Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th May 2009 22:24 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Today, the new Star Trek film has seen its official premiere here in The Netherlands tonight, and in honour of that, I figured an article on Space.com about the possibility of faster-than-light travel would make a good fit on OSNews. The article is quite technical, so bear with me on this one. I hope I get everything right.
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FTL won't be the answer
by Dasher42 on Sat 9th May 2009 00:05 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

I am just a layman.

However, I am increasingly skeptical that we'll ever find a way to send anything other than electromagnetic waves (as opposed to actual particles) at faster than light speeds. I think we're going about this wrong. Sure, if you download Celestia and move the camera around at speeds less than c, it sinks in how very far away we are from anything, and a lot of us geeks want to see another frontier. We aren't going to get there by assuming anything earthlike about space, or what can live there!

We have a lifespan of 70-80 years, and we haven't a real clue how we'd go faster than maybe 1/10th the speed of light. We aren't going to pile into a vehicle and take a drive and ask "are we there yet" the whole way. Suspended animation is the closest thing I can imagine to that on our list of conceivable options. Beyond that, I really think we need to evolve an actual biosphere that can live inside environs we can actually build in space. If we want to make the trip, we're going to have to engineer the human body for it, in terms of longevity and radiation resistance. Our bodies just aren't ready to live out there.

The alternative is to leave space to the probes, as capable and smart as we can make them, and accept that we belong right here on Earth where our genetic ancestors have evolved to live in for over a billion years.

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