Worldcon notes – creating believable space travel

Alright, this panel was pretty cool,  I learned a lot from it, and not just about space travel.  I learned that nerds are cool, sometimes, but mostly you need to remember that they can be feral, and if you sit too near one you may get bitten.  I also learned that in these hardcore science sessions (honestly, the first speaker said “I like to put my speed at about .867 c”, which is cool.  I like people that just assume the audience knows the basics, like c = 299,792,458 metres per second {in a vacuum}) many people come into the room with some unique ideas which they are more than willing to vehemently defend.  basically, question time turned into one person asking a “question” which was really their way of stating one crazy theory or another, at which time a verbal scuffle would break out with the nearby nerds.  It was absolutely fascinating to watch.  Mutters of “utter nonsense” and “inconceivable” could be heard after many of the questions.  It ws about as close to playing a bit role in Futurama as I’m ever going to get, basically…  Anyway:

replicating software or replicants of people, issues with socialization

who are the people that would even sign on to these missions?

boredom is largest risk, worldcon in submarine

starship needs to be spacious

.867 of light speed

anything in front is radiation, must ID, deflect or change it to something that can deflected

or that may be too fast, gamma ray bombardment – Fermi problem

electromagnetically screened areas

generational ships

ramjets – matter transport turns radiation into light

“it’s easy to make it up.”

exactly c, by way of speed, but how do you get out of the light like state?

illusion that universe is moving toward you if you skip in and out a thousand times a second

roschworld

rockets are not the way for interstellar –  exhaust too slow for velocity, so push it out of the solar system – solar, light and particle sails

shielding – electromagnetic or 2 metres of water, iceberg, etc. solveable engineering problem

ramjet – shortly arrive at velocity where drag of ramscoop equals thrust, but it does create a wind of shadow and is a great brake

inject charged particles into magnetic fields

radiation easy to solve

cold sleep or hypersleep

physically, we should be able to go up to light speed, engineering etc. a challenge, but nothing more

.2 c = alpha centauri is 20 years away

if you send the slow thing, the fast thing passes it on the way

the discoveries should be made before you arrive, in good SF

unmanned probes at .2 c make sense, but not man until you are closer to c

our descendants will be the ones to use this, not us

we have 3 layers of defence against cancer, travellers will need dozens of layers

why create a wormhole when you can inherit one, much less R and D

starship will be built on the back of star system levels of tech

reader believability vs. technological realism

starships are new culture, they won’t want to return, why return to an alien planet? 1 way journey.

do not let rational decisions govern the characters as much as they govern the tech

what about the middle generations of generation ships?

is the xeno-archeologist included with the crew?

human nature cannot be ignored, the remembrance of collapse

make space emigration mimic known pattern and trends of past migrants

100% microbe planets

by time tech is here, our system may be too comfortable to leave

how not to do it – lo and behold method, and ftl stories that don’t recognize that ftl = time travel

we live in the boondocks and the other stars are a billion years older.

atomic rocket – every star drive listed on the web

make up science that is consistent

design propulsion system, then extrapolate from there

replicating software or replicants of people, issues with socialization

who are the people that would even sign on to these missions?

boredom is largest risk, worldcon in submarine

starship needs to be spacious

.867 of light speed

anything in front is radiation, must ID, deflect or change it to something that can deflected

or that may be too fast, gamma ray bombardment - Fermi problem

electromagnetically screened areas

generational ships

ramjets - matter transport turns radiation into light

"it's easy to make it up."

exactly c, by way of speed, but how do you get out of the light like state?

illusion that universe is moving toward you if you skip in and out a thousand times a second

roschworld

rockets are not the way for interstellar -  exhaust too slow for velocity, so push it out of the solar system - solar, light and particle sails

shielding - electromagnetic or 2 metres of water, iceberg, etc. solveable engineering problem

ramjet - shortly arrive at velocity where drag of ramscoop equals thrust, but it does create a wind of shadow and 
is a great brake

inject charged particles into magnetic fields

radiation easy to solve

cold sleep or hypersleep

physically, we should be able to go up to light speed, engineering etc. a challenge, but nothing more

.2 c = alpha centauri is 20 years away

if you send the slow thing, the fast thing passes it on the way

the discoveries should be made before you arrive, in good SF

unmanned probes at .2 c make sense, but not man until you are closer to c

our descendants will be the ones to use this, not us

we have 3 layers of defence against cancer, travellers will need dozens of layers

why create a wormhole when you can inherit one, much less R and D

starship will be built on the back of star system levels of tech

reader believability vs. technological realism

starships are new culture, they won't want to return, why return to an alien planet? 1 way journey.

do not let rational decisions govern the characters as much ad they govern the tech

what about the middle generations of generation ships?

is the xeno-archeologist included with the crew?

human nature cannot be ignored, the remembrance of collapse

make space emigration mimic known pattern and trends of past migrants

100% microbe planets

by time tech is here, our system may be too comfortable to leave

how not to do it - lo and behold method, and ftl stories that don't recognize that ftl = time travel

we live in the boondocks and the other stars are a billion years older.

atomic rocket - every star drive listed on the web

make up science that is consistent

design propulsion system, then extrapolate

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2 responses to “Worldcon notes – creating believable space travel

  • Anonymous

    Need someone to “drive” a Bussard Ramjet starship? I’ll joyfully sign up! Just make sure there’s enough booze onboard.

  • christophergreen

    Sounds like a plan. 🙂 They did warn us about the sort of people who would volunteer for such trips, though… 🙂

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