Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by TheMasterOfOrion, Feb 3, 2009.
A flag? That's so 19th Century!
They do. So does Phoenix. All NASA vehicles have a US flag on them.
Fine with me. I've written letters to my congressman urging a greatly expanding manned space program.
Also, until someone finds a way to circumvent the laws of physics, human beings will never be able to travel to these stars, ever. Even if centuries from now, we are able to build ships capable of traveling 0.5c or greater with sustaining life support capabilities, we'll never visit any stars that are more than a few light years away and there are only a handful of stars within ~10 light years of earth.
You do know the Coldwar is over, no? and sometimes co-operation does work in space. The Hubble for example was a joint United States and European mission, I think the Euros provided the solar panels or something like 500 million Dollars in research? The point I'm trying to make is not everyone is an enemy, some people like the Europeans are allies and if you co-operate with others in space the weight on the US tax payer would be a lot less
You could colonize Mars without these hightech StarTrek style breakthroughs. All you need is big rockets and robots to build domes for the astronauts.
I'm not sure about all these exoplanets but I would think if there was a habitable planet around Alpha Centauri it could possibly be done in generation spaceships. Project Daedalus of 1970 springs to mind, use a fusion rocket to power the craft up to 10% of light
Send up a colony ship with nuclear engines, plate the front with a perfectly manufactured diamond and be willing to invest a few lifetimes of people traveling at a fraction of the speed of light. The first generation wouldn't get to the destination but maybe their children's children would see colonisation of exoplanets. Of course this ain't some short term thing from congress, all it would take is huge investment in current scientific research and a space vision that goes well beyond 10 years.
The technology to support anything resembling Project Daedalus is at least a century away, probably more like two centuries.
The idea of being exiled the rest of my life to a little space ship at first seemed unbearable. On the other hand, if I had lots of friends, a tremendous library, and perhaps some research facilities, I think it could actually be fun.
The A Time Odyssey trilogy by Clarke and Baxter has one of the more believable humanity-colonizes-the-solar-system progressions I've seen. There's even a bit with Chinese sleeper ships heading out-system for parts unknown.
It is all motivated by an alien threat, not merely out of human curiosity, but it's still fascinating. By the end of book 3 they've got space elevators and solar sail ships and even a class of attack ship equipped with an antimatter reaction drive. And all this by the 2060s or thereabouts.
Well unfortunately not in our lifetimes. Although I plan on living until 2076 to see the United States Tri-centennial. That will make me 110 years young.
So when do you predict NASA will colonize Mars? Or is your money on somebody else like the Chinese to get there?
If NASA is funded at it's current levels, we won't get to Mars until the middle of the century...probably a decade after the Chinese.
Colonize Mars? Or just visit and say hello? If just a visit I would say the U.S. upon hearing that another country is close would rush something up there to say they are first. Actually send people up on a regular basis at least two centuries. NASA wont think outside the box so until they are cleaned out top to bottom we will always be slow in space.
current exoplanet count
Unless advances are made in cryogenics and there are robot doctors on hand.
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