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An analytical view on space travel, and why we should focus on it

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posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:52 AM
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With new inventions like the 'Impossible' EM drive that has shown to actually work and can get us to the moon in under a couple hours, and Alpha Centauri in 100 years.

View of Alpha Centauri from the Digitized Sky Survey 2


To compare, a current space shuttle would take about 165,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri, and NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft (the fastest spacecraft in space), the first spacecraft ever to visit Pluto and its moons would take about 78,000 years to get there. more info on flight times here

NASA even has an interstellar spaceship concept in the works as they research Warp Drives, here



We are nearing an age of feasible space travel, and if predictable technological futurist models (which have shown to be highly accurate already) continue to persist the way they have been, we should be able to at least launch a mission to another star system within our lifetime.

Ray Kurzweil: The accelerating power of technology


There's an interesting article on a 'technology watch' news outlet called "SingularityHub" that goes into detail on the advantages of spacetravel:



There’s a lot at stake. If we ever found evidence suggesting that life might exist on a planet orbiting a nearby star, we would most likely need to go there to get definitive proof and learn more about its underlying biochemistry and evolutionary history. This would require transporting sophisticated scientific instruments across interstellar space.

But there are other reasons, too, such as the cultural rewards we would get from the unprecedented expansion of human experience. And should it turn out that life is rare in our galaxy, it would offer opportunities for us humans to colonize other worlds. This would allow us to spread and diversify through the cosmos, greatly increasing the long-term survival chances of Homo sapiens and our evolutionary descendants.

link

Of course, there is more than just exploration to be had, outer space mining -particularly of resource rich Asteroids- are already in the eyes of many companies.

"We have every expectation that delivering water from asteroids and creating an in-space refueling economy is something that we'll see in the next 10 years — even in the first half of the 2020s," said Chris Lewicki, Planetary Resources president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki.link

Where there is profits to be had, there is competition to gain the most of these profits. Where there is competition, there is an increased drive to further the technology to achieve this goal.



Whether you're focus is on the expansion and progression of the Human race, or if you want to explore the solar system and our galaxy, or if your want to become one of the first to farm resources in space, the chance of these all occurring within the next few decades is extraordinarily high.



So, if you had a chance to participate in any of these feats, would you?

~ Would you ever travel to another planet within our solar system (with or without the chance of return)?

~ Would you ever travel to another solar system to help colonize a new planet (with no chance of return)?

~ Or would you prefer to be the backbone and origin of humanity, here on Earth?

Personally, if I ever had the chance to explore a new solar system, I would jump on that mission as soon as it was ready for human transport

edit on 1/2/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:12 PM
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ABSOLUTELY I would go, no question. We need to pursue this if we want the species to survive. We need another planet. If we can actually get there using one of these new technologies, we should go for it. And, no, we donlt need to solve all the world's problems before this is appropriate. We need to go NOW.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Beautiful! S&F!

And no definetly not. Let the robots do that. With all the radiation, unknown little nasty microbes and viruses...



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
And no, we don't need to solve all the world's problems before this is appropriate. We need to go NOW.


Precisely my thoughts as well. In my opinion, the colonization of other planets (in or outside of our solar system) should be our main concern. Petty squabbles from country to country or terrorist group to everyone else is only slowing our progress.

The colonization of another celestial body is a way to bring humanity, at a whole, together. It's not going to be a colonization from the USA, or China, or Russia, it's a colonization from humans.

Heck, even the international space treaty forbids countries to claim celestial bodies. link



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: Ghost147

Beautiful! S&F!

And no definetly not. Let the robots do that. With all the radiation, unknown little nasty microbes and viruses...


Oh come on. You know you want the first outer space virus that turns you into a flesh eating mutant to be named after you



edit on 1/2/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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The poor, the sick, the stupid, will always be with us, not forgetting the greedy, the religious zealots, criminals, let humans leave all those behind, they are welcome to a world they helped to ruin, let them die out, let the earth heal itself, then return and repopulate, this time with sane people.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:24 PM
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I could say with Elon Musk around, we're already on it.

edit on 1-2-2016 by boozo because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

No. I let you guys have the honor.


