This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Newest alien planet is just the right temperature for life

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Reckless Monkey

Sagan in Cosmos talks about ships approaching sufficiently high speeds to experience time slowing which would allow you to travel the distances necessary in in less than a human lifetime (on board) accelerating at 1 g. then half way turning around firing the motor in the opposite direction to slow down. Unfortunately the nuclear fusion motors would need to be fueled by tiny amounts of hydrogen available requiring essentially a funnel kilometers across some sort of shielding to deflect the subatomic particles that we would be passing through quickly enough to cook us. Of course you could tour the galaxy in a lifetime but you'd come back 10 000 years latter or something. So not in my lifetime (maybe in a 1000 years) if we ever get our act together.

As far fetched as all this sounds though if you think back to the distance between manned flight and going to the Moon being only 66 years then who knows. Hard to imagine we can get that organized when we can't get our economies sorted, or our environment. Be nice to get a message from another planet though or even bacterial life on Mars would be sweet. We'll see.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 11:33:47 UTC | #896415