Interstellar trip planner

Let's take a flight to Epsilon Eridiani a sun-like star with a planet 10 light years away from the sun.

You choose the speed of your flight and we'll tell you how long it will take to get there,

and how much you'll age along the way. How much your mass will be, how tall you will be, and how much energy you will use.

Choose an origin for your trip

The Unted States (english units)

Everywhere else (metric units)

Distance to Epsilon Eridiani 10 light years, 10^13 km, 6 x 10^12 miles (six trillion miles)

Choose a speed [v ] as a fraction of the speed of light 0-0.999999

[ ]print out speed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour

Travel time [10/v] years

You age [ (10/v) (1-v^2)^0.5 or 10/v * 1/g]

Your length L, in the direction of motion decreases, if you start at length L0

[L = L0 g]

Your Mass if you start with m0

[ m = g m0 ]

The cost of the trip goes up proportional to m c^2 (g-1)

[m c^2 (g-1)]


Each of these segments will connect to :

Prove It! The experiments which test relativity

Play with it! Thought experiments revealing playful and startling pieces of relativity

and Do the Math which gives the mathematics behind relativity.

Example at 0.866 c speed, g = 2

It takes 11.5 years for the trip

and you age 5.75 years

Your length is cut in half

your mass doubles

We'll take this as our refenece cost.

To accelerate 1 kilogram to 0.87 c and then slow to rest again costs 1 billion dollars (or euros) Faster travel costs more, slower travel costs less.


Onboard the ship you see the star only 5 light years away travelling toward you at 0.866 c



Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2005

8 May 2005