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Author Topic:   Interstellar Travel - Possibilities and Human Physiology
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 16 of 63 (504095)
03-24-2009 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Sarawak
03-24-2009 1:32 PM


Two things more.
1. Cannot a slingshot mechanism be used for deceleration?
Hmm, I am trying to imagine how we can use the slingshot method for deceleration without in the process further accelerating the velocity of this spacecraft and slinging it further into interstellar space. Can you explain this idea in further detail?
2. A habitable planet, IMO, will almost definitely be occupied by some life forms. Without any data (nobody has any), I think all planets with appropriate physical conditions will be inhabited. If we are worried about native life forms, we might as well stay home, or stay in space. I think the universe in crawling with life.
I too believe that life in the universe is more prevelant than most people think. However, I think that sencient, self-aware life on the par of humans is very rare, just based on the track record of life on earth.
Therefore I suppose the question really should be: Are we willing to sacrifice microbial life or even more intelligent life forms on other worlds which are favorable to humans for the sake of colonization?

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 Message 12 by Sarawak, posted 03-24-2009 1:32 PM Sarawak has replied

Replies to this message:
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shalamabobbi
Member (Idle past 2931 days)
Posts: 397
Joined: 01-10-2009


Message 17 of 63 (504096)
03-24-2009 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Sarawak
03-23-2009 7:39 PM


These issues are studied by NASA in a rigorous manner. This is the reason (one of them anyhow) for the centrifuge project on the space station etc, although the presence of the centrifuge created enormous difficulty with maintenance of the microgravity environment. I am not sure where all that is now and I wasn't directly involved with it anyhow.
The following links cover many of the issues involved. The future possibility of manipulating space itself as a drive mechanism seemed intriguing. At any rate we can calculate the energy requirements if it becomes possible and it isn't cheap. It would require the consumption of one of our largest planets basically. So even if theoretically possible it may never become technologically possible.
Nano technology, when that takes off would be the most hopeful route to surmounting some of the technological issues of utilizing the energy of planets. But consuming a major planet would maybe throw the rest into chaotic orbits etc, so there are massive problems and issues to resolve.
Interstellar travel - Wikipedia
Is Warp Drive Real? | NASA
Warp Drive and Cloaking Devices: Not Just Science Fiction Anymore? - Universe Today
http://www.physorg.com/news8817.html
Centauri Dreams — Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration
The problem of not knowing what we'll find in terms of planets to colonize seems one of the bigger issues.
Imagine having come to our solar system without our earth existing.
Mars isn't so bad but what if venus is the best planet available?
Boilogical terraforming would be too slow, but if we master and can control nano technology ala the borg capacity, maybe things like rapid terraforming can become possible.
I don't even want to think about the issues of creating a biologically compatible ecosystem. Talk about complex! We would likely have the capacity to create lifeforms from DNA seeds by then so removing the requirement of dragging along actual species, etc.

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Sarawak
Member (Idle past 5559 days)
Posts: 47
Joined: 03-07-2009


Message 18 of 63 (504097)
03-24-2009 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 3:58 PM


Slingshot
What I mean is a negative slingshot - let a body's gravity absorb some of the spaceship's momentum. The ship could even get captured and then break free at lower velocity using it's engines. It seems to me that this could work at least partially in order to conserve fuel.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-24-2009 3:58 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

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Sarawak
Member (Idle past 5559 days)
Posts: 47
Joined: 03-07-2009


Message 19 of 63 (504098)
03-24-2009 4:20 PM


I have been considering plants, animals and genetics. Right now we are rapidly sequencing genomes. I don't think we would need to take a dog. What we would need is a Master Stem Cell (for lack of a better word) that could turn into anything (maybe Mother Egg would be better). The rest would be a database of genomes and a DNA synthesizer. By the time we are ready to go this will be quite possible. We could make anything we needed. Talk about directed evolution
Also the first ones there could be robots to make the place ready for the wimpy humans who arrive later.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 20 of 63 (504099)
03-24-2009 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 3:58 PM


Hmm, I am trying to imagine how we can use the slingshot method for deceleration without in the process further accelerating the velocity of this spacecraft and slinging it further into interstellar space.
The gravity assist is actually given by the planets orbital speed. If you are going with the movement of the planet then it's velocity can be added to yours. If you are going in the opposite direction then the planet's velocity will be subtracted.
Wiki link
For powered gravity assist with a static object the gravity assist is due to the loss of propellant. Think of sand bagging with bungee jumping. Jump off the bridge with sand bags and let go of the sand bags at the bottom of the fall. You will spring up with more velocity.

