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Old September 15 2012, 02:06 AM   #126
Mars
Captain
 
Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Mars wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Ironically, you're correct this time, if only because the trillion dollar AI is the least impractical thing in that paragraph.
An atomic fission powered ion drive is feasible, an antimatter engine less so, warp drive is fantasy, so the only starships we will build will be slow one that take thousands of years to arrive at their destination, I think one could be built this century, we need to develop artificial wombs and AI technology to make this happen. I think it would be easier than developing reliable suspended animation, it is easier to preserve single fertilized egg cells invitro than a whole human body. egg cells are stored that way now
But none of these are PRACTICAL, not on the timescales you're talking about, or for the applications you're describing. In essence the sentient AI is the least impractical thing on the ship mainly because it actually serves a (somewhat) well-defined purpose at the destination. That same AI would be entirely unnecessary for a voyage that lasts five thousand years, however.
So tell me why can't you run a nuclear reactor for 5000 years? I hear nuclear fuel isn't that bulky, so I'm sure a 5000 year supply of Uranium could be stored aboard the ship, the ion drive would be needed only to bring the ship up to crusing speed, crusing speed would be about 0.1% of the speed of light to get to Alpha Centauri in 5000 years, that is 300 km/sec. If the starship accelerates at 1 mm per second squared, it would take 9.51 years to reach 300 km/sec, and another 9.51 years to slow down from it leaving about 4980 years of cruising, all the nuclear reactor would be used for then is sustaining the L5 habitat for all the plants and animals to be brought on the trip. There would be many generations of plants and animals in the interior hab, such that their would be an ancient forest growing in it by the time the ship arrived at its destination. The AI's job would be to sustain that ecosystem for the entire length of the voyage.
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