The need for interstellar travel.

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The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:02 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/93949202 ... k-runs-out

Professor Stephen Hawking believes humanity MUST develop space travel and expand beyond planet Earth. He gives a 1,000 year time table, and suggests human extinction if we do not.

Is this level of space travel needed? Is human extinction threatened ?

Personally, I would like to see a full program of exploration into space, including other stars. But I see the limits on Earth more as intellectual limits. It is a big universe out there, and the human mind needs expanding.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby gorgeous » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:05 pm

why? to pollute and have wars there too?
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/93949202/stephen-hawking-calls-for-a-return-to-the-moon-as-earths-clock-runs-out

Professor Stephen Hawking believes humanity MUST develop space travel and expand beyond planet Earth. He gives a 1,000 year time table, and suggests human extinction if we do not.

Is this level of space travel needed? Is human extinction threatened ?

Personally, I would like to see a full program of exploration into space, including other stars. But I see the limits on Earth more as intellectual limits. It is a big universe out there, and the human mind needs expanding.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:24 pm

gorgeous wrote:why? to pollute and have wars there too?


Of course. How do you expect humans to pollute and fight over some other solar system if we don't go there?
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:58 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/93949202/stephen-hawking-calls-for-a-return-to-the-moon-as-earths-clock-runs-out

Professor Stephen Hawking believes humanity MUST develop space travel and expand beyond planet Earth. He gives a 1,000 year time table, and suggests human extinction if we do not.

Is this level of space travel needed? Is human extinction threatened ?

Personally, I would like to see a full program of exploration into space, including other stars. But I see the limits on Earth more as intellectual limits. It is a big universe out there, and the human mind needs expanding.

Image


Given humans proclivity for self-destruction, that is only one of the good reasons.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:39 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Is this level of space travel needed? Is human extinction threatened ?


I have a view on this. Why worry about humans? It may be the next species, a couple million years after us, that leaves the planet.

DNA will still be around long after humans have gone and I think it is inevitable that, eventually, a species will leave Earth. Therefore I can't see any moral dilemma and we humans should have a go first.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:00 am

Why should another species be luckier than we are?
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:05 am

I am somewhat sentimental about homer saps. I would like us to survive.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:08 am

A billion years ago we were no big deal. A billion years from now we'll probably be back to that state. Or completely unrecognizable. I doubt those beings will be sentimental about 21st Century humans.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:28 am

That is doubtlessly true, Gawd.
But I am personally sentimental about humanity actually having descendents.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:42 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why should another species be luckier than we are?
I didn't exactly say that. I suggested, it doesn't have to be humans or the next species, or even the next species after that..... I'm just saying if humans don't leave Earth, there will most likely be a later species that will. Therefore I can't see any moral arguments that humans should not colonise the galaxy, as if humans are some sort of pollution.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:46 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:I am somewhat sentimental about homer saps. I would like us to survive.


That's a hard question. If, in 500,000 years humans are spread over five or so planets and if it takes a couple generations to travel between those planets, then each planet will evolve in its own way.

Frankly, I can imagine interplanetary wars, in the distant future, where one planets says "We are the real humans and those abominations on other planets must be wiped out!"
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:14 am

If in 500,000 years, on some distant planet, Homo superior holds sway, then fine. Superior will be descended from saps.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gord » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:53 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:Frankly, I can imagine interplanetary wars, in the distant future, where one planets says "We are the real humans and those abominations on other planets must be wiped out!" :D

I watched that anime on Netflix recently.

Ah, here it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gargantia ... ous_Planet

Humans have left Earth and have made a paradise in space, Avalon, as humanity's new home and created the Galactic Alliance of Humanity to expand their journey through it. A threat known as Hideauze appeared before the Alliance and a war rages between them....

