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The Economist: “Starship troupers” – Kenneth Ellman responds

The Economist in the October 26, 2013 article entitled “Interstellar travel, Starship troupers”, brought to our attention that professional organizations of scientists are continuing to address and examine the issues of human exploration of the Universe. The fact that at this time the speed of light appears to limit our ability to go anywhere out of our solar system, is continuously examined not just by the ridiculous fantasy of science fiction but by those seeking a mathematical physics and engineering approach to freeing human beings for distant exploration. We must also keep our perspective that even being limited to exploration of the solar system at this period of human existence is still such an act without precedence that it offers opportunities to humanity which we now only experience by science fiction dreams. Solar System exploration by human beings will become a firm reality in the near future and offer wonderful challenges to development of human skills and potential. In any case I took a historical approach as a perspective to rebut those who think our distant exploration will never occur. It is not a dream but a scientific problem and reality. My post and the link to the article appears below. I thank The Economist for again bringing this important scientific research to issue.
Kenneth Ellman.

Kenneth Ellman Comments on The Economist, Interstellar travel, Starship troupers, from October 26, 2013. Kenneth Ellman, Box 18, Newton, N.J. 07860
Copyright Kenneth Ellman, 2013, All Rights Reserved.

I was very pleasantly surprised to read about the meeting at the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) on October 22 and other such meetings discussing ideas about interstellar travel. This is a subject many have spoken about but it appears more professional societies are attempting to put the conversation in a Mathematical Physics perspective. I offer some comments from a historical perspective.

In the thousands upon thousands of years of human history and evolution and eons of living eyes gazing into the sky above with wonder, Space Travel was truly nothing but a dream. Yet now, for many decades we have not just repeatedly traveled into Space and gone to the Moon and back, but actually live in Space through our very real Space Station facilities. This has become so common place that the launching and return of Astronauts almost goes unnoticed by most of humanity. That was not the case when I was young. That is a change of human beings different from any previous accomplishment. We regularly leave our world.

We have sent our robots/satellites throughout the Solar System and even beyond. Our telescopes are accomplishing visualizations and signal/radiation reception of events that occurred close to the time that our universe came into being. We attempt to actually express in symbolic terms such a place in Space/Time when Space/Time itself came into being. Couple that with our grasping activities to capture radiation/energy traveling for so long and we then turn that into data and images. That is a human activity that literally addresses an attempt to see what existed at the beginning of time and if we could even before. I know we would try. It also causes us to face the fact that there was something before the existence of our universe and what we call Physics or Space.

We can further ask what was there before Space existed? So many ideas are and will confront our Mathematics and Physics in ways that must create new methods of expression of things previously unknown. All of this exploration and knowledge having become real in a very short period of time. Such a rapid pace of development that its speed of change is difficult to relate to any other events in human history.

So why do we pretend to know the limits of our future knowledge and accomplishment? We don’t. The only legitimate way to approach the question is to ask what we have done already and how fast we have done it as a comparison. Our development as a being that continually is seeking an accumulation of knowledge is exponentially grasping at our surroundings and appears to have no limit to that seeking and desire. If we continue throwing ourselves toward knowledge into the future as we have shown we can do, then we can be confident that our awareness, perception and understanding will not have any permanent barriers. Our Physics already perceives action at a distance, it may one day perceive no distance at all. Thank you for this interesting article. Kenneth Ellman,, Box 18, Newton, New Jersey 07860