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

  1. If we ever do this, we need a contingency plan for the exact scenario. Maybe make the ship so that it can easily be found, retrofitted, and pushed up to speed while enroute. I think for the foreseeable future, that generation ship would be too valuable of a resource, both human and material, to pass up.

  2. 3:08 "All for nothing?" Let's appreciate the fact they're living, breathing time capsules. Imagine if we had the ancient Annunaki, Lyrans, Zeta Reticulans or Martians (good ones-not evil ones) do that for us into our present time period!

  3. Your data on the speed record is inaccurate. Parker Solar Probe smashed that record already and hasn't even topped out yet at max speed. It's 10th or 11th perihelion will send it past the sun at well over 500,000 mph. That is absolutely cooking.

  4. Something missed is that on that 600th generation, desires will be drastically different. They have lived their whole life on that ship, even their parents did the same thing. For them, that's the world and they probably won't be that excited to live in a floating rock with no previous experience of being in such living environment. And that 19000 years, they've probably mutated to adapt to space and will be no longer human but probably still be humanoid.

  5. As they pass the first ship, they could slow down, pick them up or attach both ships together, and fly on at the second ship's original speed, thus getting more colonists for the original settlement. This would also reduce the problem with your number of 100 people. They are too small a group to prevent in-breeding and must mix dna with a new group of people after some 200 years.

  6. I think best solution is light speed travel. If we ever see hope for digitizing human mind and artificially growing or costructing humans, that would be the best way. You would still have to wait till some autonomous craft sets up in target system though.
    But even if you had to wait long time for craft to arrive, actual transfer of people would be just 4 years at light speed. And you could possibly have the autonomus craft already surveying, constructing and gathering materials in advance.

  7. Just send those with death sentences. Also why couldn't the advanced ships just catch up and save the people out of the slower ship?

  8. In the beginning you say " Fastest man made objects speed is 240,000 Kmh" but it's actually 99.9% the speed of light in the Large Hadron Collider.

  9. Space travel is for robots. They make the journey and populate the new world with genetic samples from Earth. Transporting living humans is far too complex and expensive in resources and infrastructure.

  10. So when an Alien spaceship arrives at Earth and the inhabitants look just like us, should we assume that we are the descendants of the fast ship, and they are our slower great-great-great…grandparents?

  11. in most sci fi stories with generation ships the inhabitants suffer sociological anarchy and forgot what the mission was about often not even knowing they are in a ship.

  12. 19k yrs, 600 generations, on a ship with humans… How tiny is the chance they wouldn't eat each other after 2/3/4/5 generations…

  13. The Big Problem with the Wait Calculation is that a faster ship could be designed with salvage modules and a lot of empty space. It would catch up with the original generation ship, transfer the colonists and dismantle the critical components and store them aboard the new ship en route to the destination. This process could be repeated even dozens of times until the actual travel time would be approximate to the minimum travel time. Some materials may be wasted but the process could be performed at any time with the safety net of if further speed advancements are never reached time would not have been lost. Also, after colonization, the faster ships could return to the derelict ships to salvage them completely and return these resources to the colony. This methodology would work provided the paradigm of travel is maintained and something else like dimensional shifting or teleportation isn't developed, which might actually be the only limiting factor to the Wait Calculation.

  14. Poooooooor….. don't you know, that simple engine constantly accelerating ship with just 1G can speed up the ship to like 99.99% speed of light? It can be done with nuclear engine, the only problem that exists is star dust / micrometeorites – with that speed their mass grows to something that can destroy like every ship, so we need some kind of shield technology, but after that…. Universe is Ours You dumb fck. With that speed traveling to Proxima Centauri would took like few minutes for the crew inside the ship – cause you forgot about time dilation, You dumb fck.

  15. Maybe I've watched too much bad scifi, but the generational ship would be a total disaster. No way it could survive that trip. They would kill and eat each other. They would stop on some random planet or asteroid and pick up dangerous aliens etc

  16. The one big problem about this is where do you get the resources to keep a ship going for 19000 years ?

    Food, water, fuel and spare parts will be needed. Doctors, surgeons and medical supplies as well.
    Then as people die you're going to need to replace them to fill the job they once did so your going to need to train them.
    Who and how will you handle breakdowns in critical systems as there cannot be any moving parts in such a ship because eventually they will wear out and need replacement.
    So basically interstellar travel will Never happen unless the ship is capable of speeds many times faster than light and as big as the island of Manhattan filled with all nessisary resources

  17. Don't leave earth until 20% the speed of light and hybernation is possible. Then you can arrive in about 10 years and not have aged.

