At Home Scientist
It is true; the Department of Defense is offering the chance for somebody to win $ ½ million.
All you have to do is, dream up a way for some one to reach the nearest star.
Not, how to send a probe, satellite or robot, a person.
The nearest star is only about 25 trillion miles away and with current technology it would only take 4000 years to reach. So that isn’t much to do. Let’s all get out our slide rules and model airplane kits and have a go.
Wait a minute, it’s not that easy. To get the money, we will also have to provide the details of how the person will survive a long period in space, diet, medicines, exercise and ethics etc. Looks like, we’ll have to take out, our cook books and aerobics videos too.
Oh, hang on, it doesn’t look like we get the money for ourselves, it is a down payment to build the project. Err, maybe we shouldn’t bother.
Seriously, they have some of the finest brains in math, science and engineering and this is what they can come up with. Now I know the saying that “experts don’t have the monopoly on good ideas” but really, you want us to do everything for you.
Apparently they have already aroused the interest of about 150 people, some of them quite prominent, but I can’t help thinking that this is rigged.
Firstly, they could have offered this a long time ago; secondly it seems strange to ask so much at one time.
I suspect that the truth is: They have already heard that somebody has come up with a theory on this but that person is more likely to take it to a foreign Government. They are trying to tempt that person into their arms. Not particularly with the money but by the inference that they may head the project, something other Governments may not allow.
The Department says that with this initiative they hope to be able to reach a star by the end of the century. Considering all the planning, building and science involved, that is a leap in deed from what WE know today.
What springs to my mind is this: Why is the Defense Department doing this, not NASA?
A project of this nature should surely be a joint venture including all nations; I hope that it is not signifying the start of a “land grab” in space already.
My conclusion is that there is a lot more to this than we are being told and that the so called “competition” is a smoke screen to more sinister things and can also be used as a tool in denying critical knowledge up to this point.