This morning I participated in a critique of a story that included in its premise the idea of multi-generational interstellar space travel. This caused me to think about the circumstance of multi-generational space flight. And the idea of interstellar space flight.
A group of people aboard an interstellar ship would be like a band of nomads. A particular culture would evolve as the group traveled. Traditions, rituals, and holidays would be created, normalized, and made part of the calendar. Imagine what the significance of Earth Day would be upon an interstellar flight. Imagine how social norms might be re-configured depending on circumstance. How would day and night be re-conceived? Or would they? Basic conceptions of time would be altered and no longer anchored to the the spinning earth as it moves about the sun. It would be based on a reality created by the minds of humans designing their own reality.
What considerations would go into who might be selected for the voyage and to become one of the interstellar nomads?
What possible reasons would compel a group to finance a voyage to another star system?
What advance knowledge would make the risk worth taking of removing humans who have adapted specifically to the habitats of earth and sending them into the cold vastness of space?
How would you keep the descendants of the original chosen voyagers committed to the mission?
What skills would you cultivate on board ship?
How would you acclimate people to their eventual destination? Would you force a breeding program to develop adaptive traits? Use genetic modification? Use some advanced nanotechnology or cybernetic technology?
Would your people want to leave the ship? How would you ensure that they did? How would you make life possible both on and off the ship?
Much to think about. Tomorrow– the hope of interstellar flight.