The Big Problem With Interstellar Travel

The Big Problem With Interstellar Travel

-This video was made possible by Brilliant. -Start learning intuitively with Brilliant for 20% off by being one of the first 200 people to sign up at -So you probably know that stars are pretty far away -But you may have also dreamed about visiting one since you were a kid. -Science fiction has taught us that travelling to a distant star system may not be too far off in the distant future. -But Science fiction rarely gets into some of the largest problems that surround this concept. -I’ve made one video before discussing the possibility of humanity reaching another star in your life-time and to summarize that one, -The best you can hope for is *Maybe* a tiny probe the Proxima Centauri system sometime in a few decades That might be capable of taking some pictures of the planets there But as for you actually going yourself in visiting a planet that orbits a distanse star Unless you can figured out how to become immortal you likely never will And here are some of the biggest reasons why The distances are obviously huge and traveling across those distances will take a lot of time The fastest speed that humanity has ever achieved with a man-made object was using a Helios 2 prom which ** to 240 000km/h That’s fast enough to circle around the entire Earth in just about 10 minutes. With going in that speed will still take about 19 000 years of just reach Proxima Centauri – the nearest other star to the Sun But lets speculate for a moment now that perhaps this is the fastest speed that we ever could reach using a spaceships with actuall humans on board We build a ship with about 100 person crew that we populated-self over generations until we gets to Proxima Centauri This concept is known as Generation Ship and the people on board will live their entire lifes without every living the small space of the ship before arriving at its destination over 600 generations of people will live at this bizzare exsistance before finally arriving 19 000 years later at their destination and goal: The first humans to ever colonised antoher star system. The only problem is tho: after they finally do arrive, they not only discover, that humans are already there, but have been there already for tousands of years and have completly colonised the new planet with milions of people and huge cities. The reason this could happend is that the people of 2018 assumed the speed of 240 000 km/h was the fastest speed we could achieved on a ship and so they send up their colonists under that assumption. However, after 19 000 years into their yourney, they were still 18 000 years more away from getting to their planet. Back on Earth, tho, a thousand years of technological development was enough time to discover much faster forms of space travel. And the people od the year 3018 will be capable of sending out colonist on the ship that could reach the planet in just 5 000 years. So their ship endend up passing the one l*** in 2018 arrived to the destination planet thousands of years before it and have enougt time to completly develop civilisation there before the 2018 ship arrived and discover their entire 19 000 years of deal and suffering was all for… nothing. Who knows what psychological or feel self- problems such an experience could create for those people But this entire problem is known as the Wait Calculation When is the optimal time for humanity to send colonist out to another star? The concept was first written about by Andrew Kennedy in a paper written in 2006. Kennedy assumed, that it have to be a minimum travel time to any place in the Universe. And that ment was our technology was close to achieving it we could safely send colonist out and avoid the risk of living too early for nothing. But deciding when the best time to live is.. is pretty complicated. And think about the implications that poses to any would-be space traveler: Would you volunteerly signed up to be locked in the space ship for the rest of your life, along with your children’s life and their children’s, and their children’s and so on houndred of time over? When the only pay-off will be being told that: One day humanity will colonise another planet star thanks to your sacrifice? But then you remember the Wait calculation and release that only pay of is actually a huge gamble and you sacifice maybe worthless and along run. You’ll be insine to take that risk and everybody else will feel the same way, so convincing anybody to get on the Generation Ship like this at almost anytime in the future would be almost impossible..unles you forced them to. Would be colonist always assumed, that peopole in the future would just create faster form of transportation, that would completly negate their own journeys? That is until we descover a way to travel at or near light speed. It appears, that the speed od light is the Universe highest speed limit. And so, naturally, if humanity ever discover a way to travel near it, potential colonists could rest their sure that they sacrifices their travel that never be en vain. Like the explorers aboard the ABC Jungle Fruit are cruisers searching for resourses

100 thoughts on “The Big Problem With Interstellar Travel”

  • Michelle Zhou says:

    But then the aliens on that other planet would have already killed the 3018 humans, and then the 2018 humans as well

  • Couldn't they send them off, and build the better ships, catch up to that ship, and relay the passengers to the new planet from the old ship to the new planet, with the new technology. It can be a generational traveling relay station in space. YAY 🤷🏿‍♂️

  • This video misses the point in sending people on the earlier ship in the first place. The only reason to send people off on a generation ship in the near future ( slow ship) would be if the Earth was in trouble and the environment and human extinction was inevitable. In this scenario the later ship would never happen because the reason behind the earlier ships departure was humanity's impending doom.

