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Building upon the questions from @States Time travel from stationary position? and @Travis Time travel from stationary position?, would it be possible to travel to other star systems within our galaxy by creating a time stasis field?

The concept would be that the stasis field would pause the occupants in time and space until a set external time frame expires with the intention of waiting for another star system to pass into the exact same location, and then travel to the local planets of that system once time is restored.

However, how long would it take for another system to pass into the same space that our system left? Or is space, in general, just too vast and the planets/stars too widely separated for the likelihood of ever coming into another star's proximity viable?

Assuming we have space travel capabilities that would allow for a trip of 1 AU to occur within a reasonable amount of time so resources on the craft would be sufficient to explore 2-3 planets before expiring (or a second stasis jump), would this form of travel work or does our galaxy move too quickly and away from us that we'd be stuck in the void between galaxies entirely?

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    $\begingroup$ "Pause the occupants in space"... with respect to what? Suppose you're in orbit around earth - can you pause for 90 minutes and keep the same orbital position to watch the ISS go by? Or do you get left behind from earth entirely as the planet continues its journey around the sun? Or do you get ejected from the solar system as the sun continues its journey around the galactic center? Or do you get ejected from the galaxy as it moves relative to some other reference? The ability to stay "stationary" in an arbitrary reference frame means you can take any velocity you want in some other frame. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ @NuclearHoagie I would assume yes to all of those questions. Your position would turn absolute, and the objects within the universe would continue rotate (galaxy, solar system, planets, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – mkinson
    Nov 9 '21 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ There is no such thing as an "absolute" reference frame. There is no single preferred reference frame against which you can measure position or velocity, the choice is entirely arbitrary. If you are at rest in one reference frame and moving in another, there is simply no way to argue that one is any more "correct" than another. Zero velocity can only be measured with respect to some other object, and no object is a "special" reference whether it's a planet or a star or a galactic center or anything else. You can say the ship stops in space, but relative to what, exactly? $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 16:58
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The issue with this is one of relativity.

Simply put, relativity is the idea that the position and speed of a thing can only ever be determined relative to something else.

What that means for your scenario is that when you freeze a thing in time it will not stop moving, because there is no 'fixed' background that it can 'freeze' relative to. It will continue to move according to whatever physical laws should affect it. Now, the exact mechanism by which your time machine works can change some of the rules that apply, but ultimately you can't beat physics. Altering your position relative to something else (for example the star system you want to go to) requires energy and time. The faster you want to get from A to B (in the frame of reference of the target, not your frozen time) the more energy it takes. In the case of moving from one star system to another it either requires an awful lot of energy or an awful lot of time.

Which gives you a bit of a solution, oddly. If your stasis mechanism freezes time for things within itself, but otherwise moves like a mass with exactly the same properties as it had before, you can give yourself a push, freeze your mechanism, then take as long as you like getting there while frozen and otherwise not subject to the normal laws of the universe. It might take you 100000 years to cross to the other side of the universe using a chemical rocket to give you the energy to go from A to B, but ultimately you won't care, since you'll be frozen.

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  • $\begingroup$ yep, just regular stasis concept $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Nov 9 '21 at 17:09
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There is a major problem with this approach. To illustrate it, let's say you apply this stasis field to a space station, and you apply it for long enough for the Milky Way to move as far as to place the space station in the diametral opposite point with respect to the starting point.

First of all, how long would it take? Since the Milky Way is moving at about 600 km/s, and the Sun is at 8 kiloparsec from the center (which is about 2,469e+17 km), it would take about 13 million years for this to happen. Incidentally, the galactic year is about 230 million years.

Apart from the very long time it would take, consider that since when you stasized the space station it was moving, together with the Sun, at 240 km/s around the galactic center, now it will be moving to 240+240 = 480 km/s with respect to whatever it finds there. Whatever it is, I hope the spaceship has a good insurance policy.

In general, you will have a hard time matching the velocity vector of the arrival place.

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 9 '21 at 18:51

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