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tuffel999
2003-Sep-30, 09:11 PM
So how far does everyone think we will go? I would hope for the fourth but I think in the end a close star may be it :cry:

mutant
2003-Sep-30, 10:04 PM
I checked our solar system box. I think even that is optimisitic. Unless the political and beaurocratic arenas change drastically any time soon I think we have gone about as far as we will.

Everything is either motivated by money or altered by political agendas or both. Add to that the international disagreements that proliferate. I doubt if extended explorations could be achieved without many nations contributing to the immense costs and varied scientific endeavors it would entail. So far we can't even stop shooting at each other.

I know this sounds very pessimistic but unless people and nations can get together and work together for a common goal, something as expensive and difficult as space travel is will be out of our reach.
These are just my opinions. Feel free to disagree. Altho agreeing would make me feel much better about myself. :wink:

George
2003-Sep-30, 10:14 PM
There may be those newbies who are too incompetent to figure out how to actually register their vote.

For their sakes, please give them that simple instruction.

I am witholding my vote until you give them more consideration. [-( :( :) :D :lol:

mutant
2003-Sep-30, 10:33 PM
I respectfully disagree with George. I think everyone in here seems to be rather intelligent.

George
2003-Sep-30, 11:18 PM
[Shucks. 8-[ I suspect I was not logged in as I could not enter a vote, no matter what I tried. It also looked a little different]

Extra galactic travel seems believable to me. Before relativity it would seem absurd. Look at all the "absurds" that man has hurdled. With enough enormus thrust it wouldn't take long to travel to Andromeda or beyond. Albeit, coming back seems to be a problem. :)

However, actually choosing "infinity and beyond" was too hard for me to put my good name, okay semi-good name, to.

tracer
2003-Sep-30, 11:58 PM
"How Far Will We Go?"

Hmmm ... how come "second base, but only with dinner and flowers" isn't on the list?

Chuck
2003-Oct-01, 12:49 AM
It's either The Solar System or Infinity and Beyond. If we can get to another star system then we can reach the rest of the galaxy star by star. If we occupy the whole galaxy then it seems highly unlikely that anything will stop us.

Humphrey
2003-Oct-01, 01:10 AM
I said Galaxy. The universe might be a option in the future, but by that time i do not know if we will still be called Homo Sapiens

ToSeek
2003-Oct-01, 02:33 AM
I think humans will find a way to get everywhere if they can last long enough, if not FTL travel, then generation ships or even moving entire planets or solar systems around.

SpaceTrekkie
2003-Oct-01, 02:42 AM
IMHO there are MANY things we have not figured out or even dream to exsist so i think we will go to "infinity and beyond" it wont be anytime soon but i think it will happen...we need to learn to get along HERE first before we go out where there is a possibility of meeting others.

roidspop
2003-Oct-01, 02:54 AM
It seems like we have a very narrow window of opportunity. Our technological existence depends, at the moment, on abundant supplies of fossil fuels. If we fail to move beyond this to a cheap and nearly inexhaustible energy source very soon, we may find that we no longer have the ability to ever cross that threshold. No fossil fuels = poverty=the decline of science. We need to move fast! The space elevator seems like a very promising way of doing just that, and will allow us to secure the virtually unlimited energy sources we need to move on to a really mature civilization. If we can take that crucial step, we may very well eventually colonize the entire galaxy.

...ignoring politics, of course... Throw in a few 9-11s and I don't know what we'll get.

johnnyb
2003-Oct-01, 05:09 AM
"The Physics of Immortality"? It has some interesting ideas about this very topic. Some of his ideas were absurd but some very interesting like nano technology enabling us to travel further out into our galaxy and DNA type of colonization.... I enjoy reading books on all kinds of physics and it seems to me that we will eventually figure it out. We will have periodic advances, like the dawn of Quantum Mechanics and then the progress it achieved. I just hope that we are physiologically capable of figuring it out, like maybe we might not figure it out until our brains evolve some more. As far as surviving until we CAN figure it out, well, does anyone have faith in the Guya theory (SP)? Ya know, like life will evolve and change its environment to support itself? :-?

F1
2003-Oct-01, 06:30 AM
I checked the Solar System (I hope you feel good about yourself mutant :P)

As far as colonising planets goes I do not think that we will get out of this solarsystem, ever. I believe that trying to colonise another planet in another solar system is out of the question [how far is the closest planet that is able to support human life anyway? 8-[ ].

I think that if we put it all into the big picture most of us are destined to stay within this solar system untill our sun goes kaboom. But trying to get say a 1000 people to another planet that is not within this solar system seems impossible.

[Sorry if any of this does not make sense, I am still trying to adapt to the forums here and the way you guys talk etc :)]

Cya!

mutant
2003-Oct-01, 06:58 AM
F1 posted:


I checked the Solar System (I hope you feel good about yourself mutant )

Oh thankyou thankyou. I can hold my head high once again.


I am still trying to adapt to the forums here and the way you guys talk etc ]

You are trying to adapt to the way we talk? Oh dear. Good luck. :lol: =D>

F1
2003-Oct-01, 09:24 AM
Hahaha, thank you :P

Anyways, back on topic! :)

eburacum45
2003-Oct-01, 11:14 AM
I checked a close star, because it seems likely to me that humans might just reach a nearby star using all the resources of a colonised solar system;

But eventually our descendents, genetically altered and enhanced humans and intelligent robots will spread out across the visible universe.
But they won't really be strictly human.

see link below...

jgravatt
2003-Oct-01, 01:47 PM
I checked our solar system. I believe that humans will likely destroy themselves, or be destroyed (comet, asteroid, Death Star) before we can make it any further than that. Besides, it just doesn't seem to be a high priority with most governments, and something so expensive will take a concerted world effort.

gethen
2003-Oct-01, 01:53 PM
I checked the galaxy for two reasons. One, it's impossible to predict what advances in science might make possible, and I'm keeping my options open. Two, I just want to believe that it will happen. That's why I've spent a lifetime reading all those science fiction books.

