General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Someone offers you and your partner a last-minute ticket (great deal!) to board a generation starship. Would you go on this trip?

Asked by mattbrowne (31633points) May 6th, 2009

From Wikipedia: A generation ship is a hypothetical starship that travels across great distances between stars at a speed much slower than that of light. Since such a ship might take from as little as below a hundred years to hundreds or even tens of thousands of years to reach even nearby stars, the original occupants might either grow old or die during the journey and leave their descendants to continue traveling, depending on the life span of its inhabitants and relativistic effects. It is estimated that, in order to assure genetic diversity during a centuries-long trip, a generation starship would require at least 500 inhabitants. Sperm banks or egg banks can drastically reduce the requisite number. Additionally, the ship would have to be almost entirely self-sustaining (see biosphere and life support), providing food, air, and water for everyone on board. It must also have extraordinarily reliable systems that could be maintained by the ship’s inhabitants over long periods of time.

This is a hypothetical question, because today no one would fund such an effort even if we already possess some of the technology to build a generation starship. What are your thoughts? Be spontaneous. Take it or leave it!

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16 Answers

zephyr826's avatar

I’m in. I’ve always loved the idea of space travel, but unfortunately I’m not quite as strong in math and science as I’d need to be for the Government-sponsored space programs. Plus, my husband’s a “nerd” too, so he’d be psyched.

shockvalue's avatar

Hell yes! Maybe we’ll get stuck in the Delta Quadrant and meet The Borg!

Staalesen's avatar

Yep, it would be a no brainer..

TaoSan's avatar

Of course! This planet and the predominant species SUCK…

knitfroggy's avatar

Not if I’m going to croak on the damn thing. I’ll stay here, thanks.

Supacase's avatar

No way. I find space both fascinating and terrifying.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Only if I can drive.

cwilbur's avatar

Given that I do not intend to reproduce or raise children, I would probably be a poor choice for a generation ship, and probably a poor fit for onboard society.

dynamicduo's avatar

Hands down yes. It is actually the only condition where I’ll willfully have children.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m too much of a weenie, I’d take a trip into space but it would have to be a short one, returning to Earth again, couldn’t go into the new frontier even with my partner.

Strauss's avatar

I’d love to, but as a couple, we’re no longer fertile.

adreamofautumn's avatar

Why wouldn’t you?! I’d be so in.

3or4monsters's avatar

SIGN ME UP. I’m pretty sure I’m fertile, and I’ll be happy wherever my partner is.

casheroo's avatar

As long as it can’t crash, then yes. lol.
I’m definitely fertile, so if my husband and I were there we’d do our duty to reproduce ;)

Jayne's avatar

Given how bad people are at getting along with one another here on earth, imagine what it would be like trapped on a vessel with nowhere to go for the foreseeable millennia. Jeez, one misplaced “yo momma” joke and you’ve got a family feud that kills off half the crew. So, unless I get to hang in an immersion video game for most of the time, I choose a nice little orbit around the earth.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrKnowItAll – Okay, you’re the captain. Where would you go?

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