Near Relativistic Travel Question

I was listening to The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe episode #128 where they discussed the realities of near relativistic speed travel. One thing I was not clear on was, what happens if you need to have a fleet of ships exploring all of them traveling to the same destination from the same destination?

2 scenarios:

1) You travel some tiny percentage of light faster than your companion ships.  Do you arrive, and now that you’re not traveling at the same speed as the other ships, have to wait potentially thousands of years for your fellow ships?

2) You’re all accelerating at exactly the same rate and traveling at exactly the same speed. But because of relativity, all other ships experience thousands or even millions of years for your journey and you, likewise experience such for their journeys? So, in effect, you’d all vanish relative to each other and you’d never see each other again?

I’ve sent them an email with this question but I’m sure they get so many that they won’t be able to respond (ah, the problems of popularity…).

Posted under Astronomy, Science

This post was written by Marc
on January 8, 2008 at 11:12 pm

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