Spoiler:
The Hideauze are genetically engineered humans, created intentionally so that humanity could survive the death of the Earth. They look like a type of squid and can live in the vacuum of space. Turns out, after the Hideauze and a bunch of Humans left the Earth (thinking Earth was doomed), the remaining humans managed to fix things. Now the descendants of the Earth-bound Humans and the Earth-bound Hideauze still live on Earth; the Humans call the Hideauze "whale squids" and they live together on the same planet but separately in their own environments, existing without contact or conflict. But you don't find that out under, like, more than halfway through the series, and it isn't completely revealed until episode 10 out of 13.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:17 am

An interesting article from Stephen Hawkings. Whilst we can reach the moon and mars, that is about our current ability. Hawkings suggests that we need to develop new propulsion methods along the line of Star Trek. Well that being the case, we had better get our collective fingers out and start doing this.

Lawrence Krauss, in his book, Universe from Nothing, tells us that the universe is 13+ billion years old. He also tells us that the universe is expanding in size at quite a rate. And also that the universe is flat. So eventually, the furthest planets and stars that we see now via telescopes, will disappear from view. They are getting further away.

Just how fast this is happening I'm not sure, but Krauss predicts that the universe has another 3 trillion years to go. So it stands to reason that the longer we wait to start our intergalactic travels the further away they will be.

But quite frankly I don't see the money being spent to achieve new propulsion methods, or even travel to our near neighbors. And I don't think Hawkings will have much luck convincing countries as to any necessity to do this.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:26 am

1.) he said 100years, not 1,000.

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/stephen- ... s-festival


2.) bullcrap
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gord » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:37 am

ElectricMonk wrote:1.) he said 100years, not 1,000.

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/stephen- ... s-festival

Ah, but: https://futurism.com/stephen-hawking-hu ... -doomsday/

Stephen Hawking adjusted his doomsday timer for Earth, slashing 900 years from his initial 1,000-year estimate. According to the famous physicist, humanity has a century left to evacuate the planet and become multi-planetary species.

So he said both.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:40 am

Gord wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:1.) he said 100years, not 1,000.

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/stephen- ... s-festival

Ah, but: https://futurism.com/stephen-hawking-hu ... -doomsday/

Stephen Hawking adjusted his doomsday timer for Earth, slashing 900 years from his initial 1,000-year estimate. According to the famous physicist, humanity has a century left to evacuate the planet and become multi-planetary species.

So he said both.


technically correct, but do we agree that he now says 100?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:43 am

Phoenix

The expansion of the universe will not affect the distance between stars in our galaxy for many billions of years. So we have plenty of time.

On new propulsion systems.
No they will not be like Star Trek, attractive though that may be. Travel faster than light is against the laws of physics. That is : impossible. But travel between stars at a slower pace is possible. I know of three methods in theory that can accelerate a starship to somewhere between 10% and 50% of light speed, and still permit the ship to decelerate to relative rest.. The first (ion drives) are already in use for interplanetary probes. Sufficient development of this system may permit 10% to 20% of light speed.

At those speeds, journeys between star systems will take decades. Somewhere between 40 and 80 years to cross the average 4 light year distance between star systems. If humanity in the future has a much longer life span, that may not seem too much of a problem.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:39 am

Lance, I mentioned Star Trek only because Hawkins mentioned it in his article, well so I thought. But reading it again, well I must of had a senior moment.

We will certainly have time within our galaxy, but if we habour ambitions to reach further afield, then maybe it can come into play.

As you say, we can't travel faster than light, but to make all this supposition reachable, I would think we would need to be getting up to that 50% or even more. Still I guess, it all makes for interesting ponderance.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:23 am

Until we have a way to get in and out of a planets / moons gravity well for basically free (space elevators maybe) there will be no stellar colonization regardless of drive technology. No point in looking for resources in space if it takes more resources to get them back planetside.
The only real reason for interstellar travel would be if our survival in our solar system is in danger: most journeys would be way more dangerous than just staying put; not to mention way less comfortable.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Poodle » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:26 am

Phoenix76 wrote:... We will certainly have time within our galaxy, but if we habour ambitions to reach further afield, then maybe it can come into play ...

The lowest estimate of the number of Earth-like planets in our own galaxy is one million. I suspect that by the time we've colonised that lot, we won't need clunky technology to go intergalactic. We'll simply use the latest scanning techniques and then perform the equivalent of clicking our heels three times and saying "There's no place like [insert appropriate planet name here]".

