A recent symposium brought together some out-of-the-box thinkers to consider how mankind might move beyond Earth and into space. NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.
What will space travel be like 100 years from now? Where will people go, how will they get there and what should they do when they get there?
To try and answer some of these difficult questions, NASA and DARPA have been running the 100 Year Starship Study, a public call to everyone from university professors to hobby physicists to science fiction writers to offer up their ideas.
Many of those ideas were presented at the recent 100 Year Starship Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
“How do we move the technologies and science and the motivation so that 100 years or more from now, we can start launching missions to another star?” said Harry Kloor of the 100 Year Starship Study.
Among the key issues being looked at is the question of whether humans will be traveling to the stars or even living on them.
“We work to try to take our space observations and see what the basis of life is. Could life exist anywhere else?” said Robert Stirbl of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
Even after just five minutes at the symposium, it's clear to that most of the people present think far outside of the box.
Professor George Hart is an evolutionary paleontologist at Louisiana State University who calls one of the next steps in human evolution homo-robotica, so that people can safely explore or live anywhere.
“A mechanical body and a real brain, I think this is probably 20 years away at most. This is the creature that's going to explore our solar system,” said Hart.
Some may question why it’s worth spending money exploring space at a time when so many are out of work, but the process could be thought of as mankind’s insurance plan.
“Most of the species have gone extinct on the earth, I think like 99 percent, due to asteroid impact. If mankind got wiped out and we're not somewhere else, then everything that everyone has ever created dreamed or done, what has it been for?” said Kloor.
For more information on the 100 Year Starship Study, visit 100YSS.org.