Swift
2003-Oct-01, 02:09 PM
I picked galaxy, but I'm soft on that. It depends on what time frame we are talking about and what we mean by human. Assuming no amazing breakthroughs like FTL (and assuming we don't kill ourselves off, which I think is a low probability) I suspect that in the next five hundred years or so we will at least colonize a good chunk of the solar system. Look what has happened in the last 500 years... there is nothing physically impossible about doing that and humans love to spreadout. I even suspect we will start at least sending probes to nearby stars in that time frame. Beyond that, it gets harder, but given lets say 10,000 years, I suspect human decendents (either flesh or silicon) will make the leap out into the galaxy.

Betenoire
2003-Oct-01, 02:24 PM
All we have to do is find Arrakis.

No, really, I think that we don't have a complete enough knowledge of the physical laws of the universe to be able to make any absolute statements that we can't do something. I say, eventually (may take a few thousand years) we'll be in Andromeda.

tracer
2003-Oct-01, 04:05 PM
All we have to do is find Arrakis.
Nonsense. If we can avoid the Butlerian Jihad, we can use thinking machines to do the spacefold calculations for us, and we won't need melange.

BlueAnodizeAl
2003-Oct-01, 04:24 PM
Let's see what's out there....

Infinity and Beyond. A point made im my high speed aerodynamics made me think of this recently. The point was made in class that at one time Mach 1 was an impossible speed to reach (with the piston powerplants available). And now with a simple discovery in the characteristics of high speed flow and the advent of the jet age...we break the sound barrier several times over regularly....I think the same will be someday true for space travel.

daver
2003-Oct-01, 07:06 PM
Let's see what's out there....

Infinity and Beyond. A point made im my high speed aerodynamics made me think of this recently. The point was made in class that at one time Mach 1 was an impossible speed to reach (with the piston powerplants available). And now with a simple discovery in the characteristics of high speed flow and the advent of the jet age...we break the sound barrier several times over regularly....I think the same will be someday true for space travel.

The analogy doesn't hold all that well. It had been known for a couple centuries that it was possible to travel faster than the speed of sound, they just didn't have a convenient way to do it. Whereas we have no indication of any possibility of FTL travel, and some theoretical reasons why it can't be done.

What we really need are some cracks in our physics--a new ultraviolet catastrophe or a radiation puzzle. Right now if there are cracks they aren't big enough.

mike alexander
2003-Oct-01, 08:09 PM
Solar System. Earth/Moon, actually. Perhaps if you had asked Friday I might be more optomistic.

But, you know... maybe the horse WILL sing...

SirThoreth
2003-Oct-01, 08:16 PM
I put solar system, for a couple reasons.

First is physics - getting to even Alpha Centauri or Proxima Centauri looks to be a cast-iron *****, quite frankly. As I pointed out under the whole "spaceship" thread, you need one hell of an efficient engine to be able to get there in both a reasonable amount of time with any kind of cargo. Also, estimates are that you need a minimum population base of 80,000 to be able to have a viable long-term population group that's relatively free of unwanted recessive traits. With a decent enough fusion rocket, a big enough ship to load up on the fuel, and it could probably be done.

That, though, leads us to the second problem: politics. Sure, you could store DNA on that ship, put in a cloning facility, and run with a smaller crew, allowing for a smaller ship. But, to do so, you have to get over the human hangups over cloning. You have to also teach all those people on the other end. That's gonna suck. I don't see too many governments being willing to back that plan.

Governments are also not going to be too thrilled on the whole fusion rocket idea, unless it's dirt cheap. But, then, too, you have enviromentalists: how're they going to take the idea of a fusion rocket? About as well as a fission rocket? Hell, people had enough trouble with Cassini for God's sake, and need I remind y'all about the hoopla amongst the tin-foil hat crowd over Galileo?

So, maybe, if we're lucky, we'll colonize the solar system. Eventually, when Sol goes red giant, maybe we'll have been smart enough to have moved on to Titan, or maybe Pluto (I've read some interesting ideas about colonizing Pluto). Or, maybe not. Guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

Vega115
2003-Oct-01, 08:22 PM
We will go until we meet the final monolith... :wink:

Archer17
2003-Oct-01, 08:47 PM
It all depends on how long we Earthings are around. I picked Galaxy because "infinity" is pretty far away :D

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-02, 02:52 AM
Im surprised "NOWHERE" wasn't a choice.

People simply dont care about space right now.
We are literally, in our own little world, oblivious
to the rest of the universe.

Unfortunately, we ARE a part of space, and we will have some type of interaction with it in the future (asteriods, comets, our sun exhausting..etc..etc.) and won't be prepared for it.

Its a shame we've made it so far, because right now, we're still as helpless as our ancient ancestors who first drew pictures of buffalo on the walls of their caves.

The human race is a dead end street.

Just like with terrorism, nobody will care about space until AFTER something happens.
The only problem with a space catastrophe is that there will be no AFTER.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-02, 02:55 AM
Ummmmm......I was being a little more optimistic when I made the list........Someone get this man some prozac quick :D

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-02, 03:29 AM
Ummmmm......I was being a little more optimistic when I made the list........Someone get this man some prozac quick :D

I dont know if you remeber, but last summer, a friggin asteroid came within relative inches of hitting Earth and we didn't even find out about it until after it brushed by, and it was HUGE too, about the size of New York city. (I may be wrong about the size, but not about the event.)

