Artificial gravity of 1g is possible inside a 1st generation Enterprise by using a magnetically suspended wheel rotating at 2.0 RPM.
July 20th, 2014
While out taking a night walk, when looking up at the night sky a thought hit me: There are an awful lot of stars that are really close to us. When you look up at the night sky you can see a great many stars very clearly – about 50 of them are within 20 light-years from Earth and visible to us. 20 light-years sounds like a lot, but it’s not. You can see these stars clearly – many are like our sun, just a little farther away. These stars look to us like our sun would once you move to the edge of our solar system and look back towards its center.
If you were to travel to one of those 50 stars within 20 light-years from Earth, imagine that there is a space highway to get you there. Down the road as you drive through space you can keep your destination in view for the entire drive. These stars are close; they are right there. They beckon, letting us know exactly where to point our space-cars as we drive.
And when you get out to 250 light-years from Earth – there are 260,000 stars surrounding us. Since the Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across, these 260,000 stars are spread over just 1/200th of the diameter of the galaxy. It’s dense with stars where we live – there are 260,000 of them scattered nearby and around us in all directions.
About one third of the stars visible with the naked eye lie within 250 light-years, even though this is only a tiny part of our galaxy. An individual star must be close for us to be able to see it with our unaided eyes. Most of the bright dots you see in the night sky are clusters of many, many stars that look to us like an individual star. So when you can see a true individual star, you know it is close.
There are a whole lot of stars incredibly close considering the overall size of our Milky Way Galaxy. And when compared to the space around us covering the nearest 100 galaxies – those 260,000 stars around us are practically on top of us. These stars are close.
Once the first true starship is operational – there are going to be a whole lot of places to visit. It really will be like Star Trek. It will take a lot of time and effort to venture around our sub-galactic neighborhood to check out those 260,0000 stars. How many of them will have orbiting planets with life on them, whether plants or animals? How many of these planets will have intelligent beings living there? One day humans will find out, and the explorers in the first starships will see these other worlds up close.