In a recent post for our friends, the Immortalists (they’re going to live forever), GD writer Jake Anderson speculated as to whether we’ll need life extension and augmentation in order to travel to the nearest star Alpha Centauri. Short of developing a wormhole or faster than light speed travel, we determined that a trip to a star 4.2 light years away or more would basically be a one-way trip for the cosmonauts. Or is that NASA’s dirty little secret?
This got us thinking. Let’s say we get one of these Nuclear Pulse Propulsion engines, or maybe just a really good light-propelled sailing spacecraft…would we take the plunge and travel to another star, knowing it would take decades and that we’d never return to the Earth? Not only would we never return, the time dilation that would occur during the trip would make it so that although the crew on board would only age a day or so, they would know that the entire human species back at home is 100+ years ahead, which would be something of a mind-f***.
You would never see your friends or family again, would never again revel in the warm collective hive mind that is the human race…BUT you would likely get to visit another planet, one that is possibly habitable and which could contain untold treasures beyond our wildest imagination–not to mention, alien life.
I think we would be down provided it was a large crew on a type of ark, if we were essentially endowed with the tools and resources necessary to survive the perils of space and possibly make a colony on a different world. We would be the first star travelers–can’t think of a much cooler nickname than that.
Or maybe you’d rather get a one-way ticket to Mars instead: