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alberto91

Is Interstellar Travel Possible?

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Nice video. I guess in a way you could argue that it is already here with Voyager having entered interstellar space.  Within the limits of current technology I find it difficult to imagine how a practicable mode of interstellar travel could become reality.  I do wonder though that we have more pressing problems here on Earth to address first. So while I think we are destined to find a way to the stars I don't think it will or should be in the immediate future. 

Jim 

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23 hours ago, alberto91 said:

What do you think? do you think it's achievable this century?

What would we do when we got there? :happy11:

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, for all the good reasons, so by all means, crack on.

However, shrinking our galaxy may only make sense once we've actually fulfilled the promise held by the process of shrinking our planet.

In other words, Nature will have given us plenty of space (literally) so as not to be able to bother anyone else 'out there' with our behaviour.

Reaching out and finding life, meaning or whatever 'out there' will not make us realise that we need to get our act together.

It's the other way around. Only when we've sorted ourselves out (assuming we're meant to...) will Nature decide that we're ready for less space. :happy7:

So, in a way, striving for travel far afield is an expression of our wish to do and be better - which is good.

But going about it in the same old way - thereby hoping for different results - is futile.

The next move is up to us, as it's always been.

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Who knows what lies round the corner considering the advances made during the last century?.  However most things are subject to diminishing returns and until we are able to achieve light speed velocity and indefinite human life sustainability, interstellar travel remains a pipe dream.  What is overlooked by casual thinking is that acceleration time has to be matched by deceleration time, no brakes in space!, this could double the journey time.     🙂  

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Whether it’s scientifically feasible is one thing. Who will pay for it adds another dimension to the challenge. 

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In theory a robotic interstellar mission would be possible. It could be a simple flyby mission with a LASER sending back the data. 

Regards Andrew 

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I'm with iPeace.

We may still be centuries from species maturity and morality to leave without cleaning up our mess first.
Every sentient species [probably] has to surmount the same hurdles before achieving maturity:

In no particular order:
End dictatorships, pandemics, obscene inequality, war and nuclear wars, AI, slavery, pollution, other species extinction, advertising, politics.

Peaceful removal of all superstition through education and/or repair of faulty genes.
Superstition is closely allied to mass sociopathy and built-in aggression towards others.

Provide equality, education, reward and respect for all, regardless of ability.

Benign global guidance NOT leadership. Power always corrupts.
Ironically, we may have to rely on benign Super AI to avoid the corruption trap inherent in all leadership.

Achieving global self sufficiency and total equality in food supply, energy, health, lifespan, education, creativity, space, free time, etc.

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Only if we can build entirely self sufficient generational ships with massive radiation shielding sent on a one way trip could we accomplish such a thing in this century.

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20 hours ago, theropod said:

Only if we can build entirely self sufficient generational ships with massive radiation shielding sent on a one way trip could we accomplish such a thing in this century.

You still have to fill it with humans. Humans are mentally fragile and vulnerable to all sorts of psychological problems when isolated and contained.
A hollow asteroid might make a roomier vehicle with survival depths of protection from high velocity, impacting particles.
It would go on growing by particle accretion during the journey. As vehicle velocity rose, requiring ever more protection to match impact velocity and energy.

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Yes, it is possible, if you're prepared to wait thousands of years.  However, maybe the question should be "Is it feasible?"  The answer to that is no, it isn't.

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Fascinating Discussion.  I think we need to go back say 250 years, so before the Industrial Revolution, , consider what humans at that time thought of their universe, their place in it and what might or might not be possible - and then consider the issue again.

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18 minutes ago, Geoffw said:

Fascinating Discussion.  I think we need to go back say 250 years, so before the Industrial Revolution, , consider what humans at that time thought of their universe, their place in it and what might or might not be possible - and then consider the issue again.

This is an argument I've often seen but I think it needs to be advanced with extreme care. In its simplest form it might say, 'We used to think that it would never be possible to fly but now we can go to the moon so, in the future, we will be able to... and at this point insert anything at all that takes your fancy.  Teleport ourselves to the galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field? Travel backwards in time? (As Stephen Hawking said, 'Where are they?) So I'm wary of the argument.

