Questions tagged [interstellar-travel]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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 ...
user avatar
  • 317
4 votes
6 answers
266 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 ...
user avatar
  • 688
1 vote
5 answers
216 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 ...
user avatar
  • 5,947
4 votes
2 answers
181 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 , ...
user avatar
  • 314
4 votes
3 answers
281 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 ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
204 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
199 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 ...
user avatar
  • 46k
5 votes
1 answer
71 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
45 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 &...
user avatar
  • 44.3k
8 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, ...
user avatar
  • 3,197
2 votes
1 answer
130 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
425 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,013
1 vote
4 answers
273 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 ...
user avatar
44 votes
21 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 46k
2 votes
2 answers
288 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,013
6 votes
2 answers
879 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 ...
user avatar
  • 46k
4 votes
3 answers
373 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:...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
97 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 ...
user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
3 answers
184 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
151 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
219 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 ...
user avatar
  • 61
2 votes
1 answer
131 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,541
11 votes
2 answers
794 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,093
50 votes
19 answers
7k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
132 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 ...
user avatar
  • 37.3k
8 votes
9 answers
439 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, ...
user avatar
  • 183
2 votes
1 answer
189 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, ...
user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
2 answers
130 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 ...
user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
3 answers
219 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 ...
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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
243 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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
369 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
175 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,758
2 votes
2 answers
210 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 ...
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 ...
user avatar
  • 489
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....
user avatar
  • 551
20 votes
5 answers
3k views

How would a physicist explain this starship engine?

In my world, interstellar vessels use a drive whose design mankind learned from an extinct elder civilization. While construction of the drives is possible, the physical principles making them work ...
user avatar
23 votes
13 answers
6k views

Most bit efficient text communication method?

What would be the most efficient text communication method for a spacecraft operating on a super low bit rate (I'm talking something like 5 bits an hour, excluding error handling)? As you want both ...
user avatar
  • 613
6 votes
3 answers
653 views

Stellaser Part I: Trial by stellar Fire or The best design out of three for a solar powered 5 Petawatt laser?

I´m building a hard-sifi setting and want to use Stellasers (abbreviation for stellar laser) to provide thrust and power to interstellar vessels. This part one is only concerned with the construction ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
318 views

Is it possible to break the sound barrier in space with a really fast spacecraft

I was doing some research online about slower-than-light interstellar spacecraft, and it got me thinking about a couple things. Although it may seem empty, the space between stars isn't a perfect ...
user avatar
  • 1,370
0 votes
1 answer
86 views

Life on other planets via nuclear signal

A nuclear explosion in space? Directing a nuclear explosion is difficult even in theory, but is it possible to direct one in space, with a trajectory and width of a significant diameter and wavelength ...
user avatar
  • 11
6 votes
1 answer
344 views

Feasibility of an Antimatter-Catalysed Ram Augmented Interstellar Rocket (AC-RAIR)

A fictional starship that I am designing functions via a form of Bussard ramjet that uses hydrogen from the interstellar medium as reaction mass, not as fuel. In order to accelerate the propellant, ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
519 views

Alcubierre warp-lanes, what is the most stable way to create them?

2 informational references for Alcubierre fields can be found at the end of this question. Warp-lanes aren't a novelty in science-fiction. Space ships can use a specific route to go through a Galaxy ...
user avatar
  • 39.9k
4 votes
1 answer
581 views

Interstellar Propulsion for Hard Sci-fi Novel

Hypothetical: Hundreds of years into the future. Humanity needs to travel to exoplanets quickly. I'm aiming for hard sci-fi. What kind of propulsion can travel people at 0.1 - 0.9 lightspeed? Is it ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
851 views

Potential system to system travel?

So one of the ideas I've come up with for system to system travel, in the early colony stage of my world, is using fuel boosters to start the journey and then to reach the required speed for the ...
user avatar
  • 71
8 votes
4 answers
586 views

Feasibility of deceleration by collision

There are many hypothetical systems for bringing spacecraft of the near-future up to speed, some of which may attain some relativity-bending velocities. However, these systems, to achieve such high ...
user avatar
  • 1,570
4 votes
2 answers
561 views

Interstellar "reefs", plausibility and detection [closed]

Most of the interstellar medium is, as far as we can tell with current technology, pretty empty and most of what is there is in the form of single atoms or tiny particles only a few molecules across. ...
user avatar
  • 44.3k
21 votes
18 answers
5k views

What mandates travel in an interstellar society?

A while ago this question on medieval travel was asked. I looked at it again today and it got me thinking about situations that would mandate travel in other settings, in particular what would force ...
user avatar
  • 44.3k
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

Is there a way in which we can travel to other local groups?

Suppose that a super advanced alien civilization comes to Earth. We don't know why they came and they don't really provide much information. Their species comes to Earth only for a few hours and then ...
user avatar
19 votes
21 answers
6k views

How to explain why humans weren’t encountered by alien species? [closed]

So, I’ve been writing a sci-fi novel that takes place a few centuries in the future. In the novels lore, it says that there was plenty of life throughout the galaxy, but humans were just contacted ...
user avatar