  18. I think it is horrible to send a ship of breeders to another planet. The kids born didn't sign up for it. And it's like shipping cancer cells to your vital organs. We already made our planet unihabitable for us and you think it's a good idea . .. you're daft. Good video about the insanity of the colonist concept.

  19. No one ever mentions the interstellar medium collisions that may happen at relativistic speeds that would destroy the ship.

  20. Take the slackers approach to all problems, especially space travel, don’t do anything someone else will come along and do it better. So sit back and relax somebody smarter, that hasn’t been born yet, will figure out the problem and come up with a faster solution. Well nothing to do now but to play the waiting game and sip on my tea.

  21. The famous sci-fi author, Clifford D. Simak, wrote a short story called "Target Generation". In the story, he predicted the people in the ship–when it arrives at the planet–would have to be forced out. Having lived their entire lives onboard, he theorized they wouldn't believe life outside the ship–other than in space suits–would be possible. It would be best that way, since it would be very disappointing to know your life was just used to keep the human race alive during an immensely long journey, in which your great great great great great great grandkids would be the colonists. A more modern theory would be to have the "travel generations" immersed in a simulated reality, in which they thought they were living normal lives back on Earth, in say, for example, the year 2019 or 2020 . . .

  22. I’d totally get on a generational ship. idgaf
    I have two Earth children but I’d be down to have some more kids in space.

  23. After all that journey it is already populated with beings who don't welcome colonizing or conquerors.We wouldn't.

  24. Readers would like Brian Aldiss Non Stop, Heinlein and Time for the Stars as well as Orphans of the Sky for Generation ships.

  25. We would evolve into something else after 600 generations..or the 7th or 8th generation would just go insane and destroy itself.

  26. 2006? This concept was even covered in enders game. New generation of figters would catch up with the late generation fighters to arrive at the star system at the same time in a swarm style.

  27. Errr if you can get close to the speed of light time slows down (at the speed of light time stops) – so theoretically you could go thousands of light years whilst only a few minutes has passed in your time frame – so it could be possible. Theres nothing to slow you down in space & getting close to the speed to light might be possible.

  28. The sad part is after all those generations, all those years, they'd get there and find people already living there because during that long journey, back on on Earth, they'd have discovered the ability to fold space and create a wormhole allowing them to reach that same destination in minutes. Who depressing would that be for the travellers?

  29. I always thought a way around this was to send a machine ran/auto pilot ship with thousands of somehow frozen but recoverable human zygotes. Then perhaps develop about 100 at 30 years till arrival and have some machines take care of all the basics and education. Then at about 10 years till arrival, develop the other 900 zygotes. Then the older 100 can teach the younger 900 everything. I suppose the whole just waiting until we develop faster tech is still optimal, but should that not be physically possible for us then you would have to go with this. Just sending conscious, living people to rot on a ship for generations has not only extreme ethical problems, but just wouldn't be a remotely intelligent way of handling the task.

  30. Turns out when the 3018 ships got to the planet it was already colonized by 4018 ships that took 2000 years to get there… OR so they thought cause the 4018 ships were taken over by 5018 ships that colonized the planet thousands of years before the 4018 ships and then 6018 ships come along and the cycle repeats.

  31. Any subsequent mission leaving Earth could be bound by a treaty where as a sign of respect, they are forbidden to aim for the same star system as the original "pilgrims" if it meant overtaking them. Assuming we find that habitable planets are in abundance throughout the galaxy, with billions of star systems to choose from, and better/faster technology, there would be enough virgin routes to go round. There could be a central data bank with exploration routes and arrival dates shared across the galaxy.

  32. imagine being someone in the generation that arrives at a planet after your entire culture has totally adapted to living on the ship for far longer than recorded human history at this point. would you want to leave the safety and comfort of your home just because your 600x great-grand parents wanted to? or would those people just continue living on their ship

  33. the video talks about the journey, as if that was the only thing to overcome ?

    what makes anyone think that they could find a planet that they could live on ?

