Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Possibility of affordable interstellar space flight

  1. Feb 4, 2009 #1

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2009 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    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
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Possibility of affordable interstellar space flight
  1. Can it possible? (Replies: 7)

Loading...