Mark H
Interstellar Flight: Adapting Humans for Space -
Interstellar Flight: Adapting Humans for Space
"We can all hope for fast propulsion, but suppose the engineering is intractable. Would we still go to the stars if limited to speeds much less than ten percent of c? One-tenth of one percent of lightspeed gets you to Alpha Centauri in about 4300 years, which is also (very roughly) the extent of human history in terms of recoverable documents and written language. A worldship moving at this speed, in other words, recapitulates the human historical experience aboard a craft that would have to be engineered to be a living world, a vast O’Neill cylinder with propulsion." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"Putting the speed issue in perspective, one tenth of one percent of the speed of light is 300 kilometers per second, compared to the 17 kilometers per second that our fastest deep space probe, Voyager 1, has attained. There are ways of moving that fast that we can calculate today, but the engineering needed to produce a worldship — and the vast issues raised by creating a closed-loop ecology aboard the craft — demand a multi-disciplinary approach that takes us into biology, philosophy, sociology and the humanities as well as physics." - Mark H