Since I posted “Back to the Future” on July 30, wannabe astronauts this week have gone into 12-months’ total isolation to prepare themselves for the seven-month (one-way) trip to Mars – sometime in the Future. And “Sciences et Avenir”, September 2015, has spelled out the figures for traveling to Kepler 452B, the exoplanet which most resembles the Earth. It’s 1,400 light-years away; that’s 13,250,000,000,000,000 kms (13 million billion kms) ! How long would it take to get there ? At Voyager 1’s speed of 62,136 kms/hr, you could make it in … 24,322,000 years. At Apollo 11’s 38,000 kms/hr, it would take another 15 million years, 39,200,000 years, to be precise.
I cannot resist adding, once again, the obvious. People who say, with the Psalmist, that “the Heavens reflect the glory of God”, forget that the stunning spectacle on a cloudless night somewhere far from the city lights, is in fact a myriad of countless unreachable stars and galaxies in a Universe too vast to have any meaning or purpose. The unimaginable immensity of the Universe is itself an argument against the existence of an Intelligent Creator. What, on earth (!), is it all FOR ?