Is it just me, or is the majority clueless?



Last month when they predicted that 2014 hit, I got sick to my stomach and couldn't finish my lunch. My friend said, whats wrong, and I told him what I saw on CNN. His 2 word reply........

"Can't happen."

that was the reply from a 35 yr old man. OMG!
Like that old saying.... out of sight, out of mind


When I told another friend about the prediction, this was his response.....

"YAY! I'm ready!" ( one of those gothic loser types.)

Obviously, deep down, he didn't even consider it a possibility.
Its the equivalent of saying, "YAY! Me and my family are going to drown"


What will it take for the human race to realize how important space is?
Probably a 1,000,000 gigaton explosion, or worse.

We aren't anything special. There was life before us, and there'll be life after us.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-02, 03:39 AM
Last month when they predicted that 2014 hit, I got sick to my stomach and couldn't finish my lunch. My friend said, whats wrong, and I told him what I saw on CNN. His 2 word reply........

"Can't happen."

that was the reply from a 35 yr old man. OMG!
Like that old saying.... out of sight, out of mind

Ummmm...I said the same thing because oh wait it isn't going to hit. You can't take everyone of those sightings as fact because so far each time they go back and look at old data they figure out it isn't even going to happen. You may be just a little to jumpy as well. Isuggest a good dose of prozac as well. Chill out, relax, and have some fun might as well if your going ot die tomorrow.

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-02, 04:01 AM
Ummmm...I said the same thing because oh wait it isn't going to hit. You can't take everyone of those sightings as fact because so far each time they go back and look at old data they figure out it isn't even going to happen. You may be just a little to jumpy as well. Isuggest a good dose of prozac as well. Chill out, relax, and have some fun might as well if your going ot die tomorrow.

Well, it eventually IS going to happen, and thats a fact.
It could be tommorow, it could be next week or it could be 1000 years from now. What you suggest is that we dont prepare at all since it always
"isn't going to hit". Sucker. We'll see whos laughing when we're both evaporated on impact. :o < You, when you start feeling the ground shaking or see the mile high wave coming. "ohh crap! this CANT BE HAPPENING! ITS IMPOSSIBLE! I SHOULD HAVE LISTEN TO CRYPTO!

Archer17
2003-Oct-02, 04:40 AM
Ummmm...I said the same thing because oh wait it isn't going to hit. You can't take everyone of those sightings as fact because so far each time they go back and look at old data they figure out it isn't even going to happen. You may be just a little to jumpy as well. Isuggest a good dose of prozac as well. Chill out, relax, and have some fun might as well if your going ot die tomorrow.

Well, it eventually IS going to happen, and thats a fact.
It could be tommorow, it could be next week or it could be 1000 years from now. What you suggest is that we dont prepare at all since it always
"isn't going to hit". Sucker. We'll see whos laughing when we're both evaporated on impact. :o < You, when you start feeling the ground shaking or see the mile high wave coming. "ohh crap! this CANT BE HAPPENING! ITS IMPOSSIBLE! I SHOULD HAVE LISTEN TO CRYPTO!Hi, welcome to the board. The asteroid last July you're talking about didn't come within "inches" as you state.. eventually will it happen? maybe so, maybe not. It hasn't happened in a long time and maybe it won't happen in a long time. If it doesn't happen for a long time maybe it won't because we could do something about it down the road. If we don't get creamed by a rogue rock, what's you take on the pool?

SAMU
2003-Oct-02, 05:37 AM
I voted for infinity and beyond because there are already several methods within our reach (but not yet within our grasp) that will make it do-able. Biological or (more likely) computer electronic immortality make long duration trips not inconcieveable.

Failing that there can be robotic probes to find habitable planets followed by generation ships to colonize the promising planets.

And there is the distant prospect of unknown physics breakthroughs.

All these things are clearly visible to us now even though we have reached, only in the past century, the very threshhold of the "beyond".

Jules Verne saw voyages to the Moon and 20.000 Leagues under the sea 100 years before they happened. Technology moves a lot quicker now.

Beware though, H.G Welles saw aliens from space devestating the planet too.

But will they be little green men with ray guns come to destroy us? Or will they be "Jolly Green Giants... with guns" sent to destroy "them".

Kaptain K
2003-Oct-02, 10:13 AM
Also, estimates are that you need a minimum population base of 80,000 to be able to have a viable long-term population group that's relatively free of unwanted recessive traits.
I believe that is assuming random choices. With proper testing and selection, it could be done with far fewer!

eburacum45
2003-Oct-02, 11:13 AM
a viable long-term population group
could one day be produced by mixing and matching a good selection of human genome in a computer;
the idea of a breeding population will be irrelevant one day.

Probably long before interstellar travel is technically feasible-
and I am not being pessimistic here, by the way.

Eroica
2003-Oct-02, 11:52 AM
I picked infinity, because basically I'm an optimist. But Humphrey is right: we won't still be Homo Sapiensby the time we get out of the Milky Way. We'll be Klingons, Vulcans, Cardassians, Romulans etc

tuffel999
2003-Oct-02, 07:05 PM
Well, it eventually IS going to happen, and thats a fact.
It could be tommorow, it could be next week or it could be 1000 years from now. What you suggest is that we dont prepare at all since it always
"isn't going to hit". Sucker. We'll see whos laughing when we're both evaporated on impact. :o < You, when you start feeling the ground shaking or see the mile high wave coming. "ohh crap! this CANT BE HAPPENING! ITS IMPOSSIBLE! I SHOULD HAVE LISTEN TO CRYPTO!

