Possibility of affordable interstellar space flight

In summary, the conversation discusses the feasibility and affordability of interstellar travel, taking into account factors such as resources, human survival, and economic ownership. It is argued that interstellar spaceflight is possible, as demonstrated by the Voyager satellites, but the cost and practicality of such a journey remains uncertain.
  • #1
wolram
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This is an old paper but at least it is a start for a discussion on the affordability of interstellar
travel.

http://www.andrews-space.com/images/videos/PAPERS/Pub-InterstellarTransportation(200307).pdf

If one uses some marker for a nations, or a group of nations wealth, will interstellar space flight ever be affordable in 100, 200 yrs time.

All this is assuming we have some pay back or need for interstellar travel.
 
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  • #2
Before one asks about affordability, the real question is whether or not interstellar flight is possible or practical, in the sense that - is there a place to go and would humans survive the trip. Just traveling toward the outer planets means that one has to take all the resources necessary - oxygen, water, food, and energy supply.

Then look at how many life spans are required to reach the destination, and realize that over many generations, humans would like loose their skeletal structure, and would then require an exoskeleton, so the humans arriving at the destination would be physiologically different.

Also, another thing to consider - the primary source of elements constituting the human body would likely be those very humans, so corpses would have to be recycled.


Economically, the cost is determined by the ownership structure, i.e. who owns the material and energy resources necessary for the infrastructure of interstellar spaceflight?

We have already sent satellites (Voyager) out of the solar system, so in that sense, we have already accomplished interstellar spaceflight - assuming said satellites have sufficient kinetic energy to escape the solar system or orbit around the sun.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/index.html
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_program
 

Related to Possibility of affordable interstellar space flight

What is interstellar space flight?

Interstellar space flight refers to the ability to travel between stars or planetary systems in space. This requires advanced technology and long-distance travel capabilities.

Is interstellar space flight currently possible?

At this time, interstellar space flight is not possible with our current technology. The distances between stars are immense, and our current spacecraft are not capable of traveling such long distances.

What are the challenges in achieving affordable interstellar space flight?

There are many challenges in achieving affordable interstellar space flight. Some of the main challenges include developing advanced propulsion systems, finding sustainable and renewable sources of energy for the spacecraft, and creating protective shielding to withstand the harsh conditions of space.

What advancements in technology are needed for affordable interstellar space flight?

To make interstellar space flight affordable, significant advancements in technology are needed. This includes developing new propulsion systems, creating more efficient and lightweight spacecraft materials, and finding sustainable energy sources. Additionally, advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics could also play a crucial role in making interstellar space flight more affordable.

How likely is it that affordable interstellar space flight will be achieved in the future?

While it is impossible to predict the future, many scientists and researchers believe that affordable interstellar space flight may be possible in the distant future. With continued advancements in technology and space exploration, we may one day have the capability to travel to other stars and explore the vastness of space.

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