10 Myths about Space Travel that make SF better

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Sillak

    Sillak Registered User

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    Not exactly

    1. Faster Than Light Travel

    A lot of science fiction doesn't necessary use faster than light travel. Star Trek's warped speed is folding space around you, thus decreasing the distance between two points. The Enterprise doesn't actually go faster than light.

    And from the tidbits I've heard, folding space is plausible. Don't know if you need two giant protruding cylinders to do it though.
     
  2. mylinar

    mylinar Registered User

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    Another myth not mentioned

    In the anti-FTL world it seems to be a given that we can develop 'cold sleep' or one of its many names. This serves as a way to avoid the paradoxes (or hand waving) of faster than light travel.

    However there seems to be absolutly no science backing this up other than the fact that Bears and other mammals can hibernate. It is a long stretch from a few months of being curled up in a cave and emerging at the edge of starvation and something that would last decades or centuries.

    I guess you could say this falls into the extrapolation from existing reality but it is a real large one in my book.
     
  3. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    The science exists for maintaining life functions at a reduced levels using cold, near freezing temperatures. Currently anything that takes the body to freezing or below is purely speculative as science has yet to come up with a way to prevent ice crystals and preserve tissue so the body can be resuscitated. So some form of hibernation or cold sleep is possible, but any sort of freezing or suspended animation, where the bodily functions truly cease, is confined to Soft SF.
     
  4. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Bears cannot control the environment or do intravenous feeding. 3 months asleep and one month awake with 300 year lifespans with 20% lightspeed would be like 12.5 years of life to travel 10 light years. Not much of a 300 year lifespan. But it would actually take 50 years.

    I would expect that life extension within the next 200 years.

    So we could end up with human civilization expanding 10 light years every 1000 years considering the time to colonize and populate a planet.

    But that might not make for interesting science fiction stories.

    psik
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  5. Rosie Oliver

    Rosie Oliver Registered User

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    There is another way to travel between the stars... without FTL, using the universe folding back on itself or having to go for a long sleep or being transmitted as information and built back up at your destination... and yes I've had a short story published using this method and how to make it work... but will anyone listen me? Nah!

    So I'm afraid you're stuck with FTL, folding universes, long sleeps and being transmitted as information. :p
     
  6. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    Afraid to tell us what it is? Chicken!

    I also found a better solution to FTL travel, which I used in my novel Verdant Skies: Essentially, every point in the universe has a quantum frequency, which varies based on your distance from the center of the Big Bang universe; alter the frequency of an object, like a space ship, and it jumps via quantum tunneling to the radius of the universe that matches that frequency; and use the orientation of the frequency to "aim" at the point in the radius you desire. Viola: Instant travel from one point in the universe to another.

    The method is based on published quantum theories, so I had no compunction against using it (or telling anybody about it).



    (buk buk buk...) :)
     
  7. DailyRich

    DailyRich Damn fool idealist

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    Seems like a better title would have been 10 Myths About Space Travel That Make Space Opera More Fun.
     
  8. Rosie Oliver

    Rosie Oliver Registered User

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    Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle, SQUAWK! Just hold on while I adjust my feathers... need to pull out that annoying one just there... tug, tug, yank... collapse in bedraggled heap!

    The method was published in a small British science fiction magazine, called Jupiter (Issue 8, Phasiphae - the editor likes calling each issue after a moon of Jupiter's - Spring 2005) in a story called... oops mustn't self publicise here... belongs to separate skein... but their website is www.jupitersf.co.uk I think.

    But as you've never heard of it, it just goes to prove that nobody listens to me... so I'm not sure why I'm writing this... except possibly for my own amusement! :rolleyes:
     
  9. mylinar

    mylinar Registered User

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    We listen, everyone has interesting things to say, and there is nothing wrong with doing something for your own amusement. I don't think mentioning that you have published a story and where to find it is self-promotion since it is published. You are simply showing people where to find it, since as you say it is in a small not well known publication. I have no doubt people will look your story up. Congratulations on being published, many of us here would be thrilled to have even a single short story published in the real world.
     
  10. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    Actually, Rosie's right to be careful; I've had posts yanked for less.
     
  11. Chekhov

    Chekhov Let me be your gateway

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    I'm not very knowledgeable about physics, but wouldn't it be sometimes? I mean if there is nothing between you and your destination but vacuum, why not? (The need to carefully plot courses and navigate around gravity wells was addressed in A New Hope of all places.)
    This may be more realistic than it sounds. That is, navigating through an asteroid belt would not be nearly as difficult as it looks in The Empire Strikes Back because IRL asteroid belts are far less dense than the one in that movie. So far none of our satellites have had trouble getting through our own belt.