Well assuming I am alive to feel the ground shaking and the mile high tidal wave (Deep Impact anyone?) tomorrow, or next week that are isn't a whole lot that could really be done now is there. SO why sweat it? If you worry about the world ending everyday why even go out of your tidy little room. Yeah eventually a rock is going ot smack into this planet again. I don't know when it is going to happen, you sure don't know when it is going to happen so why worry all the time? All it will get you is a freaking ulcer.
Don't spread your morbid world view with us I don't remember the post asking for when we are going to die. It asked where are we going to go as a genral topic of interest. Sure nowhere is a hypothetical but you don't have to put in your morbid feelings on our impending doom since they are less a fact and more your own mental issues. Good Bye chicken little "you are the weakest link" (boy that does sound bad man I'm glad that show is gone). =; :-#

BlueAnodizeAl
2003-Oct-03, 12:47 AM
Let's see what's out there....

Infinity and Beyond. A point made im my high speed aerodynamics made me think of this recently. The point was made in class that at one time Mach 1 was an impossible speed to reach (with the piston powerplants available). And now with a simple discovery in the characteristics of high speed flow and the advent of the jet age...we break the sound barrier several times over regularly....I think the same will be someday true for space travel.

The analogy doesn't hold all that well. It had been known for a couple centuries that it was possible to travel faster than the speed of sound, they just didn't have a convenient way to do it. Whereas we have no indication of any possibility of FTL travel, and some theoretical reasons why it can't be done.

What we really need are some cracks in our physics--a new ultraviolet catastrophe or a radiation puzzle. Right now if there are cracks they aren't big enough.

Centuries? Surely not that long. We scientifically began to be able to fathom the idea with the invention of flight, especially high speed flight, just a couple of decades before World War Two. I am familiar with the physics of high speed travel in atmosphere, the analogy of apply enough force and anything will fly will not work, the engine was the key. When we discovered that highspeed flow (greater than M>1) accelerates with an increase in cross-sectional area (think of a rocket engine bell, this is the loophole in the physics). In this manner fluid flow can be accerated to speeds greater than M=1. This is the exact opposite of low speed behavior (this is why it couldn't be predicted). As you can see there is a loophole in physics that we discovered and exploit to travel faster than the speed of sound. It just happens to be so simple to us today, that we don't think about it. I suspect after some relevation in space travel (better ion propulsion perhaps) we might be able to find a way.

{edited for silly error, brain thinking faster than fingers can type)

Madcat
2003-Oct-03, 01:39 AM
One can hope... I'm not so sure, but I do think that if we ever figure this out we will be kicking ourselves for centuries afterwards. :)

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-03, 03:19 AM
......but you don't have to put in your morbid feelings on our impending doom since they are less a fact........

Less a fact? Then why did you write this in a previous sentence?



Yeah eventually a rock is going ot smack into this planet again.

Make up your mind please.

What I think your saying is that we should ignore facts just because they're complex and frightening. "Hey, instead of facing this problem, lets just pretend that there's no such thing as outer space or comets or black holes."

If the U.S. had your attitude during WWII, right now we'd all be goose-stepping and eating bratwurst.

It IS a fact and it should not be ignored (though it is)
even if it is "scary' or "morbid".
The only thing worse than failing is not trying.
Complaceny is suicide, and you are complacent.

Looks like the only chicken here is you.

digitalspector
2003-Oct-03, 03:33 AM
I chose Solar system. But how far in the solar system? That I don't know. In my life-time. I would like to see us start to utilize the moon, if even just for Helium 3. I also play suspect to the idea that I will be alive to see man sent to Mars. Possibly Europa. Depends how fast politics and money want to work. All I feel will be quite possible in a several years.

But at this current stalemate, between exploration and monetary gain....who knows.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-03, 03:47 AM
Make up your mind please.

What I think your saying is that we should ignore facts just because they're complex and frightening. "Hey, instead of facing this problem, lets just pretend that there's no such thing as outer space or comets or black holes."

If the U.S. had your attitude during WWII, right now we'd all be goose-stepping and eating bratwurst.

It IS a fact and it should not be ignored (though it is)
even if it is "scary' or "morbid".
The only thing worse than failing is not trying.
Complaceny is suicide, and you are complacent.

Looks like the only chicken here is you.

1)See here is the problem I have made up my mind you just don't like the way I have.
2)I'm not saying we should ignore facts I am saying that none of your doomsday asteroids have been facts because none have been found to have an intersection with earth.
3)WWII yeah whatever not the point here now is it.
4)Facts aren't morbid they just are facts. You are morbid get it straight.
5) Chicken hey well I should have known better than to use a literary refrence not covered on a tv program. So go away troll this has nothing to do with the topic anymore. [-X

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-03, 03:53 AM
Unfortunatelly, I dont share in this unanimous optimism.
I'm a realist, not a romantic.

The human race isn't anything special.
We are subject to all the same sh*t that killed off countless other species before us.
we're not Gods, but only slightly smarter animals.
Like the rock says, "know your role".



however, on a brighter note, hopefully the introduction of China into the black unknown will ignite another space race.

