Photo: SpaceX / Flickr
An international group of scientists has identified the characteristics of a “generation ship” needed for successful interstellar flight. According to experts, the construction of this ship was actually a more realistic idea than previously thought. This publication reports Science Alert.
A “generation ship” is called a hypothetical type of spacecraft for interstellar travel, whose speed is much less than the speed of light. Such a ship will reach the system alpha Centauri, located 4.37 light-years, for several thousand years. It needs to be self-sufficient and have on Board a huge amount of resources needed to sustain the lives of many generations of people.
The researchers used software HERITAGE, which implements the method of Monte Carlo consists in generating many random scenarios. It turned out that to travel to another star system would require a crew of at least 98 people, to significantly reduce the risk of genetic disorders in subsequent generations.
The vehicle must be equipped with everything you need for growing your own food. However, this and other parameters, including the number of crew and future generations, depends on the size of the starship.
The researchers assessed how many calories will be consumed on the ship, proceeding from age, weight, height, metabolism and other medical conditions. A crew of 500 people living on a balanced diet needs in the agricultural land area of 0.45 square kilometers. Crops must be grown using Aeroponics (process of growing plants in an air environment) and traditional agriculture.
With this in mind, the vehicle must be a rotating cylinder (to create artificial gravity) with a radius of 224 meters and a length of 320 meters. However, due to the presence of other components, including engines, fuel cells and power generators, the minimum size of the spaceship is doubled. However, these estimates do not include water supplies that must be constantly replenished.
Video, photo All from Russia.