Firstly its premise is usually wrong. Plenty of people did believe, for example, that they would be able to fly (and they made it happen.) Plenty of people did believe that rockets could take us to the moon, and they were right and made it happen. But did this make them subscribers to the view that, in time, absolutely anything we care to dream up might become possible? Certainly not because they were scientists.

We are not pre-industrial beings any more, our world view has changed, but as well as having more capabilities at our disposal we also have more constraints. We don't, for instance, believe in magic. We don't believe in witchcraft. We don't believe in alchemy. We don't believe in fortune telling or astrology. Whether or not we believe in miracles is not for this forum. So one might argue that our view of 'what might or might not be possible' has has been constrained by more that it has been liberated.

Olly

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Read somewhere that [ theoretically ] it's possible to travel through space at the speed of light if you move the bit of space surrounding it rather than the spacecraft you're in, still take a while to get somewhere though 😂

Thanks @ollypenrice now I've got a Hot Chocolate ear worm 😂

Dave

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If we could travel at a million times the speed of light it would still take us more than two years to reach the nearest external galaxy.🤔

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2 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

If we could travel at a million times the speed of light it would still take us more than two years to reach the nearest external galaxy.🤔

Bit ambitious Peter, baby steps 😂

Dave

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Read somewhere that [ theoretically ] it's possible to travel through space at the speed of light if you move the bit of space surrounding it rather than the spacecraft you're in, still take a while to get somewhere though 😂

Thanks @ollypenrice now I've got a Hot Chocolate ear worm 😂

Dave

Must have been in an alternative Universe as it's not possible in ours.

The big difference now from the not so distant past is that we have good physical theory that covers from the very smallest to the largest sizes and for very low energy to levels  that we could never create (I.e close to the energy density at the big bang).

While they may well be refined there is little room for warp drive and it's kind to emerge.

Regards Andrew 

Edited by andrew s
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, andrew s said:

While they may well be refined there is little room for warp drive and it's kind to emerge.

Imagine the computing power and actual power required to " beam somebody up" even if it was possible 😂

Dave

Edited by Davey-T
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35 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

We are not pre-industrial beings any more, our world view has changed, but as well as having more capabilities at our disposal we also have more constraints. We don't, for instance, believe in magic. We don't believe in witchcraft. We don't believe in alchemy. We don't believe in fortune telling or astrology. Whether or not we believe in miracles is not for this forum. So one might argue that our view of 'what might or might not be possible' has has been constrained by more that it has been liberated.

Olly

Point well made Olly!  A wandering asteroid might also end the argument anyway!

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8 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Imagine the computing power and actual power required to " beam somebody up" even if it was possible 😂

Dave

or the effect of a memory cell error 😮 

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On 23/08/2020 at 16:49, andrew s said:

In theory a robotic interstellar mission would be possible. It could be a simple flyby mission with a LASER sending back the data. 

Regards Andrew 

I think that is the type of mission that Stephen Hawking was promoting. If I remember correctly he was proposing miniature (low mass) spacecraft with sensors effectively on a single chip.  The craft would be propelled by sail technology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakthrough_Starshot

Jim 

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Just now, DaveL59 said:

or the effect of a memory cell error 😮 

Oh no, my hair's grown back!

Olly

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Within the current bounds and all reasonable extrapolations of our understanding of physics not much is likely to happen for a long time other than being able to get around the solar system a little easier. 

The likeliest area where 'something' may happen is with new theories/discoveries. The most likely area where something may be discovered is dark matter and dark energy since we don't really know what they are. 

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1 minute ago, ollypenrice said:

Oh no, my hair's grown back!

Olly

Your obviously not subject to the black hole no-hair theorem. 

Regards Andrew 

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14 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Oh no, my hair's grown back!

Olly

As long as it's on your head 😂

Dave

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