Oct 12, 2010

Upgrade your brain for $9.99 - Part V

Note: this is part V of the ‘Upgrade your brain for $9.99’ science fiction saga; click here for part I, part II, part III, or part IV if you haven’t read them yet!
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So, how do you send a spaceship to another world in the far reaches of the universe? The spaceship must travel many times faster than light or in other words, it must overcome galactic distances in a very short amount of time. But how? How do you send a ship faster than light? Through hyperspace? How do you enter hyperspace in the first place?

I always dreamed with the idea of visiting a different planet in a solar system different to ours. Set foot in extraterrestrial lands, see other oceans, and breathe other airs. Today at least seventeen different planets have been identified with oxygen atmospheres, liquid waters, and tolerable gravities for people. The closest habitable planet is Flor Azul and orbits Gliese 581, a red dwarf sun at 20 light years from ours. The only mission there took almost 130 years, and it was a microcapsule, a tiny half robotic half biological spacecraft weighting about a hundred grams and traveling at 15% of the speed of light. It has been the only mission of its kind and it consumed outrageous amounts of energy and money, so the authorities of Science City did not allow anymore missions of the kind until the capsule had arrived and all the data received, processed, and analyzed; that was 50 years ago. However no progress in reaching faster speeds has happened since almost 200 years; that’s pretty much today’s limit, 15% and less than a few kilograms or so using some crazy futuristic materials with absurd properties. So, when I’m going to set foot in another planet? I don’t think it’s going to happen in my life time.

The results from the mission to Flor Azul found out that the planet has basic photosynthetic life; something at the level of multicellular algae and that’s it, nothing like animals. So the authorities of Science City has taken the decision of starting the first human colony there in less than a century, and that the technology to send a spaceship with people at speeds at least four times faster than light will have to be developed in the next two decades.

Planet Flor Azul

For doing that they are going to use the Brain Synchronization System at a scale never attempted before. Thousands of people will be connected to a grid of brains in order to find a solution to the problem of how to send people in a spaceship faster than light. The system uses the best supercomputers on Earth and couples them to the collective brain capacity of a dozen of educated people to simulate and find answers to problems with not very obvious solutions; however, in a few days they will attempt it at a huge scale synchronizing the brains of about seven thousand people all over the world. They will be connected at different levels; at the basic level are the common people, people with no specialized knowledge on physics, biology, or anything like that, but with a great interest in the subject. They will make the bulk of the brain system and they will borrow their minds and processing power to support the simulation and analysis. At the next level there are about a hundred of scientist from pretty much all disciplines, they will provide all the theoretical fundamentals in physics, mathematics, biology, engineering, psychology, and so on… which is necessary for the creative process and innovation. At the top level will be Celest, she with her infinite knowledge will guide everyone the right path; she’s the only one with the capacity to see beyond the realms of what is possible in this universe. She’ll be the explorer that will swim to the answer in the vast and dark ocean of impossibilities.

Actually, the entire Brain Synchronization System requires her to be plugged. The only reason why it works is because of Celest existence, she was designed with the purpose of extreme supercomputing. Without her the entire system wouldn’t be possible.

In any case, I just got my last brain upgrade. This one will allow me to connect to the system, synchronize with the grid of brains, and help out with finding a solution to space travel at speeds faster than light… I guess it should be some kind of consolation since I won’t get to travel to another solar system ever. I’ve heard that the experience of being connected to the system is out of this world, so incredibly surreal. I can’t wait until it happens!

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