Outstanding astronomer Carl Sagan called ourthe only house was a pale blue dot and spoke of the need for careful attitude to it. Today, humanity faces many more threats than in the past, and one of them - climate change - poses the most serious danger. But if something happens to our planet, where will we go? Recently, a team of scientists from the Interstellar Research Initiative seriously asked this question. Researchers intend to develop a plan for the colonization of an exoplanet far from Earth.
This is a really difficult job. According to OneZero, researchers are considering the possibility of making a long trip to another solar system, namely to Proxima Centauri. Flying can take centuries or even millennia. This means that the life of entire generations will take place on board the spacecraft. However, the challenges facing such a mission are so numerous that the comments of scientists sound somewhat unexpectedly.
You can learn more about what scientists think about space travel on our channel in Yandex.Zen
Theoretically, a journey to another star system is possible
Executive Director of the Interstellar InitiativeResearch Andreas Hein told OneZero that, in terms of physics, there are no fundamental obstacles to such a trip. There are a number of other problems that researchers have yet to find a solution to, but as for the fundamental laws of physics, none of them will be violated. Nevertheless, we simply cannot build a spaceship, populate it with people and send it into space today. Researchers will understand how to support human life in such a long space journey. And if you recall the results of recent studies, even 50 days spent on the ISS are fraught with impaired blood flow. In addition, sending a man to Mars is still in question, since scientists have not found an effective way to protect astronauts from deadly cosmic radiation. Moreover, there are other health problems that may arise due to a long stay in zero gravity, and some of them are still practically unstudied.
But even assuming that in the futuremost of the problems described above will be solved, one more unknown remains - namely, the exoplanet to which the spacecraft will head. Will she be hospitable?
I cannot but note that the development of this planrecalls the plot of the science fiction work of the French writer Bernard Verber, "Star Butterfly". The novel tells the story of a billionaire and a talented scientist who are working together to create a spaceship called Star Butterfly. The ship will go on a thousand-year journey to a distant planet, and on board the butterfly will be 144 thousand people. What happened to the passengers of the “Star Butterfly” during the flight becomes clear at the end of the trip, since only two will reach the planet. It turns out that scientists have to consider not only the obvious, physical threats of space travel, but also how people will behave who will not be able to leave the spacecraft. Moreover, where is the guarantee that several generations later the colonists will not change their minds about the mission that they carry from birth?