Is Traveling to Another Star in our Galaxy Possible?
If we can expand into the entire universe, why worry about there are too many people on the planet? Early Europe solved its population problem by transporting its surplus population to the New World. Why can’t we continue this process? Our space program has pointed out the road. “This possibility is often raised at public gatherings. In 1958, four years after the establishment of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), its congressional guardian, the Science and Space Committee, also supported space migration as the final solution to the “population explosion” problem.
How many planets are there to live in? Are these planets really usable for us Earth people? At the beginning of the 20th century, it was thought that Mars and Venus were possible places for human life. But shortly after the establishment of NASA, it was indisputable that other planets around the sun were not suitable for our life. We know that a person on the surface of Venus will have to live at a temperature sufficient to melt the lead. He breathes 96% of the carbon dioxide, at an atmospheric pressure equivalent to 1/2 mile below our ocean surface. Work. (It is speculated that Venus has suffered a devastating ” greenhouse effect .”) As for Mars, a frequent visitor to this science fiction, living on this red planet is like living at twice the height of Mount Everest . Mars’ air contains only a very small amount of water, and its atmospheric pressure is only 1% of the Earth’s sea level atmospheric pressure; the temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night. Therefore, when talking about immigration between celestial bodies, in fact, we only consider the migration between stars, moving to other stars outside the sun – assuming they have their own planets. A further assumption is that among these hypothetical planets, several may be as suitable for life as the Earth.
The nearest star except the sun is the alpha star of Centaur , at a distance of 4.3 light years . (“Light Year” is a unit of length, not a unit of time. It refers to the distance that light travels throughout the year.) The distance from the Earth to the Alpha Centauri is 25 trillion miles.
In order to escape from the Earth, the speed of the spacecraft must exceed 25,000 miles per hour. At 25,000 mph, the spacecraft will take 1 billion hours to reach the Alpha Centauri alpha – a total of 114,000 years of transport. It is terrible to design a self-sufficient human immigrant team that can successfully self-sustain for more than 100,000 years. Still need faster speed.
Even at the speed of light , it takes four years to travel to the Alpha Centauri alpha star, but we have sufficient physics reasons to believe that it is impossible to approach this speed. Sebastian von Helna believes that 3% of the speed of light is the maximum speed we can expect, that is, 22 million miles per hour. At this rate, it takes 140 years from the Earth to the Centaurus alpha star. Traveling takes 5 generations. Some might think that advances in technology can shorten transit times; but on the other hand, if the Centaurus alpha star has no imaginary planets suitable for human life? In this case, our Mayflower spacecraft will have to “start” again, and perhaps five generations later, its passengers are expected to find a new earth.
Don’t think that the Mayflower spacecraft can be self-sufficient through ordinary agriculture like the earth. The sun can only make the green plants on the spacecraft grow in the month of the trip. Before the spacecraft flew to Neptune , the sun was not enough for photosynthesis, and everyone knows how dim the distant stars are. In the dark, plants inhale oxygen, just like animals always do. So before they reach Neptune, plants will compete with humans for oxygen . Since the Alpha Centauri alpha is the nearest star, this means that most of the 140-year trip will be accompanied by starlight. There is no doubt that this is very romantic, but not very nutritious. The energy on the spacecraft is needed to regenerate oxygen. From what channels can the members of the immigrant team get the energy they need to live in the dark for five generations?
Freeman Dyson suggested that travelers can drop hydrogen bombs one by one at the end of the spacecraft, using the barrier between the spacecraft and the explosion to capture 10% of the energy. (Obviously, before the departure of our spacecraft, there are a lot of engineering details to be solved!) The mobile immigration team needs a safe way to store and use energy for 140 years.
The savings and donations that our ancestors used to pay for the historic Mayflower trip to the Americas can be expressed as the number of years of effort required to accumulate the necessary capital. Dyson believes that in the Mayflower journey to bring the Puritan predecessors to North America, one person needs 7.5 years of labor to pay for a family’s travel expenses. For a historic trip to the Mormons from Illinois to Utah in the 19th century , he calculated the cost of each family to spend 2.5 people. For a well-designed space immigration program, he estimates that the cost per family is 1,500 people per year. If we assume that there are four people in each family, it means that each person will use 375 years of labor income to pay for space travel.
When we express travel expenses in the basic terms of the number of years of work, it is clear that almost no passenger can afford his travel expenses. A person who has worked for 50 years (from 15 to 65 years old) has only worked for 50 years and has consumed most of this amount in the course of his life. It is not easy to say how much he can accumulate, but certainly not much. Therefore, every imaginary immigrant on a spaceship must be funded by a large group of people who remain on earth. This scientific fact clearly calls for some kind of generosity in the political system.
Although the US dollar is not a basic measure compared to the number of years of work, we will also benefit from a rough representation of travel expenses in US dollars. Consider the situation of a nuclear submarine. This is a meticulously crafted machine, but obviously not as complicated as a spacecraft capable of 140 years of interstellar travel. A typical nuclear submarine costs $1 billion and carries 140 sailors . The boating cost per sailor is $7 million (we also miss a significant amount of operating costs). If every sailor has to buy his position on the submarine (as in the 19th century, the British gentleman had to buy their qualifications at the official agency), an ordinary person can make enough money before he can get on board. Is the money for boarding fees? An ordinary person can save $10,000 a year from a normal job, which is hard to come by. With this optimistic savings rate, he needs 700 years to accumulate the required boarding fees.
It can be realized in 100 years
A Star Trek seems to be impossible to achieve, but some astrophysicists don’t think so. Professor Jalend-Louis from the University of Sydney believes that in the next 100 years we will achieve a breakthrough in space flight speed. Star Trek will become possible. He also described the idea that the spacecraft used the distortion of time and space to conduct interstellar travel, pointing out that the current reason why Star Trek did not break is because we have not found adaptive materials with negative energy density. In theory, the possibility of using space-time distortion to achieve space travel exists, and we may make a breakthrough in the near future.
Einstein’s theory affects all aspects of people’s lives. The theory is now 100 years old. This is a great theory that describes the objective reality of time and space distortion, but we only touch the surface of the theory. Professor Jalent-Louis believes that in the next 100 to hundreds of years, we will reveal more about the mysteries of the theory of the universe, one of which is Star Trek. But scientists must first obtain the right materials to build such a spaceship. If we understand the equation that Einstein left us, we can understand that there are more mysteries waiting for the space-time distortion theory to be discovered.
In theory, curved speed driving is possible, and the materials that make the curved speed driving spacecraft also exist in our universe, but we still don’t know how to find and apply them. Einstein’s special theory of relativity pointed out in 1905 that no object motion can exceed the speed of light, but later scientists found that Einstein’s equation solution allowed space to move faster than the speed of light, if we twisted the spacecraft before and after the spacecraft , can use the nature of time and space itself to run at the speed of light.
Current cosmological observations also reveal that the distance between stars is very far away. Without the technique of interstellar travel, we cannot complete the construction of a cosmic colony. Even at the speed of light, it takes tens of thousands of years to travel to the nearest star, and it takes more than 2 million years to travel to the nearest galaxy. A huge distance will hinder us from colonizing the universe, so we need to achieve a breakthrough in speed. Its mystery lies in Einstein’s theory of relativity.