Space flight as an anticipatory computing system

Mitchell Sc.D, Edgar
May 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 517 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
This paper presents an astronaut’s view of the global efforts to explore space. The seminal work in Earth and Lunar orbits by both the Soviet Union and the United States required only classical Newtonian physics to accomplish the initial steps. These early efforts, however, illuminate the limitations not only of classical physics but also of general relativity if humanity aspires to go deep into or beyond our solar system. The limitations of the early interpretations of special and general relativity, and the conflicts with quantum mechanics have dominated physics for this entire century. The ability now to experiment with the space vacuum, to orbit sophisticated instruments and to travel beyond the earth/moon system, excite the imagination to think beyond toward the possibility of exploring intragalactic space. Experimental results and new theory call into question the limitations imposed by classical theory. They offer hope that humankind is not forever confined to the solar system. I examine some of those ideas in this paper. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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