# Seeding life using a particle accelerator

Can we launch life at near light speeds to seed new planets with life with today's technology? What is the main engineering hurdle?

What I have thought of so far:

1. Size: Use the smallest possible organism. Start with an organic molecule, then launch a virus like procine circovirus (60,000 atoms without capsid, 200,000 with), then attempt at organism like Nanoarchaeum equitans (500,000,000 atoms).

2. Speed: Use say c/10 or c/2 where c is speed of light. You ideally want enough speed to minimise time of flight to go beyond even say, the solar system, in a human lifetime. If it was just the solar system a traditional space shuttle would suffice. But you don't want to be exposed to relativistic effects (unless there is some tangible benefit of doing so).

3. Energy: We can generate enough energy to launch a payload of 500,000,000 atoms at c/10 speed.

4. Accuracy: I assume we can launch payloads at c/10 with sufficient accuracy that a reasonable fraction can hit the moon (384,000 km distance, 3,400 km diameter). Alpha Centauri (4.4 light years, 850,000 km diameter) may prove a bigger challenge.

5. Atmospheric disturbance: I assume this can be avoided at sufficiently high speeds. A significant fraction will pass through.

6. Pressure: You don't want the organism to get internally squished during transport. This means all particles must feel the same force. One option is to accelerate a spherical charged container. Interior is shielded from charge and contains the organism. Force is delivered to the organism along one surface of the container - this still means a squish but only along one dimension. We need to engineer an organism to survive this.

As far as I can see, this last problem of surviving squish is the most significant challenge. Is this correct?

P.S. I have excluded the problem of how to resucitate the organism and get resources after it lands, or even how to slow it down before landing. So that the question doesn't get too long.

• Maybe "Something as fast as a particle accelerator" rather than "A particle accelerator"? The particles of your organism need to be accelerated in uniform so they arrive together.
– Ash
Mar 19, 2021 at 8:37
• @Ash Definitely, I'll accept that too. Mar 19, 2021 at 8:40