In the game destiny the traveler is a mysterious
alien sphere that’s protecting the last city, but what if the traveler were real? The actual dimensions of the traveler are
a lot harder to find than you might think and from some promotional art it is depicted
at varying sizes. Anything from 300 km diameter to 30 km diameter. From some promotional information,
the traveler is described as a “city sized entity” and looking at the top largest cities
across the world, let’s say the traveler is about 100 km across with a mass of around
114 quadrillion kilograms and taking up about 524 trillion cubic meters. Next to the tallest
mountains, deepest trenches, and human built objects, the traveler would be quite the sight
to see. Though in astronomical terms, the traveler is rather inconsequential. In fact,
seeing the traveler so close, it helps put a scale on the solar system in a way humans
traditionally have a hard time doing. So how does an object this big simply hover
above earth? With a mass of 114 quadrillion kilograms you could imagine it can get pretty
difficult to manage. You would need about 63 million SpaceX Falcon 9 heavy rocket systems,
each with a lift off thrust of 4 million lbs. Considering the exhaust would exit at a velocity
between 2250 and 4500 meter per second with a temperature of a couple thousand degrees
celsius, if the last city was directly below, it wouldn’t be a city for very much longer. ***Nuclear energy, dark energy, or space magic
would be the prefered*** If there were any movement of the traveler,
it would likely be impossible to stabilize. This is because rockets are extremely difficult
to stabilize and require sophisticated algorithms and processing for even straight vertical
paths. On Earth it would be an amazingly easy target for really anyone who wanted to cause
issues. Sitting anywhere from 600 meters to 23 km from the earths surface, if the thrusters
were to burn out, ***neglecting drag*** it could smash into the earth at a peak velocity
of 715 meters/second with a force of 1.2 quintillion newtons. The scary part is that it would take
just over a minute to actually impact with 7 million megatons of energy which is only
about 7% as much the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs contained. Because of the
geometry of the traveler, the force would be distributed equally around the outside
ribs. In space there are no drag forces, spacecraft typically are made as light as possible and
under these forces, it would likely fold up pretty easily. If the traveler stayed relatively
intact, the Earth would prevent the traveler from sinking too much, therefore the full
radius of the traveler would not be the area of destruction. BUT, if the earth was extremely
hard such as mountainous or compacted dry desert, the object may begin to roll. It all
depends on the distance the traveler sinks into the ground, the friction between the
traveler and the earth, and the inclination of the landing area. With the traveler being
so big, it’s likely that with earths gravity acting on the body alone, it wouldn’t be able
to sustain it’s own weight anyway. Because alien technology is something in which
I know nothing about, it might be more important to concern ourselves with what the human impact
would be from alien life as opposed to proving, or disproving, space magic. So far, humans have not come into contact,
communicated, or even found evidence of alien life anywhere. The world of Destiny is a much
different place. Humans have colonized the solar system and were almost forced into extinction
by a multitude of different alien species. For our case, that is all fantasy but the
traveler is “real”, it’s sitting on our doorstep. Humans may simply not be capable
of understanding the traveler. We would probably be able to understand what it was made out
of but it’s highly unlikely we would understand its purpose or function. We wouldn’t understand
its motives or technology any more than an ant would understand the motives of rocket
ship. Is the traveler autonomous or is there life aboard? There would be so many questions
that nobody would know how to answer. How would this affect everyday life on earth?
Would wars continue? If the traveler traverses the cosmos from
planet to planet, it would likely pick up microbial life along the way. A big thing
you hear about in science fiction movies and books are the lethality of bacteria and viruses.
Viruses evolve specifically to attack a particular type of cell or organism. Earth born viruses
know human cells very well. They know where to attach, how to attack, and how to take
over. In humans, we may not have the same cell material, cell structure, or cell vulnerabilities
alien viruses would be accustomed to. And this is only concerning the case in which
this alien viruses attack in a similar way native viruses attack. Life on earth formed
in a very particular way to survive in the conditions presented. On an alien planet there
would be different conditions and therefore different biological structures. It isn’t
fully known how universal life is across the universe, but from small changes in the types
of life on Earth, we would likely not have to worry about microbial alien life. It’s
the life that has the abilities to follow the traveler to earth that would pose the
bigger problem!

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