Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Second Earth


Lest you think that this post is advocating the use of a new Second Life product, let me drag you back to the real world. Astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet ever discovered.

So my main question, apart from how we can get there (20 years of astronaut ice cream and beef jerky seems too much to ask of anyone, just to get there), is about the year. Their year is 13 days long. Imagine that? One day per month, just about - so what's that? three days of summer, three days of fall, three days of winter, four days of spring. So it could snow one day and then five days later be mid-summer? And we thought we had an ADD epidemic...

4 comments:

Gopi Rajaseharan said...

Interesting topic, Raina! Can you imagine how long it would take to travel 20 light years with current propulsion technology? It seems that the (manned) space shuttle would need about 37,200 years to go one light-year!

For such long voyages, any spacecraft will definitely need reliable, self-sufficient greenhouse systems for growing fresh food. For meat and diary, cloned animals could be used. Then children would need schooling and travellers in general will need entertainment (movies and TV shows zoomed in from Earth?) and gymnasiums/nightlife to generally remain active. The spacecraft should be large and resourceful enough to contain and power these facilities. Finally someone should be committed and content enough to leave Earth behind forever...

The Lethological Reader said...

They'd have to create some kind of artificial gravity also, to prevent osteoporosis. And some way to manufacture their own gasoline and electricity. I can imagine the ship would have to be large enough to really move around in, or people would start to get seriously stir crazy. I mean, even if we were capable of traveling at light speed, it would still take 20 years - can you imagine giving up 20 years without a vacation or respite from all your co-workers? We'll just have to wait until we have warp speed capability! :D Or some really committed people who were willing to leave all that behind for a minimum of 40 years.

Gopi Rajaseharan said...

Don't forget a hospital and associated training facilities for upcoming doctors/nurses.

Should we even bother with fossil fuels in space? The "charging" system that goes with the propulsion system of the spacecraft (ion, nuclear, whatever) should be able to generate sufficient electricity to power subsystems (like the hospital, schools, living areas ,etc.).

Vacation? A big swimming pool surrounded by sand should be enough. Anyone who has committed to such an undertaking probably isn't your average earthling :) I mean, travelling to a distant planet...that is one "hell" of a vacation!!

I suspect that if this ever becomes possible, robots might do a lot of work too.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Oh cool, another earth-ish planet!

I don't know why this cheers me up, but it does.

An three days of winter sounds just about right to me.