Interstellar travellers should be "motivated, tolerant and nice".
Star trekking: space voyagers should be one big family.
One hundred and sixty fertile, motivated, English speakers could make it to distant stars, researchers have worked out. But generations down the line, returning voyagers may speak an alien tongue.
Travel to planets orbiting other stars will soon be technically possible, the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in Boston heard last week. But the 200-year odyssey will require a certain kind of crew.
Language of intergalactic love
Prospective couples should woo in English, said linguist Sarah Thomason of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Global politics would probably dictate a multinational mix, but the current international language is the most obvious choice for conversation.
But if the journey takes 500 years, home and ship "wont be able to talk to each other", Thomason predicts. Down-to-Earth words like horse and truck would have no meaning on board, and the slang of interstellar adolescents would diverge from Earth-speak. The crew would have to be beamed language lessons, Thomason said.
Temperament is also critical. "You want motivated, tolerant, nice people," said Moore. This should ensure future generations dont lose interest in the mission and head for the nearest hospitable asteroid belt. Whether the band would actually get on would be more a matter of luck, the researchers conceded.
The exercise is not science fiction, explained space scientist Geoffrey Landis of the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland. Several ways to reach other solar systems have been proposed in recent years. These include using a laser beam projected from Earth to push a vast space sail. Such a ship might travel at 30,000 kilometres per second - around a tenth of light speed.
"Theres actually been some testing done," revealed Landis: "Ultimately, this is going to happen." No one is taking crew applications yet, however.
HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future
19.02.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology
Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm
16.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Information Technology
19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences