How feasible are these characteristics for a species based on Earth-like biology?

  • Living entirely in space.
  • That is, being able to survive in a vacuum.
  • Having a method to propel itself without using methods like a solar sail or the "Gravity Slingshot" maneuver.
  • Being able to communicate with other members of its species in space.
  • Having the capability to reach a velocity of at least 5 mi/s in space.
  • Lifespan of at least a millennium.

closed as too broad by L.Dutch Sep 27 '18 at 4:36

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello and Welcome to World building Samuel. Everyone else seems to be out at lunch (at least I was), but your question seems to be very broad. If you already have a design in mind, please tell us more and we can point out some flaws or missing pieces. Otherwise, if you hoping for us to design a creature for you, it will likely be closed as either too broad or too opinion based. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Sep 27 '18 at 4:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm sure you have at the very least a general idea of what you want to do with the species. Why don't you include that? Please take nothing as obvious or implied. Here is an example: perhaps you want them to have a clear border to the outside (such as skin, shell, some membrane), capable to move on their own, based on organic life as we know it even, living outside in actual space not on some ship, able to communicate and more. Then, once you have the list, consider if you want a broad picture first = include the most basic stuff and afterwards ask how your aliens could do advanced things $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Sep 27 '18 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ Also, "[does not come] in to any contact with astronomical objects" is counterproductive. How do they feed, of what are they made of, how big should they be,...? $\endgroup$ – DarthDonut Sep 27 '18 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ This question is a bit too broad for our site. You need to make the question a bit more specific (this is more of a "what do I write?" question, which is not something that goes over well on this site). Try rephrasing it to more of a "what do I do with this specific thing?" question. If you need help, try going through questions with a lot of upvotes and basing it on those. $\endgroup$ – The Weasel Sagas Sep 27 '18 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ How fast do they have to accelerate and over what distances should they be able to move? I think this is the beginning of a good question, but you need to put in more work still and be more precise. People will have to spend a lot of time and effort answering your question, I think it is reasonable to expect from you to put a bit more thought and effort into it $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Sep 28 '18 at 13:16

Humanity, about 5,000 years from now...

By then we can work around the radiation with redundant dna checksums and repair nanites, and we can use nuclear decay to replace carbon oxidation as an energy source, freeing us from the need for oxygen and food; but mobility in a vacuum is a stumbling point.

To get anywhere, the organism has to either expel part of its body to produce momentum (which is literally a mass-losing proposition), or wait for a planet to pass by and tack across its gravity to gain momentum and direction.

We could add solar sails, in the form of giant angel wings, with which it can catch sunshine and ride out to the outer planets. Then, by folding the wings back in against the creatures body, it could release itself back to gravity and fall back sun-ward.

However these creatures would need to be incredibly long lived and patient, because...

"Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. - Douglas Adams

  • $\begingroup$ Solar sails can't move you toward the sun. Folding them back won't either, you're already in orbit. $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Sep 27 '18 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ Solar sails will move you away from the sun. Folding them in will negate the outward impetus and from there, gravity will bring you back sunward. No orbital velocity is involved as far as I can see. Just climbing up out of and falling back into the gravity well. Am I wrong? $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Sep 27 '18 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you're wrong. You already have orbital velocity you inherited from whatever celestial body you came from. Even if you evolved in space, you inherited velocity from the interplanetary medium you formed from. $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Sep 28 '18 at 4:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You would think that after living my whole life in this gravity well, I would get the hang of life in here. Seems to me that if I jump up, I'm departing the ground and when my momentum runs out, I falling. No orbits involved, just a fat man jumping up and down for no reason. So if my enhanced human left Earth flying under power in the opposite direction from our orbit, until she reached zero orbital velocity before letting go of her propulsion unit and spreading her solar sail wings, she wouldn't fly away from the sun because orbitless, she'd have already fallen into the sun. That's weird! $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Sep 28 '18 at 5:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.