Why, oh why did I decide to make all those gray patches on this ship? I haven’t even finished the under-paint because I am working on getting the mottled pattern painted in first. It is like playing some strangely slow Tetris game without music and I appear to be losing, which in this case would be good because the ship would be covered. Anyway, here is an updated image with more of the surface covered and glows around all the light posts.
A while back I wrote a post about the idea of the earth being an organic generational star ship taking us on a millennial journey through space. One of the side thoughts I did not mention is about the way we treat our star ship. Imagine if the brave astronauts on their journey to the moon just dumped their waste where ever they wanted, destroyed their carbon filters to make space to put stuff, and created items with no thought of how to deal with the waste from the process, do you think they would of made it? Hell no, just read the accounts of the Apollo program written by Andrew Chaikin in “A Man on the Moon”. After reading how they had to deal with relieving their bowels, the romance of space travel was gone for me. The fortitude needed to live in your own filth for two weeks is amazing.
Now look at the way we treat our own space ship. We create all kinds of waste, from the biologic needs of our bodies to the deadly chemicals created by industry and a good part of the time we just dump it somewhere. We don’t even bother to place it somewhere remote anymore because we are running out of such places. Here is a good way to understand this, take out a bottle of bleach or ammonia and open it in a confined space (be careful to make sure you don’t lock yourself in) and see how long it is before the fumes become unbearable. Just because the earth is big enough now to dissipate the waste we produce does not mean it can do so for ever. The earth is a finite globe, which is why medical needles and plastic bottles wash up on our shores. Next, think about the carbon dioxide filters of our star ship. The biggest filters are trees and since the beginning of the industrial age what have we done, we have cut the global forest in half if not more. In the same period of time, we drastically increased the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere. That is equivalent to the astronauts lighting up cigars and then tossing away half of the filters required for the trip. The ship would make its destination but there would be no one alive to celebrate.
I could continue on but I think you get the point. All of humanity needs to stop looking at the earth as an infinite garbage dump and understand that it is actually a confined star ship that has no way to replenish the materials we are contaminating and wasting. There isn’t another ship nearby to rescue us.
Here is another odd thought that rattles around in my cranium. Consider a super advanced race wanting to create a generational spaceship to take life on a long space journey. Not a new or original idea, there are many science fiction stories out there with huge ships that are filled with levels, including sections filled with lush forests and farm lands to feed the crew and colonists. However, most stories take the familiar view of life being sustained on the inside of the craft, which is how we most associate space travel from a historical viewpoint. All our practical knowledge of space travel comes from human missions in small metal vehicles. Science Fiction stories have replaced the metal with the stone of an asteroid in some cases, but the idea is essentially the same.
Now, consider a race so advanced that they could make planets and suns. What if they created an entire solar system to maintain one specific planet to serve as the space ship on a journey so long that even a metal star-ship would not do? What if they made a spaceship on such a grand scale that it was a living, breathing, and evolving solar system? That is essentially what we are on. Many people get the concept that we fly through space on earth as we circle the sun, but I wonder how many people think about the fact that the entire solar system is on a longer journey through the galaxy and the universe as a whole? We are on a multi-generational voyage to some unknown part of the universe. Will our progeny live to see the end of our trip? Think about it.