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Encyclopedia > Generation ship

A generation ship is a hypothetical starship that travels across great distances between stars at a speed much slower than that of light (see interstellar travel). Since such a ship might take hundreds to tens of thousands of years to reach even nearby stars, the original occupants might die during the journey and leave their descendants to continue traveling, depending on the life span of its inhabitants and relativistic effects. The fictional starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... The speed of light in a vacuum is an important physical constant denoted by the letter c for constant or the Latin word celeritas meaning swiftness. It is the speed of all electromagnetic radiation in a vacuum, not just visible light. ... Interstellar space travel is unmanned or manned travel between stars, though the term usually denotes the latter. ...

It is estimated that, in order to assure genetic diversity during a centuries-long trip, a generation starship would require at least 500 inhabitants. Sperm banks or egg banks can drastically reduce the requisite number. Additionally, the ship would have to be almost entirely self-sustaining (see Biosphere and life support), providing food, air, and water for everyone on board. It must also have extraordinarily reliable systems that could be maintained by the ship's inhabitants over long periods of time. Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... A sperm bank is a facility that collects and stores human sperm from donors, primarily for the purposes of artificial insemination. ... The Global Biosphere:a false-color composite of CZCS images of plankton concentrations with land vegetation data collected by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instrument. ... Life support, in the medical field, refers to a set of therapies for preserving a patients life when essential body systems are not functioning sufficiently to sustain life unaided. ...

It has been suggested[citation needed] that humans create large, self-sustaining space habitats before sending generation ships to the stars. Each space habitat would be isolated from the rest of humanity for a century, but remain close enough to Earth for help. This would test whether thousands of humans can survive on their own before sending them beyond the reach of help. A pair of ONeill cylinders Interior of a Torus (doughnut-shaped) station A space habitat, also called space colony or orbital colony, is a space station intended as a permanent settlement rather than as a simple waystation or other specialized facility. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ...

Generation ships in fiction

Generation ships are often found in science fiction stories. The invention is credited to J. D. Bernal in his 1929 novel The World, The Flesh, & The Devil. A common theme is that inhabitants of a generation ship have forgotten they are on a ship at all, and believe their ship to be the entire universe. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... John Desmond Bernal (1901–1971) was an Irish-born scientist (from Nenagh, County Tipperary), known for pioneering X-ray crystallography. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Science fiction has a number of common concepts and themes that have been reused by numerous authors. ...

Other examples of fictional generation ships include:

Bruce Sterling's short story Taklamakan is about a group of Chinese habitats that simulate generation ships in a cave under the Taklamakan desert. Non-Stop is a 1958 Science-Fiction novel by Brian Aldiss. ... Brian Aldiss at 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005. ... Frank M. Robinson (born 1926) is a science fiction and techno-thriller writer. ... 1964 hardback edition Orphans of the Sky is a 1951 science fiction novella by Robert A. Heinlein, consisting of two parts: Universe and Common Sense. ... This article is becoming very long. ... The Book of the Long Sun is a tetralogy by Gene Wolfe, consisting of Nightside the Long Sun, Lake of the Long Sun, Calde of the Long Sun, and Exodus from the Long Sun. ... Gene Wolfe (born May 7, 1931) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. ... The Starlost was a Canadian-produced science fiction television series devised by writer Harlan Ellison and broadcast in 1973 on CTV in Canada and on NBC in the United States. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, essays, and criticism. ... Samuel Ray Chip Delany, Jr. ... Rob Grants novel, Colony. ... Original Video Animation (OVA) is an acronym used in Japan for anime titles that are released directly to retail sale, without prior showings on TV or in theaters. ... Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. ... Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (born December 16, 1917) is a British author and inventor, most famous for his science-fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same name. ... Gentry Lee is a NASA engineer and science fiction writer. ... Star Trek is an American science-fiction franchise spanning six television series, ten feature films, hundreds of novels, computer and video games, and other fan stories. ... Star Trek is an American science-fiction franchise spanning six television series, ten feature films, hundreds of novels, computer and video games, and other fan stories. ... For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. ... The starship Voyager (NCC-74656), an Intrepid-class starship. ... James White (April 7, 1928 - August 23, 1999) was a prolific Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories and novels. ... Stephen Baxter at the Science-Fiction-Tage NRW in Dortmund, Germany, March 1997 Stephen Baxter (born in Liverpool, 13 November 1957) is a British hard science fiction author. ... The Naked God is the third book in The Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton, the first being The Reality Dysfunction and the second being The Neutronium Alchemist. ... Peter F. Hamilton Peter F. Hamilton Peter F. Hamilton (born 1960, Rutland, England), is a British science fiction author. ... Learning the World is a science fiction novel by Ken MacLeod published in 2005. ... Ken MacLeod (born August 2, 1954), an award-winning Scottish science fiction writer, lives near Edinburgh. ... Benjamin William Bova (born November 8, 1932) is an American science fiction author and editor. ... Ship of Fools is a science fiction novel by Richard Paul Russo. ... Richard Paul Russo is an American science fiction writer born in 1954. ... Dust storm in Taklamakan from space, June 25, 2005 The Taklamakan (also Taklimakan) is a desert of Central Asia, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ...

The television series Firefly is set in a far-away planetary system that was colonized by generational ships. Firefly is an American science fiction cult television series that premiered in the United States and Canada on September 20, 2002. ...

Some have compared planets with life to generation ships; this idea is usually called "Spaceship Earth". The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... Spaceship Earth is a world view term usually expressing concern over the use of limited resources available on Earth. ...

The Marathon series of video games were based around a Generational Interstellar vessel called the "Marathon". The vessel itself was converted from the Martian moon Deimos. Marathon is the first title in the Marathon series of science fiction first-person shooter computer games from Bungie Software, the same company who created the Halo series. ... Deimos (IPA or ; Greek Δείμος: Dread), is the smaller and outermost of Mars’ two moons, named after Deimos from Greek Mythology. ...

The Sega Genesis video game Phantasy Star III takes place on a generation ship (although this is not revealed specifically until very late in the game). Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom is a traditional console role-playing game that was released for the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in the United States) in 1990. ...

Sid Meier's Civilization II allows for the construction of a generation ship (though the in-game transit time is less than what would be required of a generation ship).

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Generation ship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (565 words)
A generation ship is a hypothetical starship that travels across great distances between stars at a speed much slower than that of light (see interstellar travel).
Generation ships are often found in science fiction stories.
A common theme is that inhabitants of a generation ship have forgotten they are on a ship at all, and believe their ship to be the entire universe.
Anti-ship missiles (1553 words)
Ships as small as the 3,500-ton Indian Navy Khukri corvette carry a powerful armament of 16 100km-range Kh-35 Uran anti-ship missiles.
Some ships are known to have evaded missiles through the use of decoys, ECM and tactics but only a small number of missiles have been shot down.
The subsonic TASM that could be fired from ships and submarines, had a Harpoon active radar seeker, an ESM system for target detection and four times the range and twice the warhead weight of the Harpoon.
  More results at FactBites »



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