A new planet 500 light-years from Earth has been discovered. This is an Earth-like planet that is slightly larger than our planet with a dimmer sun. This planet could harbor life on its surface, but the massive distance from Earth to this planet means that we will never see the surface. One light-year is 9.4605284 × 10^15 metres, this multiplied by 500 is the distance from us to the planet. This means that the distance to travel with current technology is prohibitive. Unless we could use the spice Melange and fold space using Guild Navigators or travel through the warp using Astropaths, we have little chance of reaching this planet. Warp travel offers many dangers though, as in Event Horizon, the deamons in the warp are always trying to get inside a ship traveling the warp to wreak unimaginable havoc on the passengers. Getting back to the planet though, this planet is in the constellation Cygnus orbiting a faint red dwarf star. This means that the midday sunlight would be faint and red. Anyone living on this planet would have larger eyes and be accustomed to lower light levels. There certainly could be life on this planet, but it is so far away from us that it takes light 500 years to reach us from this planet. If they sent us a radio message it would arrive at Earth in the year 2514. That is quite humbling. That is why we need warp drive. The Alcubierre drive is one possibility being worked on by NASA. This offers the possibility of insulating the ship in a bubble. This could offer FTL travel, but there are a few obstacles to be tackled before we can develop a working warp drive.
But the advantages of having a working warp drive would outweigh the disadvantages, as long as we could overcome the dangers of the technology. One danger is that if the ship comes out of warp facing a planet, the superluminal particles would be accelerated into the planet with disastrous results, but this is obviously alleviated by going slightly past the planet and coming out of warp and then turning around and coming back on impulse engines or thrusters. That is an easy way to overcome the disadvantages of warp drive. But we do need to develop space travel, I grew up watching Star Trek original series on TV and the Leonard Nimoy documentaries on space travel, these theorized about space travel and this really made me think about our future in space. But this depends upon us developing a proper way to reach other planets. That is why we must develop warp drive or some other way of traveling long distances through space. The Tannhauser Gate is one way to travel to other planets, but we have not constructed one yet. If we had a way to create an artificial wormhole, then we would be able to reach the outer stars and really show the other races in the universe what humanity can do when they are putting all of their minds together into one massive endeavor. But if the planet is 4.7302642 × 10^15 kilometers from us then how can we reach it unless the government lets NASA develop a working warp drive? That is why we are stuck on this rock instead of colonizing the galaxy like in Star Trek. We need a warp drive or a wormhole to have any hope of reaching this planet in less than a million years. But that is our future, seeing alien planets and creating colonies that extend the reach of the human empire to other solar systems, perpetuating the existence of the human race. That is the only thing that will protect us from total extinction by an asteroid.
But the technology required to do this is still in the works, this requires us to abandon the pointless wars over oil and develop a space program that will actually benefit mankind. The benefits of space travel include the trillions we could make from asteroid mining and mining other planets for resources. That would benefit the Earth as a whole. The resources of space are limitless and it is about time we took advantage of this, our future depends upon this. There truly are amazing sights in our universe and if we could get out there and see them, it would be a great thing for all of humanity. As in my other posting: http://www.securitronlinux.com/apollo/amazing-sights-and-facts-about-our-universe-what-is-really-out-there-in-the-vastness-of-space/ I have waxed lyrical about the benefits of space travel to humanity, but if we are stuck upon this rock in space, we could be wiped out and nothing would remain of humanity. But if we have at least one or two planets that harbor human life; then we would survive such an apocalyptic event as an extinction level event asteroid hitting the Earth. The only thing that we could not survive is the heat death of the universe in 10 trillion years. Unless the cosmic AC can reverse entropy and re-make the universe, we are to be forgotten as the universe dies a slow death as the motion of atoms and electrons slows to absolute zero. But as in the Last Question, there is a possibility that we could escape this if we could reverse the direction of entropy. This reply to my comment on Slashdot illustrates a good argument against the existence of a cosmic AC, but who knows what we could build in 1 trillion years. If we built a computer that could constantly design and build newer and better versions of itself and program them as well, it could evolve into a form that we could not possibly comprehend. That is a long way away yet though. We still need to lift humanity out of our obsession with wars and killing and reach for the stars instead. Maybe Q in Star Trek was right when he described humanity as a warlike and violent race bent upon destruction.
That is why he was judging us in that 22nd century courtroom. But he offered Picard the opportunity to prove his worth at Farpoint station, this is what we need to do, we need to prove that we can exist in space in peace and not destroy at will as we are doing on Earth. Evolving into a peaceful race is our destiny, but we need to go through many trials first. The winners of this will go on to build a new space-faring world. Assuming that we survive the old world. Wars and killing does us no good in the whole scheme of things, even though wernher von braun developed the rocket technology that eventually took man to the moon, more peaceful times are desired now. We need to concentrate more upon peace and technological development instead of killing and disharmony. That will be our downfall. Everyone surely wants peace in the end if they are not total war-mongers like George Bush and company. They are enemies of mankind. Only wanting more and more spending on war and killing instead of advancing humanity. They will go to the deepest pits of hell and suffer for the fake WMD wars and the soldiers that suffered Gulf War Syndrome in the 90`s. The war to capture Osame Bin Laden was not very convincing and neither will any other fake war on terror sponsored by FOX news. Not all of the people are convinced by these fake wars and terror attacks and they are waking up to the reality of this whole fake news driven war against the American people. if we could just work together instead of fighting, we could achieve greatness. But it seems that a harmonious Star Trek future is a few hundred years away yet. Thanks Humanity.