Interstellar Travel: So Where Should We Go?

Interstellar Travel: So Where Should We Go? –

All good points, it’s way too early to be thinking about it.

The first priority should be terraforming Mars.  Not just a 100 billion dollar photo op, an actual plan.

The obvious solution is bacteria, they terraformed earth, generating oxygen that made complex life as we know it possible.

Mars is warmer than Winnipeg is in the winter, get some greenhouse gasses going and it could be made habitable in time and it’s not that far. It also gives a venue for testing such methods where no ethical issues arise.  

Atmosphere is a huge as an issue. Venus has 92 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth although it is slightly smaller and lighter.

That means, an earth sized planet in the right place could still have pressure that would crush you like a pop can.

In light of Venus, I find the argument that Mars doesn’t have enough gravity to hold an atmosphere unconvincing. Earth doesn’t have hardly any atmosphere compared with Venus because of gravity, it has more gravity than Venus.  An off the cuff answer based on a rule of thumb is unlikely to hit the mark here.

I suspect a better guess is something to do with meteor bombardment, Venus has so few signs of impacts that we should consider the heretical idea that it might be a much more recent addition to the solar system, missing the early bump and grind.

We need better intell  before going to other systems because there are too many things that can go wrong.  We need intermediate goals.

The holy grail for now should be the sun as gravitational lens. Gravity creates a lens effect and the sun’s focal point I think is out beyond Pluto.

That could make a telescope parked out there far more powerful. 

We already know that by forming arrays of scopes we can create the effect like one more powerful scope.

Put an array at the sun’s focal points, actually approximately a sphere of all points at the same distance, and we should pretty much be able to get a picture of a dog taking a piss on a planet circling Alpha Cenrauri, in 3D.

That would be costly, but achievable.  It could have a dual purpose for monitoring for and sending transmissions to seek alien life as well.

That kind of resolution offers the best chance of picking the right target for later expeditions.


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