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:58 am

Poodle
The total number of planets in our galaxy is probably closer to a trillion, based on the fact that one star will have a number of planets, and also on the fact that there may be more "rogue " planets than star bound ones. A rogue is a planet that is not orbiting a star.

But breaking the laws of physics (going faster than light) ain't gonna happen.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:23 am

Assuming that human brain upload and download into manufactured bodies becomes possible (no law against it as far as we know), we could send robo-ships loaded with factories and entangled photons galore.
Once they arrived anywhere we could upload a brain here and encode it with the local entangled particles, then download it wherever the robo-ships are instantly.
Same thing as clicking boot heels, really.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:59 am

Another possibility, EM, is to send a robot controlled ship with a cargo of frozen human embryos. If the robots are sophisticated enough, they can build a habitat, and then thaw the embryos, culture them, and raise the children to adulthood. The length of time they remain frozen during travel becomes unimportant.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:43 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote: ...
Image


I`d just like to stick around to ride that surf...

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Poodle » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:49 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Poodle
The total number of planets in our galaxy is probably closer to a trillion, based on the fact that one star will have a number of planets, and also on the fact that there may be more "rogue " planets than star bound ones. A rogue is a planet that is not orbiting a star.

But breaking the laws of physics (going faster than light) ain't gonna happen.


Yes - but I said "Earth-like planets" and the lowest figure I could find being bandied around is a million. And I still hold out some small hope for FTL, given that going faster than light is not, in all cases, contrary to the laws of physics - see Cherenkov radiation - unless space is an absolute vacuum. OK - that's phase velocity but it still holds out possibilities.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:16 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Another possibility, EM, is to send a robot controlled ship with a cargo of frozen human embryos. If the robots are sophisticated enough, they can build a habitat, and then thaw the embryos, culture them, and raise the children to adulthood. The length of time they remain frozen during travel becomes unimportant.

If we're that good by then we could send adults in suspended animation.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:18 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why should another species be luckier than we are?
I didn't exactly say that. I suggested, it doesn't have to be humans or the next species, or even the next species after that..... I'm just saying if humans don't leave Earth, there will most likely be a later species that will. Therefore I can't see any moral arguments that humans should not colonise the galaxy, as if humans are some sort of pollution.

But anything that could get off Earth could be deemed "pollution".

And humans have earned that monicker.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:07 pm

Poodle

I hate to disappoint you, but light speed IS absolute. The rule says that nothing can travel through space faster than light. There is but one apparent exception, and that is apparent only. Space itself can expand faster than light. But nothing can travel through space faster.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:11 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:If we're that good by then we could send adults in suspended animation.


Given sufficient technological development, that possibility cannot be dismissed. I tend not to speculate in that direction , since there is no current hints of a way it could be done. Freezing embryos we know about. Robots we know about. Developing both technologies enough is clearly within the realms of what is possible.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:11 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Poodle

I hate to disappoint you, but light speed IS absolute. The rule says that nothing can travel through space faster than light. There is but one apparent exception, and that is apparent only. Space itself can expand faster than light. But nothing can travel through space faster.


While they are rather far-fetched, and mathematical without corroborating physical evidence, there are constructs that allow things to go around.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:12 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:If we're that good by then we could send adults in suspended animation.


Given sufficient technological development, that possibility cannot be dismissed. I tend not to speculate in that direction , since there is no current hints of a way it could be done. Freezing embryos we know about. Robots we know about. Developing both technologies enough is clearly within the realms of what is possible.

Robots would have to be as intelligent and flexible as humans. It would be easier to freeze humans, I think.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:32 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Poodle

I hate to disappoint you, but light speed IS absolute. The rule says that nothing can travel through space faster than light. There is but one apparent exception, and that is apparent only. Space itself can expand faster than light. But nothing can travel through space faster.


While they are rather far-fetched, and mathematical without corroborating physical evidence, there are constructs that allow things to go around.


