Holy Sci-Fi! pp 109-146 | Cite as

Space Travel, Radio, and Alien Encounters

  • Paul J. Nahin
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)


Any mention of SF adventure tales instantly brings to mind (in most minds) visions of sleek rocket ships blasting-off into space to the Moon or to Mars, or of “Star-Trek”-like interstellar craft slipping into hyperspace to cruise between galaxies at faster-than-light warp speeds. That first vision is already reality, and has been reality for over 40 years as I write, but how likely is the second one? In a classic scientific study of this question, the German astrophysicist Sebastian von Hoerner (1919–2003) completely ignored transitory technology limitations and considered only the most basic, fundamental parameters of time, acceleration, power, mass, energy and, most important of all, the sheer magnitude of the absolutely stupendous distances that separate stars and galaxies.


Science Fiction Crab Nebula Space Travel Catholic Priest Traversable Wormhole 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. Nahin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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