How much does Star Trek know?

  ”Star Trek” series of film and television works are believed by many people. The “advanced” spacecraft equipped with the most advanced spacecraft is advancing rapidly in the nebula, causing brilliant glow in space. This beautiful scenery makes the astronomy enthusiasts Fascinated.
  But in reality, is this scenario really possible to achieve? Suppose we are planning the first Star Trek for humans. Where should we start?
  Select destination
  regardless of travel, our first step is to choose a destination, select a destination not to be sloppy as Star Trek. The first thing to consider is the distance problem. The scientists found that the alpha constellation alpha is located about 4.37 light years from Earth and is the sun’s closest neighbor. The alpha constellation Alpha Centauri, located in the southern part of the sky, is a polystar system composed of three stars clustered together by gravitation. The three stars are: Alpha Centauri A, Centaurus alpha star B, and Centaurus alpha star C. Among them, Centaurus alpha alpha A and Centaur alpha alpha B are a pair of double stars, and the third member Centaur alpha alpha C is a red dwarf (referring to a dwarf star with a low surface temperature and a reddish color) because it is only 4.24 from the sun. The light year is the star closest to the sun, so it is also called the neighboring star. Due to the absolute advantage of distance, sci-fi works including Star Trek imagine the Centaurus alpha star as the first interstellar destination of humanity.
  To this end, scientists pay special attention to this. In 2012, scientists were pleasantly surprised to discover that a planet is orbiting around Alpha Centauri. The strange thing is that after three years, this planet can no longer be found. However, scientists say that the temperature of this planet is too high for human habitation, even if it still exists, it cannot be used as a destination for human interstellar travel. In 2016, the scientists discovered a planet that surrounds the neighboring star, called the neighboring star b. The planet is located in a habitable zone and may have liquid water on its surface.
  In this way, the target can be selected next to the neighboring star b. Next, we can start our Star Trek with just a spaceship like the “Courage”.
  Driving a spaceship
  For the study of spacecraft, scientists are also persevering. In 1958, the US government launched an “Orion” program to build a giant spacecraft capable of carrying at least 40 astronauts and use nuclear bombs to power it to Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. This program brought together the world’s top scientists and invested a lot of money. The Orion spacecraft works by letting the spacecraft carry thousands of small nuclear bombs. When the spacecraft needs power, the astronauts release a nuclear bomb from the stern and then release some solids made of hydrogen-containing plastic. Disc, when the spacecraft sails out of a certain distance, the nuclear bomb will explode behind the spacecraft, evaporate the plastic disc and convert it into a hot plasma. These plasma slurries will spread in all directions, and some of them will hit the huge metal propulsion disc at the end of the space ship, thus pushing the spacecraft at high speed.
  The researchers calculated that the speed of the ship can reach 5% of the speed of light, and it takes about 90 years to reach the Centaurus alpha star from the Earth at this speed. However, the 1963 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (prohibition of nuclear explosions in the atmosphere) and the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (prohibition of nuclear explosions in space) directly led to the death of the Orion program. in.
  But is there a propulsion system that is less explosive and can achieve the same purpose? The British Star Society revisited the Orion Plan in the 1970s and proposed the Daedalus Project. The Daedalus Project replaces nuclear bombs with more powerful and environmentally friendly nuclear fusion forces to power the spacecraft. Instead of exploding outside like the Orion spacecraft, its propulsion system uses an internal engine that emits electron beams into small fuel balls in a “combustion chamber” built into a magnetic field to produce ions. This method of limiting the ion paste with a magnetic field is significantly more efficient than the Orion spacecraft, because only a small portion of the energy produced by the Orion spacecraft’s nuclear bomb explosion is converted into power. According to relevant data, the quality of the “Dedalus” detection spacecraft is 54,000 tons, of which the weight of the propulsion unit accounts for 50,000 tons. It is expected that after four years of acceleration, the Daedalus detection spacecraft can reach a speed of 1/8 of the speed of light, which means it takes only 40 years from Earth to reach Centaurus alpha.
  Space flying city
  As you can imagine, the time it takes to travel to Star Trek is very long. In fact, the spaceship we are riding on will be more like the city of our own life, which is the interstellar ark described in science fiction.
  The famous space scientists Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard once proposed the idea of ​​the Starcraft Ark. They believe that the Starcraft Ark will take at least a few thousand years to reach its destination, so this ark needs at least tens of thousands of people to maintain long-term natural reproduction. This idea was welcomed by science fiction writers in the mid-20th century. Robert Heinlein (father of American modern science fiction novels) described two ships in two novels written in 1941. It took a long time for the spacecraft to reach its destination, so that the people on board were early. I have forgotten that they are passengers on board. Instead, they think that this large spaceship is the home of their lives and work.
  In addition, letting people sail for hundreds or even thousands of years may also cause some social problems. For example, during the voyage, the descendants of these people will be born in the void between the planets. These new births Is the life of the earth a human being or an alien?
  Thousands of years have been a long time for humans, which means that hundreds of generations will be devoted to interstellar travel with all their lives. In this way, the 90 years required for the Orion Plan and the 40 years of the Daedalus Plan are much more acceptable.
  Crazy idea
  However, even decades, how many people will voluntarily participate in this expedition it?
  To solve this problem, scientists have come up with some more creative ideas. There may be some ideas that are a bit crazy.
  One is to use the “egg boat” approach. This is a bold idea for scientists to send cryopreserved human embryos, or gametes (eggs and sperm) into deep space. When the target star is reached, the embryo will develop into an adult. Scientists believe that in this century, no mother’s birth may become a reality. In theory, we will be able to deliver cryopreserved embryos into space for centuries, and they will develop into newborn babies in their respective insulated cabins. Then all we need is a robot nanny to raise and educate these babies. Scientists have enough confidence that with the rapid development of artificial intelligence, the idea of ​​robot nannies should be easy to achieve.
  Although the idea of ​​the egg boat seems to be feasible, the ethical issues raised by this are still open to question.
  Another idea is “fake death.” From our current common sense, “fake death” sounds like a bit of a night, but the progressive medical science is indeed expected to bring humans into safe long-term hibernation.
  In fact, in clinical treatment, it is more conventional to intentionally lower the patient’s temperature by a few degrees. This method is used to induce a patient to enter a mild hypothermia coma after cardiac arrest, thereby reducing the oxygen loss during this period, so that after the patient is treated, the brain does not undergo reperfusion injury (referring to suffering from ischemia for a certain period of time). After the tissue cells restore blood flow, the degree of tissue damage increases rapidly.) In some of the more advanced clinical trials, trauma surgeons will reduce their temperature to near freezing point in the event of severe blood loss, and the patient’s state throughout the process is essentially the same as hibernation – this is true. The suspended animation.
  However, this process of suspended animation can only last for two to three hours. Scientists say that with the continuous advancement of technology, the duration of this suspended animation can be extended, and finally we can let people sleep long enough to let the entire interstellar travel spend in sleep. But how long-term hibernation affects human body and what it will become when they wake up, we can’t predict.
  In short, scientists are still working tirelessly to make Star Trek closer and closer to us. Maybe in the near future, all of these will become a reality. What kind of grand scene will be the first time for humanity to travel, let us wait and see.