    On that note I would like to add one of my own to the list: there is no need for manned space exploration at all. IRL we would not send a huge ship like the Enterprise on a lengthy mission to discover habitable worlds when it would be much more efficient and less dangerous to just send unmanned probes, find candidates for habitable worlds, then send a manned expedition there (if we ever get that far). It would just be boring to show space exploration without humans and by sending manned ships we can continue the analogy with the Age of Sail that's all over Star Trek.

    Likewise it's stupid to risk human lives in space combat and would be much better to use unmanned fighters like in Ender's Game. But again, nobody wants to watch that. They want human characters they can identify with, not mute probes.
    This one makes no sense but can be excused because it would be very boring to watch ships shooting at nothing.
    They do in Firefly!
     
  12. JMichael

    JMichael Registered User

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    Comment on Myths

    Many of the ideas presented here as myths are not so much bad because they are impossible as because the authors don't know enough science to present them in any plausible way. Faster than light travel would have to have certain constraints to not introduce causality issues. Generated gravity, if possible, would likely require tremendous energy and could not likely be restricted within your vessel. And if you had enough energy to do these things why would you worry about the energy to do every day things? Also, you could freeze in space or boil in space depending on the colour of your space ship and your proximity to the nearest star, etc. Science fiction shows never seem to have a clue about the importance of colour in space where radiation is your biggest means of losing heat (Of course, you can always eject matter or use a refrigerating laser, too). I think the most interesting science fiction happens when the writers do consider these factors and go from there. This almost exclusively means hard science fiction in book format.
     
  13. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    And in Battlestar Galactica.
    ;)
     
  14. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    and 2001: a Space Odyssey

    [​IMG]

    and here's our hero taking a leak in Farscape

    [​IMG]

    Toilets crop up a lot in Farscape. In one episode of the hero broke out of the induced delusion he was being subjected to. He did this by entering the only place he'd never been in a bar recreated in his mind from his memories: the women's toilets.) And another character (Rygel) has exploding pee and farts helium.

    A character gets sucked out of a spaceship through a toilet in The Mutant on the Bounty (Bloody awful film.)

    and...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  15. Chekhov

    Chekhov Let me be your gateway

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    Could you elaborate a little on these, please? I don't quite follow.
     
  16. JMichael

    JMichael Registered User

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    Certainly.

    Gravity is the weakest of all the forces of nature. It takes an entire planet to create 1g, where you can achieve this with a much smaller magnet. A weak force of nature takes a lot of energy to produce (basic physics). Therefore, if you were to create a "gravity field", not just centrifugal force (Skip the centrifugal/centripetal force debate. It's old), it should require a huge energy output. We're talking on a similar order of magnitude to a reasonable speculative warp drive. Not only that, gravity goes through everything and extends to infinity. So if you make a gravity field inside your ship then it will extend through and outside of your ship. Therefore, other objects will be attracted to you by your gravity field. I haven't tried to make a solution with "antigravity" but I suspect it will just make one side of your ship repulsive and the other side attractive, and it will still extend out infinitely. I don't think there is an arrangement that will just conveniently cancel it out other than, perhaps, two concentric shells.

    In space you only receive and reject energy through radiation (If something isn't running into you). If your ship is totally black it will absorb all of the radiation (light) striking it and re-ratiate it and any internally produced energy away by heat radiation. This determines the temperature of the vessel because the temperature determines the rate of heat radiation. Around Earth, without internally produced energy, a black object would reach about 20ºC by my calculations (including reflected light from Earth. About 15ºC without). But if you made the object white then it would reflect most of the heat that struck it, making it much cooler. The Apollo capsules were shiny silver so that the heat of the onboard machinery would raise them up to a nice operating temperature for the crew. When Apollo 13 lost power the temperature of the capsule dropped to about freezing. If your ship is dark and orbiting Earth it better not be generating much internal energy. Thus you could freeze in a shiny ship or boil in a black ship (with internal heat sources) in Earth orbit.

    But you can get rid of heat by ejecting mass. Basically, you dump as much of your heat as you can into a fluid and then dump the fluid and its heat into space. You can do this, for instance, by keeping a cooled fluid like liquid nitrogen on board and letting it soak up extra heat then ejecting it when it is heated as much as possible. The refrigerating laser is a phenomenon whereby a fluid is excited by a laser then re-emits a laser beam, but with more energy that the original laser. You let the more energetic laser carry extra energy into space and the fluid cools down. This technology is being developed today.
     
  17. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    An entire planet's worth of mass. If you had a wee bit of neutron star in the middle of your ship and the decks arranged in spheres....

    But of course then you'd need REALLY big engines to get it to go anywhere. :D
     
  18. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Or be unconcerned with the date of arrival.

    ps: <3 Farscape
     
  19. oceanworld

    oceanworld Registered User

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    List

    ;)Nice list you have. You should make a list between tv and literature that would be an interesting scene there. SYFY is better because it is our imagination that can take us places that we want to go.:cool: