[ExI] Humans will go crazy in space travel

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 18:08:14 UTC 2021

This is why I advocate for O'Neill cylinders and other large habitats:
having a large interior makes long term living more tolerable for most

I have recently been working on some science fiction (apparently due to be
published no earlier than November of this year, more likely in the first
half of next year) about a certain race that is extremely claustrophobic
(the K'kree, from Traveller).  One way they took to the stars was in
cylindrical arks, 2 km in diameter and 2 km long, with 50 meter tall
"decks" (10m of structure and 40m of open air).  The outermost deck is spun
up to 1 G; each 50m up/in reduces this by 0.05 G (that is: the outermost
deck is at 1 G, the next deck in is at 0.95 G, then 0.9, 0.85, and so on).
This continues from 1 km radius to 0.55 km radius; the decks at 0.5 km and
inward from there are reserved for ship systems (portions of the 0.55 km
and 0.6 km radius decks are also used for that) such as power plant (the
arks are not always close to a sun, such as when travelling FTL between
solar systems), engine (the setting I'm writing for assumes hyper-efficient
"maneuver drives"), and fuel.

This means that there is a horizon (curving up instead of down, but still a
horizon) forward and back along the curvature of the cylinder, on any
inhabited deck.  You can go to that horizon and see more land, but then you
can't see all the land that you could from the point where that was the
horizon.  Along the other horizontal axis, 2 km is far enough to not
trigger "this is an enclosed room" feelings; there may be fog, or at least
buildings, such that one can rarely if ever see one wall from the other.
Between these factors, living inside one of these feels close enough to
living outdoors on a planet to satisfy this race's instincts.

Humanity's needs are not nearly as extreme, but I could see this setup
working for humans too, maybe with (or maybe not needing) more space
between decks.

On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 12:51 PM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Slate have an article up about how humans will find it very difficult to
> cope with space travel and living on other planets or asteroids.
> <
> https://slate.com/technology/2021/05/spacex-starship-space-travel-paradox.html
> >
> The Spacefaring Paradox
> Deep-space human travel is a lose-lose proposition.
> By Christopher Schaber      May 25, 2021
> Quotes:
> If there’s one collective lesson gleaned from the COVID pandemic so
> far, it may be the shared difficulty of being isolated in one’s own
> home—whether alone or with family members or roommates.
> When space closes in, humans tend not to thrive. It can drive us to
> the brink of craziness.
> ----
> If the dream of space travel involves new horizons and feelings of
> unbound freedom—to explore, to discover, to spread humanity—a
> nightmare lurks just around the corner of consciousness. There will be
> no real “arrival” on this fantasy trip: It’s enclosures and
> pressurized chambers all the way down. When it comes to human space
> travel, the destination really is the journey. And the journey will be
> long, and claustrophobic.
> -------------------
> I think I mostly agree. Humans are designed for the wide-open spaces
> of Earth. Space is interesting to visit for a while, but I wouldn't
> much want a life spent in a tin can.
> I vote to send the robots instead.
> BillK
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20210602/ad7d7712/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list