It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

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

page: 2
11
<< 1   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:37 PM
link   
Traveling to the stars is a romantic notion, but unfortunately we human animals are really not cut out for it. Everybody likes to quote how long (or short) a time it might take for this or that propulsion system to reach Alpha Centauri, but few offer a real reason for us to go there other than "to seek knowledge." I'm not sure that's good enough.

There's a race going on right now between technology and the needs of humanity, with technology actually often being on the opposite side of humanity. We don't have the physical stamina to make interstellar flights, and the notion that space colonization can help alleviate some of the problems caused by overpopulation is just wrong. We'll never have the power and resources to move a lot of people to another planet. Even if we managed to find a useful planet and establish a small colony there, the people there will breed and quickly make adding more people to it problematic.

But the biggest problem is time. In the 100 years it might take to reach a possible inhabitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centari, our artificial intelligence could reach sentience and singularity. Additionally, we'll become so adept at manipulating our own DNA that humanity as we know it will become a quaint relic of a bygone age. Our virtual reality will also make it much easier to enjoy thrilling space adventures while never leaving the comfort and safety of our own homes than actually going into space.

Add to that all the horrors that will arise from lack of water, and pandemics, and global ethnic conflicts, and we're going to have a lot more on Earth to keep us busy for us to worry about finding some other rock in space to visit or inhabit.
edit on 1-2-2016 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:41 PM
link   

originally posted by: Blue Shift
Traveling to the stars is a romantic notion, but unfortunately we human animals are really not cut out for it. Everybody likes to quote how long (or short) a time it might take for this or that propulsion system to reach Alpha Centauri, but few offer a real reason for us to go there other than "to seek knowledge." I'm not sure that's good enough.


You may have missed the parts in the OP which suggest profitability, the extension of the Human race, more resources, so on and so forth. You are correct, just going out in the stars for knowledge is not very feasible. However, I don't know that anyone (including the space exploration companies) are suggesting that's all we do.

The earth only has so much to offer if we continue using non-reusable resources, and overpopulation is exponentially increasing without even a suggestion on how to prevent that ethically. We either move or we die.
edit on 1/2/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:52 PM
link   

originally posted by: Blue Shift

There's a race going on right now between technology and the needs of humanity, with technology actually often being on the opposite side of humanity. We don't have the physical stamina to make interstellar flights, and the notion that space colonization can help alleviate some of the problems caused by overpopulation is just wrong.


Another way of looking at it is "Civilization is a race between technology and disaster." (a slight variation on the H.G. Wells quote.) Physical stamina in space in not an insurmountable problem. And nobody ever said this was about mass migrations to alleviate over population.


But the biggest problem is time. In the 100 years it might take to reach a possible inhabitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centari, our artificial intelligence could reach sentience and singularity. Additionally, we'll become so adept at manipulating our own DNA that humanity as we know it will become a quaint relic of a bygone age. Our virtual reality will also make it much easier to enjoy thrilling space adventures while never leaving the comfort and safety of our own homes than actually going into space.


Which is completely irrelevant to those making the trip. It doesn't matter what happens on Earth after you leave. The prospect of a Matrix like existence may make people feel good, but that experience is not the main issue here.


Add to that all the horrors that will arise from lack of water, and pandemics, and global ethnic conflicts, and we're going to have a lot more on Earth to keep us busy for us to worry about finding some other rock in space to visit or inhabit.


Which is a perfect reason and incentive for wanting to leave. People left Europe for the Americas to escape just such appalling conditions. Bottom line here is that you're never going to advance of you;re afraid to cross the river because you might drown.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:56 PM
link   

originally posted by: Ghost147
The earth only has so much to offer if we continue using non-reusable resources, and overpopulation is exponentially increasing without even a suggestion on how to prevent that ethically. We either move or we die.

Running out of water, as well as the global pandemics, should take care of that. I also have money on the outside chance that we'll get hit with a huge meteorite in the next couple hundred years that will bash us back into an Ice Age.

I think it's possible that our intelligent artificial offspring might make it out into space, since they can go into a sleep mode and ride out the thousands of years it would take to make it to another star system. It's not quite the same as human people flying around the galaxy, but it will have to do, I guess. That will be our legacy.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 02:04 PM
link   

originally posted by: schuyler
Which is a perfect reason and incentive for wanting to leave. People left Europe for the Americas to escape just such appalling conditions. Bottom line here is that you're never going to advance of you;re afraid to cross the river because you might drown.

Yeah, but the Europeans were crossing an Earth ocean, with which they were familiar, and had a reasonable expectation that they would find something very similar in the Western Hemisphere to what they had in Europe. They didn't have to bring everything they needed to survive with them. They didn't have to risk being blasted by radiation.

