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I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space


Johnnyaardvark
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I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/26/i-think-the-human-race-has-no-future-if-it-doesnt-go-to-space

In spite of the engineering and psychological problems of achieving this in the long term I have to agree... as I Am sure many of you do too.

Or are we on the best possible long haul spaceship already?


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I'll be 6ft under before it gets too bad. If we don't get ourselves, the Sun will in 1 000 million years.

 

Our ancestors could wipe out thousands of species every time they settled a new continent.

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Not looking good for us in the long term (short term) but I like that we have some thinkers who at least discuss the ideas. Would be great if the threats to life on Earth and civilization didn't become a major disruption (or worse) to us in our lifetime but I fear they may.

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I believe that we will have landed men on Mars within the next 20-25 years, possibly visit Europa in 50-60, but manned interstellar travel will take much, much longer (if at all). The problem will most likely be that, by the time the politicians finally accept the fact that we have to expand or die, it will probably be too late to do anything about it.

 

Project Breakthrough Starshot gives some hope regarding interstellar travel though. It's calculated to reach Proxima B in 20-25 years travel, if it goes ahead. The downside is that it would only be a 1g nanoprobe...

 

Alan

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Mmm.  Its interesting when I read about how the politicians have to realise this that or the other.  The problem is this, we get the politicians and the government we deserve.  There is no appetite among the populace as a whole for spaceflight.  I mean, lets face facts, even just after the most successful foray (Apollo) people lost interest.  For there to be interest there has to be something in it for people.  On the whole, depressing as it may be (although I tend to believe just accepting reality as it is isn't depressing, it just IS) the lowest common denominator are the ones that rule.  Not least of which because there are a darn sight more of those than anyone else.  Talking about the 'future of man' and our 'manifest destiny in the cosmos' blah blah ( I forward you to some of my other posts on the subject...) makes very little difference to the mass of humanity.

 

People on the whole simply aren't interested in this stuff (even if all us types on here are - including myself).  Most people are quite happy living their workaday lives and the idea of shortsightedness doesn't even occur.  People in the main (despite what they may say) just don't give a toss about the long term of the human race.

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2 hours ago, DeanWatson said:

People in the main (despite what they may say) just don't give a toss about the long term of the human race.

There is a whole spectrum of reasons why so few people even give such things a second thought.

 

Probably 99.9999% are mainly concerned with getting their next fix, surviving the next bombing raid, receiving their next social security payment, covering their monthly mortgage or making their next million or even billion. I'm effectively no better. I'm very concerned, but what can I really do? Those with the money and power to do anything are often only concerned with the money and power. So who's going to sort it. Donald? Elon?

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It would cost trillions of dollars to start colonising another planet even if it's possible to get there. Where is the money coming from? Is it worth spending that much money on a project that in reality will only affect a very small part of the populace. There will be a lucky few Adam and Eve's that will start a new life. Most people will have no say and in that case no care about space travel and what happens to something they do not understand.

 

 

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There we go, originally a nice optimistic post talking about our future on other planets and I have to go bringing it down with my social and anthropological realism!  I'm such a buzzkill...!

 

Although... In my own personal philosophy I tend to think, if you look cold hard facts hard in the face and yet still want to achieve something, if you're realistic about where you are and where you want to go you can sometimes get there BECAUSE of the drawbacks by playing to them instead of kidding yourself.  This of course applies to politics and all sorts of things more generally, but of course, lets not go there...!

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It was not the masses that put a man on the moon, sent numerous spacecraft to the far corners of our solar system and almost beyond. 


The vast, pre-occupied with just getting by people who quickly adapted to the technological spin offs like computers and Teflon saucepans just could not care less where it all evolved from, or where it will all end.

 

It happened in some cases because of the enthusiasm, determination and the inspiration of a very small minority of very clever people firing the imaginations, and ego's, of a very few people in power. Some, not all, people in power want to be associated with great moments in history, etc, so they find the money to fund these causes and hopefully in some cases their own too. Some people in power also saw the spin off in advancing science as a step in the right direction for military advancement and domination no doubt. We all know about the race to put a man on the moon!

 

It will be the same in the near future. Space hardware, technology, our understanding of our universe is evolving all the time. Who would have thought just a hundred years ago, just how just far we would have advanced in science and in technology. Sadly, we are also now in the dubious position of being able to wipe out the majority of life on our planet too.

 

So this is another kind of race? A race to populate other worlds, so our eggs are not all in one basket, before we wipe ourselves out, or some cosmic event wipes us out?


One of our biggest problems is the inability to long term our goals. Politicians think in four or five year blocks etc. We don't have a thousand year business plan! We don't even have a united  population of the world! We are tribalistic, people are unwilling to unite or give up power etc.
This is in our genes, it's evolution, so I doubt we can pull it off...

 

Even if we could find ways to quickly travel to a 'sister earth like planet' I doubt it would be even remotely similar to ours with the right combination of gravity, atmosphere, water etc. If it had fauna and flora, or any forms of life could we survive amongst it? It could take many thousands of years for it to become inhabitable. It would be ideal if we could find a blank slate planet with no life but somewhere we panspermia our life to it. Someplace we can cultivate...

 

Maybe our planet was cultivated a very long time ago by some other long dead civilisation... Unlikely but we don't know...

 

I feel the least we should do is to try and 'pass on' the building blocks of life to other sterile worlds, before we cease to be.

But It will be down to a small minority of very clever people if we manage to do it...

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Actually Steve, I beg to differ - It WAS the masses that put man on the moon.  Granted, politicians etc took gambles as to whether they could persuade the populace to fund such an endeavour through their taxes etc - But this was justified (albeit through spin, manipulation, whatever) through cold war paranoia.  Without the will of the populace it would never have happened.  Not forgetting of course that politicians and whatnot used it as tool to further their own aims - exploration and science only had meaning to those they contracted to do the work.

 

 

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We will have to differ Dean. Not that it really matters. ?

Was it the will of the Russian populace that put Sputnik up there, or the will of the Chinese and Indian population that drove their countries to send missions into space? 

My pont is that the really clever or influential people still manage to get things done, despite the ignorance or uncaring attitudes of the masses.

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What you say is true I think Steve, but the motivation is from a different point of view.  These leaders do this stuff for the sake of national/personal prestige.  Of course, the nation IS the populace and I believe they take a gamble that this will be seen the same way within the populace.  Sputnik went up to as much impress their own people as much as it was intended to intimidate the rest of the world.  Ditto with China.  But of course, once the point has been made (Look at Apollo/Russian Lunar programme) it needn't be made any more so no further need for any serious progress.  Spaceflight is a means to an end, not an end in and as of itself.

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My bloodline will die out soon as my daughter doesn't plan to have kids. So I will not have any of my DNA when it gets too bad.

 

Do I care about the long-term future of the human race? I do but if we survive Earth getting roasted, we can only delay the inevitable. The Big Rip or the Big Crunch will get us if nothing else does.

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