Here are 12 reasons why interstellar manned space rocket travel will never occur. Any one or two of the following scientific facts is enough to rule it out. Yet people continue dreaming. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.
This material is excerpted from the book, ORIGIN
OF MATTER, ORIGIN OF THE STARS, and ORIGIN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
CONTENTS: Interstellar Space Rocket Travel
1 - Physical Deterioration - Do not underrate it
2 - Wear and Breakdown - Always to be considered
3 - Radiation Hazards - It could be dangerously present
4 - Meteoroids - Eventually they would strike
5 - Repairs Unlikely - Yet breakdowns would surely occur
6 - Motion Sickness - It would have to be contended with
7 - Air Pollution - It is inevitable
8 - Energy Sources - They are inadequate
9 - Interpersonal Conflicts - Explosions would occur
10 - Distances Too Vast - They would doom the project
11 - Radio Contact - Do not forget this factor
12 - Objectives Unlikely - Might as well forget the whole idea
Evolution portrays mankind as arising from mire and wormlike ancestors and gradually, through evolutionary strife for supremacy, becoming gods.
The next great goal for these earth gods is to journey to distant stars, from colonies and, perhaps, eventually become masters of the universe. Scientific articles and entire books are being written on the subject, and careful planning for these future voyages is already underway.
Here are 12 reasons why man, unaided by his Creator, will never succeed in his plans for successful interstellar and trans-galactic flights.
When astronauts go up on rockets, they immediately begin weakening physically. The body loses calcium, muscles begin deteriorating, and an entire set of physiological problems gradually, inexorably increase. A key factor is the lack of gravity. It would be extremely difficult to provide passengers on lengthy space flights with a gravity environment equivalent to what they had back on earth. Immense, tubular revolving wheels are said to be the answer. But such contraption should only compound some other problems listed below.
The subtle degenerative effect of prolonged weightlessness on the human body would, over a period of years, be devastation. The constant resistance of the body to earth's gravity strengthens the body. Without it, muscles shrink, blood vessels constrict, fluid levels decrease, and bone wastes away. For example, in one month the heel bone can lose 5 percent of its mass. Rigorous exercise in outer space can, at best, only slow the deterioration somewhat.
The immense periods of time required to journey to planets outside our solar system would bring inevitable wear and tear on the spaceship and its equipment. After only 15 years of operation, the space shuttles are showing a variety of problems. Yet NASA has a small army of service technicians to keep them in working order. What assurance is there that essential components of, or within, an interstellar spaceship would not break down in fight—far from the technicians and repair depots that could care for it
There are high-speed particles in outer space which would constantly bombard the spaceship with deadly radiation. These are cosmic rays from deep space, as well as X-rays and other emissions from solar flares. The short-term effects of radiation were clearly pointed out to the first astronauts, who reported seeing random flashes of light while in orbit,—that were in fact caused by nuclear particles bombarding their retinas. Earth's powerful magnetic field and dense atmosphere protect us from most of that. But in outer space it is different.
Plans to put a manned station on the moon include cylindrical modules buried under at least six feet of lunar topsoil to protect people from dangerous ultra-violet light, solar radiation, high-speed particles, and X-rays.
Mankind has already filled the orbital heights with so much space junk, that there is already one chance in a hundred that within 10 years a space shuttle orbiting the earth will be damaged by space junk. At the speeds with which the junk travels, it has been said that even a paint particle could cause serious damage to a manned rocket.
Yet in outer space there are sizeable amounts of meteoroids. Relatively little is known about conditions in space outside our solar system. It could be even worse there. Yet the spaceship would have to travel at extremely high speeds in order to reach another solar system within any useful time frame. At such speeds and with such a lengthy trip, there could be little possibility of avoiding a collision with hazardous objects.
Any serious repair work should be considered out of the question. The spaceship could not possibly carry all the machine shop tools and spare parts needed. We are speaking here of a trip at highest speed which requires not weeks or months, but probably centuries.
Plans for interstellar flights always assume no serious repair problems, in critical electrical or life-support systems inside the ship, of the immense outer part of its giant rotating wheel. But such problems would occur; some of which would doom the ship's occupants to speedy death.
The spaceship would have to have a gigantic gravity wheel for the passengers to live in. But the Coriolis effect would cause serious problems. A spin rate of more than one revolution per minute would cause motion sickness. Even a wheel 600 feet in diameter would have to rotate three times a minute to simulate normal earth gravity! The resulting nausea would be terrible. An IMMENSE rotating wheel, called a Standford Torus, would be required in order to lower the Coriolis effect. Yet how could such a massive, speeding structure avoid colliding with asteroid particles in outer space? Wernher von Braun recognized that even slight shifts of weight within the torus would subtly affect the rate of rotation, with disorienting effects on the occupants. Even rotation rates as low as one revolution per minute would still cause them low-level physical turmoil.
