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#1 2013-12-13 10:31:43

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Just think of what Mars was to writers in the Early 20th century and what Alpha Centauri is today. Instead of two moons, you have two suns.

How would you do a planetary romance set on a planet orbiting one of Alpha Centauri's stars? It is a blank canvas, just like Mars was. Mars has some similarities to Earth with 24-hour days similar axial tilt and apparent seasons with changes in coloration and the polar caps throughout the Martian year. Alpha Centauri has one Sun-like star. An Earthlike planet could easily be imagined to be orbiting it. What other elements do you need?

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#2 2013-12-13 20:06:54

RobertDyck
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Astronomers have discovered a planet at Alpha Centauri. That star system is binary, the second star is designated capital "B". The planet is designated lower case "b". I don't know why, the first planet discovered is usually "a", then proceeding up the alphabet. They may have thought they found one earlier, but didn't report it. Putting it all together, this planet is called Alpha Centauri Bb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri_Bb

Parent star:
spectral class: K1 V (actual apparent colour: pale yellowish orange)
our Sun's spectral class: G2 (actual apparent colour: yellowish white)
mass: 0.934 ± 0.006 Solar mass

Planet:
mass: 1.13 ± 0.09 Earth mass
semimajor axis: 0.04 AU
orbital period: 3.2357 ± 0.0008 days
stellar flux: ~312 Earth
surface temperature: 1,500°K

Yea, this planet is so close its "year" is 3.2357 Earth days. It's roasting hot.

This is the problem with a binary star system. The only stable orbit for a planet is either very far, orbiting the common gravitational centre between the stars. Or so close to one that gravity from the other is insignificant. So frozen or roasting, no Goldilocks zone.

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#3 2013-12-13 23:00:56

JoshNH4H
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Actually, I believe a is the primary, which is to say the star.  Therefore the first confirmed planet is b, then c, d, etc.


-Josh

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#4 2013-12-13 23:03:52

JoshNH4H
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

I would add that this planet hasn't really been confirmed and could be the result of overanalyzing data rather than necessarily a signal


-Josh

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#5 2013-12-14 01:34:31

clark
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Posts: 6,253

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

talk about missing the point. this is why mars is dead.

I imagine doomed love. A sun sets, a sun rises. There is a moment in-between where they love, where they live. An attempt at escape, failure, declaration of love, a promise to go hand in hand to the end, betrayal that is proof of a greater love.

The Prince falls for the servant girl. Lifelong friends. She a match in all things but his rank. He a match in all things but her humanity. The predictions of the coming global apocalypse are ignored as they grow, but the signs abound. Their love blossoms as the world around wilts. The Prince seeks to protect her, she seeks to protect the people. The Prince, to win her love once and for all works to save the world. He fails, In the waning hours, the twilight of the end of their world, they declare their love for one another. She finds out she is pregnant with the Prince's child, but this life is surely doomed. She, thinking that this is the end, takes the poison the Prince offers. He, not wishing to lose her, gives her a drug that will cause her to sleep, and then encases her in an ice crystal castle that will last a million years, when the next Spring will return. The Prince is unable to join her in slumber as he must set the controls for his Queen's slumber.

So goes the story of the Sunset Prince and the Sunrise Queen.

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#6 2013-12-14 07:54:32

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

The Alpha Centauri System is older than our Sun. The Spectral type of the primary Alpha Centauri A is G2 V, which is the same as our Sun, but Alpha Centauri A is more massive than our Sun, so how is it the same spectral type? The answer is spectral type is a function of a star's age as well as its mass, probably Alpha Centauri A originally had a spectral type of G0 V or F9 V when it was the same age as our Sun and as it aged it got yellower. That means Alpha Centauri has had more time to develop complex life and perhaps even a civilization than has our Sun, Alpha Centauri B is cooler and smaller than our Sun, it has probably changed less in that time. So imagine this: An alien race evolves on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, they are pale skinned, hairless aliens, and happen to notice a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A that is very similar to another planet orbiting another star 4.4 light years away, those aliens visit that other world and abduct humans and other life forms and transplant them on the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A, for some reason that the Author will have to work out later while developing his story.