  • Roboute Guilliman says:

    The people of 2018 are not so stupid (or at least most of them, I hope) as to assume that some arbitrary speed is the fastest that they can ever go. Why should you be so narrow-minded to do so? There have been theorized, some of them even tested and used, numerous methods of propulsion that could get a ship even up to a significant fraction of the speed of light. Have you heard of ion engines or photonic sails, not to mention the more advanced methods such as nuclear pulse propulsion or interstellar ramjets? You'll obviously need an awful lot of resources, but you're not building a fucking interstellar ship for cheap anyway.

  • meh given that no way wifi gonna be there, give me about 10,000,000 petabytes worth data comprised of movies/songs , education, games, necessaries etc on-board and some hot astronaut babes and sign me up, guns too if any aliens wanna fu*k around

  • Maybe instead of generations the people could be on cryo sleep where the body is frozen and not age for a few thousand years. Also this could save a lot of food and water.

  • Joshua Traffanstedt says:

    Short of achieving light speed (or even anything close to it), how would you best guess space travel to other star systems will happen, say, in 600 years? 600 years ago, most civilizations werent even capable of leaving their continent. Now look at us. Hard to imagine how much will change in the next 600 years.

  • Szilveszter H. says:

    1 month in space can decreases bone density by 1%.
    1 week of radiation exposure in space is equivalent 1 year of radiation on Earth
    Longer zero gravity state deteriorate eyesight permanently.
    Being in space weakens the heart because of the decreased blood mass.

    I just leave this here.

  • Claude Gagnon says:

    Everyone is talking about speed and None is talking about accélération..? What is the higher accélération people walking around can live with..! That is the real limitation about the speed you can Reach…

  • Typical of selfish humans that those on the faster ship wouldn't think of picking up the others on the slower ship.

  • Black Tim Howard says:

    How would you aim the ship? I see three options, all terrible 1) You don't. Use math when you leave and hope that nothing changes your trajectory or that of your destination in the 19,000 years you're travelling 2) Use a fuel source, which runs out in like 2 generations 3) Give Jesus the wheel and miss completely

  • mister roberts says:

    face it, no ones going anywhere for a very very very very loooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time

  • 'Spatial absurdity' is a new theory challenging our understanding of distance. Basically it says that if there were two of you, no matter how far away from each other you go, you're still sharing the same point in space. It's obviously built upon our current understanding of quantum entanglement. What this means is that distance itself (among other things) is possibly only our perception being warped (stretched) by the fabric of space time. Think of space time as having a resistance or viscosity that slows the speed of light so that the further away the object the slower light traveled to get here.

  • mierpaul zozo says:

    I think the concept of generational ships is bogus. much easier and economical to put crew In deep sleep and low metabolism. especially with some fraction of time dilation. problem solved.

  • Only getting images of Proxima Centauri… well, dropping all my plans, research and studies. Next up, cryogenic preservation and immortality

  • I mean, given all of the people that agreed to go on a one way trip to mars, I assume that there would be people willing to sign up on a generation ship.

  • Nobleman Matthew A. Davis says:

    Faster ship gets there and colonizes planet.

    Slower ship gets there: N A H C H I E F.


  • Couldn’t the second ship from the future stop and pick the people up already heading towards the star? Then so on and so on as time and technology go on?? That way at least someone would reach a star at some point even if technology stopped .

  • I before A except after K says:

    Even worse, the wait calculation assumes that we don't eventually find some way to circumvent the speed of light barrier. While it's certainly far into the realm of science fiction for now, there are theoretically ways it could be done. And given 19,000 years, I wouldn't be surprised if theory gets turned into reality at some point.

  • Simian Unlucky says:

    Remember the movie Passengers (2016) with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence
    ? In that movie it took them a long long time to go to this far away planet from Earth so they froze people's bodies and only woke them up few months before they reached the planet. I know that the movie is just science fiction (and apparently not so good) but if we figure about a way to keep humans and animals frozen like that, it would be like thousands of years had not gone by.

  • Well, thinking about it, even if the 1000 years later ship makes a detour to pick people up from tree first ship, they probably wouldn't even understand each other, as language would change in that time span. Also, maybe some little mutations would occur and they would be slightly different…. Well, definitely, let's not do it…

  • Or, quite simply, you don’t send the new colonists in the new ship towards the same planet that you sent the old colonists. Boom!

