Should humanity build an FTL Drive?

By on March 28, 2012 2:14:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

imawsome29

Join Date 02/2009
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I have been thinking latley and realized that this planet wont last forever, so I got the idea why not pour our resources into making an FTL Drive.  I know it would cost trillions even more then that, but the money that could be made by effecient space travell could be greater than the money spent.  It could permanent the permenant survival of the human race.  This is my opinion tell me what you think.

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March 28, 2012 6:25:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is possible though that antimatter can be found out there floating about in space. We may be able to harvest it. The fact that we can't produce it now only means that not enough humans are trying.

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March 28, 2012 6:46:24 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting seanw3,
It is possible though that antimatter can be found out there floating about in space. We may be able to harvest it. The fact that we can't produce it now only means that not enough humans are trying.

We don't even know if the stuff exists and even it does. Theoretically you would get a nuclear size explosion by touching antimatter the size of a dust particle with matter or something like that.

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March 28, 2012 6:55:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

AM can be made (it has before), and for all practical purposes, we will always be confined to AM production, not harvesting...the key is reducing the production costs....

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March 28, 2012 7:07:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is theoretical, but there may be mass quantities of dark matter out there for harvesting.

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March 28, 2012 7:20:32 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Back to my solution then, waiting for the aliens to show up with a faster than light pick-up truck full of anti-matter. Get 'em good and drunk and steal the keys.

You guys are making this way too hard.

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March 28, 2012 7:44:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You must be from the evil empire episodes of Star Trek. Probably the only good episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.

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March 28, 2012 7:52:43 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Uhmmmm, Why not just work on a time machine, then go to the future and bring back the technology already made?

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March 28, 2012 8:06:41 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DanDaBear,
Uhmmmm, Why not just work on a time machine, then go to the future and bring back the technology already made?

Another forward thinker!!!  Brilliant plan, Dan.  Why didn't I think of that?  +4 for you. [e digicons]:karma:[/e]

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March 28, 2012 9:35:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think freely floating antimatter would long survive, as it would undergo annihilation upon contact with matter...unless...there was a whole lot of the stuff tucked away in a part of the universe with tenuous amounts of matter at best.  But then where did the antimatter come from, and in sufficient quantity to last the past 14 billion years of cosmic evolution?  It couldn't have been present from the Big Bang; things were so tightly packed, annihilation would have nixed it long ago....unless....*<*<SYSTEM OVERLOAD>*>*

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March 28, 2012 10:26:03 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,
AM can be made (it has before), and for all practical purposes, we will always be confined to AM production, not harvesting...the key is reducing the production costs....

http://livefromcern.web.cern.ch/livefromcern/antimatter/FAQ.html ... page two speak about the cost...

One funny thing with AM production is that more energy is used for create antimatter that energy will be created by mixing antimatter with matter...

For more info, main page at http://livefromcern.web.cern.ch/livefromcern/antimatter/site-map.html

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March 28, 2012 11:37:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
Short answer: NO

Wait for aliens to show up with the technology, kick their asses and take it.

 

Yep, all we'll need is one of those Macbooks from 1996.

 

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March 29, 2012 9:34:11 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
God damn space herpes.

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March 29, 2012 9:56:46 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

     Anti-matter is freely available in space albeit at very small quantities spread out over a very large area. Particles and their anti-matter twins are constantly flashing in and out of existence. An experiment run some years ago confirmed the existence of tiny sparks occurring inside a vacuum bottle and upon further investigation found that these tiny sparks are actually particles and their anti-matter twins annihilating each other. The action was dubbed zero point energy which does occur in the vacuum of space.

     Manufacturing anti-matter isn't cost effective in that, at last count, the price of just one gram ran upwards of a million bucks. A tiny fortune for a gram of not much. On the other hand particle accelerators create anti-matter as a matter of course and these anti-matter particles are contained in powerful 'magnetic bottles', a tightly constrained electromagnetic field. The only problem with this method is that it takes an enormous amount of energy to keep the bottles intact, something on the order of just a few minutes.

      IMO FTL drives are not very far into the future, perhaps another century or so when you consider how quickly technology advances.

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March 29, 2012 10:37:11 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Just build a Railroad track in space

or

a Stargate  oh what we'll still have to have the ZPM just use batteries to power it

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March 29, 2012 10:43:46 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
Another forward thinker!!! Brilliant plan, Dan. Why didn't I think of that?

Probably because you've been hanging out with RnD too long... adverse effects to that, you know.

Another problem... if the time machine thing worked, wouldn't it have already?

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March 29, 2012 12:12:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The key to space exploration is profit. Once someone figures out how to make money from space then the space age will have finally dawned. Until then space will always be a side concern of little real concern to people and governments, except as a prestige thing. We already have private space companies but the demand for their product right now is too low, their only costumers are NASA and people looking to put satellites in to space. However they exist and given an increase in demand they could quickly expand.