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#7 2013-12-14 08:59:59

RobertDyck
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Conditions on the planet very much dictate life that evolves. I don't see how life could exist there. As for prince/queen, why use archaic social structures that are long obsolete? In a world with literacy, everyone can read and write and has knowledge of history, there's no place for a ruling class. Even the UK has democracy, the Royals are impotent relics of history. Try something more modern.

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#8 2013-12-14 09:14:34

Terraformer
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Such as Hereditary President for Life?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#9 2013-12-14 14:11:49

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

RobertDyck wrote:

Conditions on the planet very much dictate life that evolves. I don't see how life could exist there. As for prince/queen, why use archaic social structures that are long obsolete? In a world with literacy, everyone can read and write and has knowledge of history, there's no place for a ruling class. Even the UK has democracy, the Royals are impotent relics of history. Try something more modern.

Real utopias are boring, for literary purposes, we want a setting where adventure can happen Traditional Mars and Venus were in many ways treated as parallel earths by pulp authors in the early 20th century. So we might try for a society of humans on the planet in question, transplanted there by aliens, in much the same way as they were in the Gor Novels. Reclusive aliens from say the second planet in the Alpha Centauri B component of the system are responsible for transplanting humans and other animals from Earth to Alpha Centauri Ac, that well designate as the third planet in the A mini-system. A total of 4 planets can exist there, possibly an asteroid belt as well.

The next question is how we get the hero of our story over to this planet? Alien abduction perhaps? Maybe he comes under his own power by an interstellar starship, the aliens have their own variety of starship.

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#10 2013-12-14 23:03:58

RobertDyck
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

It's your story. If you want my input, civilization today has far too much violence. I grew up during the race to the Moon. It was exciting. A large team working toward a common goal. Not dropping bombs on people, but actually achieving something no one had ever done before. People vs the environment. There were setbacks, but in the end they succeeded. A piece of the 21st century brought into the 1960s, and science fiction become science fact. No need to further glorify war.

Of course, if you want your humans to be transplanted to the real Alpha Centauri Bb, it would be a very hostile place. You would have to live underground, to escape the heat. Or is the planet tide locked? One side perpetually dark and cold? Did the aliens come from a planet orbiting the white dwarf star Proxima Centauri? Or did they go themselves, and get stranded?

The obvious way to get there is Alcubierre drive. The first version would travel at the speed of light, so 4.38 years travel time. It requires highly condensed matter, something that will produce high concentration of gravity. But gravitational force is produced by the gradient, the slope, while energy required is proportional to the dimensional displacement. If you can contain the force within a smaller space, you can produce very strong gravity with much less mass. How do you "pinch" the warp field? That will reduce the energy requirement. Perhaps a dynamic process that generates a thin film of Higgs Bosons, which would decompose. Then something to recover what they decompose into, and recycle that energy. Alcubierre drive requires negative mass behind the spacecraft. So far the only known real physics that can produce that is "Inflation", and current theory is that only occurred the first tiny fraction of a second of the Big Bang. That would require extremely high intensity energy, probably some sort of matter/anti-matter reaction. There's a lot of "somehow" and "sort of", but you're talking about a story rather than engineering. Theory says space between the matter and negative matter fields will have zero net gravity, but if you get too far from the exact center you could experience gravity. Matter in front will pull while negative matter will repel, but what about off axis? A ring closer to the matter side? Would that have gravity? So "down" is the direction of travel? Again, have the interstellar drive burn itself out when it gets to Alpha Centauri. Stranded, they have to survive.

Do you land on a planet only 0.04 AU from its star? Or do you harvest an asteroid belt for resources? At the Goldilocks zone from either star, objects will not be stable so expect a lot of errant asteroids flying about. It could be very dangerous.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2013-12-15 09:45:14)

