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hypothetical question Saturday
sanrafael
soopageek
have an another idea for a hypothetical question. Despite the subject's allusion to the contrary, I doubt I'll be able to think of an interesting question once a week. This one is much less controversial than last week's question. Give it some consideration based on the parameters of the question and give your answer before entering the discussion. Have fun.

Scenario:
Astronomers have discovered a solar system 20 light years from earth of similar age and composition to our own, but outside of that have little information about the composition of the planets themselves. Scientists have also devised a way to accelerate a space vehicle to the speed of light using a combination of on-board fuel and a space-based "slingshot" of sorts. NASA announces the creation of a manned mission to this solar system. The living quarters of the vehicle is a mini-biosphere with a nuclear power source capable of sustaining human life for a virtually indefinite period of time, barring any on/off board catastrophe. There will only be enough fuel left on-board the vehicle to slow it down upon reaching the new solar system with a little left over to thrust it from one planet to another at minimal speeds. The mini-biosphere is part of a larger landing capsule which can separate from the main vehicle, and capable of surviving a Earth-like atmosphere entry. NASA is accepting a mixed crew of four, fertile male and female couples for what will be a one-way mission for the purpose of procreation in the name of science and the potential (however unlikely) remote colonization of the human race. The couples will represent a cross-section of humanity. Obviously there will be a number of scientists and engineers on-board for practical reasons but NASA decides that one of these couples will be an everyday, all-American couple. The living quarters are wired for constant audio and video feeds for observation purposes. Due to the speed of the craft however, real-time two-way communication will be impractical and within a matter of days, any real two-way communication will be impossible. Due to the controversial nature of the mission, NASA is accepting the crew solely on a volunteer basis.

Hypothetically speaking, you're fertile and otherwise capable of performing this mission and, on a whim, you and your hypothetical S.O. present an application to NASA. Much to your surprise, you are chosen.

Do you go?

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Hmm.

What's the other fertile female look like?

From what you know of me, would I be able to beat the other fertile male in a fistfight?

Will there be snuff movies on board?

You know what answer you'd say that would make me not sleep with you the entire weekend or EVER, right?



We'll ignore the problem that I don't believe mankind should be "colonizing" anything.

Yes, because it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We'll also ignore the problem that the inertia alone in a speed-of-light spacecraft would obliterate everyone on board.

I'm of two minds about this. I wouldn't want to go because we've already fucked up one world with our destructiveness, we should leave others alone.

But if I did go, I'd require some really sweet high-tech weaponry in case we get a less than friendly welcome from the natives. See? I'm part of the problem.

I don't know. I guess it really all depends on how hot my fellow travelers were.

and that eight people don't make up a sufficient gene pool to populate a new world without serious inbreeding.

But yes. In a heartbeat. I'd miss my family like crazy, but the chance to 1)go into space and 2)have so much influence on the creation of a new society would be too much to resist.


to seek out new life and new opportunities, DUH.

Absolutely. One'd be crazy not to go.


Only my opinion.

Re: to seek out new life and new opportunities, DUH.

Ditto. I would leave tonight.

Ignoring the fact that I'd be in my early 60's when I arrived....

Nope, not going.

And this is from me- a former field test assistant for high-powered rockets.

I am radically pro space. If humanity doesn't get off this planet, it will end here and, for some reason, I am humanocentric- even with our problems.

But, as I have already have experience living in relative isolation from my best friends and favorite restaurants, I wouldn't do it. Twenty years living in a space ship even the size of the Metrodome would drive me batty.

I'll take hedonism over genuine adventure, any day.

Yes. In a heartbeat.



You might be interested in reading The Sparrow and Children of God, both by Mary Doria Russell.

Read the synopses on those - they're both really fantastic books.

you might like this book

Read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
very similar to your question.

Re: you might like this book

Heheh. I guess great minds think alike.

Re: you might like this book

(Anonymous)
funny- less than 20 minutes apart too.

No thanks. I keep my body in this atmosphere and with these people. I couldn't go off, never see people here again with 7 other people who I would probably get real sick of real fast.

No.

I just am not mentally stable enough to do it. I telecommuted for four years, and therefore hibernated somewhat - limited exposure to strangers, new things, stimulation from the outside world. sure, I talked to many of the same people most every day (much like you would in this spaceship), but I tailspun into a depression after Year 3.

Personally, I think the lifelong (worst case scenario) isolation with only seven other people for companions would drive anyone insane. And slowly, so they wouldn't even know it was happening.

Plus, I think the *darkness* of space would also make people crazy, slowly. It's like the winters in antartica - people go nuts and turn on one another or go even more within themselves.

In other words; no. A definite No, I wouldn't go. No matter the rewards.

Sure, why not?

Of course, in reality, it would be a much more difficult decision, but since I can't conceive either of this situation happening or of having a S.O., I can say, "Why not?"

I love my planet and I love my home, but otherwise, there's not a whole lot for me here.

Hell no.

I wouldn't even consider going on a cruise, let alone something like that. This has "hell is other people" written all over it.

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