Eposode 10: Generation ship

Comic Transcript

Panel 1.
Epo: I detect 5,000 life forms aboard. I am picking up signals.
Yonada2: Crrft..ada2. Hello, can..crr..hear us?

Panel 2.
Alkina: Epo, wha…?
Epo: We’re receiving a signal from the ship…

Panel 3.
Yonada2: THis is the starship, Tonada2, I am Captain Ishian. Can anyone hear me?
Epo: Read you loud and clear. Can we offer you any assistance?

Panel 4.
Captain Ishian: You are the first beings we have met in 308 years!
Epo: 308 years?!!!

Panel 5.
Alkina: Where are you going?
Captain Ishian: Nowhere definite. Our ship provides us with all we need.

Panel 6.
Epo: Ah! A generation ship! How does th…

What does it mean?

Generation ship – is a theoretical space craft that could be constructed with the intent of sustaining several generations of people through the duration of its voyage.

In human speak please!

The nearest star is Proxima Centauri, at 4.3 light years. The Space Shuttle travels at nearly 25,000 kilometers per hour (over 15,000 mph), and if the fuel required to sustain this journey was not an issue it would take over 20,000 years for the Space Shuttle to reach Proxima Centauri!

While the average person lives to be over 70 years old, a generation generally covers a time span of 20 to 25 years. This would mean that it would take around 8,000 generations to reach the nearest stars with today’s technologies.

Even if we could increase the speed by a factor of a thousand (not an easy task by any means), it would still take 8 generations to reach Proxima Centauri assuming that it is where we wanted to go. In order to make sure that the needs of all the residents of a generation ship are met, it would need to include doctors, scientists, gardeners, teachers among other professionals with all the appropriate tools and facilities they would require. This would make the ship self sustaining but in order to house everybody, it would need to be big….. very big; about the size of a small city.