Reality, The Breakthrough Initiatives and Prospects for Colonization of Space

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E. Wheeler (2019), JBIS, 72, pp.56-61

Refcode: 2019.72.56
Keywords: Objective Reality, Breakthrough Initiatives, Exoplanet, Space Colonization, SETI

Abstract:
Although Einstein considered truth as independent of human beings, reality for us is tied to human experience and the five senses. It is the context in which lives, aspirations, and plans develop or fail. Understanding reality is essential in laying markers for progress or lapse in momentous undertakings such as the Breakthrough Initiatives begun in 2015 and in man’s possible attempt to colonize space. This article examines the progress made in these two endeavors in context of reality and dangers. Breakthrough Initiatives to date has resulted at best in moderate success, but has yet to run half its at least decade-long course. Emphasis has switched from its unfocused Breakthrough Message program to the “Starshot” space probe, intended to launch by 2050 scores of tiny sail-craft, propelled by coordinated emissions from a field of lasers, to unprecedented velocity of .192 c. In a 22-year journey to nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, nanocraft will investigate if exoplanet Proxima Centauri b is habitable or has identifiable life. Among the challenges is whether craft can withstand the many thousands of g (gravitational) forces exerted during acceleration. Sustaining public interest for 26 years between launch and receipt of data may be difficult. A brief and compelling statement by the Initiatives to the public is needed on why space exploration is in their interest and how it could be decisive in the future of mankind.

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