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"Star Trek" and Real Science


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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2009 7:23:17 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
From 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (1968):
"Like any properly trained man in good health, he could survive in vacuum for at least a minute - if he had time to prepare for it. But there had been no time; he could only count on the normal fifteen seconds of consciousness before his brain was starved and anoxia overcame him. Even then, he could still recover completely after one or two minutes in vacuum - if he was properly recompressed; it took a long time for the body fluids to start boiling, in their various well-protected systems.

Print

Nathan Schachner and Arthur Zagat, "Exiles of the Moon" (1931)

Stanley Weinbaum, "The Red Peri" (1935)

Arthur C. Clarke, Earthlight (1955)

Arthur C. Clarke, "Take a Deep Breath" (1957)

Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

John Varley, The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

Charles Sheffield, "All the Colors of the Vacuum" (1981; collected in The MacAndrew Chronicles)

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Footfall (1985)

Stephen Baxter, "The Quagma Datum" (1989; collected in Vacuum Diagrams 1997)

Allen Steele, "Exiles of the Morning Star" (1999)

Gregory Benford, The Mars Race (1999)

Ben Bova, The Precipice (2001)

Jack McDevitt, Chindi (2002)

Movies and TV

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Mobile Suit Gundam: "Char's Counterattack" (animated, 1988)

Star Trek, the Next Generation, "Disaster", Season 5, episode 105 (1991)

Event Horizon (1997)

Farscape: "Look at the Princess, Part Two: I Do, I Think," Season 2, episode 12 (2000)

Titan AE (animated, 2000)

Stargate SG-1, "Tangent" episode 12, Season 4 (2000)

Star Trek: Enterprise: the Augments, 4th season, Episode 82 (2004)

Stargate Atlantis, "Thirty-Eight Minutes," Episode 4 (2004)

Battlestar Galactica: A Day in the Life, 3rd Season, episode 15, (2007)

Sunshine (2007)

Source: http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum_sf.html

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2009 3:11:20 PM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
Re: "Would a ship-to-ship transfer in space, of an unprotected person, even be possible? The oxygen thing aside, wouldn't a body blow apart in a vacuum?"

Despite the name "explosive decompression," the process is not instantaneous. A transferring astronaut would have some time to get from ship to ship. The following reference is a link to a site that has some pretty good information on the subject: http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum.html.

Re: "They had a small rescue sub with one hatch fitted with a "universal collar" that could connect with and seal to another sub's round hatch."
Actually, the system that you described has been superseded by newer systems. Do a Google search on "submarine escape system" and see for yourself.

Re: "The International Space Station probably has something similar."
NOT. There was some work done during the 1980s on a transparent plastic ball in which evacuees could be towed to another spacecraft. Wikipedia says, "The International Space Station maintains two docked Russian Soyuz spacecraft at all times to be used as escape craft in the event of an emergency." I can't find anything else on current space escape systems.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2009 3:13:49 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
An excellent reference with excellent detail. I'm sorry, however, but it looks incomplete.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 12:22:31 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"An excellent reference with excellent detail. I'm sorry, however, but it looks incomplete."

That's all that was here:

http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum.html

Unable to locate a full version on the web.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 3:03:22 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
Thanks. I had seen this site. It's odd that part of the article was chopped off like that. Somebody - not you - was certainly sloppy.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 9:40:03 AM PST
For any "Star Trek" gamers out there, today's Boston Globe on-line announced that "Star Trek Online", the massive multiplayer on-line (MMO) game will be released tomorrow.

startrekonline.com

Posted on May 28, 2010 1:59:35 PM PDT
Hi Photoscribe!

This is the discussion I was referring to.

Cheers!

Posted on Jul 24, 2010 6:10:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2010 6:12:50 AM PDT
http://www.space.com/common/media/video/player.php?videoRef=SP_090505_mark_millis

STAR TREK'S WARP DRIVE: ARE WE THERE YET? (Cool clips from TV and movie science fiction, and interesting speculation on Warp Drives.)

