Micro Life Zone
Asked by ultimatezeus to Renee, Janette, Elise, Dirk on 18 May 2012.
Keywords: capable, planet, spaceship
I would think that the major issue is the time it would take to get there, so you would need some sort of engine well beyond what we currently have the technology to build. Travelling faster than the speed of sound it would take over five years to get to Mars! There are also the issues related to atmospheric changes which create extremes of temperature.
Elise has given a good answer, but another way to help overcome the amount of time that it takes would be to have something called a ‘generation ship’. This basically means that seeing as the trip is going to take so long, the plan would be to populate the ship with new generations of people who are born along the way, and they can be trained to drive the ship and continue the mission as the original people die of old age. It’s a pretty interesting proposition I think, maybe the social issues would be just as tricky as the technological ones.
Well I am no rocket scientist, you’d need on for this one, but I do know it took the NASA astronauts 3 days to get to the moon (see link 1) below) and that it would to about a year to get to Mars (see link 2) below). That of course is using today’s chemical rocket technology. Renee’s “generation ship” answer is the more probable way we’d ever get to a planet outside our solar system because traveling faster than the speed of light is technically impossible in Einsteinian/Newtonian physics. Of course the whole psychological and social dynamics associated with that are probably not yet fully understood.
The other scientists have answered this pretty well already – the big issue will be obviously the distance and the time it will take to get to another planet! To give you an idea, if we wanted to go to Mars, we would have to aim to go when it was closest to Earth – it would be a 55 000 000 km long trip, and it is one of the closet planets!! The mars rover mission took about 7 months to reach Mars.
We would also need to take enough food and fuel for the trip, and long periods in space can cause problems with out health. In particular, the muscles and bones in our body can break down, and lead to long-term problems, so this would need to be understood and a solution found before any long term space trips to far away planets can be undertaken. This would be really important in the case of the generational space ship (Renee’s answer) as nobody has been born and grown up in space so we have no idea what the effect is on a growing person.
So until we have the technology to travel in space faster than we currently can, it will take us a long time to go anywhere, and will limit how far we can travel.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2020