Colony Ship Delay
December 17, 2014
A space colony ship about the size of a baseball field is carrying 20,000 colonists in deep hibernation to a planet far-far away, when suddenly the computer awakens all of the colonists.
The captain looks at the computer report and sees that a nearby phenomenon has interfered with the warp-drive and it has to be jettisoned before it explodes. They must proceed to their target planet at sub-light speed.
Their sub-light engines have already accelerated the ship to its maximum velocity of 150,000 meters per second (half the speed of light). Their destination is 3 parsecs away.
How many years (from an outsider's perspective), will it take the colony ship to reach its destination?
The colony ship is carrying 20,000 colonists.
150,000 m/s is approximately 0.5x the speed of light.
1 parsec = 3.08567758 x 10 ^ 16 meters.
The Theory of Relativity is irrelevant in calculating this answer.
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