The air pollution in the living quarters of the wheel could become terrific. There would have to be room for plants, animals, large numbers of people, and all their wastes. It has been estimated that 10,000 colonists within a giant wheel would require 60,000 chickens, 30,000 rabbits, and sizeable herds of cattle, to maintain a mixed diet of about 2,400 calories a day. The entire contraption, with all that was going on within it, would be a closed-up little world. Even with plants, gradually the environment could become off-balanced, with disastrous results. Over a period of decades and even centuries, even a large spaceship would have too small an area for environmental mistakes to accumulate.
Biosphere II in Arizona was closed down due to inadequate aereation, poor food, and waste disposal problems.
Life-sustaining electrical gadgets would be needed. These would include such things as humidifiers to control the moisture in the air. Yet the plan is that solar energy would help provide the electrical power. But it would not take long for the spaceship to pass beyond the point where our sun was only a bright star.
One of the greatest challenges faced by the colonists would not be biological or structural—but social. No matter how large the wheel they live in, it would seem alien and confining. Close-living quarters could bring problems that would result in serious disputes, mutiny, and even warfare. This was a major problem plaguing Biosphere II.
The distances to be traversed would be vast. In addition to Voyager I and II, two other unmanned flights (Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, and Pioneer 11 in 1973) have already left the solar system. Traveling at 25,000 m.p.h., it will take 30,000 years for them to pass by Ross 248, the nearest star in their flight path.
Epsilon Eridani, one of the closest stars, would, at the speed of light, take 10.8 years to reach. But no ship built on earth could approach even a significant fraction of such an immense speed.
Astounding speeds would somehow have to be attained. Yet such speeds would render collision with the smallest particle destructive to the mission. It has been theorized that various exotically fueled engines (such as metallic hydrogen, or matter/antimatter engines), could get it there more quickly. But this is all theory, and the lengthy acceleration and deceleration involved would be a terrible thing to live through. One of the latest theories is called a "pulse engine." This would involve literally setting off nuclear (fission) bombs behind the rocket-ship, one after the other, only a few moments apart! Each blast would cause a shock wave that would hit ("pulse") against a metal plate behind the spaceship moving it forward! It is estimated that a pulse rocket would reach Epsilon Eridani in 330 years, or about 10 generations of passengers. During initial loading, the ship would, among other things, have to be loaded with hundreds of thousands of atomic bombs.
It is recognized that present space fuels (liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen) would be too inefficient in terms of pounds of trust per pound of fuel. In other words, so much fuel would be needed for the journey that the spaceship could not carry it all.
In addition, even more fuel would be required to decelerate upon reaching a star, or the ship would just rapidly fly by.
Solar sails have been suggested, but it is now admitted that these would be useless beyond Jupiter's orbit.
Radio contact with the spaceship would be impractical. Those back on earth could give the space travelers no verbal aid in case of trouble, much less go to their rescue. Even at the speed of light, radio messages would take more than eight years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. The time-lag problem in radio transmission would be a serious one.
The same factor would also render impossible the sending of an unmanned robot rocket to a nearby star.
The possibility is extremely remote that a usable planet would be found orbiting the destination star. That discovery would shatter the morale of the passengers, and there would not be enough fuel to go on to another star. Stars are separated by vast distances!
The high cost of water, oxygen, and food transport, along with other problems, will ultimately doom man's hopes for long-term earth-orbiting, or lunar, or Martian space stations. In fact, if attention is not given to basic problems on earth, such as inexpensive water desalinization, transport methods, practical substitutes for dwindling fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear reactors, and stopping the wholesale destruction of trees; within a hundred years mankind will congregate near water sources, travel by horse-drawn wagons, and worry about how to get enough food and the firewood to cook it.
Here are a few sources for further study: P.W. Blass and J. Camp, Society in Orbit, Space World, July 1988; M. Bloomfield, Sociology of an Interstellar Vehicle, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1986, Vol. 39; R.W. Bussard, Galactic Matter and Interstellar Flight, Astronautic Acta, 1960, Vol. 6; J. Eberhard, Space 1990: Launching a New Decade of Exploration, Science News, January 13, 1990; R.L. Forward, Negative Matter Propulsion, Journal of Propulsion and Power, January-February 1990; R.L. Forward, Starwisp: An Ultraviolet Interstellar Probe, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 1985, Vol. 22; V. Garshnek, Crucial Factor: Human, Space Policy, August 1989; A.C. Holt, Hydromagnetic and Future Propulsion Systems, AIAA Student Journal, Spring 1980. Magnetic Sailing Across Interstellar Space, Ad Astra, January 1990. J.I. Merritt, Pioneering the Space Frontier, Princeton Alumni Weekly, October 11, 1989; R. Pool, The Chase Continues for Metallic Hydrogen, Science, March 30, 1990; I. Wickelgren, Bone Loss: A Circulating Secret of Skeletal Stability, Science News, December 24-31, 1988; R.M. Zumbrin, Nuclear Rockets Using Indigenous Propellants, Planetary Report, May-June 1990; R.D. Johnson and C. Howbrow, Space Settlements: A Design Study, NASA Scientific and Technical Information Office, 1977; Voyager: Mission Summary, NASA, Jet propulsion Laboratory, no date.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Forward to the first topic in the next series: THE ORIGIN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM which disproves the several theories about how our solar system came into existence.