Questions tagged [interstellar-travel]

When your question concerns travelling distances that are measured in light years or more.

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Could laser collisions be used as an interstellar dust deflector?

What inspired this question is this : I was once reading that a real effort is underway to dream up a 0.2c spaceship (0.2c means one fifth the speed of light). Another story I read tells that ...
HelloHiHola's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
143 views

How to make an efficient heat to power converter for a Dyson Sphere?

Humans are moving out of the solar system. They are using a 1 million ton ship with 10,000 residents. It will be propelled by a solar sail. They need a Dyson sphere(wherever the Earth’s orbit does ...
11111's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
309 views

Interstellar travel via a moving walkway of dust

The "moving walkways" pass close to local solar systems fairly far from their suns. They are very small, and thus hard to detect. Each "walkway" consists of two columns: dust and ...
futurebird's user avatar
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14 votes
17 answers
3k views

Rationale for sending manned mission to another star?

In the near future an ancient, derelict spacecraft or space station has been discovered orbiting Barnard's Star, 6 light years from Earth. Why would Earth send a manned mission to Barnard's Star to ...
RobertF's user avatar
  • 399
4 votes
1 answer
590 views

Near-instantaneous inter-star communication utilising wormholes

This is my first question on the worldbuilding stack exchange, I discovered this place last night when double-checking that my world's river-carving-through-a-mountain-range is possible (it was, which ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 137
3 votes
2 answers
279 views

How to make intragalactic space navigation difficult

Say there are two factions in a cold war with each other. Each faction controls huge amounts of the known galaxy, but there is a demilitarized neutral zone in-between them. Both factions have access ...
fordat's user avatar
  • 133
14 votes
12 answers
3k views

How to map arms of the galaxy?

Some background: My interstellar civilization(s) have fled our home Solar System, spreading throughout the nearby systems in the Orion Arm. They possess FTL, but for plot reasons, they have only just ...
The Commander's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
487 views

How to stop interstellar civilizations from becoming too dissimilar?

In this world there are humans have developed the technology to allow for interstellar travel, accomplished by light speed engines. However, this has created a problem. Is there any way for those who ...
EducatedScribbles's user avatar
19 votes
12 answers
5k views

A laser-propelled starship loses its decelerating beam; what options do they have to slow down?

New to the site, and like many others here, I've been bouncing around a few ideas for a hard sci-fi short story with some friends, centered around an interstellar voyage to colonize a habitable world. ...
Interdimensional Nomad's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
4k views

Would a living being moving at 99% the speed of light see time stop, or would it see time move faster?

Let's say I want to write about a living thing that can naturally go to 99% the speed of light in just one second of acceleration. I would like to write what this being would experience at such speed ...
Invasor's user avatar
  • 533
7 votes
6 answers
2k views

How can I figure out measurements/distances and hyperspace jump time in my universe that is simple enough for readers to understand?

I'm using an alternate version of the Milky Way as my setting. I need to know how far it is from one planet/area to another, and know how long it takes to jump via hyperspace -- Yes, I realize ...
MajorTom's user avatar
  • 1,466
17 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can we build a space probe's computer to survive centuries of interstellar travel?

TL;DR: Can human build a computer that lasts for a few hundred years under active maintenance with a limited spare part supply, not too bulky or power hungry, and has the performance similar to a high-...
Rynco Maekawa's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
323 views

Does my concept for an "ergosphere highway" make scientific sense?

In my current science-based project, I have this idea for a string of rotating black holes (bonus points if you can figure out how they can be lined up without gravitating towards each other) that are ...
Zanly's user avatar
  • 119
53 votes
8 answers
11k views

The Earth is teleported into interstellar space for 5 minutes. What happens?

Humanity has just developed a star drive and begun sending their first probes, and have now discovered an unstoppable force of doom approaching to destroy the solar system. Their only option is to ...
JustasidequestNPC's user avatar
21 votes
17 answers
3k views

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

This world has 3 forms of faster-than-light travel: Warpdrives don't require destination coordinates. They can be activated and deactivated at any time to move continuously through space. But they ...
Stargazer's user avatar
  • 535
4 votes
6 answers
392 views

Reaching Proxima Centauri within 10 years of ship time in the year 2300

For scenaristic reasons, my colonization spaceship needs to reach Proxima Centauri within 10 years of ship time. How do they do that? I'm starting to get a headache over this. At first I thought the ...
dyarob's user avatar
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1 vote
5 answers
291 views

What socio-economic pressure would cause humans to depend on an interstellar resource? [closed]

It's generally cheaper to make it at home, but when we can reach another star, what non-magical pressure would make that not true for humanity? There exist small niche markets in wine and some ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
4 votes
2 answers
207 views

Lightspeed travel survivability [closed]

In my sci fi novel, a technologically advanced version of the human race is capable of harnessing and creating large amounts of antimatter for interstellar travel at 99% the speed of light , ...
Zetrox's user avatar
  • 438
4 votes
3 answers
731 views

The demise of the Bussard ramjet. Long live the Bussard ramjet. Can we save it @ Worldbuilding?

Robert Bussard's ramjet, as featured in Tau Zero and most recently noted by Carl Sagan in Cosmos, may be dead. In 1960, Bussard proposed a space propulsion system that relied on a nuclear electric ...
FontFamily's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
219 views

Surface of interstellar convoy's asteroid shield

A voyage of several ships at 0.2c needs raw materials and protection from impacts with interstellar dust. For these purposes, they installed enormous thrusters on the circumference of a 10-km-diameter ...
Ventifacts and Yardangs's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
244 views

Is delta v relevant for interstellar travel for generation ship?

Imagine I have a generation ship that is heading to a nearby star system say 10 light years away, the average lifespan for the crew is 150 years on Earth and is expected to increase by about 5 years ...
user6760's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
92 views

Best design for Plasma Magnet Sail/Catch

What's the best design for a receiving end of a Plasma Sail/Catch. That is, (ignoring the specific means of how for now), a broadcaster in solar system x sends out a soup of macro-scale particles at a ...
Broken ECLSS unit's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
59 views

Is there any data that would indicate a correlation between stellar metallicity and the actual metal content of bodies in orbit?

Metallicity measures the heavy element load of a star, heavy being defined as "not Hydrogen or Helium", but doesn't give a direct indication as to how much of a star is what might be called &...
Ash's user avatar
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9 votes
8 answers
2k views

Interstellar laser sculpting

Some artistic and civic-minded aliens want to put a bust of their glorious leader, Rigel Rigelius R, in every solar system in the galaxy. Interstellar spaceships are very expensive, and slow besides, ...
causative's user avatar
  • 7,312
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

How could interstellar, single-molecule nanobots survive launch?

Civilization X needs to explore nearby exoplanets using nanobots. These nanobots are made of singular (relatively large) molecules. These react with common gases in the atmosphere, acting as a ...
flhl1010's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
490 views

How would humanity uplift an intelligent ice moon species?

Now in a previous question I tried to figure out what would a realistic response to humanity learning that we are unequivocally alone in the universe, (check it out here, How would humanity react to ...
Jacob Badger's user avatar
  • 2,343
1 vote
4 answers
319 views

How could Creatures have Interstellar Travel?

I'm looking for a way realistic creatures could travel between stars in a time span of a year or less. Is this even possible? I want this to be as realistic as possible but this is a Sci-fi setting so ...
CausticNickel's user avatar
43 votes
21 answers
7k views

Why are certain spaceships capable of warp at a moment's notice while others require some preparations?

After seeing an advert on my holo-watch about the latest fleet of interstellar spaceships capable of going into warp at the press of a button, I was both amazed and dumbfounded by it Conventional warp ...
user6760's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
311 views

How would humanity react to finding the universe is uninhabited? [closed]

If there is one trope I am sick of it is the one I like to call the Empty Universe. This is when humanity has spread out to the stars and finds...well, nothing. Spending centuries exploring the ...
Jacob Badger's user avatar
  • 2,343
6 votes
2 answers
897 views

Crew member overboard! Interstellar Space Edition [closed]

I am just curious what would happen to those poor souls whom are thrown overboard while the spaceship which is enveloped in a warp bubble, does the bubble acts like a firewall similar to the black ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.9k
4 votes
3 answers
428 views

Is it useful to use a reverse thrust system on a huge interstellar spaceship (1.7km) to slow down in space?

I’m working on a personal 3d animation project: A big, BIG interstellar spaceship (about 1.7 km long), propelled by two antimatter engines (Like the Venture Star, in the introduction of Avatar). https:...
Space1113's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
117 views

Efficient way and rough design to detect rogue planets in interstellar space

Let's imagine a civilization that has a way of colonizing rogue planets (ones not orbiting a star). It would want to expand, and therefore search for new worlds. What physical principle and rough ...
ikamen's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
3 answers
213 views

Rebuilding a collapsed empire

I am making a galaxy where humans have reached an age where everything is peaceful and paradise, like spanning thousands of planets. However, a disaster happened that caused all the worlds to be ...
Guest9345's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
163 views

Is this a decent description of the process for an interstellar drive based on this handwavium/element zero? [closed]

