The Nostromo Files Investigates…Time and space in the Alien universe (or, Was Weyland really a megalomaniac?)

<INTERFACE 2037 READY FOR INQUIRY>

 

There are times, these days, when I’m thinking through ideas for a blog post and I occasionally reach out to my friends over at the forums on the Aliens vs Predator Galaxy (or (AvPGalaxy) website in hope of finding constructive feedback.

For a future blog post, I was researching space travel (as depicted in the ALIEN and Prometheus films) while browsing the now-defunct Weyland Industries website’s corporate timeline. I found something I had forgotten about:

FTL TRAVEL MADE POSSIBLE: Weyland scientists discover the inverse relationship between velocity and the flow of time making the long sought-after concept of faster than light travel a reality. The search for practical application begins. MAY 20, 2032.

 

(Fantastic news, that. I’ll still be a spry sexagenarian by then!)

But wait a minute: I thought Einstein discovered that relationship in 1905?

 

Einstein-e1455270981631
Einstein, at his famous chalkboard.

 

Generally speaking, Einstein found that the faster the relative velocity, the greater the magnitude of time dilation (sometimes called special relativistic time dilation).

If Einstein discovered this inverse relationship in 1905, maybe Weyland Industries’ PR department simply stole his glory?  Or could they have in fact meant they discovered a way to ‘beat the clock’, so to speak?

 

ted2023_large
And maybe Sir Peter didn’t really ‘mind if it hurt’ ?

 

But that is really only an issue if Weyland Industries’s spaceships were traveling at a percentage of the speed of light, right?

What if they instead discovered a loophole that allowed spacecraft to sidestep the laws of physics and travel interstellar distances without the deleterious effects of time dilation?

 

aliendc_1666
Nostromo, et al., traveling to Earth.

 

promet_0271
Prometheus, traveling to LV-223.

 

And if they did, what role does cryosleep play in that equation?

Meaning that if I am traveling outside the limits of Relativity aboard the Nostromo, and the crawl of time is essentially the same back on Earth (say, for Scott at the W-Y Astro-Cartography Dept. in Melbourne), why do I need cryosleep?

 

Ripley_in_hypersleep
Ripley, sleeping through the miles.

 

prometheus-0051
Shaw, napping under David’s watchful gaze.

 

Do space voyages in the ALIEN universe take so long that crews need cryosleep? (Have I been haring down the rabbit hole too far?)

If forums aren’t your thing, there’s much to be found at the AvPGalaxy main site, regardless of how deeply you delve into the universes of Alien (and Predator).

 

<INTERFACE 2037 DISCONNECT>

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