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#11 2013-12-15 07:42:06

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Possibility of additional planets[edit]
The discovery of planets orbiting other star systems, including similar binary systems (Gamma Cephei), raises the possibility that additional planets may exist in the Alpha Centauri system. Such planets could orbit Alpha Centauri A or Alpha Centauri B individually, or be on large orbits around the binary Alpha Centauri AB. Since both the principal stars are fairly similar to the Sun (for example, in age and metallicity), astronomers have been especially interested in making detailed searches for planets in the Alpha Centauri system. Several established planet-hunting teams have used various radial velocity or star transit methods in their searches around these two bright stars.[93] All the observational studies have so far failed to find any evidence for brown dwarfs or gas giant planets.[93][94]
In 2009, computer simulations (then unaware of the close-in planet Bb) showed that a planet might have been able to form near the inner edge of Alpha Centauri B's habitable zone, which extends from 0.5 to 0.9 AU from the star. Certain special assumptions, such as considering that Alpha Centauri A and B may have initially formed with a wider separation and later moved closer to each other (as might be possible if they formed in a dense star cluster) would permit an accretion-friendly environment farther from the star.[95] Bodies around A would be able to orbit at slightly farther distances due to A's stronger gravity. In addition, the lack of any brown dwarfs or gas giants in close orbits around A or B make the likelihood of terrestrial planets greater than otherwise.[87] Theoretical studies on the detectability via radial velocity analysis have shown that a dedicated campaign of high-cadence observations with a 1–m class telescope can reliably detect a hypothetical planet of 1.8 Earth masses in the habitable zone of B within three years.[96]
Radial velocity measurements of Alpha Centauri B with HARPS spectrograph ruled out planets of more than 4 Earth masses to the distance of the habitable zone of the star (rotation period P = 200 days).[14]
Alpha Centauri is envisioned as the first target for unmanned interstellar exploration. Crossing the huge distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri using current spacecraft technologies would take several millennia, though the possibility of solar sail or nuclear pulse propulsion technology could cut this down to a matter of decades.[97]

This is from the Wikipedia entry on Alpha Centauri. The truth is we don't know what really is there. I've heard that orbits were stable out to about 3.33 AU in both inner systems, this is because the closest the stars come to each other is about 11 au, so orbits up to one third of that distance are stable. We can't discount the possibility that the stars may have formed further apart and through the same processes which have created those hot Jupiters, we may get stars drawn in closer after the planetary system has formed. Most stars are formed in star clusters, that means that there are a lot of near passes. B's elliptical orbit around A may indicate that A may once have had another companion in a more circular orbit, and then B made a close pass to that other star, its gravity flinging that other star out into the cluster, while it exchanges momentum with it and settles into an elliptical orbit around A, then the cluster breaks up and what we have left is the trinary star system we see today.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2013-12-15 09:49:41)

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#12 2014-04-13 16:29:01

martienne
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Posts: 146

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Well we're not going to get anywhere near Alpha Centauri within the lifetimes  of any of us here.
Which is exactly why I am interested in Mars. It's realistic and doable within my lifetime.

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#13 2014-04-13 17:37:40

JoshNH4H
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Well that depends what you expect all of our lifetimes to be, doesn't it?  It seems to me that there is a very good chance that a person alive today who eats well and exercises, plus doesn't smoke and maybe has a bit of good genes and good luck has the chance of living for quite a long time.  Let's say you have someone born in 1979, they would be 35 today.  If current medical science would keep them alive for 50 more years, it'll be 2064.  By 2064 I would expect that they would be able to be given at least another 50 years.  By 2114 maybe 50 more, or maybe a hundred.  By 2214 surely we will have figured out how to upload ourselves onto computers and thus achieve indefinite life extension?

At that point, a journey to alpha centauri is certainly starting to sound reasonable.


-Josh

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#14 2014-04-14 01:05:24

martienne
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Posts: 146

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Haha, Upload, like in the book Skinned. Yes - definnitely, let's hope so!

But say that this treatment is achievable within the extended lifetime of somebody born in the 1970s: How RICH would a person have to be to get all the life extending treatments and finally the upload into some kind of artificial body?

Nobody will offer these treatments for free to billions, or even millions. It would probably be only a very small part of humanity who would could afford it. Although I am not poor, I am not rich either, and I don't think I ever will be. It's never even been a goal of mine. Or even, in the event of the world revolution taking place; the same scarcity of resources would exist, simply differently distributed. I'd hardly be such an elite individual that I'd qualify.

