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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:07 PM

Stephen Hawking - Possible future space travel


11 replies, 2077 views

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Reply Stephen Hawking - Possible future space travel (Original post)
Quixote1818 Feb 2013 OP
longship Feb 2013 #1
another_liberal Feb 2013 #2
truth2power Feb 2013 #3
paleotn Feb 2013 #4
truth2power Feb 2013 #5
Shankapotomus Feb 2013 #6
AAO Feb 2013 #7
Quixote1818 Feb 2013 #9
AAO Feb 2013 #10
Quixote1818 Feb 2013 #11
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #8

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:29 PM

1. DUrec and kick for later. nt

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:11 AM

2. Fascinating . . .

A fascinating and beautiful vision. Hawking is amazing.

My favorite Stephen Hawking quote is from his A Brief History Of Time. He asks:

"Why do we remember the past and not the future?"

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:09 AM

3. I was having a conversation with an amateur astronomer....

He said wormholes had been proven not to exist. That didn't sound right, so I did some research and what I found said that the existence of wormholes was a theoretical concept.

Is it plausible that there are such things? Opinions?

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Response to truth2power (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:00 AM

4. The key in the amateur's statement...

is his assertion that wormholes have been proven NOT to exist. Sorry, but that's the ole "can't prove a negative" fallacy.

It is plausible that wormholes exist somewhere, under certain conditions. Many of the conditions themselves are theoretical and our understanding of them is still extremely limited. But, if astronomy and astrophysics have taught us anything, it's be careful what you dismiss, because that's exactly the time said phenomena will show up in someones data. :face palm:

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Response to paleotn (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:03 AM

5. Thank you. I had about the same reaction upon hearing that. n/t

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:58 AM

6. A magnificent vision

However, there would be a tremendous amount of prerequisite accomplishments required to ever get there, I'm guessing including advancements in physics.

Maybe it's me, but I don't know how an award winning scientist can posit such a visionary overkill when there is a far more realistic and feasible option of getting humans off the planet than traveling at near light speed. Namely, large slower moving biosphere ships that could revolve around the sun like little planets, and even adjust their orbits in response to changes in solar activity and asteroid threats. All we have to do is perfect biosphere technology on the ground and then, with a few more innovations in artificial space gravity, move the biosphere model into space.

Next, if we want to get to other stars, we do it over many generations via the self-sustaining biosphere ships and enough supplies, fuel and energy packs sent out ahead and following up behind for ship maintenance, propulsion and to sustain the artificial lighting needed for the trip.

The point is, instead of imagining traveling to Mars or other stars, we could be easily be working on Biosphere ships now and testing them, first in near earth orbit and then, farther away from earth, in orbits around the sun.





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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:36 PM

7. Very imaginative, but not likely.

 

What happens if something gets in the way of a ship traveling 600 million miles per hour? That huge ship doesn't look maneuverable or nimble enough to avoid one collision, yet....

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Response to AAO (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:54 PM

9. The Earth is much, much bigger than that ship and we are traveling through space but rarely get hit

by any objects. Most objects tend to cluster around stars so when you are simply flying through deep space hitting something would be unlikely. I think the bigger problems are radioactive clouds. They might need to put giant magnets on each side of the ship and create a magnetic field but would it work at those kinds of speeds? This video talks about using antimatter as fuel:

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:33 PM

10. The earth gets hit all the time. We have an atmosphere that takes care of most before it hits.

 

I think it would be a disaster. But I surely won't be alive to be proven wrong.

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Response to AAO (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:48 PM

11. That is a good point

I wonder if because the ship would be so big and have so much force any small rocks would simply disintegrate? I know the space station has a Whipple shield. On Wikipidia is says this: A whipple shield is a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with micrometeoroids and orbital debris whose velocities generally range between 3 and 18 kilometres per second. However, at near light speed those kinds of impacts would be perhaps millions of times more powerful. Maybe they could have a laser constantly beaming ahead blowing everything up?

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:59 PM

8. Imagine heading to some place on a trip that would take 100 years...

Only to arrive and find out faster than light travel was invented and humans were already waiting for you.

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