Will humanity ever explore the stars?
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09-03-2013, 01:11 AM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
First i have to say that when it comes to warp drive I like to think of my self as an optimist. Don't know if it will be possible but like to think it might seeing as it's still on the table for physicist,

That being said I think we can look at the other possibility. If we can't beat speed then perhaps we might beat time. Things like cryogenic freezing ( in some variation) as well as generation ships could be ways to travel the vast distances needed. You could also get more futuristic like ridding ourselves of our biological bodies and replacing them with artificial ones. Or some means that hasn't been thought of yet. This would make the time scale less relevant.

So while we have plenty of hurdles and no guarantee's. I'd like to think we that perhaps we could accomplish it someday.

Just an outsider looking inn.
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12-03-2013, 12:10 AM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
(04-03-2013 07:01 PM)My proboscis sucks Wrote:  Colonizing other planets: Not 100% likely, but definitely possible.

Colonizing nearby star systems: Extremely unlikely, but still possible

Colonizing half the galaxy: A complete load of BS



What are your thoughts on this?
Define colonizing. To me this means establishing some sort of group that does not need resupply from earth. The colony has to grow its own crops, recycle its own oxygen, dispose of its own wastes, etc. A science station or a military base is not a colony.

Colonizing other planets within our own solar system: not likely. We have not colonized Antarctica and its a lot easier to reach than any planet and arguably a friendlier environment (it at least has a breathable atmosphere).

Colonizing another solar system: extremely unlikely. The energy cost to send a 1000 kg probe at half the speed of light is enormous. Do the math. Half the speed of light is still slow enough that you can use non-relativistic mechanics for an order of magnitude feasibility study. I figure 1/3 the present national debt of the U.S. just for fuel (nuclear or whatever). To actually send enough people for a colony would require the total economic output of the entire human race for decades. I don't think that's going to change.

Humans arrived on Earth on 22 October 4004 B.C. A few of us are still trying to repair the ship.
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04-04-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
Colonizing the solar system? Sure, I'd be willing to say that's going to happen within the century. At least the moon or Mars (Mars being more likely).

The outer solar system? Yes, in the next few centuries.

Other solar systems? Not any time soon. Besides, if there are any inhabitants of those worlds, they would probably be pretty angry at us.

Half the galaxy? It will be thousands of years from now, if ever.

Other galaxies? If the empire couldn't do it, it's pretty safe to say we won't either.
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04-04-2013, 03:51 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
I'm not an expert on the science stuff, I'm an amateur learner, but this is interesting:

http://mars-one.com/en/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One

It's a private initiative and it has been attacked as unlikely in terms of financial feasibility (also, one of the google options is "mars one hoax" but that seems untrue given it's supported by a Nobel Prize winner) but it is kind of exciting even to the cynics, surely? If it does happen it will result in Mars being colonized in most people on this forum's lifetimes. It's meant as a one way trip to save on costs, but there's more information on their site and wikipedia article. Thoughts?

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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04-04-2013, 03:59 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
(04-04-2013 03:51 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  I'm not an expert on the science stuff, I'm an amateur learner, but this is interesting:

http://mars-one.com/en/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One

It's a private initiative and it has been attacked as unlikely in terms of financial feasibility (also, one of the google options is "mars one hoax" but that seems untrue given it's supported by a Nobel Prize winner) but it is kind of exciting even to the cynics, surely? If it does happen it will result in Mars being colonized in most people on this forum's lifetimes. It's meant as a one way trip to save on costs, but there's more information on their site and wikipedia article. Thoughts?

I've been following this since it started. I'm excited about it, but I have a very cautious optimism regarding if it'll actually work. It's scientifically feasible, but I just don't see how the funding will happen.
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04-04-2013, 04:04 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
(04-04-2013 03:59 PM)FrostyMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2013 03:51 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  I'm not an expert on the science stuff, I'm an amateur learner, but this is interesting:

http://mars-one.com/en/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One

It's a private initiative and it has been attacked as unlikely in terms of financial feasibility (also, one of the google options is "mars one hoax" but that seems untrue given it's supported by a Nobel Prize winner) but it is kind of exciting even to the cynics, surely? If it does happen it will result in Mars being colonized in most people on this forum's lifetimes. It's meant as a one way trip to save on costs, but there's more information on their site and wikipedia article. Thoughts?