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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 21 of 63 (504152)
03-24-2009 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Sarawak
03-24-2009 4:08 PM


Re: Slingshot
What I mean is a negative slingshot - let a body's gravity absorb some of the spaceship's momentum. The ship could even get captured and then break free at lower velocity using it's engines. It seems to me that this could work at least partially in order to conserve fuel.
This is conceptually plausable according to the laws of physics I suppose. However, the problem I see with this is more of an issue with human intolerance to high g-forces. How can we go from near c speeds (or even 0.5 c) to 0 without creating insanely high g-forces? I would imagine that even to get captured by a solar system's gravity and be swung aroung to reduce it's velocity (like a comet captured by the sun) would still entail high g-force. Any one have a solution to this problem?

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

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 Message 18 by Sarawak, posted 03-24-2009 4:08 PM Sarawak has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Sarawak, posted 03-24-2009 8:58 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 22 of 63 (504154)
03-24-2009 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Sarawak
03-24-2009 4:20 PM


I would have to agree that robotic interstellar missions are more likely to occur than human treks to begin with due to the high g forces and other life support related issues required for manned missions.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

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 Message 23 by Straggler, posted 03-24-2009 8:40 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 23 of 63 (504155)
03-24-2009 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 8:35 PM


DNA
Hi DA
How about robotic interstellar missions carrying the with them the technological ability to populate the eventually found hospitable planet with humanity?
A sort of DNA "ark".
Would that be a worthwhile endevour or are we just creating aliens of the future?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-24-2009 8:35 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

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 Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-24-2009 8:47 PM Straggler has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 24 of 63 (504156)
03-24-2009 8:47 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Straggler
03-24-2009 8:40 PM


Re: DNA
Hi DA
How about robotic interstellar missions carrying the with them the technological ability to populate the eventually found hospitable planet with humanity?
A sort of DNA "ark".
Would that be a worthwhile endevour or are we just creating aliens of the future?
Hey Straggler,
Good to hear from you again.
Interesting concept, though I think much of humanity would be very wary about this proposition. How would we not know that this new extrasolar human civilization not turn around and attempt to anniahalate us on the mother planet, Earth. I guess if we erased all traces of where the robot mission came from it might delay the inevitable meeting between these two human colonized planetary systems but may have dire ramifications for future contact.
This sounds like a new pamspermia theory . Would make a great sci-fi story though!

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Straggler, posted 03-24-2009 8:40 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Straggler, posted 03-24-2009 8:52 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 25 of 63 (504159)
03-24-2009 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 8:47 PM


Re: DNA
Hey Straggler,
Good to hear from you again.
And you!!
How is the time "on ship" going?
Straggler writes:
Would that be a worthwhile endevour or are we just creating aliens of the future?
Interesting concept, though I think much of humanity would be very wary about this proposition.
Yep I think so too. Hence the gist of my question.
Is being part of humanity as we understand it an intrinsic link to the planet we know and love? Or is it just DNA?
Would make a great sci-fi story though!
Isn't Bluejay an SF writer............?
How bout it Bluejay?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-24-2009 8:47 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-24-2009 9:08 PM Straggler has replied
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Sarawak
Member (Idle past 5559 days)
Posts: 47
Joined: 03-07-2009


Message 26 of 63 (504161)
03-24-2009 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 8:33 PM


Re: Slingshot
"This is conceptually plausable according to the laws of physics I suppose. However, the problem I see with this is more of an issue with human intolerance to high g-forces. How can we go from near c speeds (or even 0.5 c) to 0 without creating insanely high g-forces? I would imagine that even to get captured by a solar system's gravity and be swung aroung to reduce it's velocity (like a comet captured by the sun) would still entail high g-force. Any one have a solution to this problem?"
Multiple passes.

