A Generation Ship is a type of manned spacecraft designed for long interstellar journeys of hundreds of years or longer that require occupants to reproduce to keep the ship manned. Such a ship is typically envisioned as being large enough to support a small society.
FeasibilityA generational ship could theoretically accomplish interstellar travel using known sub-light-speed technologies. However, a large scale generational ship would require extraordinary resources to build that are beyond the capabilities of the current world economy to achieve. It would also require remarkably reliable systems that would need to function for centuries or perhaps several millennia.
PurposeIf the technology to achieve near light speed travel remains unknown, a generational ship may be amongst the most likely options for colonizing distant solar systems. Even at the speed of light, most destinations require thousands of years since the Milky Way galaxy has a diameter of 150,000–180,000 light-years. There are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe.
|Definition||A spacecraft designed for many generations of human occupants.|
|Value||Achieving travel across vast distances of space to reach other solar systems over the course of hundreds, thousands or millions of years.|
|Related Concepts||Dyson SphereFermi ParadoxSpacecraft|
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