Posted on Jul 25, 2010 7:33:02 PM PDT
No surprises here... but sci-fi isn't actually about the science, it's about the story. The science shapes the story, but it's not the focus. Sci-fi has to jump out ahead of what's possible right now, and that's why sci-fi predictions don't turn out to be accurate a lot of the time. Warp drive is fundamental to Star Trek but based on our current understanding of physics faster than light travel seems pretty impractical; if I had to bet, I'd guess that warp drive will never be feasible(not in this universe, anyway). Star Trek (the original series and Next Generation, not the others) remains great sci-fi nonetheless.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 9:40:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2010 9:43:33 AM PDT
I used to think the hokiest thing on Star Trek TNG (my favorite Star Trek) was the holideck (sp?). How does one create something out of nothing? Then, in one show, it was explained as a combination of holograms and controlled force fields. Then I thought, hmmm, a stretch maybe, but okay.

My biggest problem with Star Trek is why they don't slam into a wall when the ship goes to FTL?

Dennis Phillips, author, The Proximian

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2010 10:01:02 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Dennis,

"My biggest problem with Star Trek is why they don't slam into a wall when the ship goes to FTL?"

Inertial dampers: handwavium technology to solve the problems of handwavium technology...

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 5:58:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2010 6:01:38 AM PDT
http://www.space.com/entertainment/star-trek-klingon-cave-tour-100727.html
(Australia's tour of Nettle Cave, now offers tourists the option of hearing the tour in Klingon.)

http://www.space.com/technology/top10-star-trek-tech.html
(The Top 10 Star Trek technologies the shows introduced, that are a reality today.)

Posted on Aug 2, 2010 11:26:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2010 11:28:55 AM PDT
http://boston.com/business/technology/articles/2010/08/02/trekkies_can_store_memories_in_the_captains_log/

From the Boston Globe today, an article that iPhone-4 owners can now get a (Star Trek) "Captain's Log" app. It is a "Starfleet-style" interface.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 12:16:31 PM PDT
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/08/Klingon-opera-ramps-up-for-earth-bound-premiere/

KLINGON OPERA "u"
The first Klingon Opera will premiere in The Hague, Netherlands, on September 9-12, 2010.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 3:10:04 PM PDT
mostserene1 says:
Some sci-fi writer wrote about a future where people would have hand-held devices that would connect them to a global computer brain. Now THAT is outlandish.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2010 5:16:34 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
I fail to see how an opera performed in a conlang developed for the movies [long after the fact of the series] relates in any way to "Real Science". Or maybe Marilyn could be bothered to explain that for us?

(And, again, you really should stay away from the language-related stuff.)

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 6:18:27 PM PDT
Hi, guys!

Respectfully to all, what does most of this have to do with the subject? Star Trek/Real Science, remember? The writers of Star Trek were a homogeneous group who speculated both within and outside of the realm of science as it was at the time. Some stories were strictly fantasy, such as "The Trouble with Tribbles," neatly lifted from Heinlein's "Red Planet." Were any of them hard SF? They had elements of it, but the level of speculation was certainly beyond the pale of some purists.

The Star Trek I remember was primarily a commentary on different facets of our society, extrapolated to their extreme possibilities. As such, it was more in tune with Coblentz and Goulart than Asimov. The revival versions were more solidly based on the sciences, but quickly degenerated into soap opera, so I admit that I was not an avid follower of them. The movies have been a mix of each with uneven quality.

The problem I have had with all of the versions has been the anthropomorphic model of nearly all of the xeno-sapients. Until recently, this was because of technological barriers, but we have been capable of greater efforts for at least 10 years. Some engineers argue that form follows function, but that smacks a bit too much of egoism to me. In fact, why would intelligence be limited to the carbon and water structure? It is easier for us to imagine, but no more probable than many other possibilities.

Every time that Star Trek or its competitors trot out a new race of humanoids with something growing out of their heads, I get a good laugh, but my senses of reason and artistry are a bit offended. We need to invite the Horta and some of the more unique fictional species to join the Federation.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 2:41:02 AM PDT
Photoscribe says:
Hi Photoscribe!

This is the discussion I was referring to.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, it took me a while, but I finally got here! Nice discussion! BTW, what happened to your other forums, love? They've been quieter than mice with sneakers on for more than a couple of months! Did Craig and Helsdon retire...? ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 3:49:57 AM PDT
"My biggest problem with Star Trek is why they don't slam into a wall when the ship goes to FTL?"

