View Full Version : "Naked Science: Spaceman" BA

2005-Nov-22, 08:36 PM
I watched this program last night. While fancinating, some things bugged me about it (not even sure this belongs in this forum).
The focus of the program was about finding a new planet for the human race to settle on before the Earth is consumed by the sun.

It seemed odd to me to be concerned of our survival from such a catastrophe, considering that we have a good 5 billion years before this will happen! There are plenty of other phenomonan than have the potential of wiping out the human race aside from the sun's eventual red giant phase.

One of the first things discussed was propulsion. Solar sails and antimatter were amongst the possibilities. Antimatter was more or less dismissed, however, because it "exceeds the budget of our mission". While true of today, who's to say that in the distant future we won't be able to have a better mastery over the production of antimatter? Seems the program had a hard time thinking outside of the box.

Another thing that really bugged me was the issue of gravity during the space flight. While a centifuge was discussed for helping keep atrophy from setting in, no one ever mentioned spinning the spacecraft!

Has anyone else seen this program? If so, were there any other odd elements in it?

Albert Einstien
2005-Nov-22, 09:04 PM
i did. did u see the part about living forever?about turning on hybernate mode for humans so we can space travel?

2005-Nov-23, 01:42 AM
Yes I did, both parts. So weird, about that worm thing and doing the same for humans. The hybernation part is one of sci-fi's older methods. I've seen it in "Star Trek" in 'Space Seed', "2001", "2010", "Star Trek:TNG" in 'The Neutral Zone', and the "Alien" movies. I knew some basis in fact existed.

I missed the part on radiation, but I don't think it's too much a problem. Again, that depends on what we can do in space in the distant future: if we can shield against the radiation from a nuclear reactor and safely put it in a ship (i.e, nuclear carriers and subs), then I'm sure similar technology can be used in a spacecraft's hull.
Of course, the ship ought to be built entirely in space, due to the weight limits!
Again, for me, this is looking far past our current abilities in space.

2005-Dec-01, 11:21 PM
I missed it I must admit. The way things are going--it will be five billion years for us to build an HLLV.

Even more sad to me is how even the Science Channel treats rocketry. There is a program that comes on 7am Eastern 6am Central called "Rockets Into Space." It has good footage of launches from the past and seldom seen footage of payloads. I guess that is good for kids to wake up to but it come on a bit later--and desrves to be in Prime Time.

I get Charter Cable here in Alabama, where the information given about the program in the TV listing bar is:

"Rockets Into Space: Sports. Non-event"

Van Rijn
2005-Dec-02, 11:36 AM
I didn't see this show, but I've seen the same idea in popular "science" books. I can't recall names, but it has been presented by people that should know better. This sort of thing happens because some people just can't get their minds around the time scales involved. About a half billion years ago we were pond scum, but they are talking about a span ten times that. I hope that something that came from us, something greater than us, will be around then, but I would be shocked if we were still around, unchanged.

Actually, this is the same issue with the Fermi paradox: People make assumptions because it is just so hard to actually think through what the scale in time and space might mean, so it is far too easy to make naive assumptions.