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-03, 04:02 AM
1)See here is the problem I have made up my mind you just don't like the way I have.
2)I'm not saying we should ignore facts I am saying that none of your doomsday asteroids have been facts because none have been found to have an intersection with earth.
3)WWII yeah whatever not the point here now is it.
4)Facts aren't morbid they just are facts. You are morbid get it straight.
5) Chicken hey well I should have known better than to use a literary refrence not covered on a tv program. So go away troll this has nothing to do with the topic anymore. [-X

1) I dont care what you think, your just another one of the 5 1/2 billion
Morons out there.
2) Um..... There are huge craters on this planet already. If thats not proof enough of the threat, then you won't ever be convinced.
3)Ya, its called an allusion. even though it isn't directly related to the topic, there is still a relevant lesson to be learned...... Obviously, you missed it, Brain.
4) The word Morbid relates to death. A massive comet slamming into Earth would probably kill people (a.k.a. DEATH). On top of that, it IS a fact, therefore, it is a Morbid fact.
5) You got me on that one, I dont know what Chicken Little is. I dont read childrens books.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-03, 04:07 AM
Why are you still here troll? I mean you don't care or anything like you said. So go away and troll somewhere else. [-(

Musashi
2003-Oct-03, 06:18 AM
Cryptopsy, can the name calling. Tuffel, tone it down. Unless you guys want to get issued warnings from the BA and get the thread locked, let it go and move on.

mikerball
2003-Oct-03, 12:57 PM
Crypto, Tuffel, you both need to find a parking garage somewhere & resolve this thing. Or alley, or local 'TUFF' man contest.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-03, 01:50 PM
Sorry I just hate when people try and rain on other people's parades for no good reason. :oops:

Archer17
2003-Oct-03, 02:51 PM
To elaborate on my initial post: I think, as some have pointed out, the biggest obstacle to going beyond the nearest stars would be the speed of light limitations. Jaunts beyond the nearer starts would require us to address things like extended crew confinement, a self-sustaining food-source, etc and the fact that the space farer's would essentially be cutting ties to Earth permanently. I suppose they might be able to come back, depending on how far they traveled, but things here would be quite different in any case. If future humans can solve the light-speed problem or sidestep it utilizing scifi things like worm holes/black holes to use as "shortcuts" then we can really go places, but is it doable? I lean toward no but admit I'm not schooled in all that physics stuff.

tracer
2003-Oct-03, 03:49 PM
you both need to find a parking garage somewhere & resolve this thing. Or alley, or local 'TUFF' man contest.
Rule number 1: You do not talk about TUFF man.
Rule number 2: You do not. Talk. About TUFF man.
Rule number 3: If this is your first time in TUFF man, you will be TUFF tonight.

Eroica
2003-Oct-03, 04:32 PM
the biggest obstacle to going beyond the nearest stars would be the speed of light limitations. Jaunts beyond the nearer starts would require us to address things like extended crew confinement, a self-sustaining food-source, etc and the fact that the space farer's would essentially be cutting ties to Earth permanently.

I agree. Once we Earthlings have devised a way of journeying to other solar systems, there will probably be an initial burst of colonization of nearby systems. But it will be the descendants of those colonists who colonize more remote systems; and that won't be until those colonies are hundreds, or even thousands, of years old. By the time our descendants leave the Milky Way galaxy, they won't be humans anymore and they probably won't have any idea where their true origins lie.

daver
2003-Oct-03, 06:19 PM
Let's see what's out there....

Infinity and Beyond. A point made im my high speed aerodynamics made me think of this recently. The point was made in class that at one time Mach 1 was an impossible speed to reach (with the piston powerplants available). And now with a simple discovery in the characteristics of high speed flow and the advent of the jet age...we break the sound barrier several times over regularly....I think the same will be someday true for space travel.

The analogy doesn't hold all that well. It had been known for a couple centuries that it was possible to travel faster than the speed of sound, they just didn't have a convenient way to do it. Whereas we have no indication of any possibility of FTL travel, and some theoretical reasons why it can't be done.

What we really need are some cracks in our physics--a new ultraviolet catastrophe or a radiation puzzle. Right now if there are cracks they aren't big enough.

Centuries? Surely not that long. We scientifically began to be able to fathom the idea with the invention of flight, especially high speed flight, just a couple of decades before World War Two.

I don't know when rifle bullets regularly started exceeding the speed of sound--surely not later than the mid 1800's, probably earlier. If it were the 1850's then I overstated. I know Jules Verne wrote about firing people out of a supersonic cannon; presumably the idea wasn't original to him.


I am familiar with the physics of high speed travel in atmosphere, the analogy of apply enough force and anything will fly will not work, the engine was the key.

Agreed. And by that time we knew that rockets would work, and suspected that just going high enough and dropping someone in a weighted gondola would probably work. So at that time we had several methods of propelling objects past the speed of sound, and a few ways of propelling people past the speed of sound in such a way that they might live through the experience. Some were cheaper than others.

I suspect after some relevation in space travel (better ion propulsion perhaps) we might be able to find a way.

At the time of Yeager, we knew that objects could travel faster than sound. For now, we have no evidence of anything (object or information) being able to travel faster than light, and no evidence that any of the theories that would allow FTL travel are correct. The speculations that would allow FTL have a distressing tendency to involve enormous energies or enormous masses.

Kaptain K
2003-Oct-03, 06:49 PM
FWIW - The first manmade object to exceed the speed of sound was the tip of a bull whip. The "crack" of a whip is a small sonic boom! :o

Swift
2003-Oct-03, 07:00 PM
I think Eroica has it correct (again assuming no FTL). I think we only think about travel to other stars with the assumptions that these are round trips. But for thousands of years humans have gone out to colonize new lands with little or no hope of returning at some point to the homeland (or I suspect even communicating with the homeland). Examples: the first colonizations of the Americas from Asia, the colonization of Hawaii and the South Pacific, the first European colonies in the New World. Even well after North America was colonized, a trip back to Europe was a very long, dangerous voyage that very few took.

If we can make it to our neighboring stars, then we will probably make it much further (at least through the galaxy). Those colonies will send out their own daughter colonies, though I suspect that it will only take them a few hundred years, not thousands, since they will not have to reinvent the technology. This whole process will take thousands of years, but unless we do a lot genetic engineering, those people will be human. Think about the last 5000 years of human history... a lot has changed, but we are genetically still the same.