Same reason the "sound barrier" turned out not to be, maybe? It was thought up into the mid 1940s that it was impossible to go faster than the speed of sound, that you'd beat up against a physical barrier and smash yourself to pieces.
They were proven wrong of course :)

An FTL ship doesn't actually have to move faster than light, however strange that sounds.
By compressing space in front of itself and expanding it behind itself, it would envelop itself in a stationary bubble of spacetime that gets propelled across spacetime at potential FTL speeds.
This is of course not yet technically possible, but it's the way many SciFi "warp" drives work and I believe to have read there's at least some scientific indication that it may actually be theoretically possible (but probably not technically feasible due to the energy requirements).

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 4:11:16 AM PDT
Photoscribe -

Welcome! Actually, I'll bring an older discussion forward, when I find something relevant to link to. I've recently posted (with article links) in "Race to Space ...", "Interactions in Space", and "Is NASA on Life Support?"

Ah yes, the pests never go away and almost never post anything positive and relevant. But I'm finding their ilk in other Amazon discussions too. I didn't know 'negative juvenile hysteria' was catching, but about anywhere I go in Amazon anymore, I attract the attack-trolls who target me personally. I just ignore them, for the most part, and continue to provide links to articles when relevant to a discussion. And primarily engage the increasingly-rare civilized gentlemen like yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 6:51:07 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
J.T. Wenting,

"An FTL ship doesn't actually have to move faster than light, however strange that sounds."

I suspect the initial question was tongue-firmly-in-cheek; the Star Trek writers had to invent inertial dampers to deal with situations where the ship was either accelerating using its impulse engines in realspace (often to an apparent fraction of c), or was directly affected whilst itside its own warp bubble by some external event - usually demonstrated by the crew falling off their chairs.

Miguel Alcubierre has generated a model for a 'warp drive' supposing the creation of a local spacetime contracting in front of the ship and expanding behind it. The bad news is that the ability to create such an effect would require even for a relatively small ship like the Enterprise a massive amount of energy; probably more energy than the Sun will generate in its lifetime and it would require a monstrous quantity of exotic matter. Recently it has been demonstrated that the levels of Hawking radiation created inside the bubble, if it goes faster than light, would destroy the ship and create an instability in the bubble so that it would cease to function: effectively it would go 'pop', releasing a very hot plasma -- all that would remain of the star ship.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 8:09:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2010 10:26:25 AM PDT
Photoscribe says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 10:53:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2010 10:54:12 AM PDT
Photoscribe says:
Miguel Alcubierre has generated a model for a 'warp drive' supposing the creation of a local spacetime contracting in front of the ship and expanding behind it. The bad news is that the ability to create such an effect would require even for a relatively small ship like the Enterprise a massive amount of energy; probably more energy than the Sun will generate in its lifetime and it would require a monstrous quantity of exotic matter. Recently it has been demonstrated that the levels of Hawking radiation created inside the bubble, if it goes faster than light, would destroy the ship and create an instability in the bubble so that it would cease to function: effectively it would go 'pop', releasing a very hot plasma -- all that would remain of the star ship.
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Over the past three or four years or so, as I pondered the idea of Trek's warp drive concept, I kept thinking to myself, "If the Enterprise/Voyage/Excelsior/Whatever, actually existed, it would need a fuel supply and storage system roughly the size of the Earth itself to go to someplace like Aldebaran and back in a few weeks or months." I mean, the multiples of lightspeed the Trek ships are supposed to cruise at are PHENOMENAL, and something we probably won't develop until there actually IS a Paul Atreides traipsing around out there....

And then we won't even be traveling via warp drive.....(lol)

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 11:48:30 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 12:34:16 PM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"There is a landmark book out now called "The Black World of UFOs: Exempt from Disclosure" "

It's been out since 2005... The content is at best a poor version of the X-Files, for which one of the authors was a consultant.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  36
Total posts:  511
Initial post:  Sep 24, 2009
Latest post:  Jul 29, 2013

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