But baldly going where no man has gone before isn't my thing. Well not physically.
And it is true, it would finally unite as a planet. But we can't even cooperate continental so I guess we have a long way to go before this gets funded.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:27 PM
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originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: Ghost147
But we can't even cooperate continental so I guess we have a long way to go before this gets funded.


That's the great thing though! There are so many non-government funded space exploration programs and companies out there now, and they are the ones really pushing advancement further and further.

~ Scaled Composites won the Ansari X Prize, which offers $10,000,000 for the the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space

~ Virgin Galactic, They are currently in their testing phase, with their current space plane called SpaceShipTwo, built in conjunction with Scaled Composites.

~ SpaceX Founded by Tesla Motors CEO and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. SpaceX has already accomplished a lot, such as being the first privately funded company to launch and recover a spacecraft and the first company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

~ Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. Similar to SpaceX, its aim is to develop technologies that will enable people to get into space cheaply and reliably.

~ Stratolaunch Systems Founded by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, Stratolaunch Systems is a aerospace company that specializes in air launch to orbit, which basically means launching stuff to space from an aircraft.

~ Space Adventures provides space-based tourism to civilians, offering activities such as orbital spaceflights, atmospheric space flights, cosmonaut training and other related activities.

~ Planetary Resources has a goal to "expand Earth’s natural resource base" by developing technologies that will enable asteroid mining.

~ Bigelow Aerospace founded by Robert Bigelow. He actually created his real estate empire specifically to fund his aerospace ambitions, as at the age of 12. Currently, the company is developing inflatable space habitats, already launching and testing two modules, Genesis I and II, as well as a private orbital space complex, the Bigelow Commercial Space Station.
edit on 1/2/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: Ghost147

But baldly going where no man has gone before isn't my thing.


I would go baldly--unfortunately.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Engineers working on the nuclear bomb-driven "Project Orion" in the 1950s and 1960s saw no insurmountably technological hurdles in creating a ship that could get to Alpha Centauri in about 10 years.

There were issues with using nuclear bombs in the first place to thrust a space ship, but those were ideological issues, not technical ones. I think one problem with the 1960's Project Orion (not to be confused with today's Orion Crew capsule, which has no connection other than the name of the spacecraft) is that those engineers were looking to launch the entire craft from earth -- using nuclear bombs all the way up and into space.

A better way (but one that was probably beyond the space infrastructure capabilities at the time) would be to construct the craft in orbit, and only use the nuclear bombs as a means of propulsion once the ship is clear of being a danger to Earth. Of course, there is still the matter of launching all of the nuclear material for the bombs up into orbit, because an accident upon launch could shower people downrange with radioactive material.

More information on the 1960's "Project Orion":
The Case for Orion

A fine BBC Documentray an Project Orion:


A History Channel documentary on Orion:



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:40 PM
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I'm not sure corporate interest meets alien planet is a good model. If profit always comes first I'm not sure I could endorse these ventures. On the other hand to get off the planet and out into that ocean of stars requires such things at first and evolves into something more then human greed I am all about it. I dont personally think all these things are evil, its just I feel cautious I suppose. Do you think it would be more like star trek then the humans in Avatar? Either way I agree we should go if the reasons are right. I personally dont think Id make the trip, too many things on earth I have yet to see and experience. SnF



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:55 PM
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You say "greed" as if it were a bad thing. Sorry, but if you're going to fund a venture, you need an ROI. That's the incentive. You're not going to embark on such an expensive venture just because it's cool. "Corporate Greed" funded the Age of Discovery and is responsible for a whole lot of progress that has changed billions of lives for the better on Earth. The Apollo Program, for example, led to incredible strides in miniaturization, computer, and electronic advances that are still with us today.

