28 June 2008

The Ultimate Project - One-way voyage to the stars

Now discovering even triple planets around stars and ice and usable soil on Mars it is the right time to plan for emigrating into space. The proposed Ultimate Project is about to build an interstellar ship with one million (!) travelers. Project time is 500 years and the one-way voyage travel time time is 10,000 years. Project pdf description is here.

This makes me remember the poem Aniara from 1956 by Harry Martinsson, Swedish writer and Nobel Prize winner. Aniara is a spce ship bound for Mars, but after an accident is ejected out of the solar system. Aniara also premiered as an opera in 1959.

Our space-ship Aniara travels on
in something that does not possess a brain-pan
and does not even need the stuff of brains.
She's traveling on in something that exists
but does not need to take the path of thought.
Through God and Death and Mystery we race
on space-ship Aniara without goal or trace.
O would that we could turn back to our base
now that we realize what our space-ship is:
a little bubble in the glass of Godhead.

I shall relate what I have heard of glass

and then you'll understand. In any glass
that stands untouched for a sufficient time,
gradually a bubble in the glass will move
infinitely slowly to a different point
in the glazen form, and in a thousand years
the bubble's made a voyage in its glass.

Similarly, in a boundless space

a gulf the depth of light-years throws its arch
round bubble Aniara on her march.
For though the rate she travels at is great
and much more rapid than the swiftest planet,
her speed as measured by the scale of space
exactly corresponds to that we know
the bubble makes inside this bowl of glass.

Translation, Stephen Klass and Leif Sjöberg