Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inter-Super Cluster Travel Part 1

In 'The Spiral Slayers' I don’t travel merely between planets, stars, galaxies or even galactic clusters—I travel across dozens and even thousands of galactic super clusters. As far as I can tell, this is, not to put too fine a point on it, simply a matter of time. This is truly traveling across the universe and, if you add to this, as my story does, that you cannot accelerate past the speed of light, then you are really having the time of your life and a whole lot more. However, can it really ‘work’?

Traveling across such distances is clearly not impossible, in fact it has been done, if by nothing else than by photons (light). Nevertheless, we must face it, if we cannot travel faster than light and we cannot do anything about the distances involved than the only thing we are left with is time so, what would it take besides lots of time?
It would take:
1.      An enormous and renewable energy source.
      2.      Renewable, nanite based materials that would hold up to deep time (billions of years)
             without decaying.
3.      A sufficient renewable biosphere to supply air, water, food, etc.
4.      Immortal or at least very long lived beings.
5.      Hibernation chambers that could suspend life for millions of years at a time to keep our immortal beings from going insane by the passage of deep time.

So, we have an energy source what will propel our craft up to .99999 the speed of light and power it for millions of years (in my story, this is two black holes). We have a structure that will survive both the distance and time and not decay or wear away. We also have a renewable planetary biosphere to provide the requirements of life for beings who will live long enough and we have a way to keep them sane. Finally, we have another not so little built-in advantage—the compression of time from not only our near light speed but also from our proximity to two singularities.

Are we read to cast off?
Well, that depends on how far (i.e. long) we want to go. There’s at least one element I’ve left out--the universe is expanding and, not only is that expansion already exceeding the speed of light if we look at our observable universe end to end, it is constantly accelerating. Eventually we will be stymied by this.

Is there a way around this short of an FTL drive? I do not really want to tell you how my story gets around it but I can point in the general direction, which I’ll do in my next post.

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