Simulated Space Exploration

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posted on May, 9 2014 @ 05:01 PM
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I wan't to discuss something I have been thinking about recently regarding "simulations" and space travel.

The idea I've been pondering lately is that it seems more feasible, efficient, and practical to simply measure the universe with machines, probes, telescopes and any other type of data collection devices we can come up with and duplicate that data into a simulation in which we can experience the universe via simulation instead of trying to triumph over all the obstacles of actually going to alpha centauri...

We are already creating really amazing Simulations of the universe...we are merely lacking a very immersive VR system to plug our consciousness into and experience this simulation as a "reality".

The limitations of creating a highly immersive VR and replicating the universe seem to be drastically less than actually physically flying space ships through the universe combating the laws of physics we just simply can't rewrite.

It not only seems more efficient and practical to replicate the measured data of the universe in a simulation it would probably be more enjoyable and available to people.

POTL (path of least resistance):

There is a significant amount of resistance in traveling to distant worlds physically and significantly less in merely duplicating what machines can measure and duplicate to experience in a simulation. It would probably be easier to develop a highly immersive VR system...than it would be to design, build, populate, manage, and maintain a colossal space ship and all the associated issues/problems/risks.

When we develop the ability to map the surface and subsurface of a planet...what is keeping us from experiencing that planet as it was actually measured...within a system in first person...much like a video game.

The degree of immersion in such a VR system would be proportional to the degree of awareness...the lower the awareness of the "real world" the higher the immersion. You lower the awareness by hijacking the senses with artificial information (matrix style). The more you overload the senses with artificial stimulation that corresponds with the simulation...the less the senses will produce an awareness that you are IN a simulation...if one could go into anesthesia or unconscious state prior to being put into the VR system...and awoke into a simulation paralleling their last previous conscious awareness while artificially stimulating their senses with simulated data...would they be aware of what happened?

The holy grail of VR would be to induce a state of immersion where you are completely unaware you are in a VR.

Without derailing too much off topic into Simulation and VR only....

What do you all think about the practicality of creating a simulated exploration of the universe Vs a physical exploration of the universe?

Would a simulated exploration be more feasible and efficient than a physical exploration?

What say you ATS!?




posted on May, 9 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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Kerbal Space Program.

It let's me explore planets and moons and build rockets. I'm not sure if anyone has tried it with the Oculus Rift though. I'll have to look into that.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 06:53 PM
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a reply to: links234
KSP is the bane of my existence! I can't even focus at work because I'm designing missions in my head constantly. I just started playing through Steam about a week ago, after I bought the game for my brother, and I've already racked up almost 100 hours. And that is not taking into account the ~1000 hours I've put in without launching from Steam. I would post some screenies if I wasn't on my phone atm. Definitely a game I will be playing for years to come.

As for the OP, I believe the main draw to physical exploration is the feeling of actual achievement. We humans have gazed upon Luna for perhaps 2 million years in our modern form, and I would be willing to bet that the awe many people feel when viewing Luna is nothing compared to what Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, etc. felt when actually landing, and physically being on a world no one thought possible to travel to a handful of years before. As far as VR goes, it could be a great tool for exploration for the lay person, but our understanding of the universe and it's physical properties cannot be known in great detail without tangible evidence.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 09:14 PM
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originally posted by: OblivionGate
a reply to: links234
As for the OP, I believe the main draw to physical exploration is the feeling of actual achievement. We humans have gazed upon Luna for perhaps 2 million years in our modern form, and I would be willing to bet that the awe many people feel when viewing Luna is nothing compared to what Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, etc. felt when actually landing, and physically being on a world no one thought possible to travel to a handful of years before. As far as VR goes, it could be a great tool for exploration for the lay person, but our understanding of the universe and it's physical properties cannot be known in great detail without tangible evidence.



I agree with the main draw of physical exploration however exhausting and inefficient it may comparatively be...but my main premise is that VR tech and simulation tech will be indistinguishable from physical reality BEFORE we actually design a method of actually exploring the universe in this physical reality in any efficient way...let alone being something a mass population is capable of.

The main interesting implication of the whole notion is that if a simulated reality is more energy efficient than an actual physical reality...wouldn't the universe and the conservation of energy laws insist reality exist in that form...whose to say that we aren't experiencing some form of VR right now? There isn't much of this physical world left that can't be turned into a simulation...the prediction if we can call it that is that there will soon be a simulated universe and VR system so indistinguishable from reality...the mere concept will be moot.

13th Floor would be a good example of the type of tech that I'm sure is soon to come. The video game industry will be paving the road to VR.

The human mind and or consciousness being heavily dependent on easily confused sensory input implies that at some point we will literally create our own reality through clever illusions and sensory tricks...The Matrix while scifi...isn't far off...the mind is incredibly easy to confuse and manipulate and in fact functions due to some degree of imposed illusions...



posted on May, 11 2014 @ 06:30 AM
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It's an interesting idea, but a real-time interactive VR exploration would be pretty much impossible for any body further than our moon because of the two-way communications lag: 10-40 minutes for Mars, hours for the moons of Jupiter and beyond, and years (decades!) at interstellar distances.

In principle, you could map an area at high resolution, and then create a digital model that you could wander around in. This has actually been done with JPL's Mars probes, starting with the Pathfinder in 1997. The problem is, the illusion is shattered as soon as you go see what's on the other side of a rock/hill/whatever (or just using your VR gloves to pick-up a rock to see what's underneath) and finding nothing there because there is no data.

Here is an interesting paper - written after the Pathfinder experiments - about using immersive environments for navigating the subsequent Mars rovers; Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.



posted on May, 11 2014 @ 06:42 AM
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a reply to: Saint Exupery

Quantum entangled communication techniques could be used to get around the light speed communication problem.




posted on May, 11 2014 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: DietJoke

I *hope* so, but I am not confident that relativity will ever allow useful information to be transmitted at fast-than-light speeds. Quantum entanglement only means that two particle can adopt the same random state over a distance.

I hope I am wrong.



posted on May, 11 2014 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: Saint Exupery
In principle, you could map an area at high resolution, and then create a digital model that you could wander around in. This has actually been done with JPL's Mars probes, starting with the Pathfinder in 1997. The problem is, the illusion is shattered as soon as you go see what's on the other side of a rock/hill/whatever (or just using your VR gloves to pick-up a rock to see what's underneath) and finding nothing there because there is no data.

Here is an interesting paper - written after the Pathfinder experiments - about using immersive environments for navigating the subsequent Mars rovers; Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.


I wasn't talking about objective real time...I was talking about subjective real time as we would experience it within a modeled simulation of all that we wish to explore.

The "missing" data that would shatter the illusion could be synthetically or artificially reproduced so as not to shatter the illusion...in a sense logical algorithms could produce the other half of a rock when picked up based on data available. The immersion is key but I still assert that replicating a mirror image of the universe to explore in a computer simulation through VR is still more feasible than actually traveling through the universe landing on various planets and picking up a rock on that planet. Its just more efficient to simulate these things than actually experience them.

Again the data available would be limited only by our creative nature to build and send specific machines/probes to mine specific data to populate the simulation. If turning over rocks is such a huge deal....we could design a rock flipping probe or fleet of them to do this task, record the data and populate the simulation. Simultaneously we would continuously be learning more about the universe and at a FASTER pace because we have ditch the limitations of an astronaut program.



posted on May, 14 2014 @ 11:36 PM
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Thought I would add this little treat!





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