This whole argument is one of the better arguments I've heard as to why we might be alone (the only intelligent beings) in the Milky Way. If there was another planet out there in the last 100,000 years that had achieved intelligence and space flight, they would have colonized Earth. And don't tell me that humans are their decendents, there is overwhelming evidence that we evolved here.

Eroica
2003-Oct-03, 07:23 PM
Those colonies will send out their own daughter colonies, though I suspect that it will only take them a few hundred years, not thousands, since they will not have to reinvent the technology.

True, but they may not send out colonists of their own until the population of their planet has reached millions. How long will that take?

You're right about the genetics, but the chances are that we will do a lot of genetic engineering, accelerating our own evolution. Besides, I can't see our descendants heading for the Magellanic Clouds within 100,000 years.

People usually overestimate the speed of technological progress. Thirty years ago they were saying that we would all have hover cars and be living on the Moon!

tuffel999
2003-Oct-03, 10:34 PM
People usually overestimate the speed of technological progress. Thirty years ago they were saying that we would all have hover cars and be living on the Moon!

Yeah where is my hovercar :roll:

Lt. Rico
2003-Oct-03, 11:29 PM
Eroica wrote:
People usually overestimate the speed of technological progress. Thirty years ago they were saying that we would all have hover cars and be living on the Moon!


Yeah where is my hovercar


A few years ago there was a great IBM commerical with Avery Brooks (ST:DS9's Cmdr Benjamin Sisko) demanding to know "WHERE are the flying cars? I was promised FLYING CARS. I want my flying car!"

This is as much of a philosophical question as a scientific one, but I will take a crack at it...

Since the original post specifically stated HUMANs and not our evolutionary descendants, the first question is, how much longer will humans be around to explore our enviroment before we either a) destroy ourselves, or b) evolve into something non-human?

Let's say for argument's sake, we ignore choice A since if it is true it could happen at any time and kind of misses the point. Option B is tricky, but using history as a guide let's say somewhere between 20,000 and 1,000,000 years. I know that's a hell of a range and I could still be way off, but I'm not a paleontologist, so sue me.

Either way, that's a hell of a long time, longer than all of recorded history and longer than it took us to get from stone tools to creating our own elements and making diamonds in a lab, so it's fair to assume there's a lot more scientific discovery in our future. We may never discover a "loophole" in physics that lets us go FTL, but we will never run out of energy- nuclear power, at first fission, and eventually fusion, is clearly going to be the norm sooner or later. Running out of fossil fuels, which by the way, is much further off than most people realize, is simply not a problem in the long run except possibly for the plastics industry.

So, in a few hundred or thousand years, imagine what we might be capable of building. Can you imagine what a modern aircraft carrier, a jumbo jet, or the Saturn V would look like to a small village of humans say, about 15,000 years ago? Or even 2,000 years ago? And with similar advances in medical technology, certainly building ships that can travel to nearby stars should be within our capability.

Now, having said that, I think I'd draw the line at Galaxy, and the reason I say that is that getting to other galaxies is another order of magnitude in terms of distance, and if we're still limited to sub-FTL speeds, then you're talking about trips that would take hundreds of thousands of years, and you probably would be pushing up against the evolutionary timescale boundary. Certainly if you want a round-trip ticket and you still want human friends to be around when you get back.

This could lead to another question completely unrelated to astronomy-

What happens to evolution when a species evolves the intelligence and technology to alter the evolutionary process?

Eroica
2003-Oct-04, 09:20 AM
getting to other galaxies is another order of magnitude in terms of distance, and if we're still limited to sub-FTL speeds, then you're talking about trips that would take hundreds of thousands of years, and you probably would be pushing up against the evolutionary timescale boundary.

True, a trip to the Andromeda Galaxy would take at least, say, three million years as judged by our Earth-based clocks. But if most of the trip was done very close to the speed of light, time dilation would become a factor. For the people making the trip, only a few years would pass.

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-04, 12:12 PM
We have already explored our galaxy physically.
Infinity an beyond we have explored in theory.
The question could be more specific. :wink:

sarongsong
2003-Oct-06, 07:15 AM
Wouldn't we just end up where we started?

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-06, 11:40 AM
Wouldn't we just end up where we started?

Yes.

But at least we would know where we started.

Amadeus
2003-Oct-06, 12:19 PM
I think so long as we are limited to any kind of propulsion we wont be going very far. We need to think outside the box and get started on other ways to travel like man-made wormholes.

I think our best chance is if we make contact with some aliens who have worked it out already and nick their technology. :lol:

Failing that we got a whole lot of sums to work out and use up all the natural resources of this ball of rock.

Also has anyone got close to working out the teleportation thing yet? That would be a time saver!

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-06, 12:46 PM
I have heard an argument: "Go fast or stay home".
I don't agree.
We should work toward 'generation ships' just in case there is no %OL drive.
If we keep looking for science that may never exist we deserve to rot on this rock. #-o

Swift
2003-Oct-06, 01:09 PM
I think the distribution of votes is very interesting. "A Close Star" is the smallest vote. It seems people think we will either stay within our solar system or travel far. I tend to agree.

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-07, 01:44 AM
Why are you still here troll? I mean you don't care or anything like you said. So go away and troll somewhere else. [-(

Hehe.

The above quote, which doesn't argue my post at all, only says one thing.

Defeat.

{Raises hand with pointy finger up, slowing moves pointy finger to butt}
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Ohhhhh ya! Im hot!

Musashi
2003-Oct-07, 01:50 AM
Wow Cryptopsy, it seems like everyone has moved on except for you. Way to bring back a 4 day old post for a quote.