Oleg

Every year or so, some physicist comes up with some such idea. Generally, within a few months, some other physicist looks more deeply at the idea and acts as spoil sport, proving it impossible once more. So dies ideas of spinning black holes, hyperspace, wormholes, warp drive etc. Even the Bussard ramjet has been shot down.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Poodle » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:19 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Poodle

I hate to disappoint you, but light speed IS absolute. The rule says that nothing can travel through space faster than light. There is but one apparent exception, and that is apparent only. Space itself can expand faster than light. But nothing can travel through space faster.

And I'm sorry to disappoint you right back, Lance, but no it isn't. Light speed is absolute in vacuo only. If you've ever seen photos of blue glows in the water coolant in nuclear reactors (particularly in power stations) then you are seeing the Cherenkov radiation emitted by particles travelling faster than the speed of light IN THAT MEDIUM. Light slows down when travelling through water and therefore light speed is not absolute and can be exceeded. I was making the point that as space is never a perfect vacuum (although it gets damn near at times) then light does not travel at its full potential speed, thus holding out the possibility, however vanishingly small that is, of something else travelling through that space faster than a photon.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j ... 6341333327

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:21 pm

To Poodle

Perhaps I should have said that the speed of light in vacuum is the fastest that anything can travel through space, and this cannot be exceeded. I think you are quibbling, though, and understand the principle. So shame on you for misleading.

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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Hex » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:31 pm

There are plenty of places to explore in our own galaxy and with the impending merger of the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies, there will be even more in the future.

I agree with both ideas of humanity persisting beyond Earth as well as it is possible it could be another life form if we manage to kill ourselves off. Evolution doesn't give a {!#%@} what species live on and as long as we don't turn Earth into a hellscape like Venus, life will find a way.

In the big picture though. our sun will not always be the life giver it is today, it will consume Earth way in the distant future so even if we manage to dodge all sorts of catastrophes that clock never stops ticking and we have to vacate the premises well before that happens.

And, we all know that diversifying is a solid strategy for protecting a species so the more colonies we spread to all parts of the galaxy the much higher chance that humanity will live on. Sure we are going to become separate species, if we ever colonize Mars it won't take long for differences between Earth and Mars people to start appearing and this will happen wherever we go and given enough time we'll even become different species. But the foundation will always be human and I'm good with that.
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Nikki Nyx
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:46 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Is this level of space travel needed?
It wouldn't hurt to start working on the problem, given how long it's likely to take. It Hawking is right, does he imagine Earth being gone? Or merely no longer able to support life? If the latter, then colonies on the Moon, Mars, and at the L4 and L5 would seem to be a more feasible real world solution for the next hundred years. If the former, I don't have sufficient knowledge to imagine how our Solar System would be affected by the loss of Earth, depending on what happens to it.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Is human extinction threatened?
Yes. By stupid people.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Personally, I would like to see a full program of exploration into space, including other stars. But I see the limits on Earth more as intellectual limits. It is a big universe out there, and the human mind needs expanding.
I agree. The problem remains the same as it's always been...time. Generational starship? The education program would have to be rigorous to maintain the knowledge of history, culture, and technology. I'm not sure how much good would be served by such a program, if the endpoint was a colony planet full of primitive, superstitious idiots. We have that now, and look at the mess we're in. :wgrin:
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Gawdzilla Sama
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:55 am

Hex wrote:There are plenty of places to explore in our own galaxy and with the impending merger of the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies, there will be even more in the future.

The Andromeda–Milky Way collision is a galactic collision predicted to occur in about 4 billion years between the two largest galaxies in the Local Group—the Milky Way (which contains the Solar System and Earth) and the Andromeda Galaxy.

Andromeda–Milky Way collision - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda–Milky_Way_collision

Pending. Yeah.
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Re: The need for interstellar travel.

Postby Gord » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:43 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
Gord wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:1.) he said 100years, not 1,000.

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/stephen- ... s-festival

Ah, but: https://futurism.com/stephen-hawking-hu ... -doomsday/

Stephen Hawking adjusted his doomsday timer for Earth, slashing 900 years from his initial 1,000-year estimate. According to the famous physicist, humanity has a century left to evacuate the planet and become multi-planetary species.

So he said both.

technically correct, but do we agree that he now says 100?

Technically, I'm not sure he says much of anything.
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