Friday, December 28, 2012

The Universe, Science And NASA

As a young kid, I'd always look up at the night sky because the stars fascinated me. My curious mind wondered off and I'd daydream for long periods of time about distant worlds. What really gave me the passion for space or the universe was a show called the "Cosmos" narrated and hosted by the late great Carl Sagan in the early 80's. I was only 4 years old when the show aired, but I remember it vividly. That show along with the syndication of "Lost in Space", Dr. Who (just to name a few) created this intense passion for space, life elsewhere and science that remains burning inside me to this very day.

I'm on NASA's website and just about every day to see what's new, especially since the rover Curiosity landed on Mars. However, it's bigger than that to me. I've read lots of articles, watched hundreds of documentary on space and followed just about every launch since I was a kid.

Which brings me to write this blog about Space Travel and its possibilities. When Dr. Robert Zubrin developed the Mars direct plan I thought it was genius however, the immense cost quickly lead to the plan's demise. I thought we could at least capitalize off of his idea and find a more cost effective way to put humans on Mars.

It's hard to believe we landed on the Moon in the 70's and hasn't been back. It's probably due to lack of public interest. Toward the end of the Apollo era, the moon landings were basically routine, people lost interest.  I've read articles where people said, they would rather watch a baseball game than to see the landings back then. Those Moon landings were spectacles of human ingenuity. Do you know how much public interest a human Moon landing would gain now? It would be HUGE. We're in the digital era now and the technology is extremely advanced. If we landed on the Moon today, do you know how amazing the video broadcast would be? What if they did a firework display from the surface of the moon to prove the skeptics wrong? How cool would that be?

Bottom line is, we are explorers. Humans should have been on Mars by now. We have suspended ourselves in time when it comes down to space exploration. I think the orbiters and rovers are cool however, there's nothing like a human being scooping up soil samples from the surface of Mars.

The title of this blog is about the possibilities of deep space travel for humans in the distant future. This is what I believe will work or how it would be even possible to do so.

Space is an extremely harsh environment. There are extreme temperature fluctuations, rapid bone deterioration in humans and radiation just to name a few.

First and foremost we will have to build an efficient vehicle that will hold a crew of 10 (not 7) and have ample room in it. The spaceship will have to be assembled like the space station in space. We have to create an artificial gravity room. I think it's difficult to make the entire spaceship create centrifugal force, in which will be needed to produce the gravity for the long duration flight. The sleeping quarters would be ideal as a gravity room. The spaceship will need as much shielding as possible to minimize radiation exposure.

I believe we will have the propulsion suitable for the spaceship when the time comes. Two types of propulsion should be required. Standard solid fuel rocket to create momentum and the use of ion drive for sustainability.

As far as the crew goes, this is what I believe will work or the only way such long flights will be possible.

The crew should be composed with companions, each in their respected fields with some redundancy. This has to be number one on the priority list. There has to be a companion for each crew member, each couple being familiar with the ship, that's why 10 is the lucky number (5 Male, 5 female). This is for psychological reason, which is essential for deep space flight. The companionship will ease minds during the flight. There has to be intimacy on some level as well if we were to travel very deep in space. Which brings me to cell and organism reproduction in space. If I'm not mistaken, I believe we're studying this in a weightless environment already. In order for long duration space flight (to other worlds) to ever be possible, we're going to have to reproduce in space during the trip. We're going to have to raise our young along the way and teach him/her about the mission and objective. I know this may be far-fetched, but what happens when Earth is near its final days? How do we carry on as a species? You mean to tell me it's over with for the human species when Earth reaches its demise? That's why we have to reproduce in space. It's the ONLY way we'll thrive. Our life span is over before you snap your fingers when we're talking about space travel. Voyager 1 launched in 1977. It has traveled further that any man-made object EVER some 35 years ago. It'll finally leave our solar system (if not already) and enter interstellar space. Imagine a human being in space for that long, only to travel to the end of the solar system. How do we reach other destinations in our own Milkyway galaxy? That's why reproduction in space is key. It has to become a cycle over a period of time. When this happens we will get to see the stars and other worlds like never before.

These are just my personal opinions as an extremely passionate space/science enthusiast.

If you would like to know where my extreme passion derived from, click the link below and watch the video

If you have any ideas, suggestions or opinions, leave a comment below or email me at:

I'm eager to talk about this.

Terence Simmons