NASA makes '100-year starship' for just over a million bucks
|NEWS - OFFWORLD|
...all right, there may be more funding later for this 'Cosmic Ark'
If a period of relative peace (or a really good incentive for another space race) comes along, NASA has plans to create the kind of 'one-way starship' that has long populated science-fiction. Together with DARPA, NASA are drawing up plans for a 'hundred year starship', with DARPA contributing £1 million and the ever-pinched space-pioneers $100,000.
The director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Simon Worden, says: “The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds...Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.” And here Worden refers to his own dismissal by George W. Bush.
One-way 'ark' style journeys litter science-fiction. In The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, one particularly astute planet decided to evacuate its population from impending cosmic disaster in three 'one-way' pilgrimage ships - one for the 'high thinkers', scientists and genius-level members of society, one for the essential blue-collar workers, and one for the people in the middle who clean phones and run PR companies, etc. Oddly enough, they sent that ship off first, and, even more oddly, the other two never followed...
In George Pal's When Worlds Collide (1951) the approach of an itinerant planet called Bellus forces the world's countries to pool their resources and create a giant space-rocket in an effort to save a cross-selection of humanity (the picture above is a still from visual effects model-work on the movie).
In 2008's WALL-E, the corpulent remains of the human race wait in space for some sign that vegetation might emerge again on their pollution-ravaged planet. And in VFX-master Douglas Trumbull's 1971 eco-SF outing Silent Running, the entire remaining forests of Earth are (for some utterly baffling reason) sent out in great domes to take a journey beyond Saturn. The list goes on.
Maybe Aeroflot should get involved - with such a history of aviation disasters, it's rumoured that the company no longer sells return tickets anyway.
Top Ten Images Of Distant Horror In The Movies (featuring When Worlds Collide)
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