A Conversation for Space Travel, Propulsion and Other Minutiae
Fairy Started conversation May 3, 1999
I was watching a television program about a month ago that might help
on the subject of space travel.
All a spaceship would need to do in continue propelling itself along with
low amounts of energy, once it was actually in space. This is because
there is no resistance in space, as there is a vacuum, so speeds which
are acheived on earth are faster when applied in space!!
But I am no expert, perhaps someone else will have more information on
Fafnir Posted May 3, 1999
Well, in one aspect you're right. In space you don't have that nasty thing called friction, which makes it very hard to accelerate any craft to speeds of more than some thounds mph. So all the energy you put into a spaceships propulsion (once the ship has left the eart's atmosphere) is used for accelerating it and not for friction.
But there is another problem which has to do with Einstein's Relativity Theory. Mass is no constant. This simply means, that the weight of a spaceship increases as it's speed increases. It approximates infinity, when the speed of the spaceship reaches the speed of light.
Therefore it is (as far as physicists can see) impossible to build any craft that goes at the speed of light. And even if you succeeded to build a starship that travels at, let's say ten times the speed of light, it would take you almost five years to reach the nearest star, which is about forty-two light-years away (this being the distance a beam of light travels within one year).
I am afraid, that, physically, we will not see a spaceship taking off to explore strange new worlds. I don't know what science will invent in the next millenium, but I hope that great things are afoot. Maybe we should do something with a really hot cup of tea
Spineless Squirrely Jellyfish Posted May 3, 1999
Well it's true that there would be no wind resistance and such and such in space, reaching high speeds would still be a trifle difficult. The only thing having no resistance would aid was that once you reached your top speed you could coast without any propulsion. But even going to the nearest star would take 3 years at light speed. Plus you can't even go at the speed of light (unless relativity is bunk, which it isn't, or unless I'm bunk, which I'm not)
Let's give up on space travel, atleast for beyond our solar system, and just try to love each other, and make some really nice jam rolls.
Mobius Posted May 3, 1999
True, there's no resistance in space, which means that things can go way faster than they can on Earth, or any other air-covered place. The speed of light is about 671000000mph; 10% of that is pretty fast.
The real problem is the theory of relativity; which says basically that the faster you go, the more you weigh, so the more energy is needed to speed up. (This makes sense when you think that skinny people generally go faster and need to eat more, or they fall down from hunger while walking to the fridge).
Don't ask how it is that light can go so fast, it's not sharing its diet secrets.
Mac warrior Posted May 4, 1999
I have several things to say about space travel. First of all, people dismiss the term "vacuum" as merely space with out any stuff in it. Unfortunately they forget that the word originaly came from the houshold cleaning devices that collects more dust in the closet then on the floor. You see, Vacuum is actualy the effect of a giant alien race who attempted to get the universe off of their rug. They created a huge device not unlike the things we have with all the nifty attachments. This device is the reason so little matter is out there and so much "nothing" Even our own galexy and all the other ones are being sucked towards this huge device, but do not worry, a race of star faring twinkies will have developed before we reach the vacume. This brings us back to the toppic of faster then light travel. The only way to get past the laws of relativety (Einstien created them after he was visited by his relatives for the third time in one month!!) is to find a way to reach the vacuum and turn it from, "floor" setting to "rug with high power." Of course the vacume is already going at the speed of light so you would have to be going faster then the speed of light to reach the vacuum so the entire point is moot. So, since going faster then the speed of light is dificult, we must somehow cope with sublight speeds. To do this, a method of entertainment that involves little extra mass and can entertain for the entire 100 year 2 way trip must be developed. Fortunately our ancestors discovered such an activety already and it is sex. It is theorized that a space craft with 3 guys and some 50 women could find enough ways to "do it" that they would hardly even know they were leaving earth tell they all wake up the next morning. Even with this solution comes many problems. First of all, eventualy the people will get old and be unable to do much but sit and play chess. Several things can counteract this. First, the ship will be stocked with large amounts of Viagra. Second, the crew will be picked mostely out of young goodlooking women and potential US presidents. Finaly, thanks to research conducted by John Glen, the people may not age as fast. For emergencies, a large number of chess sets will be stored in the cargo section of the ship.
