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Interstellar Travel: Will We Ever Get Out of the Solar System?

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/08/02/Martin_Rees_Lifes_Future_in_the_Cosmos Astronomer Royal Martin Rees examines the various options for colonizing worlds beyond our own solar system, and expresses skepticism that humanity will ever achieve faster-than-light travel. "There are hypothetical time machines, but the only one that's been worked out involves creating a black hole weighing as much as 10,000 suns," says Rees. "That seems a pretty tall technological order." ----- Former President of the Royal Society, England's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees brings a lifetime of cosmological inquiry to a crucial question: What if human success on Earth determines life's success in the universe? He thinks that civilization's chances of getting out of this century intact are about 50-50. He is hopeful that extraterrestrial life already exists, but there's no sign of it yet. But even if we are now alone, he notes that we may not even be the halfway stage of evolution. There is huge scope for post-human evolution, so that "it will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae." Appropriately, Rees's Long Now talk was at the Chabot Space & Science Center in the hills above Oakland, in the planetarium. - The Long Now Foundation Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, OM, FRS is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2004. He was President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.
Length: 02:26

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