Originally Posted by archiguy
Yeah, the Ort Cloud is freakishly large, which means the Sun's gravitational pull extends out to incomprehensible distances. And you figure every star has the same kind of solar system around it. It makes interstellar travel seem not only unlikely, but pretty much impossible....
When I was college, one of my favorite classes was Astronomy 101.
The guy teaching it was young and his enthusiasm for the subject drew me in.
The class was a real eye-opener regarding distances on a Universe
For example, we had simple mathematical exercises such as this:
IF the solar system was the size of an aspirin (or dime or baseball or something similar) how many lined up end-to-end would it take stretch to across the galaxy (in feet)?
The answer would be something like 10 miles worth (Sorry, I can't really recall the correct answer).
At any rate, my point is once distances were explained in a way someone could wrap their mind around, it became obvious to me and everyone else in the class, humans are marooned to this system and we better make damn good use of it.
Yet, early humans probably looked at the oceans and felt the same way. Then they built a boat, then they built a bigger boat, then some of 'em climbed on the boat and drowned, then some more tried it and they
drowned, then some more, then some more, and finally you've got a Starbucks on every corner.
It can be done without FTL technology via the "leapfrog" method, as long as there are enough people to realize it's a one-way trip and are willing to give it a go.
Other than Tom Cruise or Mitt Romney, who would volunteer to try this?
Like those early oceanic explorers. And as things deteriorate on this rock, there will be no shortage of those folks. Other times, I'm glad I got to live on an earth that's still beautiful, breathable, and habitable.
And this is exactly why we humans need to understand we can't just sh_t in our own nest and solve the problem by jumping onto a Spaceship for Elysium.
There ain't enough beer (but hey, I'm game to try!).
You know where to find me.