The lack of news out there gives us the opportunity to present you with our greatest challenge ever. It’s explained in a recent PhysOrg article: The trouble with rockets. They say:
Space is big. Really big. It takes 10 years just to cross our solar system. The next star is 70,000 years away at the same speed. So if we’re going to get anywhere, we’re going to need more than just rockets.
They offer several suggestions, but we don’t like any of them. Obviously, we’re not going to travel faster than light, but if we could travel at some significant fraction of lightspeed, say 25% or maybe better, we can actually get to the stars within a human lifespan. Some of you have previously said that it’s not going to happen because biological creatures are too fragile, and you think it’ll be robots that have the only chance. We’re ruling that out. We want people to do it.
Oh, we’re also not keen on multi-generation ships or suspended animation. We want this to be done within a reasonable number of years — not traversing the galaxy, but at least getting to the nearest stars. And so, dear reader, we’re tossing the problem to you.
The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:
You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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