My story needs four variations of an interstellar drive that uses exotic matter (detailed below). I know what the processes need to do, side effects of using them, etc. but explaining them/showing ...
astillround7hief's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
318 views

Harvesting Antimatter from Solar Flares

An old NASA news article I came across states that a solar flare observed in 2002 produced around a half-kilo of antimatter: https://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/rhessi_antimatter.html How ...
Framazu's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
1 answer
139 views

Two Interstellar Vessels, passing each other at a fraction of Lightspeed, how would that look? [closed]

so suppose you have two vessels in Interstellar space. One is the ITV Europa while the other one listens to the name ITV Lea Sudux. Europa is flying at 0.5c, so 149896km/s where as the Sudux chills at ...
Erik Hall's user avatar
  • 1,541
12 votes
2 answers
946 views

Starshot fails--do we know why?

This question is related to a SE:WB question of mine. I shelved the project about a year ago and am now dusting it off. To sum the concept up: several hundred million years ago a rather impenetrable ...
BMF's user avatar
  • 6,788
50 votes
19 answers
8k views

How can I justify a Type III civilization using planetary jump drives instead of FTL starships for galactic commerce and travel?

I have this idea for a science fiction story (It actually came to me in a dream.). In the distant future, the inhabitants of the Milky Way have formed a galaxy-spanning civilization similar to the ...
Mark Morales II's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
149 views

Can a Shkadov thruster be made passively stable?

So, I envision a world that has forgotten it's en route to another galaxy -- it's been in transit for only a million years, hasn't even properly left its "home" behind (still stars in the ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 45.9k
8 votes
9 answers
560 views

System of government inside a generational ship (videogame)

I'm designing a sci-fi videogame. But I've many doubts about the hierarchical structure. On a ship "the captain" is the highest authority, directs, coordinates and controls all activities, ...
ephramd's user avatar
  • 183
2 votes
1 answer
224 views

Would would occur if a person travelled from a wormhole in flat empty space, to one on Earth?

We are using a Morris-Throne Wormhole Metric. Let's presume the throat of this wormhole (in internal hyperspace) is short, let's say 1km. Now, as you are travelling through the entrance wormhole, ...
MrKred's user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
2 answers
180 views

Could Kerr Metric Black Holes hypothetically be used for Interstellar Information Transfer?

Kerr Metrics should (extremely hypothetically) allow travel into "mirror" universes. However, I have heard that some theories estimate the time-swapped black hole on the other side of the ringularity ...
MrKred's user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
3 answers
252 views

How would a new planet join an intergalactic united nations and economy? [closed]

Wordy title, heh. Say a new planet gains access to spacefaring capabilities comparable to that of what exists in some galaxy or galactic cluster. And in that galaxy or cluster, there's a body akin to ...
Gibdos's user avatar
  • 73
27 votes
21 answers
11k views

How to prevent humanity from using alien spaceships and technology exclusively?

A long time ago, far far away, in the distant future of this galaxy, (don't think about that too hard) aliens created links between star systems enabling interstellar travel to occur within a day. Now ...
X-27 is done with the network's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
290 views

Basic concepts for a functioning generation ship [closed]

I'm writing a story (part of a larger work) which features a generation ship. I don't want to get too deep into the science, because it's not the focus of the story, but I'd like it not to be so ...
TheSpidermonkey's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
428 views

Solving the biggest problem of relativistic interstellar spacecrafts

In FTL-free universes, interstellar travel is often done by vessels capable of continuous acceleration (the drives themselves are often magitech), which can use the effects of relativistic time ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
224 views

Time Dilation and Multistage Terraforming/Colonization

Could a time dialtion effect at near FTL speeds used to space apart in time the arrival of multiple ships to a distant destination? Let's say there's a terraformable planet somewhere in the Milky ...
Nick Dzink's user avatar
  • 1,788
2 votes
2 answers
221 views

Would there be artificial gravity on a spaceship that undergoes constant acceleration?

One way of creating artificial gravity is acceleration- gravity by inertial mass. So in theory, if we would find a way to travel interstellar space by accelerating, reaching near light speed, would ...
Inb's user avatar
  • 103
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

Why would humanity have left Earth 2 so quickly? [closed]

In the world I am building (based heavily on the Star Wars universe setting, but more historical), humanity first abandoned Earth to travel to another planet within their solar system, which they ...
Chromanyx's user avatar
  • 499
32 votes
10 answers
7k views

How can solar sailed ships be protected from space debris?

So we all know that interstellar starships that travel at high relativistic speeds, like 50% c or above, would be very susceptible to getting destroyed just by a grain of salt hitting it during travel....
Galaxy's user avatar
  • 571