February 9, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Space Entropy: The SpaceX Stunt as an Argument Against UFOs

A cosmic shooting gallery in space will make quick work of the racing car Elon Musk launched into space. Hint: it won’t evolve into a Ferrari.

In a Barnum-style stunt, space entrepreneur Elon Musk launched his Tesla Roadster atop his Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday, 6 Feb 2018. Space.com posted the video of the spectacular launch, a new milestone in private space flight. Before knowing the launch was successful, Rafi Letzter at Live Science asked chemists what would happen to the space car as it heads toward the asteroid belt or beyond.

There’s a “midnight cherry” Tesla Roadster hurtling toward deep space right now, the first-ever payload of the Falcon Heavy rocket. It’s worth asking why this is happening, and Live Science has. But given that it is happening, it’s also worth asking what is going to happen to this electric sportscar condemned to what could be a billion-year elliptical journey through outer space.

Credit: SpaceX, via Daily Mail UK.

The short answer is: it won’t look pristine and pretty. Before long, entropy will make sure of that. What do the chemists predict will happen in the cosmic shooting gallery, as the car is pummeled over time with cosmic debris of all sizes and speeds? Hopefully, Musk thought to disable the airbags, deflate the tires and remove the windshield wiper fluid first. Can the other parts last long in the vacuum of space?

The real forces that will tear the car apart over hundreds of millions of years in space, Carroll said, are solid objects and — most importantly — radiation.

Even if the car avoids any major collisions, over very long time horizons, it’s unlikely the vehicle could avoid the kind of collisions with micrometeorites that leave other space junk riddled with craters over time, Carroll said.

But assuming those collisions don’t completely tear the car apart, the radiation will.

On the ground, we don’t experience the impact damage and radiation this car will experience up there, because we have a magnetic shield and an atmosphere. In the vacuum of space, there’s nothing to stop radiation and cosmic rays from hitting the sports car at full speed. Chemist William Carroll from Indiana University says that anything with a carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bond, including everything made of plastic, leather or fabric, will be ripped apart over time.

The energy of stellar radiation can cause those bonds to snap. And that can cause the car to fall to bits as effectively as if it were attacked with a knife.

“When you cut something with a knife, in the end, you’re cutting some chemical bonds,” Carroll said.

A knife cuts those bonds in a straight line. But radiation will split them at random, causing organic materials from the leather seats to the rubber tires to the paints to — given a long enough time span — perhaps even the carbon fiber body to discolor, flake, and splinter away into space.

How long will this take? Billions of years? “Those organics, in that environment, I wouldn’t give them a year,” Carroll said.

The non-carbon parts, like the metal frame and glass not yet shattered by impacts, might last much longer. Carroll and another scientist, Richard Sachleben, think it might be somewhat recognizable after a million years, but certainly not a billion years. “A billion years is a long, LONG time,” Sachleben wrote, “so no telling what it will be like by then.”

“Those organics, in that environment, I wouldn’t give them a year,” Carroll said.

As for us humans, be glad you are under a protective atmosphere and magnetic field. Astronauts only survive by taking the earth environment with them. “Human beings tend to experience some pretty grisly effects in vacuum,” the article says.

Update 2/09/18: Space.com adds another fact: you would die in minutes if wearing the spacesuit worn by the Starman dummy in the Roadster.

Graphic by David Coppedge

The grim assessment of the future of Hot Rods in Space bears on the question of UFOs. People who believe that UFOs are spacecraft from distant stars or galaxies need to factor in the effects of entropy. Radiation, micrometeorites and asteroids are ubiquitous and hard to avoid. The recent documentary from CMI, Alien Intrusion,* discusses the power requirements not only to fly vast distances, but the energy required to shield a craft from debris. As scientists in the film explain, it appears physically impossible, due to relativity alone, to fly physical craft over such distances. The risk to a craft from flying debris and radiation doubles the impossibility. The same reality check applies to TV fantasies like Star Trek and Star Wars.

*Click link to order this film on DVD or Blu-ray.

This article provides a reality check for evolutionists: the damage potential of blind, unguided forces. Radiation and impacts will not improve the Tesla Roadster, transforming it into a Ferrari. And yet Darwin presumed to build humans from bacteria using only blind, unguided forces. He should have listened to his Christian contemporaries in the physical sciences, like Lord Kelvin, and learned a thing or two about entropy before speculating in fantasyland about getting princes from frogs and humans from soup.

Recommended Resource: The Spring 2018 CSRQ journal from the Creation Research Society is a special issue on Astronomy from a creation perspective. The opening article by Danny Faulkner (PhD, astronomy), “Does Extraterrestrial Life Exist?”, discusses the question, examining the history of belief in aliens by scientists and theologians, the physical evidence about exoplanets and SETI, and the philosophical and theological implications of alternative positions.

 

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