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Thoughts On Space-travel?

Domyork

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So, I've had this lifelong almost childish fantasy that humans will harness the ability to travel through space and colonize other planets. What's crazy is that we are alive in a time period in human history in which this is actually possible. Anybody else have similar interests? Elon Musk's Space X seems to be making headway. It's intriguing.
 

computerhxr

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I don't doubt that it's a possibility, however I would prefer that humans don't go off and destroy other planets. Humans need to learn to live with what we have and use space exploration as a way to learn more about the universe. I would hate to see humans colonize another planet while we are still in our infancy.

I don't think that the universe will allow us to travel before we reach a certain level of maturity. I believe that manifest destiny is a term that means the universe will become whatever we want it to be. Anything is possible, so I assume it's only a matter of time before the destiny manifests itself for us.

Also, I think that we have reached a critical point where it is going to happen soon. We have too many world issues that we need to deal with before we colonize another planet. That has never stopped us before so I don't think it will stop us now.

The universe will respond with an equal and opposite reaction so anyone that goes on that mission will likely die in some horrific way. I will stay on Earth while all of the rationalists go off on their voyage. Their DNA will make it safe for humans to colonize at a later time; after it has had time to evolve and integrate with the ecosystem naturally.

I am down for travelling through space but I don't want to involved in disrupting the delicate balance of our universe. There is so much here on Earth that will take many lifetimes to figure out. I'll watch how it unfolds and be part of the solution instead of the problem.

It is really exciting but I'm sure that there are alien species that have the technology and are just waiting for us to get our shit together. It doesn't make much of a difference to me either way because it will either happen in my lifetime, or it won't. I don't see the point in wasting resources on something we're not ready for.

On the flip-side, we could mature quickly and become part of a larger reality in our lifetimes. This is possible but unlikely. It would be cool to sit down and have a conversation with a being from another reality. I would volunteer for that if it ever happens. :smoker:
 

Pyropyro

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I prefer making a lunar outpost first. We can install solar panels or mine useful stuff there. It could make an excellent launching pad too for space explorations.

Of course we should make a space elevator first to make things more economical.
 

Cognisant

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The universe will respond with an equal and opposite reaction so anyone that goes on that mission will likely die in some horrific way. I will stay on Earth while all of the rationalists go off on their voyage. Their DNA will make it safe for humans to colonize at a later time; after it has had time to evolve and integrate with the ecosystem naturally.
It's like watching a train crash in slow motion :phear:

Unfortunately there's the problem of radiation because it's not like being in orbit, once you exit the Earth's magnetosphere you're getting exposed to shitloads more of it and that kind of exposure over the years it takes for interplanetary travel means that by the time you get wherever you're going you'll be to be sterile and dying of cancer.

We need to industrialize space with robots and build ships with radiation shielding (thicker hulls) before we can seriously consider colonizing Mars.
 

Nick

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Outside of our own solar system is pointless for space travel, unless you're an unmanned probe.

Like Cog said, there's too much to deal with, and even if we perfect our protection and optimize the speed of travel to 99.999% of c, we still won't get anywhere fast.

There'll be a loophole that we'll hopefully discover one day, think stargate/ wormholes/ quantum entanglement. One we're able to go from one 4-dimensional location to another, we'll thats a whole new ball game, but that will make the whole traveling aspect easier.
 

JimJambones

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I would just like to take a tour of the planets in our solar system, and maybe land on a few moons.
 

Cognisant

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Personally I think transhumanism is more feasible than ripping holes in space/time, it may take thousands or even millions of years to travel interstellar distances with conventional rocketry and ion engines but for a sufficiently advanced transhuman that's just inconvenient, not impossible.

Making wormholes on the other hand, the only thing that can bend space/time like that is gravity and the only way we know how to affect gravity is with mass so unless we make some incredible breakthroughs in theoretical physics I just don't see it happening within the next few centuries.
 

Architect

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I doubt we'll find technologies such that we can easily and quickly send humans in deep space missions. Consider that you'd need to create the equivalent of our planet such that it can hurtle through space at high velocities, and of course you'd have relativistic effects when you get to speeds that are more interesting. So you'd need to reproduce gravity (ideally), an electromagnetic protective layer, propulsion, and of course air and such for some time. To power all this you'd need a compact energy dense power source to replace the sun. And for what? Tourism ...

