Asymtote wrote:no information can travel faster than the speed of light (gross oversimplification, but functional here)
How is that a gross oversimplification? Current scientific understanding has that no information can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. Full stop.
ijuin wrote:The amount of energy available from the fissile material recoverable from the earth by mankind short of refining the entire mantle and core is indeed a drop im the bucket compared to the sum total of the planet's internal heat. However, the half a quintillion tons of hydrogen in the planet's water supply can dwarf even that if used as fusion fuel. As long as our sunless humanity is using this energy to heat and light habitats hundreds of meters or more underground instead of wasting it on the surface where it will radiate away, then there should be enough energy to last for millions of years. Also, if the other planets are still around, we can mine Saturn for its three to five septillion tons of hydrogen fuel, which itself would be more than enough to fuel engines big enough to move the entire earth on a thousand year voyage to a new sun.
Now I want to write a sci-fi story about this
Note that we'd want to keep acceleration down around a micron per second per second, since that is on the order of current tidal forces and water sloshing around could become a problem at higher accelerations (though I suppose if we let the oceans freeze solid it becomes less of an issue).
At that rate, it would take rather longer than a thousand years to get to the nearest star. 4.5ly is about 4e16 meters, so to turnaround (if we accelerate halfway and decelerate halfway, at 10^-6 m/s^2), time^2 is 4e22, which works out to 200 billion seconds, or about 6300 years.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care
whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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