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mylatestwhim

Will deep space exploration/ colonization ever be possible?

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This is a question I've been thinking about for a while (with limited knowledge so please bear with me!)

Given the way the world is run in governmental, social and economic terms with a heavy reliance upon fossil fuels and global trade would serious deep space exploration/ colonization ever be possible/ feasible?

Would it require a 'new/ single world order' of science, society and economics to enable us to colonize other planets or, given the present way in which global finances are controlled is this something that we as a race never be able to lend resources to without a massive shift in the way the world works?

Will we ever be able to afford it even if we move together as a race as opposed to NASA or other space organisations going alone.

Would cooperation on a global scale be needed for such projects.

It would be a shame to see the human race go the same way as the dinosaurs and the planet end up like a shrivelled raisin. As we are going now I think that's a certainty. Do you think we will ever be in a position of 'contentment' where we can explore such a project seriously.

Any ideas would be interesting as it seems like the natural step for the human race to take. There is a whole garden of Eden out there if we can reach it/ harness it.

Sorry for the vague waffling but I know what I'm trying to ask! :) (I think)

Andy

Edited by mylatestwhim

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I would hope so, I think it may even become necessary in the future. Even one point when you stated "heavy reliance upon fossil fuels " could be the spur that is needed to get up and out. There is an awful lot of space rock out there, I am sure that if it can be mined someone will at least try. If there is money to be made it will most likely happen. I'm not sure we could rely on government agency's to make it happen, I think the private sector will play a big role.

Who knows, it won't be anytime soon although I see things like Virgin Galactic as a good step forward and the emergence of nations like China and Indias space programs can only be positive too.

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Even one point when you stated "heavy reliance upon fossil fuels " could be the spur that is needed to get up and out. There is an awful lot of space rock out there, I am sure that if it can be mined someone will at least try. .

I wouldnt mind paying £2.00 per litre for 'extra terrestrial' diesel. Having aliens in your fuel tank would have an awesome novelty value ha ha

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Not in our lifetime it won't be possible. When it comes to exploring space, we've actually had a backwards step. If you asked someone from the 60's where we'll be at after the moon landing, it'll be further than this.

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You would think it would certainly be possible now, if money was no object and we could use the most advanced materials and advanced technology available to us, surely at least colonies on the moon and on mars would be possible!

Unfortunately it all comes down to money in the end. I struggle how to see it will ever be possible working the way we currently do.

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Think back 500 years. Most of what we accept today as commonplace would have seemed impossible back then. Go forward 500 years and what will be commonplace then would seem impossible today. Then jump another 500 years ahead... It took ages to get from stone, to bronze, to iron. Now, technology is moving at exponential rates. I think that the next big step will be when we properly interface the human brain with computers. At that time, there will be a quantum leap in what humans are capable of intellectually. The sky is the limit!

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being as it's already been imagined then the answer is yes!, we just need the will and technology to do it.

in my life time? most likely not!

as i understand it one of the biggest hurdles we need to get over in respect to traveling to the stars is fuel, the faster you go the heavier your mass becomes so you need more fuel to go faster/maintain your speed, hope i've got that right.

i think the future lies in anti-matter! and being as currently we can only manage to produce tiny ammounts of anti-hydrogen were a long way off, but having said that we havn't had a major technological breakthrough for a long time so were about due one.

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Intellect isn't the problem. It's these frail frames we walk around in and rely on. They fail miserably at coping with extended space flight and this makes it less likely that it will be us that gets to colonize space.

It'll be something like us, human 2.0 lol Where the body isn't an issue.

Unless there is a means to replicate gravity pretty much constantly and keep our frames and internals working as they would on earth, we have little hope.

I know the ISS rotates to simulate a greater gravitational force, but we don't want to be tied to ships for the rest of our lives do we? lol

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Once we can run fusion reactors efficiently it will make a massive difference to space exploration. Nuclear engines have already been designed but as fission is so dirty its not a viable propulsion system.

