Step Across the Void

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This is the text of the First Speaker’s address given, on Next Step Day at the Quantum Entanglement Foundation (QEF) on the Moon, prior to the departure of the first human expedition to cross the void to another solar system. 
 
Esteemed Citizens on Earth and Moon, and expedition members on Starship One.
The members of the First Expedition are about to become the first humans to leave our home about our life-giving sun and enter the domain of another star with an earth-like planet.
I wish to pay tribute to those past and present who have contributed to this momentous day.
On the practical side, it has has been 237 years since that very first baby-step away from Earth was taken when, riding atop great pillars of fire, the first humans made it to walk on the Moon. On the theoretical side, the key to this next step outwards, quantum entanglement, was noted fifty years earlier by Einstein who called it ‘spooky,’ a view shared by many for years after.
Mastering entanglement proved very difficult on earth—useful experiments required miles and miles of high vacuum apparatus—so the science and technology founded on entanglement only really took off once transportation to the Moon became cheap and easy. 
Easy access to the Moon required a major technological advance. It was only a century ago that diamond became a widely-used construction material. The well-known serendipitous discovery of the BK mineral that flips, at industrial temperatures and pressures, into a catalyst that equilibrates charcoal with diamond. With cheap diamond, the space elevator became possible, and it up and down woven diamond cables that the shuttles still move along along although the Portals have now superseded them. 
Within a decade, the QEF lab was established on the Far Side of the Moon. Here, the facilities provide all that the entanglemist scientists needed to advance their science, if in a somewhat inverted manner. In an Earth lab, the air and scientists are unconstrained outside the apparatus while the high-vacuum for experiment is constrained inside. In the QEF lab, the air and scientists are constrained inside the facility while the experimental high-vacuum is unconstrained on the outside. The 10,000 km accelerator with its scattering of sun-shielded superconductor magnets has provided a wealth of advances.
The most revolutionary, of course, being the construction of the Portals that have so revolutionized transportation today. How vastly different was my limousine trip here compared to those first humans who took the first step and landed on the Moon!
Our beneficent universe generates a plethora of entangled proton-pairs that shoot off from each other at essentially lightspeed. Almost all of them avoid hitting anything in our mainly-empty universe, so every year the pair get further and further apart. Ten years after separation, they are twenty lightyears apart, in a million years they are two-million lightyears apart, and so on out.
Science has the nonpareil advantage here of easy access to primary cosmic rays. On Earth, the atmosphere protects us and only secondary products of collisions with air reach the ground. Here on the Moon, the cosmic rays arrive untouched, and most importantly, all the entangled cosmic rays arrive pristine and untouched. 
A primary cosmic-ray proton that hits the Moon can be entangled with a partner who can be just about anywhere in the universe, even beyond that which is visible.
Using the quaintly-named quantum Zeno effect, entangled protons are isolated from other cosmic rays and trapped as single defined state for control by the Portal technology. Tapping a tiny fraction of the Moon’s solar energy, an tiny Portal is opened and a fiber-optic threaded through for observation of what is about at the partner’s location.
Space is vast and empty and most locations are far from stars, even galaxies, so unless they inhabit a scientifically-interesting section of the universe, the Portals are closed. Every now and then, however, the entangled partner is near a star. To these favored few, a sizable fraction of the Moon’s power is applied and a basket-ball sized Portal opened for examination of any planets.
Against the odds, the first sun that was encountered was not in the HomeGalaxy but in Andromeda, and although there were no liquid water planets, a Mars lookalike now host an observatory to study what the Milky Way looked like two-and-a-half million years ago.
You all heard just four months ago when a planet was found in the Goldilocks zone of liquid water. Its sun is pleasantly sun-like and located about ⅔ around the HomeGalaxy, and the planet is surprisingly earth-like, except it only has two small moons to enliven the night sky. 
The demi-Portal has been transported by an automated ship and landed at a suitable spot on EarthTwo, the tentative name to be given if the planet proves habitable. All our through examination and testing tells us that it is, but someone has to be first to go walk around. As you surely have heard, EarthTwo is abundant with life remarkably similar to that on EarthHome except stuck in the Carboniferous Age with plenty of frogs and insects but no dinosaurs.
I do not think that even the most creative writers of science fiction ever imagined that the first starship would be look like that, a 18-wheeler truck on steroids.
Shortly, that truck will drive into the airlock, and then through the this-side demiPortal and out the other-side demiPortal.
The six couple specialists of the First Expedition will spend a month on EarthTwo and they have a long list of things to do. Assuming that no problems arise, they will return and the establishment of the first city among the stars will commence.
So, with all our best wishes, humanity sends you on the Next Step to the stars.
Are you ready; set; go…

About the Author: 
Welsh, Retired Biochemist

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