TOP 10 problems of interstellar travel - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 02:00

The stars above us are so beautiful that people even made whole mythology based on them. They are really spectacular, and now, when we got to the Moon and soon get to Mars, our natural tendency would be the way to the stars. This trip formed the basis of countless science fiction stories and movies. Many already think that travel from star to star easy - you just need to press the trigger, but not so simple. Several serious problems remain to be solved.

faster than light


The basis of many space travel in science fiction lies moving faster than light. In reality, the physics preclude such a possibility. And there are no opportunities around this fundamental limitation. Even traveling at close to the speed of light is faced with all sorts of interesting relativistic problems associated with mass and energy. Our only option is to use portals - wormholes. Wormhole must be carefully controlled, that is currently beyond our capacity, and we need to somehow create a second wormhole in the destination. The need to send someone to the end to create a wormhole - not the best reason for the first interstellar travel. Besides the physical effects when traveling through permanent or temporary wormhole can lead to destruction of all matter. You may well get to the destination in the form of plasma.


Classical teleportation implies a person who activates the device and disappears in order to appear at the destination. But in reality, teleportation works far more complicated than shown in the movies. Even if we admit the possibility of such a principle, think about it: people versed on the atoms in the car for teleportation is physically moved to a destination and going again. Only one assembly requires incredible machines in the destination, and the basic laws of physics will not allow us to accurately manipulate matter at such enormous distances - up to another star. Such teleportation is possible only in those places where we have been. Assembly of atoms is not yet available to us, but it is possible. You just need to send atoms to another star, and this can be done with the speed of light - clearly faster than sending the body, but it would still take years.

Another option - to gather at the end of an exact copy of the person, and the previous destroy. But this option is hardly anyone want.
Colony Ship


If traveling faster than the speed of light is not possible, we can build ships generations. Light reaches our nearest star for four years, but heavy objects take much more time. To most of the stars have to fly at least a hundred years. The ships generations population can be born and die, until many years later, it reaches the destination. But these ships have a number of problems.

Descendants elementary can forget about the original purpose of the mission, because it will turn into a legend for hundreds of years. Reasonable computer system could train people born on the ship, to avoid this failure, but still - very difficult to predict what will happen in the time until the generation replaced by another generation. If anything happens to the ship, barely a generation which has forgotten the subtleties of engineering craft over the years, anything can help.


To resolve uncertainties in the maximum ships generations can use ships eggs. They will carry frozen fertilized human eggs to be grown and nurtured elaborate machines, and they will perform their uteruses, parents and teachers. Egg can turn into people on reaching a distant star or planet, and the computers will teach future space invaders everything you need to know.

Designing such machines may not be possible at the moment, but in the future - why not? In any case, as the ship generation, ship the eggs will not help the person who wants to go in search of new stars. A cultured people may not like them or they do mission can be born without thirst for travel.


Alternative vehicle generations may be genetic modification of people who can live for hundreds or thoUSAnds of years to travel to the course of his life. All questions of life in space would be exhausted. Longevity and immortality carefully studied science, but the biggest obstacle in these matters remain telomeres - the end portions of chromosomes that get shorter each time your cells divide. In the end, telomere length will be eaten at all.



Every new generation of longevity and did not answer the important question, can help hibernation. In many movies and books of people detained in a sleep state to deliver on long distance. In this state, people do not age or age very slowly, it is such a kind of "sleep mode." Unfortunately, telomeres and then pose a problem.

Our bodies always contain a small number of radioactive elements. They emit small amounts of radiation, which is harmless to us as new cells replace damaged permanently. If a person does not age during hibernation, its telomeres are not reduced, and the cells do not divide. Any radioactive elements in this state will apply permanent harm to the body that will ultimately lead to death. Even slow aging can deliver radiation for long periods of time. Need to share cells at a normal pace.


Even if human problems traveling to other stars are resolved, the problem will go. Conventional systems include fuel combustion or reaction mass, but to get to another star, need incredible reserves of fuel, which is extremely inefficient. As a solution - you can gain fuel along the way.
In the space between the stars is no ordinary asteroids or planets on which you can sit down and get fuel. Fortunately, space - this is not a vacuum, it has many scattered tiny atoms, preferably hydrogen. If you move at high speed, these atoms can be collected and used as fuel in fusion reactions like (of course, if we get to it). To collect hydrogen, need a powerful "scoop", according to preliminary estimates of 2000 square kilometers area. This will significantly increase the size of the ship resistance and reduce speed to conventional rocket. Such a system would be extremely inefficient and unsustainable. But she was treated.


star closest to us - it's Alpha Centauri. She is four light years from Earth. If you get it to a conventional car with a speed of 60 km / h, you will need 72 million years. Even assuming that such a car will be created during this period will expire every imaginable periods of decay and natural wear and tear, not to mention almost zero probability of arrival after such a long time. Speed ​​is needed, even if it is limited by the speed of light. Because of tiny atoms scattered throughout the cosmos, any vessel at high speed will bombard them with such force that they will knock even the strongest steel.

There are two options: the people or machines are constantly patching holes and repairing damage, which means you will need a huge amount of materials for repair, which will carry with them, or a ship is made ​​of elastic material that will fix themselves. These are the materials now being developed in space agencies. The bad news is that scientists do not believe in the possibility of the existence of such materials.


The structure of our body is heavily dependent on gravity. When people do not live in a normal Earth gravity, their bodies begin to suffer. After a few weeks or months to become brittle bones, muscles - weak and long-term effects generally fatal. People can deal with such effects through a variety of exercises and diets, but after a few years or decades in space, the human body will be irreversibly damaged. Even within a relatively short flights badly deteriorating eyesight. This is the problem, by the way, wants to solve NASA, before sending humans to Mars.

Instead of living in zero gravity, you can create artificial gravity by rotating the space object. Unfortunately, it would take a tremendous amount of energy and fuel, and the rotation itself will inevitably cause nausea - in short periods. What will happen in the long term - is still unknown, has not been studied.
Food, air and water


People living on the ship for a long period, you will need a support system. They will need to eat, drink, breathe, urinate, defecate, bathe and sleep. Much of this can already be done in space with current technology. But in the case of long journeys amount of food and water would be too great, so that you can take with you. The most reasonable solution would be to take the ship self-sustaining ecosystem. plants produce air successfully eaten and consume human waste. Any ecosystem rather ineffective, but will extend the life support prior to arrival at destination.

Ship equipment will be seriously damaged gases that will appeal, but this could be solved by creating a smart material. Carefully studied algae as they have great potential in maintaining ecosystems. But they have a problem - if you eat the algae in large quantities, can seriously poisoned. And again - the genetic modification can solve this issue.



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