  34. i wanna go to another star this mothafucka named space needs to work out and get slim so i can travel around its waist

  35. Bit of a silly 'problem'. Surely the ship could be contacted with news of improved tech, particularly if we're not assuming that they're going into deep sleep. Or that the fast ship could simply board the slow ship.

    If we assume comms travel at C, then the worst case scenario is that they'd have to wait 4 years for that news (distance between earth and proxima centauri is 4 light years). That's certainly better than wasting 19,000 years.

  36. AI robots, job done. They might even have generations that fix an improve themselves over generations. Only down side is they could get to the other end, and kill anyone that's actually helpful or nice. Some you win and all that.

  37. So you don't create the babies until they are almost there, they are all test tube people created by an AI that only produces the new humans and educates them when they are 30 years away.

  38. In t.h.e..f.u.t.u.r.e… 200 years or so… Hollow out a large asteroid (Vesta, 300 miles wide), mine the O2 & water & useful minerals, spin it up to 1G at the surface. Make the fusion powered (exawatt, 10^18) starship big enough, with magnetic field cosmic ray shielding, trapped atmosphere with clouds, interior terrain, streams & lakes, farms, livestock, birds, lots of women, all civilized amenities. People would live on the interior surface in the equatorial band. At the poles, a zero G playground. And lots of women! I'd sign up in a heartbeat just for the adventure.

  39. Why can’t we just pick up the people from 2018 and bring them with us from the people in 3018 when we intersect in space?

  40. First, he says we'll assume that 240,000 k/hr is the maximum speed that humans can obtain, then he says that humans figured out how to go faster, so the first interstellar ship was passed by later ones. Not impressed with Brilliant if this is their level of discourse.

  41. One hundred people self repopulating would be lucky to last a few hundred years. 19000 is totally unrealistic, given how inbred they would be after just a few generations.

  42. So 4.3 years after the probe takes its pictures we will be able to see them? That’s how long it takes light and therefore non quantum entangled communication right? Since astronomers seem to omit this nuisance when discussing the activity of currently studied extra solar planetary bodies…

  43. Like how there was no noticeable delay in input commands to the original Mars rover, because it was actually in Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, and not Mars. NASA fucking bullshits us a lot for the amount of money of ours they spend.

  44. consider that if you are on that ship you could all play video games for your whole life without wifi because everyone could just use the same massive computer and different monitors and mouses

  45. How could interstellar travellers be sure that the target star would have an earth-like planet circling it on which they could land ?

  46. What fuel can keep you be running for 19000 years… It will probably depleted space craft without a magnetic circle engine…

  47. people have thought many things were impossible in the past and they have been proven to be completely possible. I think that one day we may even have faster than light travel.

  48. The only reason to launch a Generation Ship sooner rather later would be if the Earth was in eminent danger of being destroyed. But by that same token, if we had the technology to undertake such a project, wouldn't we have the same tech needed to avoid said disaster? We are going to have to build the infrastructure to colonize our solar system before we start to tackle other stars.

  49. Until the ship can get at least a few percent (talking like 1 to 5 % here) of lightspeed interstellar travel is probably not worth it. There is still enough to colonize in the solar system.

  50. Couldn't the people of the future just speed up the ship which is already going with a second, unmanned, ship? Why send yet another generation ship?

  51. Well the solution is obvious: develop a warp drive. If you can't make your ship travel at the speed of light, just make the universe warp around you at or greater than the speed of light. Done.

  52. I get the paradox, but isn’t it a false one to some degree? Why can’t ship B pick up the crew of ship A along the way?

  53. Actually if you were able to propel tothe speed of light time would change so in theory "you" would feel like your going faster than light speed.

  54. You totally miss out on several very good reasons it is worth doing early ships. One is simply that they are backup plans. It is all probabilistic so going with several options is a good idea. It may be a waste to you but other people are pioneers.

  55. The tone of this article is very self-centered. R LL is assuming that everybody has the same values as he does. Factors were very diverse species. Well he doesn’t like the idea of being on a generational ship there are likely plenty of people who do.

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