Robotic and machine intelligence is much more suited to this kind of endeavor. With some easy technology in our grasp we'll be able to experience going there without having to send fragile biological packages. Personally I'm not interested in it, I don't even like airplane travel.

Personally I think transhumanism is more feasible than ripping holes in space/time
Yes exactly. The technical challenges in our biggest dreams of a machine-human future are nothing compared to solving the issues with space travel.
 

Analyzer

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I find it interesting that humans are so keen on wanting to travel outside of earth while we still have a lot of ignorance when it comes to life here. Not saying traveling or colonizing is bad in itself, but it says a lot about the capacity of civilizations to just focus on exploiting it's environment versus trying to understand and cultivate it. Maybe they go hand in hand, but the lessons from history haven't show this to be the case.
 

Kuu

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I'm with Cog and Arch on this one. As I have previously argued over the years, humans won't be colonizing any planets. Trans- and post-humans will. Sure, maybe there will be a small human base in Mars or the Moon or semi-autonomous space station by 2040, but a base is not colonisation.

Sending fragile, needy meat packages to space is just too inefficient. They require tons of food, water, air, they poop, go crazy in confined spaces, their muscles atrophy, they get sick and grow old, need to sleep 1/3 of their lives, and are often stupid too. Why create an expensive, complex support ecosystem for an inferior organism instead of creating an organism adapted to space? Like multicellular life crawling out of primordial soups and out of the seas evolving for land, and even flying, so too shall we only succeed in living off this planet in a shape that fits our new environments.

Pioneer probes launched in 1972 finally lost contact in 2003. That's 31 years. The voyager probes are supposed to still be working until 2025. That would be 48 years of operation. That was with 1970s tech. I don't know how a human could survive space travel 3+ decades in a machine no larger than a small car, not with present tech, nor with any tech I know in development. Even if something like cryogenic hybernation turned out to work, it would still be inconvenient and expensive, when a drone could record and process far more data than a human without requiring much for its sustenance.

When a drone with sufficient sensors is developed and plugged into the nervous system of a person, providing some concrete out-of-body experiences, then people will finally start to abandon the childish dream of primates in space.
 

Architect

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I'll play devils advocate now ...

Fundamentally all science & technology problems come down to one of energy. "Give me a big enough lever and I can move the Earth" said Archimedes. I'd quantify that as "Give me enough energy and I can move the Earth". We can find technical solutions to all these problems if we have enough energy. For example ...

  • Propulsion Given enough energy there are plenty of solutions, well within our grasp. Ram scoops, ordinary mass propulsion, and even 'warp' drive theoretically as a solution to the General field equations. All of these require accelerating lots of mass, or having lots of energy to create the gravitational field (e.g. for warp drive).
  • Protection Space is filled with lots of nasties. Charged particles mostly, that get swept away by our Van Allen belts (e.g. the Aurora Borealis). But, given enough energy we can easily enough create massive EM fields to create a miniature and mobile Van Allen belt.
  • Mass boost That just leaves boosting enough living quarters, plans (O2 regeneration and food production), recreation facilities (keep people from going crazy), etc.

So all this could be easily solved by creating a small planetoid, like the Death Star say, that rotates creating a gravitational field (put all the low gravity industrial production in the center), and with big EM field loops around the crust to divert the interstellar radiation. Given sufficient size we should have enough mass for all the facilities we need.

Definitely do-able with todays tech. But this Death Star needs an intense and relatively compact form of energy. And more importantly, we need vast amounts of energy to boost the mass to near Earth orbit to create the orbital industry necessary to create all this in the first place.

Further, given that the Solar System is brimming with energy sources lying around for the taking (e.g. various moons covered in hydrocarbons) really the problem lies in getting out of this gravity well. Once we do that and establish a Space Industry the rest will naturally follow.
 

QuickTwist

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Eventually people are going to have to leave this planet. We should work towards that goal to get people off this planet so we can pullout some other part of the galaxy.
 
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