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Methods of leaving Earth in the distant future

  1. Jul 30, 2016 #1
    I'm writing a short story that takes place about 10,000 years in the future, and people leave the planet regularly, including civilians, and they're able to explore the galaxy. During this 10,000 year period in the future, they've even set up colonies throughout the galaxy.
    Right now, our method of leaving Earth is loud, violent, and sloppy. Is there any foreseeable method of leaving Earth 10,000 years from now that is more elegant than what we have now? There's the space elevator, but I didn't really want to use that. That seems stifling, since, in order to go to space, you would have to travel to the location of the elevator. I want the people to just be able to hop in their space ship and go to space.
    Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2016 #2
    Let me put that into perspective.

    It's 1800 and you live in Ohio. Could you predict this conversation? I couldn't. Whatever they're using in the future will very likely surprise the poo-poo out of us.

    That said, go with something that helps your narrative along. Don't beleaguer your readers with technobabble. It is, after all, everyday science for them. Just as you wouldn't go into tedious detail about how we make cell phone calls if you were writing about the current time, don't make a big deal out of whatever they've found to get them around expeditiously.

    And remember, the quality of an idea is scifi is determined by how many other authors ... borrow .. it.
  4. Jul 30, 2016 #3
    Having the said the above, why not just beam them up to the ships, but make it so that individuals have the ability, trained in the art of "jaunting" when they were children. Short range, good for LEO. Huge savings in boosters, people can literally carry small stuff with them as they jump from the earthside facility to the project in LEO. Stations allow them to go high in consecutive jumps.

    This would make an away team very agile on a new planet.
  5. Jul 30, 2016 #4


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    hopefully by then, we won't have to leave the comfort of planet earth to explore the universe. We would probably have sent probes all over and then recreate the telemetry in a virtual reality setting were you can experience all the textures and aromas of the newly-discovered worlds. The technology will be so realistic, your mind won't know the difference. But you want people to physically travel, so yeah, there will be wormholes/portals on the earth by then.

  6. Jul 30, 2016 #5


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    It seems to me the simplest solution is spaceships with very small, very powerful drive mechanisms.

    A million years ago I saw a diagram that speculated about automobile motor design over a century.
    They went from giant monstrosities that were essentially an engine-on-wheels-with-a-driver - to modern, modest engines in the front or middle - and projected a future of tiny, self-contained modules on the rear bumper.

    Likewise, as spaceship propulsion systems get more and more easy to handle, they will shrink to a very modest component of a ship, whose space is mostly for occupants. Of course, they would also be clean, and have virtually no backwash (such as Niven's interia-less drives).

    Essentially, George Jetson's spaceship-in-his-garage.

    That's essentially what you want right? A spaceship that you can park in your driveway.

    With sufficiently adavnced technology, it would not be the technology that drives spaceship design; it would be consumer interest. So they build it for how the customer wants to use it.
  7. Jul 31, 2016 #6

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    Actually, it was his briefcase.
  8. Jul 31, 2016 #7
    I recently found out the Flintstones and the Jetsons actually met. I had blamed that memory on recreational ... things.
  9. Aug 2, 2016 #8
    A better approach to this might be to ponder what intrigues you as a mean of transportation: starships, teleportation, wormholes of the Stargate variety. 10,000 years is such a long span of time that you've given yourself a lot of leeway.
  10. Aug 2, 2016 #9
    And would we even recognize a spacefaring race ten thousand years advanced from us as being human?
  11. Aug 2, 2016 #10
    If I remember correctly--and I'm not going to look it up first-- the Neanderthals died out (or disappeared) ten thousand years ago. Modern humans are only ten thousand years old. In the future I would genuinely be surprised if we don't modify our DNA in various ways to achieve various effects. In ten thousand years we may completely re-engineer the Solar System. In ten thousand years we may have taken the material that makes up Earth and use it to make a mini-Dyson Sphere. Launching you into space in that situation would involve no more than taking your ship and dropping it out a hatch. the possibilities for what we may do in ten thousand years are nearly without end. This is why I advised him to think about what he really likes or thinks is kind of cool, because there is no real way to predict what things will be like in ten thousand years.
  12. Aug 2, 2016 #11
    My thought was that humans would have the technology to adapt themselves to space, or other planets, and that might make them appear alien to us. Imagine that they get around bone loss by growing exoskeletons?
  13. Aug 2, 2016 #12


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    I'm not sure if you're deliberately making a connection between the fall of Neanderthal and the rise of modern humans, but they're entirely separate species. They co-existed for eons.

    Moden humans have been around for more like 200,000 years.
  14. Aug 3, 2016 #13
    Yeah that last entire post of mine was a doodle. It seems like there is some, significant event that happened about ten thousand years that I wanted to hold up as an example of what all can change in that span of time. So far I haven't been able to find out what the event was. Neanderthals died out 40,000 years ago. Native Americans arrived here 15,000 years ago. The receding of the last ice age? I can't anymore time into the search right now; gainful employment and all that.
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