Hope I am wrong about this gloomy predictions. We still should focus on Mars though.
An international mission to Mars is the next logical step in space travel followed by establishing an international colony.

Last edited by martienne (2014-04-14 01:07:27)

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#15 2014-04-14 01:26:22

JoshNH4H
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Well, it will be a matter of time, of course.  But especially in countries with universal health care systems I expect it will be declared to be a right as soon as it becomes even somewhat affordable, and the demand for that will be so give that it will happen relatively quickly.


-Josh

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#16 2014-04-14 03:01:34

martienne
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From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

JoshNH4H wrote:

Well, it will be a matter of time, of course.  But especially in countries with universal health care systems I expect it will be declared to be a right as soon as it becomes even somewhat affordable, and the demand for that will be so give that it will happen relatively quickly.

Hm... the EU countries may not be able to afford it much longer. Don't know how much Canada values it's free health system and if it's up to attempts to change things from south of theirborder.
Although Eastern Europe technically has free healthcare, as far as I am aware, it will keep you alive if you are lucky, and take care of common conditions. No guarantees to live forever! Same goes for the NHS in the UK where I live at the moment.

It would certainly be cool if this awesome vision came true, but if anyone truly thinks it's their ticket to eternal life, they should start working at getting incredibly rich, asap. Another consideration is; how desirable is it to live forever inside with a digital brain in an avatar body?

I love that you brought up this cool idea. Just don't want to get my hopes up about something that a few rich people from the Gulf, software millionaires and oligarchs + their brats might get to enjoy while it passes me and my likes by....

Remember the Kim Stanley Robinson trilogy on Mars? One of the benefits of a really long life is that people can take on much larger and more ambitious projects.

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#17 2014-04-14 06:36:55

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,137
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Well, we're not far off being able to create new organs on demand from stem cells, so there goes dieing from organ failure. If we can get rid of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, what is there left that will kill off old people, assuming we can fix up the immune system?

Most people my age are expected to live to a 100, apparently. But that ignores new technology. Even without medical technology, a few lucky folks can achieve up to 130 (nothing that's been confirmed, but it's about the figure that I've seen for expected max. lifespan, so the claims are probably credible).

Imagine that, a civilisation where the expected lifespan is 130. That would give me until 2134 to do cool stuff. With a 2070 launch date, and a 25 year voyage...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#18 2014-04-14 07:47:55

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Terraformer wrote:

...Imagine that, a civilisation where the expected lifespan is 130. That would give me until 2134 to do cool stuff...

I didn't realize you were ten years old tongue


-Josh

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#19 2014-04-14 08:32:13

martienne
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From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

and at the age of 65 he might be more interested in golf, house prices and collecting wines.... than going to Alpha Centauri...LOL.


Really, I don't think we need to look for a "new" Mars yet. Let us at least wait until we are there!
And as for Romance factor - standing beneath a sky of two moons in a pink sky would definitely satisfy me

Last edited by martienne (2014-04-14 08:34:32)

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#20 2014-04-14 09:30:00

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Martienne, I certainly don't disagree-- I'm all for going to Mars.  But I think what Tom was going for when he created this thread was the sense of romance associated with a location about which we know nothing.  Because every planet in the solar system has now been explored to some degree by a probe, the romance is gone.  We now know that there are no scantily clad Martian princesses and no humid, tropical rainforests under the clouds of Venus.  We know that there are no 5 meter tall giants on Titan and strongly suspect that there are no Jovian warlords hiding underneath the clouds.  In short, we do not believe there to be life everywhere we go, and the sense of romance of the solar system has been replaced with the more immediately exciting scientific fact.

However, I suspect that this shift, rather than being a result of the information that we have since learned about the solar system, is a result of a change in how we look at the world.  I suspect that Mars, Venus, Jupiter, etc. were looked at much like we looked at remote areas of our own planet.  I suspect that stories such as The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs were informed by a romanticized notion of pre-imperial civilizations on Earth.  Meanwhile, it should come as no surprise that H.G. Wells, a committed socialist opposed to imperialism and even a lukewarm supporter of the Russian Revolutions which occurred 20 years after War of the Worlds was written, would take the opposite tack.  He looked at the Martians as imperial conquerors and us as the conquered peoples.