I've been following this since it started. I'm excited about it, but I have a very cautious optimism regarding if it'll actually work. It's scientifically feasible, but I just don't see how the funding will happen.

Well, they have lots of corporate sponsors and people have donated 67,000 dollars for them so maybe it could happen. They want to stay independent of nations which is admirable but maybe they should ally with NASA if they'd be interested...

On another level, I think the scariest thing about it is the one way trip. I know for sure I'd never have the physical or psychological conditions for going, never mind thinking about never coming back to Earth.

On a less serious note, what a bad stroke of luck it would be if they picked a psychotic murderer who was good enough to pass the tests and sent him to Mars? Obviously not gonna happen but it'd be a kind of awkward mistake...

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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04-04-2013, 04:08 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
Could humans "colonize" the entire galaxy. Sadly, I don't think so. I'd like to think my many times-great grandson could haul freight back and forth in his privately owned spaceship that just happens to be shaped like a motorhome, but like you said, communication between "colonies" is the biggest problem! But that doesn't mean we couldn't seed our species all across it. And if not our species, then the seeds of primitive life in general. It's what life does once its established; spreads ceaselessly! The best scenario I envision is different planets with populations of humans looking up into the stars & simply being happy to know there's somebody out there even if we'll never see our distant cousins again.

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04-04-2013, 04:14 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
(04-04-2013 04:08 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Could humans "colonize" the entire galaxy. Sadly, I don't think so. I'd like to think my many times-great grandson could haul freight back and forth in his privately owned spaceship that just happens to be shaped like a motorhome, but like you said, communication between "colonies" is the biggest problem! But that doesn't mean we couldn't seed our species all across it. And if not our species, then the seeds of primitive life in general. It's what life does once its established; spreads ceaselessly! The best scenario I envision is different planets with populations of humans looking up into the stars & simply being happy to know there's somebody out there even if we'll never see our distant cousins again.

Exactly. Although I think that this solar system is as far as we'll get. We can communicate across the entire thing within a day, and supplies can be wrought from any planet or other celestial body (I'm thinking infinite water from Europa here). The main problem I could see happening is if we find life on other planets. Does that planet then "belong" to the inhabitants of that body?
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04-04-2013, 07:22 PM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
Interstellar communication may not be a problem. I read an article within the last year pertaining to teleportation whereby the group involved successfully transmitted information between two quantumly entangled particles. While their goal is to create a practical teleporter, I would think that using the quantum entanglement for communication would be a precursory step.

I think that we shall see a moon base within our lifetimes. 3-D printing, while still a burgeoning technology, is growing considerably. Someone is currently developing the ability to use moon dust as the building medium. This means that we need not ship dozens our hundreds of modular pods to the moon for assembly into a base, all we need to do is send a printer and related software materials. Naturally, the first thing they'd want to print would be replacement parts for the printer itself, just in case.

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09-04-2013, 10:47 AM
RE: Will humanity ever explore the stars?
(04-03-2013 07:01 PM)My proboscis sucks Wrote:  Colonizing other planets: Not 100% likely, but definatly possible.
Colonizing nearby star systems: Extremely unlikely, but still possible
Colonizing half the galaxy: A complete load of BS

My take? It is only a matter of time before we start to spread out from the Earth to colonize and utilize other worlds (moon(s), Mars, asteroids, etc.). I actually think we are withing about 30 years of seeing the first permanent colonies on the moon, Mars and the asteroids. Private space entities like Mars One, Planetary Resources, etc. are paving the way (with potential future efforts by emerging powers like China and India). I don't think the US/Europe/Russia have much incentive nor really the resources to drive these developments - it will be the private sector taking over this endeavor that drives emmigration into space. It's all about the Benjamins - who can make money by harnessing resources from other worlds (especially asteroids, which are the enabling technology for "cheap" space travel IMO).

Again, assuming we don't nuke ourselves into oblivion:
Colonizing other planets: Virtually 100% likely over the next 50 years

Colonizing nearby star systems: Unlikely over the next century or two (need massive technological improvements) - further out (300-500 years), I see it as almost inevitable.

Colonizing half the galaxy: Not imaginable in the foreseeable future; the technology to travel to our neighboring stars will eventually enable us to expand further out - but the key consideration is that the time required for interspace travel is likely to remain very significant - so the interactions of all these human colonies (outside our solar system) will be very limited. Once established, colonies in other solar systems will need to be self-sufficient and will develop (or fail) on their own - the lifeboat ain't coming! No
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