Interstellar Travel » Introduction

» Clarke's First Law «
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

» Clarke's Second Law «
The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

» Clarke's Third Law «
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. (From Profiles of the Future.)

That brilliant scientist and science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke is famous for his inspirational quotations. His three 'laws' are so applicable to the question of interstellar travel that they are given as an introductory comment on the subject to this section of the website. There are those people who believe that because of the limitation placed by the speed of light as an ultimate barrier, interstellar travel will be forever impossible and that all star systems are destined to live forever in quarantine separated by the stupendous and unbridgeable distances that lie between the stars. There are others who dream that the Star Trek adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr Spock and their colleagues are nearer to the truth or that ways will be found to travel through wormholes in space-time as envisaged by Carl Sagan in his enthralling book and film 'Contact'.

Ray Goodwin

Somewhere there are mountains
Glistening in the snow
Somewhere there are mountains
That we shall never know

Somewhere there are rivers
Flowing fast and free
Somewhere there are rivers
That we can never see

Somewhere there are oceans
And sun drenched island sands
Forests full of creatures
In vastly distant lands

Somewhere there’s a planet
Beneath an alien star
The people watch our tiny sun
And wonder where we are

One day perhaps we’ll find them
Across the void of space
Perhaps through ways as yet unknown
We’ll meet them face to face

The author of this web site Ray Goodwin holds B.Sc. Degrees from London University in Chemistry, Geology and Physiology and an M.Sc. in Biochemistry. He has spent most of his professional life teaching in Colleges of Technology. On his retirement he has entered the fields of astronomy, astrochemistry, astrobiology and space sciences. He has spent a great deal of his retirement in visiting amateur astronomy societies and in attending European Space Agency Symposia in ESTEC in the Netherlands and other scientific conferences in England and Sweden. He regularly attends the yearly European Astrofest in South Kensington London and other meetings in the UK. He has written scientific articles and given a number of lectures on diverse scientific subjects.

Readers of this web site are invited to e-mail the author ( and discuss their opinions of the topics dealt with and suggest any changes which they think may be helpful.

Life in the Cosmos Website
Version 01.00 - April 20, 2015.