Well…100 light years away.
A light year is the distance light travels in a year. Light travels, as the name implies, at the speed of light. According to current knowledge, it is impossible to make a vehicle that can travel at the speed of light (let alone a speed higher than the speed of light).
Suppose we launch a craft on that planet. If we let the craft fly at half the speed of light, it would theoretically take 200 years to reach this planet. In fact, it’s much longer, because it takes a very long time to accelerate to that speed and a long time to slow down again: I think the actual travel time is likely to be between 300 and 400 years.
And the above is theoretical: we don’t currently have a powerful enough power supply to achieve that speed, and most importantly. braking of that speed. Half the speed of light I’m talking about would already be quite a feat that we probably won’t be able to achieve in the short term either.
However, I suppose it works. Here we are with a thief. Because you don’t make people crazy enough to sit on a ship for three or four generations (middle generations will be born and die on the ship so you’ll never set foot on a planet). There’s even a chance that the generation that eventually landed on the planet won’t care so much about Earth that they don’t care why their ancestors ever flew into space and went doing something for themselves.
Well, you thief. This rover can do independent research, take pictures, and take samples. But sending the data back is a problem: no transmitter is powerful enough to span 100 light-years. Then the laser blast remains. If the rover launches the signal to Earth with a huge laser blast, it will take that laser 100 years to reach Earth: after all, the laser beam also travels at the speed of light. I’m also worried that the distance is too large even for a laser blast, and that the beam will be too weak or wide when it hits the ground.
Then hopefully it’s accurately aimed and you don’t miss the ground. And that we did not make a mistake in the configuration, because modification is not possible with such delays.
For those who considered: Best-case scenario we can expect data back 300 years after launch, but 500 years is much more realistic. The most realistic thing is that it doesn’t work at all.
500 years is such a long time that the people who would receive the signal might actually be interested. Or people can no longer even receive it because technology is no longer there, or language is no longer spoken or humanity is no longer there.
[Reactie gewijzigd door Heroic_Nonsense op 7 september 2022 12:51]
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