Set the controls for the heart of the sun

by davebarclay1954

Space travel has been a huge fascination throughout my life, from about the age of 7, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to circumnavigate the planet, all the way through the space walks, moon landings, Star Trek, Black Hole right to Star Wars. Amazing times, films and tales of adventurers. It’s probably no surprise, then, to learn I loved Blake’s 7 and Red Dwarf. Sure the sets used to move but that wasn’t the point of these series. I couldn’t get enough of space and space travel. When the space shuttle launches were shown in the UK I’d be watching them. When that shuttle exploded I watched it horrified. When bookings were being taken for the first space hotel I checked it out. Had I been able to pay the deposit I’d have booked, there and then.

Now, I’m carrying too much excess weight, on my frame and mentally, to pass the physical. Shame really as the stars, planets orbiting them and our own solar system still have me enthralled. Is it any wonder, then, that I’ve written blogs about space? Our objections burst against the vastness of space and distances measured in light years. That is the distance light travels in a year, and light travels faster than sound, it has been measured at just a fraction under 300 million metres per second, do the math and you find that equates to 18 billion metres per minute etc. fantastic distances already, change it to Kilometers and it is still amazing, 300,000 Kilometers per second, 18 million Km per minute and so on. Awesome speed/distance relationship. That shows why space is measured in light years. The nearest system to us is so distant it doesn’t bear thinking of unless we can develop engines travelling at light speed, or close to it. Or cryo chambers to freeze astronauts to allow travel at current speeds without the need for more than 2 people at a time to fly the craft.

Imagine the possibilities, if we are launching from the planet then gravity has to be beaten to get into space, if we can build space stations in space then why not huge space ships, as per the vision of Gene Roddenberry, not subject to gravity then size would be no barrier, shuttle craft could be added to explore planets.