That's what is going to fund asteroid mining, for example. It will be for profit, not just to see what Ceres and Juno look like in person. If we could find a reason to go to Mars, one that involved an ROI, we'd already be there. You're not going to change human nature, and if we actually get to a new planet and colonize it, it will be deja vu all over again. Greed is probably a better motivating factor than curiosity.

But the attitude is very real, and I don't discount those concerns at all. I just treat them as obstacles to overcome so we can get on with it.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: schuyler
How exactly will persons profit on earth from those light years away? I'm also thinking things will evolve and change for those that reach the farthest depths of space for the better or worse, like you said, we cant change human nature. I'm surprised we haven't been working on bio engineered life forms that are more suitable for space travel. I think that would be the ideal situation for profits and corporate model. Either way just my humble thoughts and opinions.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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originally posted by: Brotherman
a reply to: schuyler
How exactly will persons profit on earth from those light years away?


Well, we're depleting resources here on Earth at an astonishing rate. Colonizing a new planet, and continuously producing better technology to travel between the planets/solar systems would open up trade routes.

Think of it like the first European explorers to travel to the Americas. Same kind of thing



originally posted by: Brotherman
a reply to: schuyler
I'm surprised we haven't been working on bio engineered life forms that are more suitable for space travel.


We don't really know enough about space travel to really start focusing on a biological aspect to this degree, yet.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:14 PM
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I am definitely a supporter of progression and exploration.

Stagnation is not an option.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: Annee
I am definitely a supporter of progression and exploration.

Stagnation is not an option.



Would you ever consider becoming part of a colony?



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:19 PM
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originally posted by: Brotherman
a reply to: schuyler
How exactly will persons profit on earth from those light years away? ...

You say that humans need to go out among the stars. Schuyler says that the path for human colonization beyond our solar system may be first blazed by private industry who sees economic opportunity out there, and the colonization would follow from that.

That's how.


edit on 2/1/2016 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:25 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147

originally posted by: Annee
I am definitely a supporter of progression and exploration.

Stagnation is not an option.



Would you ever consider becoming part of a colony?


I would, but I'm too old now. At this point I can only hope it happens in my lifetime.

I'm one of those that always felt like they got dropped off on the wrong planet.

When watching Star Trek 3G (most realistic) - - I feel like I belong there. I feel like a foreigner here.

I tried to get my kids/grand kids interested in space travel. No takers yet.


edit on 1-2-2016 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: Brotherman
a reply to: schuyler
How exactly will persons profit on earth from those light years away?


A good question on a lot of levels. I think the answer involves whether light years really matter to advanced propulsion systems. We've been indoctrinated with the idea that you simply cannot go faster than light, period. We've got the mathematics to prove it, too, and someone dismissing that proof with a wave of the hand seems to me to be unrealistic. For the moment, that's the Law! And if you DO approach the speed of light, time dilates, you age more slowly, but those back on Earth don't. So, indeed, how could people back on Earth earn an ROI?

So, logically speaking, where are we? Either A) the Speed of Light maxim is not, for which there is right now no proof whatsoever, or B) People on Earth are not the ones who would be earning the ROI.

It is also true that there are no lack of volunteers. Thousands of people are now willing to take a one-way trip to Mars knowing it is a desert planet devoid of life. I'm guessing a Moon colony would elicit a similar response. But let's say we found a Goldilocks planet in a nearby star system that didn't have "issues," (such as twice the gravity of Earth: Close, but no cigar, which is like some of them we've found so far.) If that planet were found, which is just a matter of time, IMO, you'd have plenty of people who were convinced THEIR ROI would be on that planet, not Earth, the same way people came to the Americas from Europe in search of a better life--and fortune!

So the point is that sometimes that elusive Return on Investment is in the eye of the beholder, who thinks of it as a potential, even though it doesn't pencil out on a spreadsheet. All you need is a yearning for "Hope and Change" and the belief it is out there waiting for you to come claim it.
edit on 2/1/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



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