1. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Let's talk about colonizing through space

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Annihilation, Jun 10, 2015.

    Well, there is no short way of saying it, so I'd like to make myself clear: what if we could colonize on another habitat/ planet by launching a shuttle with hundreds of people who will live and die through ages?

    Now I heard from my friend tsim fuckis that they're planning to launch a shuttle to a star that is hundreds of light years away. I don't know all the details but he told me they'll be sending people with food, resources, supplies and much more to live in the shuttle so they can have children and grow old, live and die, spend ages of years in the shuttle so we as humanity can spread.

    For those of us on earth, we'll never see it happen. We'll be dead and our children's children will be dead, but think about this, imagine if humanity worked together like that to achieve the impossible, wouldn't it be worth it?

    The problem would be coming up with the fuel for such a long time. They may have just split atoms and did a whole mess of tests.

    Anyways, I told my friend to lay off the DMT and go buy some pizza.
     
  2. Ussaid
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    Ussaid Member

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    What if someone on the shuttle goes mad and kills everyone else? What if a group turns the other into into their sex slaves? What if they establish some sort of a fascist system where a specific people are forced into labor? What if the rations run out before more can be established, causing the occupants to resort to cannibalism? Besides there is the fuel issue. Not to mention it is very, very unhealthy to live without gravity and sunlight, let alone for entire generations.

    In short, it is impossible. Maybe humans just aren't meant to traverse the cosmic reaches of outer space. However we shouldn't rule out a visit from the Screeching Spawn of the Outer Gods from beyond decreased stars.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh CthulhuR'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
     
  3. J_Downloading
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    J_Downloading Member

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    The closest star is Alpha Centauri, 4.37 light years from us. That's about 37 842 921 890 320 kilometres. A shuttle goes 28 000 km/h. At this constant rate, it would take 1 351 532 924.65 years to get there.

    You need at least 2000 people to ensure there's enough genetic diversity so that you don't suffer from inbreeding.

    You work out how to supply at least 2000 people enough food, water, waste facilities ect. to last for 1.3 billion years the get back to me. Not to mention the other problems the other posters have mentioned.

    Even if we could provide enough resources to ensure the survival of this expedition, it would be neglectful to waste those resources on this mission when there are still people dying of starvation, disease and war every day on our own planet.


    PS: We're not even sure if any of the planets orbiting Alpha Centauri are habitable by humans.
     
  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Inter galactic travel isn't really yet possible for humanity.

    Contrary to belief, our technology is still barely past the wheel on a universal scale. We still use a thrust propulsion system to catapult objects out of the Earth's atmosphere, which, if you think about it, is as primitive as something like a Trebuchet.

    The fuel would most likely be generated through anti-matter; that's the future of energy at least. The problem is, we haven't found a way to mass produce it yet. Then you'd need a better form of propulsion, like zero-point-energy (anti-gravity), but scientists don't really understand how gravity even works. They still see space as a warping hyper-dimensional fabric.

    As for the occupants. Depending on your travelling capabilities, they'd either have to be put in cryostasis, or think up a method to fabricate food and water sources. If the trip was to take hundreds, if not thousands of years, then you'd need some kind of floating city, and it would have to be run using the same principles as on Earth. A form of law and control, a working system, entertainment, leisure, and so on.

    It's a cool thought, though.
     
  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Hey that's my book #2 :D Thanks for the responses, they will provide great stimulus for ideas, processes and systems. FWIW, I am going with cryostasis cycling, a fusion drive and a modicum of hand-waving.
     
  6. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Humans won't be travelling to another star for a very long time; most likely long after we've all passed. Unless there is a breakthrough in warp drive technology we just aren't technologically capable. There is a science professor working from his garage that thinks he may be on the brink of a warp drive breakthrough, but it's questionable whether he's actually on to something. More reading on this for those interested: http://www.dailydot.com/geek/guy-builds-warp-drive/

    Say we could use propulsion based travel to reach a distant star in 1,000 years. Even then, with the rapid advancements in technology, we'd likely invent a new system that would travel so quick it would be capable of passing the previous ship before it reached it's destination. It's just not practical until we have FTL (Faster Than Light) travel.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Worm holes! It's all about worm holes!!!
     
  8. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Wormholes are very theoretical, and I don't think they are actually pathways through space.

    It makes great science fiction material, though!
     
  9. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome."

    Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, 1759

    Write the story.
     
  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    You just have to bend space. Then your trip distance is much smaller. Simples.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's all about the spice. The spice must flow. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    My favourite bit was the T-probe turning Miles Teg into an Honored Matre killing machine. zomg. :love:
     
  13. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Assuming hard SF, FTL is unlikely to ever be possible, so we're probably stuck with nuclear fusion or antimatter as the most powerful compact energy source available. If you want a ship people can actually live in for long periods, without magic--i.e. big, with artificial gravity that doesn't upset the human body--you're looking at a realistic maximum velocity of 1-10% of the speed of light, with fusion at the low end and antimatter at the high end. If you can already reach those speeds, no-one else is likely to pass you.

    Maybe you could go faster if you could have the power beamed to you from Earth somehow, but then you have to believe there'll still be someone back on Earth to beam that power to you when you need it to decelerate at the end of the trip ('sorry guys, I thought it was next year'). Or you could manage close to the speed of light if you were uploaded into a computer that only required a tiny payload, but not as a human.

    Assuming neither of those, life extension means the same people who got on the ship would probably be the ones who got off it a few centuries later. But, if you can build a ship that you can live happily on for a few centuries, you then have to ask why you'd want to get off and go back to living on a planet?

    For a believable colonization story, I think you probably have to freeze the crew somehow, so they won't be woken until the end of the trip. Otherwise, those people who've just spent four hundred years flying to Alpha Centauri are probably just going to say 'nice scenery, where do we go next?'
     
  14. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Warp drives could theoretically travel faster than the speed of light. The ship isn't actually moving faster than light, but the distance it travels would be faster than light could have. Warp drives move space around you, instead of moving you through space. So, if I am correct, it bypasses the lightspeed limit.
     
  15. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    To feel the wind through your hair. To explore. To smell new smells and experience new things.

    But to extend your hyphothesis: if the ship was living (as the planets are) then agreed - stay on the living ship indefinitely. If it's just metal and recirculated air and water and food then ew get me off of this ship!!

    I'd still want to go exploring new planets and moons and what not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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  17. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Space doesn't function as physicists believe, but it does project the characteristics of what is commonly seen, such as the warping of space.
     
  18. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Yes, but they're still pretty much magic. Like wormholes, they may be scientifically possible, but no-one really knows how to make one in engineering terms.

    Doesn't mean they're impossible, but they are unlikely.
     
  19. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Unlikely in our life times. I would say they, or something similar, are very likely in the far distant future.
     
  20. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    There are many such stories out there. Just because we don't know how to do it didn't stop those authors from writing a good story. Note that these stories are about people. The pseudo-technology is just the vehicle for the story.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphans_of_the_Sky
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ballad_of_Beta-2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyage_from_Yesteryear
    https://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/science-fiction-book-reviews-by-author/list-of-generation-ship-novels-and-short-stories/
     
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  21. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Oops - hung up response and I doubled.
     
  22. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good researching @B93, reading Heinlein at the moment, very slowly.
     
  23. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Me too. Looks like we're writing the same story because I put these ideas in mine too lol
     
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  24. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Hope you don't mind me piggy backing!
     

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