This message is a reply to:
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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 27 of 63 (504163)
03-24-2009 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Straggler
03-24-2009 8:52 PM


Re: DNA
And you!!
How is the time "on ship" going?
Thanks for asking.
I am doing well and will be transferring back to a ship (specifically a precommissioned ship) here in about a week. I also just found out that I was selected for Chief Warrant Officer and will be moving on to bigger and better things. Once I am commissioned next year, I will be a pretty busy puppy and you will see less of me here for a couple of years. However, I will try to add the little knowledge I have to further the scientific cause on EvC whenever I can.
Is being part of humanity as we understand it an intrinsic link to the planet we know and love? Or is it just DNA?
Good question. I think our understanding of humanity is tied up with our relation with the life on this planet as well as the environmental conditions that Earth entails. If humans evolved on a different planet, with different conditions, and a different global ecosystem, I think we would indeed be different both culturally and psychologically. Just my thoughts.
I think a strain of humanity having evolved according to your scenario would probably have a different sense of ethics (we can't even agree to a common moral code here on the earth between cultures and nation states).
Isn't Bluejay an SF writer............?
Is he? That would be great to get his take on this.
Off to bed, have a good night all!
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Straggler, posted 03-24-2009 8:52 PM Straggler has replied

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 147 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 28 of 63 (504168)
03-24-2009 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by DevilsAdvocate
03-24-2009 9:08 PM


Calling Bluejay!!!
I am doing well and will be transferring back to a ship (specifically a precommissioned ship) here in about a week. I also just found out that I was selected for Chief Warrant Officer and will be moving on to bigger and better things.
Congratulations!!!
However, I will try to add the little knowledge I have to further the scientific cause on EvC whenever I can.
Please do!
Good question. I think our understanding of humanity is tied up with our relation with the life on this planet as well as the environmental conditions that Earth entails. If humans evolved on a different planet, with different conditions, and a different global ecosystem, I think we would indeed be different both culturally and psychologically. Just my thoughts.
I think a strain of humanity having evolved according to your scenario would probably have a different sense of ethics (we can't even agree to a common moral code here on the earth between cultures and nation states).
I could not agree more.
Simply transferring the biology of humanity to another far off place would, I think, not necessarily result in anything that particularly resembled humanity in so many ways that we take for granted.
Straggler writes:
Isn't Bluejay an SF writer............?
Is he? That would be great to get his take on this.
I think so. I have titled this post to get his attention!
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 29 of 63 (504171)
03-24-2009 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Sarawak
03-24-2009 8:58 PM


Re: Slingshot
"This is conceptually plausable according to the laws of physics I suppose. However, the problem I see with this is more of an issue with human intolerance to high g-forces. How can we go from near c speeds (or even 0.5 c) to 0 without creating insanely high g-forces? I would imagine that even to get captured by a solar system's gravity and be swung aroung to reduce it's velocity (like a comet captured by the sun) would still entail high g-force. Any one have a solution to this problem?"
First off, acceleration at 1xg is pretty fast. If you are accelerating at 9.8 m/s^2 it would only take 3 months to get to 0.5 c. For a trip that will take years this isn't a problem.
For constant g forces above 1xg we can take a cue from nature, specifically the womb. If you submerge the passengers in water they experience much lower g loads.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 30 of 63 (504172)
03-24-2009 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Straggler
03-24-2009 8:52 PM


Re: DNA
Is being part of humanity as we understand it an intrinsic link to the planet we know and love? Or is it just DNA?
It's everything. History, environment, language, society, and oh yes, DNA.
Perhaps a way to bridge the gap between the home planet and a freshly seeded population of humans would be anthropomorphic androids trained to raise a new human generation and a vast library containing art, history, primers on human society, etc.

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