It's not a matter of being afraid of the trip. It's a matter of being completely aware of the facts of space -- the size in terms of distance and time, and the economic considerations of the endeavor.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 02:41 PM
link   

originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: schuyler
Which is a perfect reason and incentive for wanting to leave. People left Europe for the Americas to escape just such appalling conditions. Bottom line here is that you're never going to advance of you;re afraid to cross the river because you might drown.

Yeah, but the Europeans were crossing an Earth ocean, with which they were familiar, and had a reasonable expectation that they would find something very similar in the Western Hemisphere to what they had in Europe. They didn't have to bring everything they needed to survive with them. They didn't have to risk being blasted by radiation.

It's not a matter of being afraid of the trip. It's a matter of being completely aware of the facts of space -- the size in terms of distance and time, and the economic considerations of the endeavor.


It IS a matter of being afraid of the trip. That's all your objections are. But what I am saying is that there are a sufficient number of people for which these are not concerns at all. Not even a little bit. They don't care. If people are willing to live out their lives on a desert planet like Mars with no hope of return, then they certainly would be willing to risk the unknowns of space to get to a Goldilocks planet, which by definition has potential.

Does the place have water? Yes.
Is the gravity tolerable? Yes.
Do we have a ship that can get us there? Yes.
Then let's go!

Some people simply do not have it in their genes to understand this attitude. That's Okay. They don't have to. I accept the fact that the unknowns for those people are too overwhelming for them to consider the jaunt. Then just stay home.

You can't explain the Wanderlust to people who do not have it.

P.S. A Personal Story

My family came to America during the first wave of colonization, to Jamestown in the 1620's. When Virginia "filled up" my family moved to the frontier, to Tennessee. I've been to the family homestead, and it still is not all that populated, but someone thought so, so the family moved to the mountains of Colorado, to the 'western slope,' which, I gotta tell ya, is high, cold, and isolated. But that wasn't good enough, so then they moved to the West Coast. Now we live by the Pacific Ocean, and there's nowhere else to go.

My wife's family wound up on the East Coast a short time after. They were indentured servants and at least one was "transported" to America because he was a Scotsman who fought against the British, got caught, was imprisoned in the Durham Cathedral, and proceeded to destroy all the statuary inside. His choice: Be hung or travel to America. He went, where he got in a fight and beat up a cop. My wife still says had she been compelled to take a Wagon Train west, she would have refused and stayed in Philadelphia with her piano, where she grew up.

You either have it or you don't. To some the vast ocean of space is an insurmountable barrier fraught with danger. To others, it is simply to be crossed. If you don't want to cross that barrier and are content to stay home in that Matrix of make-believe, by all means do so, but please do not stand in the way of people who are willing to give it a try. Then when we have paved the way to your satisfaction, fixed all the issues, put in all the safety barriers, and made it all-so-safe for you with no chance of stubbing a toe, then you can just buy a ticket and pop on over for a vacation.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 03:06 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

In the future it may be necessity, rather than desire, that motivates humanity to make this big leap. I would go without reservation.

This documentary drama is a few years old but really interesting. A neutron star is heading toward earth and we have 75 years to find a potential habitable planet and build a spaceship to get there. The experts interviewed discuss possible propulsion, ship build and habitat, gravity, food, how many they can take, who gets to go, governance on the spaceship etc.



Although its hypothetical, it made me contemplate the actual potential of all humanity towards one single goal, survival.

There was a small thread about the video a few years ago.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 03:08 PM
link   

originally posted by: Morrad
a reply to: Ghost147

In the future it may be necessity, rather than desire, that motivates humanity to make this big leap. I would go without reservation.

This documentary drama is a few years old but really interesting. A neutron star is heading toward earth and we have 75 years to find a potential habitable planet and build a spaceship to get there. The experts interviewed discuss possible propulsion, ship build and habitat, gravity, food, how many they can take, who gets to go, governance on the spaceship etc.



Although its hypothetical, it made me contemplate the actual potential of all humanity towards one single goal, survival.

There was a small thread about the video a few years ago.



My kind of movie.

Good SciFi (not slasher, evil aliens, etc) is hard to come by.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 05:15 PM
link   
Space travel is a wonderful fantasy for socially awkward people who don't feel like they fit in with the rest of humanity on this planet. It gives them a delightful vision of doing something important or exciting without actually having to do anything. Experiencing wonderful things on Earth is often difficult and expensive, but flying around the galaxy in a warp-drive spaceship is "adventure."

