C. A. Wilke
I like to put words together to tell stories of possible futures, mythical pasts and anything in between. I also write commentary about the interaction of science and science fiction. Find more of my work at SpeculativeMiscelllany.com
Catching 40 Billion Winks
Humanity’s first trip to a distant star is likely to be boring. I’m not talking I’m-so-bored-I-can’t-find-anything-to-watch-on-237-cable-channels-or-Netflix kind of bored. I mean stuck-in-a-doctor’s-office-with-muzak-and-no-magazines-with-no-escape-for-20-years kind of bored. Think of it this way, it would be like a cruise ship without the water, ports, destinations, wave pools, an open bar or anything to even really look at. Oh, and the food would probably suck pretty bad, too.
Stuck in a Tin Can in Deep Space
One of the most iconic phrases in Science Fiction is Star Trek’s original opening line, “Space, the final frontier.” Space may be the final frontier, but first, we have to be able to survive the cold vacuum of vast open nothingness that makes up the unimaginable distance between our solar system and our nearest stellar neighbor. Or, even just make it to our nearest stellar neighbor that has a potentially habitable planet.
On-Demand Spaceship Parts from Pink Goop?
One of the most fascinating technologies to be birthed out of the turn of the millennium is additive, or 3D, printing. And like many other scientific discoveries and inventions, it doesn’t take a ton of imagination to see how something like that might be useful in space. In fact, I would argue that in order for something like a colony/generation ship to be successful, it would absolutely need to have the ability to manufacture new parts on the spot.