Space mining and tourism get thrown out there a lot as possible reasons but that seems iffy to me. We have metal here on earth and it is a lot easier and cheaper to mine.  Space tourism also seems like something that will only really catch on for the rich and hardcore, and that's to small of a market. Of course as technology advances it's very possible that the cost of space travel will decrease enough that I will be proven wrong.

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March 29, 2012 12:49:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The idea of mining asteroids IS kinda ridiculous considering we have far more material right underneath our feet. Moon mining bases would be more realistic but only for very valuable materials like radioactives (go thorium go). Antimatter is not a way of generating energy as it is a way of storing it. Realistically the best energy source we have within our theoretical grasp is fusion and that's a really good energy source if a long way off. The best energy source we have at hand is nuclear fission and the sooner safe reliable non-proliferating molten salt reactors replace our current generation of energy technology the better off we will be as a species.

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March 29, 2012 12:57:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
LOL, transcendence requires much higher technology than an FTL drive. What science book are you reading? 

 

What an odd statement.

 

Transcendence requires no technology whatsoever.  I'm not talking about sticking consciousness in a machine, that's not transcendence, that's transmogrification.

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March 29, 2012 1:08:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

@Sarudak......There are two asteroids out there, Vesta and Ceres, between the two there are enough raw materials to build a road from here to Mars and back again seven times. All the resources left on Earth is but a fraction of what is available in our solar system. Mining asteroids will become a high priority.

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March 29, 2012 1:37:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Uvah,
@Sarudak......There are two asteroids out there, Vesta and Ceres, between the two there are enough raw materials to build a road from here to Mars and back again seven times. All the resources left on Earth is but a fraction of what is available in our solar system. Mining asteroids will become a high priority.

Ya but they will only become worth mining when it becomes cheaper to get the minerals from asteroids then from earth. In order for this to happen two things need to happen. The cost of spaceflight needs to come down and the cost of metals needs to rise, most likely from scarcity because we start to run out on earth. Of course with the recent privatization of spaceflight we can expect to see the cost of spaceflight decreasing, and the cost of resources like metal have increased dramatically over the past decade, mostly because of China, but it will still take quite awhile for space mining to become feasible. Also from what I have read the cost of metal is supposed to slow its growth as China slows down.  

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March 29, 2012 2:01:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
It is theoretical, but there may be mass quantities of dark matter out there for harvesting.

Leave us time to find out what dark matter is, first. They might be WIMPs, after all.

 

One funny thing with AM production is that more energy is used for create antimatter that energy will be created by mixing antimatter with matter...

With current technology, replace "more" by "much, much more". Antimatter production is extremely inefficient. Also, using antimatter as a 'fuel' source create a lot of potential issues (and contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have '100% matter to energy conversion ratio').

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March 29, 2012 2:24:05 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Sarudak,
The idea of mining asteroids IS kinda ridiculous considering we have far more material right underneath our feet.

Quoting DsRaider,
Ya but they will only become worth mining when it becomes cheaper to get the minerals from asteroids then from earth.

Well, spaceflight is expensive now because the spaceship are build on earth and it ask a lot of energy for bring them around our planet...

Once we have some space dock around earth, resource ( metal from asteroid, hydrogen fuel from gas giant, etc ) needed for build spaceship will be cheaper from outer space... asteroid have a gravity almost to zero, if you wish, you can simply kick a container and soon of later, it will reach the shipyard around the earth... you have no friction from atmosphere and no huge gravity to fight continuously for space transport...

As today, send 1 ton of steel in space is very expensive due to the transport cost... send 1 ton of steel from a far away asteroid to the gravity wheel from earth will cost almost nothing...

The problem is that we need first to build a few "factory" around the planet and around place we wish to mine resource... once this is done, money will begin to flow... in long term, mining the outerspace can generate profit, a lot of profit but the initial investment will be huge... and since the actual economic trend is immediate gratification/benefit without long term view, it will not happen soon...

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March 29, 2012 2:48:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting shadowtongue,
Transcendence requires no technology whatsoever.  I'm not talking about sticking consciousness in a machine, that's not transcendence, that's transmogrification.

Then perhaps you should explain what you mean. I took it to mean the classic definition of the word, metaphysical shedding of the body. That will require technology. It can be done, but not by our species and not without a perfect understanding of the universe. 

 

Or are you talking about religious mumbo jumbo? 

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March 29, 2012 3:26:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,

Or are you talking about religious mumbo jumbo? 

If he think it'll get done without technology, that's pretty much the only option, if hypothetical concepts based on nothing count as options...

Well, you could also accept that Stargate idea of having it eventually become possible naturally through evolution, but that's not exactly relevant to the near future...

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March 29, 2012 3:36:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think rather than FTL drive we should try to achieve technlogical singularity. Then let the uber-computers solve the FTL related issues for us 

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