Here you have it. In the next few centuries, we can colonize the solar system in any number of different ways using largely conventional technology extended to meet the reasonable challenges of week-long hope to Mars, Saturn or elsewhere.
In recent years, it seems that the allure of space has once again captured the minds of a generation.
Last Saturday night at Stanford University, I had the honor of publicly debating the world's leading anarcho-primitivist philosopher John Zerzan. As a transhumanist, I differ from Zerzan on just about every topic.
Space travel. Bitcoin payments. Suites on airplanes. Some trends just keeping popping up on our news feeds time and time again. Some of these are fantastic and others... not so much.
The science is laid on with a mallet, beating you into acceptance with every gibberish-sounding theory possible. I am not saying it is not all true. I don't know. I just know I didn't understand anything past the first worm hole reference.
Any technology we have today, or any extension of it that we can actually build, will not match the challenge of interstellar travel, especially at a price human society will care to pay. Here is what I recommended instead.
It took around 60 years to get from the Wright Brothers in 1903 to airliners that had modern levels of risk. While we might compress the timeframe, it is not going to happen for spaceflights in a year or two.
Cast into space on September 5, 1977, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. And mounted on a Titan IIIE/Centaur launch vehicle, Voyager-1 is now the farthest human-made object from Earth at 17,922,521,702 km (119.80465777 au).
Thinking about whether a particular set of religious practices or beliefs would make sense on a different planet might be a valuable exercise in understanding ourselves.
I have been an avid science fiction reader all my life, but as an astronomer for over half my life, the essential paradox of my fantasy world can no longer be maintained. Basically, science tells us that traveling fast enough to make interstellar travel possible requires more money than society will ever be able to invest in the attempt.
Having worked in the spaceflight industry for just under 20 years, I can testify that for an industry full of rocket scientists, we can be a pretty sentimental bunch.
If the type of telescope described here can be built, then the tyranny of distance is vanquished. You can forget deep space probes and their long travel times. We could explore alien worlds in the comfort of our own homes, as our laptops scroll and zoom through data sets collected by a mammoth, space-based telescope array.
Let's take a look at one of the most intriguing of the 1,739 confirmed exoplanets that is both Earth-sized and in the habitable zone of its star. Known only by its catalog number, Kepler-186f, it has no name yet, but we know quite a bit about it already.
Flying our astronauts should be a national strategic priority, and NASA should be free to continue expanding its use of public-private partnerships and building on its successes.
How, you may ask, are things "looking up" considering the cuts to the federal budget, the retirement of the shuttle, and the faltering of international agreements with our Russian partners in the International Space Station?
Was Wernher von Braun responsible for the design of the suppository? If you look at the old Movietone newsreels of the ...