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being as it's already been imagined then the answer is yes!, we just need the will and technology to do it.

in my life time? most likely not!

as i understand it one of the biggest hurdles we need to get over in respect to traveling to the stars is fuel, the faster you go the heavier your mass becomes so you need more fuel to go faster/maintain your speed, hope i've got that right.

i think the future lies in anti-matter! and being as currently we can only manage to produce tiny ammounts of anti-hydrogen were a long way off, but having said that we havn't had a major technological breakthrough for a long time so were about due one.

Do you think, given the technology becomes available, it would be funded? I agree with you we aint gonna do it on fossil fuels or any similar concept. What about nuclear? Quite topical. If a nuclear reactor on a submarine can power Luton or whatever we must have a better chance using nuclear reactors?

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Once we can run fusion reactors efficiently it will make a massive difference to space exploration. Nuclear engines have already been designed but as fission is so dirty its not a viable propulsion system.

Sorry - you beat me too it about nuclear :)

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Think back 500 years. Most of what we accept today as commonplace would have seemed impossible back then. Go forward 500 years and what will be commonplace then would seem impossible today. Then jump another 500 years ahead... It took ages to get from stone, to bronze, to iron. Now, technology is moving at exponential rates. I think that the next big step will be when we properly interface the human brain with computers. At that time, there will be a quantum leap in what humans are capable of intellectually. The sky is the limit!

I can only agree with this.

Think about it........

Humans went from the first flight (Wright Brothers) to landing on the Moon in less then 100 yrs.

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I think that the next big step will be when we properly interface the human brain with computers. At that time, there will be a quantum leap in what humans are capable of intellectually. The sky is the limit!

However if this is the way things are to go and AI becomes the new technological innovation then does it not make the Matrix a possibility. In other words could we not end up as no longer being the top of the food chain and become something of a pest to be exterminated.

Sorry watch to many films.

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i'll probably get ridiculed for this but watch a couple of episodes of startrek, and compare to where we are now, with an open mind you'll see were getting there very rapidly.looks to me like gene roddenberry managed to get a bit of time traveling done.

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Probably not now or in the forseeable future.

'Star Trek' to the contrary, space is likely to be colonised by the most economically and socially ruthless country. There is no way a country like Britain, Australia or Canada could hope to get into space on a large-scale basis. We're just too nice!!

Space wil be colonised by the country that for-goes a welfare sytem and puts scientific and commercial interests above those of social concerns.

Like America in the '50s.

No other country in the world could mount a space program on the scale of the Americans. The ISS is largely a political excersise and could have easily been built by one country willing to make the social sacrifices. America doesn't need to make too many sacrifices as its so wealthy, but its only as wealthy as it is by essentially ignoring the well-being of its poorer citizens. Sink or Swim really.

Political co-operation invariably involves pandering to weakness these days, and weakness has no place in space.

Any colonization would require just the kind of people that originally colonised the New Worlds. In order to achieve thier goals, they would need to be physically and mentally tough, self reliant, intelligent and single minded. I can't see many social workers, therapists or vegans making the grade! :)

Who would you trust your skin to on an unexpored planet: the ex-SAS survival training instructor with a degree in Agricultural Sciences or the left-handed single mother's dance cooperative leader with a degree in Gender Studies?

Edited by LMC

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or the left-handed single mother's dance cooperative leader with a degree in Gender Studies?

I think i dated her once.

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Probably not now or in the forseeable future.

'Star Trek' to the contrary, space is likely to be colonised by the most economically and socially ruthless country. There is no way a country like Britain, Australia or Canada could hope to get into space on a large-scale basis. We're just too nice!!

Space wil be colonised by the country that for-goes a welfare sytem and puts scientific and commercial interests above those of social concerns.

Like America in the '50s.

No other country in the world could mount a space program on the scale of the Americans. The ISS is largely a political excersise and could have easily been built by one country willing to make the social sacrifices. America doesn't need to make too many sacrifices as its so wealthy, but its only as wealthy as it is by essentially ignoring the well-being of its poorer citizens. Sink or Swim really.

Political co-operation invariably involves pandering to weakness these days, and weakness has no place in space.

