000 mph!!! (Earth moves at about 66,600 mph and the Sun moves at 150,000+ mph
Enough flat land for effective agriculture and various forms of plant and animal life, water, as well as separate areas for large bodies of water for sea life, continental drift, and techtonic activity.
Have steady but limited volcanic activity and volcanic hotzones, so the planet would not be a molten wasteland, and also so the core of the planet would remain stable (we've all heard of Krakatoa!)
Must have enough mass to create a gravitational field around the planet to "hold stuff down." Wouldn't wanna float away, now would ya?
That same gravitational field must be around 1g. Gravity that is even a little higher or lower than 1g would both kill many forms of basic and complex life and also prevent water from forming on the planet (hence, no life). 1g gravity is an absoulte must.
The gravity must also surround the entire planet, as to hold onto an atmosphere over eons, but not so much that the atmosphere is too thick and therefore the surface pressure is too high
A molten iron core is necessary to create a global magnetic field to protect the planet from cosmic radiation, deadly cosmic rays and particles, and deadly atomic astronomical forces (atoms in space are highly volatile and far more dangerous than on earth).
gravity is around 1g-- gravity that is even a little higher or lower than this both kills many forms of basic and complex life and prevents water from forming (which means no life!)
More on the stable habitable zone: Earth is at the right distance from the Sun to have liquid water form on its surface and for the atmosphere to be at a reasonable temperature for life to occur. It also doesn't stray too far from this "optimal" distance from the sun, making the temperature stable. Unfortunately, any planetary to support carbon based lifeforms must be similar, if not identical. to earth.
COSMOLOGICAL NEIGHBORHOOD REQUIREMENTS--
No large stellar bodies may be present within or near the habitable zone, which means nothing too large can be near the planet or its moon at any point along its orbit around the sun. Neither a planet, water, nor life could form due to the planetary scale disruptions in gravitational forces from any large stellar object(s), even if the disruptions were relatively brief. This means that if Jupiter or Venus were our satellite instead of the moon, no life on earth would exist.
A solar system is required to counter balance the moon and "earth," or else the planets would sling shot into or away from the sun. Our solar system and all of its planets (and their satellites) seem to be required to preserve the "earth"
This new solar system hosting life on the new "earth" must belong to a galaxy and also to have proper distance from galactic core (like the milky way) to prevent the system itself from colliding with other systems or from drifting through endless space and into inevitable destructive forces (blackholes, "super-stars" (like blue supergiants, magnetars, neutron stars, etc...) All stellar objects within the Milky Way are hanging on to each other by gravitational forces, preventing planets, stars, and systems from drifting away into space. (Of course, this is happening anyway as the universe expands and distances between stellar objects exponentially increase faster than the speed of light...read my article on Relativity and Universal Expansion for more information on this!)

Assuming you even read this entire post of mine, now do you see? There is no hope for humankind to either space travel in any practical means nor is there any possibility of terrforming other planets.

Don't listen to the atheistic garbage pop-idol-astronomers spew. We did not spontaneously come into existence, WE WERE CREATED BY GOD. The odds of humanlife and the universe coming into existence spontaneously is like saying a human could throw a dart here at earth across the entire 96,000,000,000 light year universe and hit a bullseye on a 1-inch dartboard on his first try.
0 Replies
 
kyleechols
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 06:41 pm
@kickycan,
I replied to the above question by Brandon. You should read it Smile it just might blow your mind
0 Replies
 
kyleechols
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 07:05 pm
@Brandon9000,
I replied to the question posted by Brandon. By the way I loved how you talked about the relativistic effects that astronauts would encounter haha, but I highly doubt even most astronomy hobbyists would understand time dilation. I've explained it 100x to people and they either get it because they get it or they simply don't. It's truly an abstract phenomenon in such a black and white world.
0 Replies
 
kyleechols
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 07:10 pm
@Brandon9000,
No one challeneged Einstein because he was right all along. That man discovered more truths of the universe from a chalkboard and his post office job than most NASA teams and astronomers have with billion dollar probes over the the last 60 years. Saying the man was "merely" a genius is like saying Stephen Hawking is simply "average." Although Hawking does stand some serious scrutiny at times!
0 Replies
 
kyleechols
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 07:12 pm
@kickycan,
I replied to you (on Brandon9000's post below) and some of your questions. Instead of reading all the unsupported opinions of the others, read my post below. You can't miss it, the post is MASSIVE. I wanted to be thorough for ya. Let me know what you think
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2012 07:21 pm
Forget it . . . there's no way any of the governments of the world will commit those kinds of resources.
0 Replies
 
nataliediaz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2012 04:08 am
@Tobruk,
I agree with this
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 02:47 pm
First of all, one thing which may have been obscured with all the discussion and which I do wish to remain clear is that if an astronaut were to accelerate to close to the speed of light, he could make the 4.3 light-year trip to the Alpha Centauri system seem as short as he wished from his own point of view, alth0ugh it would take more than 4.3 years from the viewpoint of an Earth based observer. It would, though, be practical from the astronaut's point of view. One considerating would be how fast the astronaut's ship could accelerate and decelerate without hurting him.

It may well be that no government will be willing to commit much money to the development of space exploration, but I don't agree that that is a sensible decision. Governments and other enterprises which judge every expenditure in terms of immediate payoff are probably doomed to poor results, and our present economic situation would tend to support this belief. On the other hand, when you give the citizens a big, exciting goal requiring development of new technologies, you may energize the country to the point that the economy ends up doing better. For example, it may attract more kids to go into science and technology related occupations. Someone will have to fact check this spontaneous and unchecked recollection of mine, but I believe that the American economy was generally better at the height of the space race than it is now.
 

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