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-07, 02:06 AM
Wow Cryptopsy, it seems like everyone has moved on except for you. Way to bring back a 4 day old post for a quote.

ya, well maybe thats because I try to maintain a bizarre thing called a JOB and I can't afford to spend all 24 hours of my day talking to you and everyone else who doesn't agree with me.

Also, you know I'm right.

Musashi
2003-Oct-07, 02:42 AM
That's a strange thing to say, I have a job too, how weird. About you being right, what have you been right about?

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-07, 02:48 AM
That's a strange thing to say, I have a job too, how weird. About you being right, what have you been right about?

About the human race having it's head up its azz.

hey, by the way, what do you do for work?

Whine like a baby over people insulting people online, or pick up dog crap with boxing gloves?

Musashi
2003-Oct-07, 02:57 AM
Very nice attitude you have going there. You may have had a right to cop an attitude earlier in this thread, but clearly, that was not a one time thing. You apparently have something wrong with you that makes you lash out at anyone who disagrees with you at all. I can't say it was nice talking to you, but I can say it will be nice ignoring you from now on.

Cryptopsy
2003-Oct-07, 03:06 AM
Very nice attitude you have going there. You may have had a right to cop an attitude earlier in this thread, but clearly, that was not a one time thing. You apparently have something wrong with you that makes you lash out at anyone who disagrees with you at all. I can't say it was nice talking to you, but I can say it will be nice ignoring you from now on.

Ok, then why did you ***** and moan about it then also?

ohh ya, you can't answer that. Your ascendancy into maturity gives you a convenient excuse to avoid any topic you dont wish to argue. (aka, any topic you have no chance in hell of winning)

I know your reading this, and I hope you really don't reply because your a dork, and I'm tired of wasting anymore of my precious time evaluating and replying to your meaningless babble.

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-07, 08:39 AM
People simply dont care about space right now.
We are literally, in our own little world, oblivious
to the rest of the universe..

Perhaps if we taxed lotteries we could spend the money on a real future instead of one that has lower odds of winning.

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Oct-07, 09:35 PM
I have banned Cryptopsy for obvious reasons. However, people, I really do not know how I can make this more clear: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. If someone is in obvious violation of the rules, then don't call them a troll, and don't bait them. Simply PM me and let me take care of it.

tuffel999
2003-Oct-07, 09:37 PM
Sorry :oops: My fault I fed him. I was kind of like the little kid and the bears at the zoo. #-o

Archer17
2003-Oct-08, 12:45 AM
Live and learn tuffel, I think this is still a good thread... kudos to you for dreaming it up. Anyway .. if we decided to launch a ship for purposes of interstellar travel, I'm thinking along the lines of travel to a "relatively" close star, maybe Epsilon Eridani, 10.7 LYs away, with technology we have or are considering today (no worm hole/faster than light stuff) .. how do you think we can pull it off?

daver
2003-Oct-08, 01:29 AM
Live and learn tuffel, I think this is still a good thread... kudos to you for dreaming it up. Anyway .. if we decided to launch a ship for purposes of interstellar travel, I'm thinking along the lines of travel to a "relatively" close star, maybe Epsilon Eridani, 10.7 LYs away, with technology we have or are considering today (no worm hole/faster than light stuff) .. how do you think we can pull it off?

Some Orion variation still looks like a good bet. Robert Forward liked anti-matter, that's a bit farther out. Maybe there's some way you can use a particle accelerator to create a micro black hole, and use that as a total conversion power source--that might be more practical than finding a way to store antimatter.

Swift
2003-Oct-08, 01:18 PM
John Varley in some of his SF short stories talked about using micro-black holes as power sources. You can throw any garbage you want in them (good disposal too!) and convert the x-rays to useful power. Minor problems of where you get black holes and how to convert x-rays to electricity or something useful (details, details).

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2003-Oct-10, 03:35 PM
I didn't vote at all because I seriously believe that we won't even get to Mars. The Americans lack the money/vision and the Russians just lack...the USA went to the moon and that's as far as it'll ever get. Star Trek is definately not in our future... :( :( :(

Lunnalkann
2003-Oct-11, 04:34 AM
I didn't vote at all because I seriously believe that we won't even get to Mars. The Americans lack the money/vision and the Russians just lack...the USA went to the moon and that's as far as it'll ever get. Star Trek is definately not in our future...

I fear this as well. I hope China will do stuff though.

Just by interest, what does Russia lack? or do you mean money too?

eburacum45
2003-Oct-11, 08:00 AM
Well, I've set it conveniently 900 years in the future, but here is a colony ship (http://www.siderealgames.com/uploads/the_interstellar_colony_ship_dyaush.doc) on its way to Eta Cassiopiae...

before interstellar travel becomes possible it will be necessary to construct vast solar power collectors in orbit near the Sun; with collectors thousands of kilometers in radius the energy collected will then need to be converted to antimatter; most methods we have nowadays are incredibly inefficient,but if you can accept an efficiency improvement to a part in a billion you should be able to get a few kilograms of antimatter production per year per million square kilometers of collector.
Keep that up and eventually there will be enough antimatter to get to the stars and to slow down when you get there...

johnnyb
2003-Oct-13, 03:32 AM
Letís just fantasize that we may be able to use nano technology to travel with and genetic technology to spread us throughout the galaxy. I say galaxy because the universe may have physical limits. Perhaps we can genetically engineer ourselves to be smarter. It's my understanding that a very small fraction of our genetic code is really very relevant to our structure. Perhaps we can engineer useful stuff into our code, perhaps even knowledge. Animal are born with inherent "instincts" maybe itís possible to expand on that to the point of programming. Ya know like the sea turtle that knows to duck and hide run to the water from the egg shell, or the behavior of an alligator to call to its mother that was never taught it was programmed into the genetics. I think perhaps we may travel to distant places through worm holes only because the present picture of our universe uses the analogy of space as a membrane witch warps with mass or energy. This may seem silly but as a kid you ever take a match box car and jam it into the carpet and push it forward real fast? Notice how the carpet folds up ahead of the car and then the car skips over the folds. Maybe we can use partical projection to warp space to enable a ship to pass.