  • Couldn’t the Earth with more advanced technology catch up to the 19,000 year voyage to somewhat speed up their voyage to proxima instead of just plain out passing them and making their voyage a waste?

  • Why is no one talking about time relativity? Wouldn't the people on the ship from this year experience time at a significantly slower rate due to their speed?

  • Isn’t the bigger problem that a spacecraft couldn’t last 19,000 years… the components would have decomposed by then and they couldn’t possibly take enough replacement parts from Earth to maintain the ship whilst floating through space. Plus what would they do with all their dead? Lol

  • Lol how will a group of people just "colonize" a planet? What if conditions aren't exactly like those on earth? How will they land? Where will they get enough materials and equipment to build stuff? The conditions on the planet will have to be idyllic, with pleasant weather, edible fruits all over the place and reeds with which they can build huts, no dangerous bacteria and viruses, etc. NO. This will NEVER happen. NEVER.

  • This is a cool video, but it's silly to assume there would be no contact with the first ship once or left earth. If a new ship left and new technology was developed, the first ship would know albeit with a light delay. It would be in constant communication with Earth.

  • Even if you think one generation ship would stop to rescue another it would make no sense to do so. What would make sense is for later generations, those with near-light travel and much greater resources, to fly around picking up all the inhabitants of generation ships that wanted to be rescued. Odds are if Ship A stops to rescue the inhabitants of older Ship B they will find, upon arrival, that Ship B's inhabitants have already been rescued by somebody with near-light capabilities.

  • What if I told you we are living that bizarre existence on our way to a new planet.

    Our ships name is not eart but PROVETRAVA.

    You are welcome.

  • Soumen Bhattacharya says:

    Not enough content 30% advertisement. You never mentioned about teleportation of human being remember the series startrek

  • is no one going to talk about time dilation? To a person traveling the speed of light from earth to proxima centauri, they would arrive instantly, while to an observer it would take 4.2 years. This means that to a person in a light speed spacecaraft it would take less time to get to the nearest star then it would be to get on a plane going pretty much anywhere.

  • Izak gets victory royales says:

    Why dont we just make a black whole and shoot it so fast that its able to drag us to proxima well be so close to the edge of the effect of the black whole that if we thrust a little well be able to escape its effects

  • The speed is not the only problem. You have to slow down when you get there ans it will take the same amount of energy that you used getting there.

  • Christopher Jones says:

    I am curious how the paper addresses interstellar communications. The generation ship would be in contact with Earth. signals would eventually take years, but that would be gradual. I am certain “passing” ships would stop by and rescue those aboard the generational ship.

  • Why didn’t the 3018 people stop and pickup up the colony in the 2018 colony? Did they give them the birdie on the way past?

  • Live all your life in a completely closed space?…and do this VOLUNTARILY?…you would have to be seriously sick in the head…

  • Blayne Puckett says:

    Why couldn't the faster ships, as they were developed, just stop and pick up the passengers of the slower ships on there way?

  • Biggest problem is we have yet to make machinery that either lasts or isnt outdated after 10 years. So a ship lasting 20k years would be impossible for us unless it was self repairing and had plenty of materials to do so. You could send people out to do it but you cant trust that they can. Nanobots would be the best option and have humans as back up to manually fix anything in or outside the ship

  • Wait!!! Why can’t the 5,000 traveler generation tow the other ship with them and or load a new engine to give to them so they can do it themselves

  • We won't ever get to that point if we don't develop the tools to control our climate with extreme precision. Lest extinction be inevitable, and we don't even attain the status of type-I civilization.

  • When I was a kid we were supposed to land humans on Mars in the 80s. We still don’t possess the technology, according to NASAs own Director and various astronauts (eg., Don Pettit) to travel beyond the Van Allen radiation belts that encircle Earth, but we are “working on new technologies in order to travel beyond low earth orbit (beyond 400 miles).” When asked “why don’t we simply use the technology we had in the Apollo moon landing missions?” The reply is “we destroyed that technology and it’s too expensive to rebuild.” So talk of traveling a distance of 4 light years to Proxima Centauri is science fiction, not science. There’s a difference gamers, Trekkies, and comic book guys.

  • Angelo louisjeune says:

    Lol that was funny. You 19,000 years to reach a planet when you discover theres already you human on said planet. But while passing stop n wake these motherfuckers up.

  • The only situation in which this would make sense would be if we needed to leave planet Earth and had no other option. Then I'd sign up.

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