Spaceships of the Imagination on Voyages to Alien Worlds
Here is a funny comic about Carl Sagan and his Spaceship of the Imagination. As you know, he is a hero of mine and others for speaking out against Nuclear War and his repeated appearances on Johnny Carson's tonight show popularizing science with the Cosmos series, in addition to his science fiction contribution of the novel made into the movie Contact. Some people also don't know that Johnny was very interested in Astronomy, that is the stars of a non-Hollywood variety and a very hot different kind!
Just one thing about the comic which I believe to be incorrect; Sagan would have never fired a missile, rocket, or any other weapon at anyone. He was an intelligent civilized non-violent humanitarian (something we should all strive to be), but not to be stuffy about it the comic is still entertaining.
I would like to talk about starships for a moment and the recent news from Kepler shows earth-like planets in the habitable zone around a star. This zone is cleverly called the Goldilocks Zone for being not too hot and not to cold for life as we know it to exist. That's not taking into consideration the possibilities for extreme life.
Continuing on -- if we were to say find desirable ?earths? to visit out there, how would we get there and what would we find? We might find dead civilizations, something like ours that didn't quite make it? And just what is making it, a million years civilization, a billion years? This would certainly explain the Fermi Paradox, but let's attack the first part of the question, before I get all glummy-doomy! Just how do we build a starship that can take humans to the stars? That's a serious technological challenge for our adolescent species.
Evolution's tricks for survival is to make as many copies and spread yourselves into new territories to reduce over utilization of basic resources and your chances of being wiped out. Certainly spreading the human species around might make for better survivability. Stephen Hawking thinks so.
An excellent article in the January/February 2011 issue of SCIENCE ILLUSTRATED, titled ?Destination: Alien Stars? lists a number of possible starcraft designs:
Space Sails that catch a ride on radiation, propulsion by nuclear explosions, harnessing the power of antiparticles, rockets that harvest fuel from space (unlikely), black hole star drives using Hawking Radiation to take us to distant destinations. Now I would like to add a few more less practical: generational ships ? deep cryonics or self contained city ships, Star Trek ? the Alcubierre drive.
One of my own modifications to the first concept Solar Space Sails combines nanomachines and digitally transmitted humans to construct a star network of relay stations for transmitting a digital redundant serial encoded human consciousness. If that seems a little far out there, here is an interesting blog on star travel.
Now to the Fermi Paradox, there is one good possibility for the long term survival of humanity, that would be a transmutation into the digital. Uploading of our human consciousness into a digital computational storage would allow for an expansion of our capabilities and consciousness. Other surviving alien civilizations may have already done it.
Food for thought as always . . .
No feedback yet
|« Always Bet on Humanity!||Mind Control with Frickin Lasers »|