I would venture to say that the one trait that sets us apart from any other creature to inhabit our planet that will enable us to venture out amongst the galaxy is our ability to dream of possibilities. This isnít unlike the process of denial amongst people with addictions. They canít do anything until they get past their denial, once they accomplish that they can recover. Our ability to dream of possibilities is like overcoming denial, we can now work towards any goal, solve any problem and that is what sets us apart from any other living creatures to inhabit this planet. :wink:

jgravatt
2003-Oct-14, 02:52 AM
unfortunately, human beings are inherently inclined to do stupid things. we are far too shortsighted to ever make it to another star. we'll be lucky to colonize our own solar system. we can't even achieve world peace, how can we conquer interstellar travel?

sometimes i wish i wasn't such a cynic...

Archer17
2003-Oct-14, 03:04 AM
Ya have to have optimism! .. I grew up during Mutual Assured Destruction... we survived 8)

johnnyb
2003-Oct-14, 03:30 AM
unfortunately, human beings are inherently inclined to do stupid things. we are far too shortsighted to ever make it to another star. we'll be lucky to colonize our own solar system. we can't even achieve world peace, how can we conquer interstellar travel?

sometimes i wish i wasn't such a cynic...

Your right, but thatís not necessarily a bad thing. That would be the function of Darwinism at work. In order for us to maintain some sort of carrying capacity and to evolve there has to be struggle, weather it be for survival or dominance.:-k

Doodler
2003-Oct-14, 02:57 PM
I put us as going all the way. We may not be the best qualified race to do the job of space exploration and colonization, but we cannot deny that when we do get our act together we can kick butt, take names and slap them up on middle schools across the country. I see us going the distance led not by governments, but by corporate interests. Why? because Earth based resources ARE at a premium we simply aren't aware we are paying yet. I read earlier that fossil fuels are running out, this is patently untrue. IIRC, some 80% of the fossil fuel on the planet is simply beyond the reach of our current technology. That seems a depressing fact, but then we have to remind ourselves that technology is a moving target. It does not stand still for long. We've been pondering the use of carbon nanotubes in the creation of a space elevator, what's to stop similar material science advances from being applied to resource extraction here on Earth? The next 'unobtainium' we develop could be the material that allows a rig to tap into a larger part of the fossil fuels we cannot reach now, engineering could advance and allow us to more efficiently use the resources we have access to now. I see companies leading the way when the technology in development (read: space elevator) makes getting there and back worth the expense. Once the door is open for them to make a profit on extraorbital assets, they WILL go through and make their claims. Look at the number of companies that entered the commercial satellite business once there was money to be made. It will happen.

As for moving civilization outward into space, for now, it will be purely scientific curiousity that drives us slowly forward. In time, our need for resources will push the rest of our civilization to pick up and carry it forward. Modern human spaceflight to me has the same place in our society that TransAtlantic exploration held 500 years ago. Done by a few people with the brass cajones to take the risks that in the modern era are taken for granted. Civilizations do not expand at a constant rate into new territories. It was only when Europe was fully exploited to the limits of human use that exploration of the New World became the province of colonists. Prior to that, it was the realm of adventurers looking to get away from it all, build their own lives or chase their own dreams. They were the pathfinders that carved the trails the colonists later followed. Astronauts are the modern counterparts to those explorers.

Human civilization will not move into space until there is a global need for it, just as we will not leave our solar system until we have outgrown it, and so forth with the galaxy and beyond. But make no mistake, some form of human life will get there in time.

MDNOT
2007-Jun-01, 02:59 AM
Lets hope humans stay right were they are! they have no right going from there birthplace! In with is slowly being destroyed by humans! what are the humans to say!come and see our (polluted and war ravaged planted) go on! show us were U live, We can show you how it is done".You know I cant believe they put out the address to earth oh what a party!! will have.

Nicolas
2007-Jun-01, 08:56 AM
Lets hope humans stay right were they are! they have no right going from there birthplace!

I'm sorry, I must have missed the bulletin stating that.

Ilya
2007-Jun-01, 12:15 PM
I voted "Galaxy", but that’s for very broad definiton of "human". I expect that by the time our descendants reach even the nearest star, they will look nothing like us. They may not even be out genetic descendants, but memetic ones -- self-aware machines or part machines.

GOURDHEAD
2007-Jun-01, 07:31 PM
To Infinity and BeyondI find this category unseemly both semanticly as well as cosmologically. You may consider adding a few more categories like: The local group; the local cluster; the local supercluster and beyond; and replacing "to infinity and beyond" with "the reachable universe". Where "the reachable universe" is smaller than the observable universe. Parts of it will remain unreachable because the rate of expansion will exceed our progress at exploring it---unless it is only cycling.

http://www.redcolony.com/wiki/index.php?title=Portal:Gourdheadian_Approach is the only viable approach to exploring the local supercluster and beyond for the reasons stated in its definition.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2007-Jun-04, 04:13 PM
unfortunately I think we'll destroy ourselves before too long

Noclevername
2007-Jun-04, 05:12 PM
unfortunately I think we'll destroy ourselves before too long


Hopefully we'll have made a backup copy by moving some of our population offplanet before that happens.

VPCCD
2007-Jun-04, 05:33 PM
Hopefully we'll have made a backup copy by moving some of our population offplanet before that happens.

Yeah, it's never good to have all your eggs in one basket.