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So congratulations
you've just been appointed as the minister of spacey stuff and
Tax evasion
So one day you're chilling in your new office when you notice an email turns up from the Prime Minister himself
Well done on the new position. Can't congratulate you in person; things are a bit taxing at the moment, lolol.
Oh, by the way, as the minister of spacey stuff
You need to get humans to the nearest star system by this time next year, or I'll excuse your wife and children
I'm granting you infinite funds
Love and kisses. Dave seems a bit harsh for the first day on the job
But whatever how hard can it be don't we have really good rockets now?
Anyway, so using conventional rockets with our nearest star system
Alpha Centauri being about four light-years away
Yeah, we could manage that no problem and arrive sometime around
100 years yeah, that's not gonna fly. Alright, Chill, Winston
You've got infinite money no problem
How are we gonna get to the stars then you do a little bit of googling?
Luckily Clever people have been thinking about this for a very long time now
so you're going to draw up a little list and split it in two which are methods that are slower than lights and
methods that are faster
Well, you've got a year to get there and Alpha Centauri is about four light years away,
so let's go faster than light instead
But isn't that supposed to be impossible because Einstein
Yeah, probably
But there might be fun ways around us so Einstein was pretty clear that stuff can't travel faster than light
To make stuff go fast you have to put energy in and the faster it goes the more energy you need yeah
So there isn't enough energy in the known universe to get a single electron to the speed of light
But there might be hacks could we use a wormhole maybe well yeah, there's some good maths behind, er
There's also some good
Maths behind wire tortoise could be Usain Bolt in a Sprint so best to be sceptical of good maths
But chances are to keep the math for one hole open you're gonna need some stuff called exotic matter which we don't have any of
At the moment also keep in mind if you invent wormholes somehow
getting to the stars will be the least of your worries because anyone
With a screw loose could just start funneling energy from the sun into your bedroom any other good ideas
Then yeah another quick Google search you find out about a thing called the Alcubierre drive stuff
Can't go faster than light
But maybe you can bend the rules a bit
So you use exotic matter
which we don't have remember
to shrink the space in front of a starship and expand it behind it this
Won't piss Einstein off, but it might get around his rules about speed because you're not actually accelerating matter
So the prime minister writes to you again the tax cattle thing is blowing up a bit need to Lie low a while
I'll give you a few centuries to get to a star instead. Well, that's good. We can use normal physics
So we've got standard Rockets which are fine
But will take a while to get to Alpha Centauri like a hundred years
can't we just freeze the crew for the journey
Yeah, great idea except that definitely brain damages people
unless you want to go to Alpha Centauri, so you can dribble at it
Maybe that won't work so well well
How about we build a generation ship you know like in pandorum because that went really well?
For them the first generation of the crew bring up the next generation
And so on and finally by say the third generation the crew arrive yeah
Maybe I mean assuming there isn't a revolution or total psychological collapse like regularly happens on Earth all the time
Yeah, why not, but really the problem here is the same with all of this stuff. Which is once again Bloody Einstein
We all know now that the closer you get to the speed of light the more time slows down relative to you
So when you arrive off-center, I may be only a few years have passed for you, but decades might have passed on Earth
But hold your horses there's another small
Nickel even if you pull it off, and we've got a galactic British Empire
How do you communicate some stars are thousands of light-Years away? Hi?
We've run out of milk, and we're not drinking black tea because we're not fucking Barbarians, please send milk
Okay, full fat or semi skims
What who who cares fine Semi Skimmed
Organic or non-organic?
Non-Organic is fine
supermarket stuff or like
Independent farm milk
wait it's been seven thousand years, jesus christ.
Yeah. Yeah, fine finer. Okay, okay? I will sort it
So is semi-skimmed the one with the green lid or
and yeah one more stanner in the works then let's say you've got a few
Planets in your empire and everything's going great
How are you going to keep them loyal to earth exactly say one of them wants to declare itself independent. What are you gonna?
Do write them a strongly worded letter or say there's a revolution. They need back up. yeah
Yeah, no problem helps on the way
It should be with you in about all 1/2 1/2 thousand years
But the Catalan will be there pronto so with all that in mind
Maybe you should just step
down and take a job at the ministry of silly Walks
Instead because it's just not feasible is it we're not going to the stars
We don't have the technology energy or ambition and to be honest
Maybe we can just give up with all of those other impossible things we want to do like crossing the Ocean
Oh, we did that already, a bad example well, then like heavier-than-air flying machines
oh, oh yeah, we we licked that one as well or getting to the moon that's completely stupid
oh, wait all of those things were supposed to be completely impossible
And they were until we did them obviously we've got a pretty good track record
So far really there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic
About traveling to the stars even if it's a few centuries away hang back. take it easy
We'll probably work it out at some point. Maybe take a holiday in the meantime somewhere kind of tropical
Central America, I hit panama is lovely this time of year