Here’s some advice that you would hope is more than unnecessary. NASA employees – astronauts, in particular – should avoid writing their names on any landscapes they encounter on their trips through the solar system.
This plea against space vandalism is not a NASA directive. It comes from University of North Texas philosophy professor Eugene Hargrove . He is making the request today as part of a talk on eco issues in space exploration during this week’s NASA Lunar Science Institute’s conference at the Ames Research Center.
There is no doubt that we have already made an impact on the Moon. Each Apollo mission released gas equivalent to the whole of the existing lunar atmosphere. If and when spacecraft start going back more regularly, we might create a permanent atmosphere of rocket exhaust.
“Create a permanent atmosphere of rocket exhaust” ?
Y’gotta be shittin’ me, right?
Read the comment section of this article, they say it better than I can. 8)
For those of you who don’t see Spaceflight, a magazine published by the British Interplanetary Society, it may be useful to know that an article by Richard Obousy and Gerald Cleaver (Baylor University) on warp drive theory from the April issue is now available on the arXiv server. This material was presented at the November, 2007 symposium held by the BIS in London. Kelvin Long, who organized the session, had earlier passed along several documents from the proceedings that we looked at here, and also wrote up the duo’s ideas in the same issue of Spaceflight.
But let’s backtrack a minute to Miguel Alcubierre’s 1994 paper, which demonstrated that it would be possible — within the context of General Relativity — to envision a space drive that could get you to your destination in a time shorter than it would take light itself to get there. Contracting space in front of the craft while inflating it behind, the drive is permissible because the starship itself would not be going faster than light. Rather, the space around it would be moving in such a way as to make the trip possible.
And that’s the key — the speed of light stricture does not apply to spacetime itself. Can we learn how to generate a region of expanding spacetime and one of contracting spacetime? Obousy and Cleaver argue that nature can offer insights, for spacetime itself is already expanding, a fact we realized with the work of Edwin Hubble in 1929 and have been wrestling with in various ways ever since. A warp drive would demand that the slow expansion of space that we observe be made to function extremely quickly, which makes understanding the cosmological constant the key demand of any attempt to build a true warp drive.
This is why I love the Centauri Dreams blog so much, Paul Gilster isn’t afraid to put out some extreme engineering posts at time. I have to admit, he’s good at finding these papers on the arXiv server!
As for the feasibility of warp drive, yes, the energy requirements are tremendous, so unless there is a way to create a warp bubble or fiddle with string theory in anything meaningful without the enormous energy input, it ain’t gonna happen.
And in the Trek Universe, the element in “dilithium” crystals facilitate the creation of a warp bubble without infinite energy input. People tend to forget that when the topic of inventing a real warp drive pops up. But Paul’s post puts a realistic spin on the research and is recommended reading.
I have a theory that the human energy body that certain so-called psychics say that they can travel out of body in and that which persons involved in so-called near death experiences claim to have is simply a body made of a material, perhaps super cooled non-relativistic neutrino material that is produced by the electroweak unification between the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force. As one might be aware, the neutrino is the particle with zero electric charge but which interacts with matter through the weak nuclear force reaction. A beam of pure neutrinos can accordingly travel thru light years of lead and remain largely unattenuated.My theory in another version is that the material out of which human and extraterrestrial energy bodies are made is composed of photo-neutrinos which would be a hybrid force particle with characteristics of both the electromagnetic photon and the weak force neutrino. My theory would explain why energy bodies appear or at least are reported to pass through material objects by those having near death experiences. Which ever version of my theory is correct, the electroweak unification in physics, the basic form of the theory for which a Nobel Prize was awarded, is the basis for suggesting that super cooled neutrinos, or photo-neutrinos, can interact by electric fields or electronic like fields and thus form the continuous material that energy bodies and auras appear to be made of in the form of aggregates of massive numbers of cooled neutrinos or photo-neutrinos in bound states.
My man Jim Essig here sounds like a nut at times, but he’s a deep thinker of many things and that is good.
He’s almost like a scientific Highwayman! Without the expletives of course!
As Geez says, “I’ll sit at his campfire any time and the coffee is always good.” That goes for all these guys.