Researcher 35267 Posted May 4, 1999
Comment: Those who believe there is no resitance in space are barking up the wrong tree. Fact: there has been resistance in space since the dawn of space travel. In fact space has just been working it's way round to telling the various lifeforms to get the hell out of it's neighbourhood and go and clutter up some other space's space time continuum.
The Wisest Fool Posted May 4, 1999
And the same race, having failed to vacuum up the universe resorted to trying to shove it down the sink. Most of the universe went down, but left a ring of crud around the hole which is referred to as 'the scum of the universe'. It's this 'missing' stuff that has had all the astro-physicists sweating for the last few years.
Tony Posted May 5, 1999
Your right about that you only need a small force to keep moving in space, but the whole conservation of momentum still applies and you'll
only move in speeds in proportion to the force that was applied to get you moving in the first place, in other words if you give it a small force
then it'll go really slow, but if you give it a big force it will go faster.
sturty Posted May 5, 1999
So in looking at it all, the resistence is a force fighting against the vacuum wielding entities. The whole problem being then there are not enough resistence fighters combatting these entities. I don't wish to volunteer, so let them eat cakes and I'll enjoy my coffee.
Mac warrior Posted May 14, 1999
The resistance is powerful, but not powerful enough. That is why we should invest heavily in tea and scones, when the day comes that the race will be overthrown, we will all have to hide in giant fallout shelters so we will need plenty food.
Researcher 38847 Posted May 14, 1999
Wow. Ya'll sound awfully smart to me. I vote for staying home with a correctly prepared
cuppa. However, I suspect that space travel will be forever pursued if for no other reason
than it is just the sort of incredibly rude activity that two-leggeds are so good at, ie,
showing up uninvited, grabbing everything in site, and leaving a mess for someone else
to clean up--it's how America became a super power.
Mobius Posted May 15, 1999
perhaps we could get a great number of marbles, or other such noisy objects, and fling them into the vacuum in the hopes that it will make an awful sound, cause the vacuum-makers to take the vacuum to the cleaners, and leave us all with a vacuum-free universe.
hey, what happens when the vacuum goes away? what fills all that space?
EddieG Posted May 26, 1999
ok, i never took physic in high school, but i do understand some of the simple concepts. and as for reaching the speed of light, i can't unerstand the reasoning behind how your mass becomes greater the faster you go. so if someone can clear this up it would be appreciated.
but, in my opinion, it's just a theory. meaning it has never been proved to be true. and to think about it, albert einstein died before the first satillite or man ventured into space, so he would have had no knowledge of the conditions underwhich a spacecraft would have to move to acheive light speed.
Mac warrior Posted May 28, 1999
With out the Vaccum all of us will fall down onto what is called the foundation of the universe. On top o the foundation is the floor and carpet as well. I am not sure whether stopping the Vaccum is necceraly a good idea for the race of giant mice that often cross the carpet have been known to eat planets for breakfast, Stars for lunch, and black holes for breakfast.
Mash Boy Posted Jun 10, 1999
It's been a while since I studied Physics but I'll have a go.
Einstein came up with E=MC2.
As you speed up your energy increases (kinetic)
So re-arrange the formula to get E/C2 = M
As energy increases mass will increase in proportion.
If there are any physicists out there I apologise for the primitve look of my answer but I hope it's not too wrong.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Fairy (May 3, 1999)
- 2: Fafnir (May 3, 1999)
- 3: Spineless Squirrely Jellyfish (May 3, 1999)
- 4: Mobius (May 3, 1999)
- 5: Mac warrior (May 4, 1999)
- 6: Researcher 35267 (May 4, 1999)
- 7: The Wisest Fool (May 4, 1999)
- 8: The Wisest Fool (May 4, 1999)
- 9: Tony (May 5, 1999)
- 10: sturty (May 5, 1999)
- 11: Mac warrior (May 14, 1999)
- 12: Researcher 38847 (May 14, 1999)
- 13: Mobius (May 15, 1999)
- 14: EddieG (May 26, 1999)
- 15: Mac warrior (May 28, 1999)
- 16: Mash Boy (Jun 10, 1999)
- 17: vegiman:-) (Jul 18, 2001)