Any colonization would require just the kind of people that originally colonised the New Worlds. In order to achieve thier goals, they would need to be physically and mentally tough, self reliant, intelligent and single minded. I can't see many social workers, therapists or vegans making the grade! :(

Who would you trust your skin to on an unexpored planet: the ex-SAS survival training instructor with a degree in Agricultural Sciences or the left-handed single mother's dance cooperative leader with a degree in Gender Studies?

Excellent post :)

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What about.. I heard the other day about sending old people on the understanding it'll be a one way trip.

I wouldn't mind getting to 80 and then boarding the Mars express!!

er.. maybe 85. :)

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I would say that it is absolutely possible in the near future.

Humans a curious in nature and want to expand their capabilities constantly. As already mentioned in this thread you only have to look at what has been achieved in the past 100 / 200 / 300 years. It really is incredible!

There are a number of technological innovations that would need to be achieved first before it becomes totally viable but the foundations are there to succeed and technology certainly won't be the major issue when it comes to the viability of deep space exploration.

The 'biggest' challenge as you mention is politics, society and finance!

I think it is possible for international co-operation into space exploration but only 'if' the need to leave our planet became urgent! Otherwise the most influential institutions will almost certainly be from the private sector.

Richard Branson's step into space tourism has already proven the interest by companies into the economic possibilities of 'space'.

Massive corporations are so influential in today's society that it is only a matter of time before it becomes realistic to mine materials from nearby moons/planets. I believe this will be the first 'major' step (the mining of orbital bodies within our own solar system) and will involve massive investments into the technology to achieve this and as a result 'new' and improved technology will advance our ability as humans to exploit the space environment.

Do I think that this will happen in my lifetime?

Probably not to a large extent but I'm sure we are likely to see some incredible breakthroughs in space technology.

That is if we can avoid destroying the human race in the process of course.....:)

Ste.

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What about.. I heard the other day about sending old people on the understanding it'll be a one way trip.

I wouldn't mind getting to 80 and then boarding the Mars express!!

er.. maybe 85. :)

I read that a few months ago and i'm still not sure if it is a serious suggestion or not.

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What about.. I heard the other day about sending old people on the understanding it'll be a one way trip.

I wouldn't mind getting to 80 and then boarding the Mars express!!

er.. maybe 85. :)

If this is a serious suggestion i will be the first one to go forward for it.

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Well the radiation will make us lose all our hair, the lack of gravity will shrink out limbs and we'll stop getting taller, the super-intelligence we gather from watching all the back episodes of the Discovery Channel on the trip will make our brains enlarge and all the wonders we see on our travels will make our eyes bulge.

Then in 1,000,000 years we'll invent time travel and come back, but look like aliens.

Oh, hold on...that's already happened...

:)

Edited by mikeknowle

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The frailty of the human condition will be overcome. Augmented intellegence will take the human race to seemingly impossible levels of capability. Coming soon to a computer near you - unless you side with Micro$oft - in which case, you are extinct already.

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Space wil be colonised by the country that for-goes a welfare sytem and puts scientific and commercial interests above those of social concerns.

Like America in the '50s.

No other country in the world could mount a space program on the scale of the Americans. The ISS is largely a political excersise and could have easily been built by one country willing to make the social sacrifices. America doesn't need to make too many sacrifices as its so wealthy, but its only as wealthy as it is by essentially ignoring the well-being of its poorer citizens.

Space isn't going to be colonised by anyone until there is a method of powering a spacecraft from a fuel source that can either be "picked up on the way" or carried in a very low mass form. The chances are that this means nuclear fusion, ion drives are very weak and chemical engines are barely enough to get us out of the Earth's atmosphere due to the bulk of the fuel. What this means is that by the time we have a fusion drive (or other similar power source) we aren't going to be scrabbling and squabbling amongst ourselves for resources as limitless energy resource means we won't have to. This means that we probably won't have to make any social sacrifices to fund our space programme - it will just be an obvious use of our ample resources.

You could say that the US can afford a space programme but not its defence programme or vice versa. The question of which one it ought to give up to make its society fairer for the less privileged comes down to personal preference really. My point is that by the time we actually can start exploring space rich and poor will be largely obsolete terms. We're getting very close to a discussion of politics here which I don't think the code of conduct allows. Interesting discussion though.

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