Humans to Mars?

Stephen Boydstun's picture
Submitted by Stephen Boydstun on Fri, 2007-10-05 18:37

Humans to Mars? 

See also:

Parker, E. 2006. Shielding Space Travelers. Scientific American (March).


( categories: )

To Stars?

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Are Black Hole Starships Possible?
Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland

I. Introduction

II. The Difficulty of Interstellar Flight
A. Shielding
B. Specific Impulse

III. Black Holes and Hawking Radiation
A. Effective Radius
B. Hawking Temperature
C. Power
D. Life Expectancy

IV. Theoretical Feasibility

V. Four Machines
A. The Black Hole Generator
B. The Drive
C. The Power Plant
D. The Self-Driven Generator

VI. Open Questions; Quantum Corrections

VII. A New Approach to SETI

VIII. Conclusions

Appendix: Finding the “Sweet Spot”
A. What BHs Are Long-Lived Enough and Powerful Enough for Interstellar Travel?
B. Are These BHs So Small that We Can Access the Energy to Make Them?
C. Are These BHs So Big that We Can Focus the Energy to Make Them?
D. Do These BHs Have Masses Comparable to that of a Starship?

References

Ships of Man

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Ask any American of Obama's

Leonid's picture

Ask any American of Obama's era " Is there any life on Mars?" and he will answer " Also isn't"

Public/Private

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Panel Supports Commercial Space

Reflection by Rand in her 1963 essay “Collectivized Ethics” (VoS):

“‘Isn’t science desirable? Isn’t it desirable for man to conquer space?’

“And here we come to the essence of the unreality—the savage, blind, ghastly, bloody unreality—that motivates a collectivized soul.

“The unanswered and unanswerable question in all of their ‘desirable’ goals is: To whom? . . . . Not to any [such] people whose taxes pay for the support of our subsidized science and public research projects.

“Science is a value only because it expands, enriches, and protects man’s life. It is not a value outside that context. Nothing is a value outside that context. And ‘man’s life’ means the single, specific irreplaceable lives of individual men.

“The discovery of new knowledge is a value to men only when and if they are free to use and enjoy the benefits of the previously known. New discoveries are a potential value to all men, but not at the price of sacrificing all of their actual values. A ‘progress’ extended into infinity, which brings no benefit to anyone, is a monstrous absurdity. And so is the ‘conquest of space’ by some men, when and if it is accomplished by expropriating the labor of other men who are left without means to acquire a pair of shoes.

“Progress can only come out of men’s surplus . . . .”

Electric Rover

Stephen Boydstun's picture

What, ever? You'd be a

AShortt's picture

What, ever? You'd be a brave man to bet against human ingenuity; many others have done so in the past & failed. My personal favourite is Lord Kelvin (yes, that Kelvin): "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." 

Smile... 

Andrew Shortt

Ontario, Canada

Electric Rockets

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Ray of Hope

Stephen Boydstun's picture

One less bleak prospect for space travel mentioned by Prof. Parker is the biomedical side of the radiation problem. “Natural healing processes in the cell may be able to handle radiation doses that accumulate over an extended period, and some people’s bodies may be better at it than others’. If so, the present estimates of the cancer incidence, all based on short, intense bursts of radiation, may overestimate the danger” (Sci. Am., Mar. 2006, p. 47). It occurs to me that, in the distant future, we might have such easy and sure cures for all types of cancer, and for other radiation injuries, that the problem would be dissolved.

Because of the cosmic-ray

Duncan Bayne's picture

Because of the cosmic-ray obstacle especially, discussed in Eugene Parker’s article, I don’t think man will travel personally to Mars or into deep space.

What, ever? You'd be a brave man to bet against human ingenuity; many others have done so in the past & failed. My personal favourite is Lord Kelvin (yes, that Kelvin): "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."

 

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Great thread Stephen. I

Mark Hubbard's picture

Great thread Stephen.

I dearly hope some entity (preferably private enterprise) manages to do a manned Mars mission in my lifetime. What a fascinating experience it would be following such an adventure. Here's a link you might enjoy:

Mars Society.

 

I would also love to see another manned Moon mission, but I suspect the current economic crisis will be putting that back by up to a decade.

Shielding Issue

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (2008)

Magnetic Shielding Research

Because of the cosmic-ray obstacle especially, discussed in Eugene Parker’s article, I don’t think man will travel personally to Mars or into deep space. It is a wee bit more likely that we will have artificial descendants able to do that sort of travel, such as the descendants in AI. Of course research for better shielding materials is something useful on earth and its satellites anyway.

The wonderful thing is that there are plenty of science- and technology-steps of the mind by which humans will continue to travel unlimited roads in space exploration (but not in person) and right here.

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“No event in contemporary history was as thrilling, here on earth, as three moments of the mission’s climax: the moment when, superimposed over the image of a garishly colored imitation-module standing motionless on the television screen, there flashed the words: “Lunar module has landed”—the moment when the faint, gray shape of the actual module came shivering from the moon to the screen—and the moment when the shining white blob which was Neil Armstrong took his immortal first step. . . . ‘That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’. So it was.” —Ayn Rand (Sept. 1969)

“Kennedy Shoots for the Moon: Progress through Opportunity” Hermes (Summer 2008)

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