General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Which has more to offer an explorer, inner space or outer space?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) July 31st, 2009

Does a nebula pose any greater mystery than a baryon? Is a pulsar any more difficult to recognize than a meson? Is the quantum universe really any less vast than the classic Newtonian universe? Do you suppose that once the yolk of a quark is exposed that we’ll be looking back at ourselves?

Can concepts of size be legitimately applied to any of this? Can these mysteries be solved without applying notions of consciousness, qualia and self? Will a spirit realm be uncovered in the process?

Where is the greatest adventure to be found, inner space or outer space?

Shake your magic eight-ball and tell us what it says.

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11 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

Until they get some kind of FTL drive working, outer space might not hold a lot of promise. I’m all for building a gigantic ship that can be home to generations of explorer’s, though. As long as it’s designed by Hollywood and not a submarine builder.

ragingloli's avatar

magic 8-ball says: drop the weed

chronohart's avatar

I’m equally intrigued by both, but I feel inner space is more likely to offer more to explore.

mattbrowne's avatar

I’d say outer space because it’s out of reach today. Most of the micro cosmos is right here on Earth including baryons and leptons. And if not we can build machines bigger than the LHC and get a peek at strange charming quarks. Now compare this to an astronaut setting foot on an Earth-like exoplanet enjoying a dual moon rise at night. Interstellar and intergalactic travel is the way to go. All we need is money and resources and priorities.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@mattbrowne

I might have known that you would plum for the space exlo. Would the combined revenue of stopping all wars be enough to get it started off right?

mattbrowne's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies – Well, 20% of the world’s combined military budgets might be enough. But some good ideas do take time. A real breakthrough would be the space elevator. But with all the money in the world we couldn’t build us a 35,800 km long rope made of carbon nanutubes (or some similar light and strong material). Why? Because the manufacturing process is still too expensive. But eventually prices will come down.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@mattbrowne

A S-P-A-C-E E-L-E-V-A-T-O-R…!?!?!?

Haha… WOW!

Maybe we need something other than money… “Going Up”!

ragingloli's avatar

@mattbrowne
i think a space elevator is a stupid bad idea. First there is the cost. second there is the risk of the cable snapping and wrapping itself around the globe, causing massive damage. third there is the fact that it’s capacity would still be limited.
I would prefer research into antigravity

mrentropy's avatar

@mattbrowne And you know someone’s gonna fart on it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@mrentropy

Farts are already anti-gravity… What effect would the anti-gravity of space have on an agent that was already anti-gravity? Isn’t that how black holes are created?

mattbrowne's avatar

Cost of traditional liftoffs are one reason progress is slow. We need alternatives and the space elevator is one. Another one would be a ground-based laser-propelled rocket turning ice into steam as described by Marshall T. Savage, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Millennial_Project:_Colonizing_the_Galaxy_in_Eight_Easy_Steps

Far more realistic in the short term than anti-gravity.

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