The question you need to ask yourself, I suppose, is: "What special skill or quality do I have that would qualify me for a ride on a spaceship headed to a distant planet?" If you don't have anything like that, then it's all fantasy.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:48 PM
link   

originally posted by: Blue Shift
Space travel is a wonderful fantasy for socially awkward people who don't feel like they fit in with the rest of humanity on this planet. It gives them a delightful vision of doing something important or exciting without actually having to do anything. Experiencing wonderful things on Earth is often difficult and expensive, but flying around the galaxy in a warp-drive spaceship is "adventure."

The question you need to ask yourself, I suppose, is: "What special skill or quality do I have that would qualify me for a ride on a spaceship headed to a distant planet?" If you don't have anything like that, then it's all fantasy.


That's funny. Now that the practical issues and reasons have been answered and not easily refuted, you go off and psychoanalyze why anyone wants to do this. It's only for those nerds who live in their Mom's basements. Personally, I'll never go, because of the reasons you correctly cited. At first you'll need perfect skills, no cavities, and have your appendix pre-removed before you qualify. It will be generations before such voyages would be open to normal people, and probably before they happen at all.

But it's going to take the enthusiasm of more than just the passengers to pull it off. Tens of thousands, in fact. You have to visualize the possibility, i.e.: Fantasize, before you can pull it off. And if I can further the idea with a vote or a donation, or some sort of encouragement I surely will do so.

Ultimately, and I'm talking in terms of the far future, it's our only hope as a species. We must get off this rock and onto several more. For those of you who don't want the species to survive, that's great. Go ahead and die and it will be all over for you. Meanwhile please forgive us for being optimistic.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:31 PM
link   
Space travel would mean Space Wars and availability of millions of alternative " Earth like planets " would mean the Earth we know would probably be destroyed .



Still like the idea of having many planets to choose from ; winters in planet x , summers in planet y etc etc.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:36 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

I wouldn't take a one-way trip to anywhere but I'd definitely be willing to participate in colonizing with the expectation of being able to return to Earth. The snail's pace of space exploration is frustrating. I believe the biggest hurdle is psychological — mostly a lack of imagination — but once we establish successful, growing colonies and people are posting selfies from the Moon, I'm sure the interest will shoot through the roof.

I think our immediate goal should be a colony on the Moon. We can do this right now, it's extremely close and not only could we be testing and improving our technology through everyday usage, I believe it would inspire people and boost moral. If Americans really want to feel like America is "great again" then why not be the first with a full time presence on the Moon?

Then like the ancient Polynesians, we island hop.

Psychology aside, the biggest practical hurdle is still the cost of getting off Earth. SpaceX launching a satellite into orbit a couple years ago for $55 million was heralded as massively cheap. Charles Simonyi paid $35 million to the Russian space agency for a ride along. It all comes back to this. Ever since I read Arthur C Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, I've been waiting for a space elevator!
edit on 2016-2-1 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:51 PM
link   

originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: Ghost147

I believe the biggest hurdle is psychological — mostly a lack of imagination — but once we establish successful, growing colonies and people are posting selfies from the Moon, I'm sure the interest will shoot trough the roof.


Absolutely true! Lack of imagination and poo-pooing the idea is not the way to progress. If you want to stay on Earth on the other side of the river and proclaim how hard is is, by all means stay there. Just keep the hell out of the way!

And those reusable launchers are going to make the price plummet. It's already happening.
edit on 2/1/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 08:51 PM
link   

originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: Ghost147
The snail's pace of space exploration is frustrating. I believe the biggest hurdle is psychological — mostly a lack of imagination — but once we establish successful, growing colonies and people are posting selfies from the Moon, I'm sure the interest will shoot through the roof.


I would say that the speed of space exploration is just taking off. Not due to psychology, but rather technology. We've only just been able to achieve feats (like reusable rockets) within the past few months, and new engine concepts that will dramatically change space exploration at a whole.

I think the mindset is all there, it's just the ability to carry out those dreams is still lacking.


originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: Ghost147
If Americans really want to feel like America is "great again" then why not be the first with a full time presence on the Moon?


Well, there is a space treaty that prevents governments from doing this. Colonies will be a lot like the international space station, where everyone collectively adds to it.


originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: Ghost147
Psychology aside, the biggest practical hurdle is still the cost of getting off Earth. SpaceX launching a satellite into orbit a couple years ago for $55 million was heralded as massively cheap. Charles Simonyi paid $35 million to the Russian space agency for a ride along. It all comes back to this. Ever since I read Arthur C Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, I've been waiting for a space elevator!


Yes, cost is a major factor. But again, it's entirely reliant on technology. Reusable ships, advancements that require less resources, things like 3D printers where tools can be made in space, rather than shipping already made tools there.

It's just a matter of time before it becomes beyond inexpensive. Technology is exponential both in it's advancement as well as it's lowering costs.



new topics

top topics



 
11
<< 1   >>

log in

join