Since that time, our view of the world has become much different.  As international trade and advances in communications technologies have progressed, the world has become a smaller and smaller place.  Another H.G. Wells novel*, Around the World in 80 Days speaks of a tremendous journey to circumnavigate the globe as quickly as possible.  We can now circumnavigate the world in as little as 80 minutes.  From New York to London to Beijing to Tokyo to Bangalore to Johannesburg to Sydney to Buenos Aires, even to rural Kentucky to Antarctica to Low Earth orbit and beyond, we're all interconnected.  It doesn't make sense anymore to speak of the German people and the French people and the Russian people and the American people.  We are all part of one huge global civilization, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

The only place on Earth which is not a part of this civilization is perhaps North Korea; Is it any wonder that this last vestige of otherness, the "Hermit Kingdom" is watched so closely and so curiously by the rest of the world?  I believe that it is no coincidence that as "others" have disappeared from Earth, so have they disappeared from Mars and everywhere else.


-Josh

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#21 2014-04-14 15:35:13

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Posts: 3,137
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Well, I made a mistake there - I would live until 2124. But I don't feel too bad for that mistake, because you just misattributed a Jules Verne novel tongue

If you put the clock forward a century, you can have a plausible excuse for bringing back the Other and their Mystery, as humanity spreads out and diversifies. Including scantily clad Martian princesses, and pirates hiding out around Saturn, and warlords trying to conquer Io...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#22 2014-04-14 16:04:58

JoshNH4H
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

Terraformer wrote:

Well, I made a mistake there - I would live until 2124. But I don't feel too bad for that mistake, because you just misattributed a Jules Verne novel tongue

Touché


-Josh

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#23 2014-04-17 04:27:50

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

martienne wrote:

Haha, Upload, like in the book Skinned. Yes - definnitely, let's hope so!

But say that this treatment is achievable within the extended lifetime of somebody born in the 1970s: How RICH would a person have to be to get all the life extending treatments and finally the upload into some kind of artificial body?

Nobody will offer these treatments for free to billions, or even millions. It would probably be only a very small part of humanity who would could afford it. Although I am not poor, I am not rich either, and I don't think I ever will be. It's never even been a goal of mine. Or even, in the event of the world revolution taking place; the same scarcity of resources would exist, simply differently distributed. I'd hardly be such an elite individual that I'd qualify.

Hope I am wrong about this gloomy predictions. We still should focus on Mars though.
An international mission to Mars is the next logical step in space travel followed by establishing an international colony.

How could a person get rich if a machine can do anything that a human can do? Oh and they can do another thing that a human can't do, they can copy themselves and their mind software. So lets say person A uploads into a machine and becomes person B, then person B makes a copy of himself and becomes person B and C, they make copies of themselves to become person B, C, D, and E all with the memories of person A up to the point he uploaded. Don't you think persons B, C, D, and E could make four times as much as person A could, simply because they can do 4 different things at once while person A by himself could only do one thing at a time?

By effectively creating as many people as we want, we can grow the economy to whatever size we want to accomplish interstellar colonization. I think we've barely scratched the surface of this Solar System, it could support a lot more people that it does now if sufficiently engineered. Electronic people should find it easy to cross interstellar distances so long as their is a receiver waiting to them to receive their information. I think this would effectively be the same as traveling one third of the speed of light with safeguards.

For example person A uploads to Person B, person B wants to go to Alpha Centauri, and fortunately for his there is a receiver orbiting that star ready to receive his information Person B copies himself to person C and then shuts down his person B program, and person C is transmitted across 4.4 light years to the receiver. the Data for person C is transmitted twice to reduce the chance of errors in transmission. Once the receiver receives all of person C's data, it transmits what it has received back to Earth. 4.4 years after that Earth receives back the data for Person C, it compares that data with the data of person B which is not run. (Person B experiences no time passage, and neither does person C.) the data of person C is compared to the data of person B and if it is the same, an all clear signal is transmitted to alpha Centauri when the receiver at Alpha Centauri receives the all clear signal 4.4 years after that, it begins to run the person C program. Person C wakes up in the Alpha Centauri program and the last thing he remembers is being uploaded as person B. The whole process of uploading to Alpha Centauri with error checks and verification takes 13.2 years. If the person B program back on Earth is not run, then person C effectively becomes person B. Person C transmits a signal telling what he wants to do with the data for person B back on Earth, it can be held in storage and updated with data from person C until such time that person C dies or is erased by some accident, then person B can run with the last updated memories of person C. All these backups can create a certain kind of longevity as long as our civilization lasts. If person C wants to download into a human body, an appropriate body could then be constructed out of stem cells, a specific brain pattern would have to b created to hold all the memories person C has, and after the download we would have flesh and blood person D, not the same as person A, but as close as your going to get with a physical copy, and probably cheaper than moving person A across the stars at one third the speed of light.

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#24 2014-04-17 04:40:02

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

JoshNH4H wrote:

Martienne, I certainly don't disagree-- I'm all for going to Mars.  But I think what Tom was going for when he created this thread was the sense of romance associated with a location about which we know nothing.  Because every planet in the solar system has now been explored to some degree by a probe, the romance is gone.  We now know that there are no scantily clad Martian princesses and no humid, tropical rainforests under the clouds of Venus.  We know that there are no 5 meter tall giants on Titan and strongly suspect that there are no Jovian warlords hiding underneath the clouds.  In short, we do not believe there to be life everywhere we go, and the sense of romance of the solar system has been replaced with the more immediately exciting scientific fact.

However, I suspect that this shift, rather than being a result of the information that we have since learned about the solar system, is a result of a change in how we look at the world.  I suspect that Mars, Venus, Jupiter, etc. were looked at much like we looked at remote areas of our own planet.  I suspect that stories such as The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs were informed by a romanticized notion of pre-imperial civilizations on Earth.  Meanwhile, it should come as no surprise that H.G. Wells, a committed socialist opposed to imperialism and even a lukewarm supporter of the Russian Revolutions which occurred 20 years after War of the Worlds was written, would take the opposite tack.  He looked at the Martians as imperial conquerors and us as the conquered peoples.

Since that time, our view of the world has become much different.  As international trade and advances in communications technologies have progressed, the world has become a smaller and smaller place.  Another H.G. Wells novel*, Around the World in 80 Days speaks of a tremendous journey to circumnavigate the globe as quickly as possible.  We can now circumnavigate the world in as little as 80 minutes.  From New York to London to Beijing to Tokyo to Bangalore to Johannesburg to Sydney to Buenos Aires, even to rural Kentucky to Antarctica to Low Earth orbit and beyond, we're all interconnected.  It doesn't make sense anymore to speak of the German people and the French people and the Russian people and the American people.  We are all part of one huge global civilization, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

The only place on Earth which is not a part of this civilization is perhaps North Korea; Is it any wonder that this last vestige of otherness, the "Hermit Kingdom" is watched so closely and so curiously by the rest of the world?  I believe that it is no coincidence that as "others" have disappeared from Earth, so have they disappeared from Mars and everywhere else.

Yep, that is why the last planetary romance movie called Avatar was set on the fictional moon Pandora, orbiting a fictional gas giant within the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A. Also if we could upload people, we could also create electronic fictional worlds for them to live in, such people would still need energy to run their programs and the programs of the fictional worlds they live it, so interstellar colonization would still be important. If there is no planet orbiting at the right distance from Alpha Centauri A, we could simulate one with all the right properties. As for flesh and bloods, if there is enough electronic people, they will generate enough income to pay for the physical transport of flesh and bloods to the stars the old fashioned way if they want, that is by accelerating and decelerating, probably some form of beamed propulsion would be used to accomplish this, such as a laser sail with transmitter.

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#25 2014-04-17 07:52:40

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,137
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Re: Is Alpha Centauri the new "Mars"?

However, Person A never gets to go, so there isn't really any point.

You may well be able to grow the economy by creating more people, but *that's not important*. What's important is how much each individual has. It's no use being twice as wealthy if your population is doubled in the process, because you don't get any richer.

Ignoring, of course, the fact that you want to enslave trillions of AI persons...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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