Thursday, July 03, 2014

Traveling Among the Stars

In my last post, I linked to articles about the Hubble Telescope's view into the infinite expanse of cosmic space surrounding us.

After you really try to ponder the incomprehesible size of our own galaxy (not to mention the rest of the Universe), a fundamental question arises:

How can human beings, in our current physical incarnation, ever hope to travel over such impossibly vast distances?

People are dreamers & explorers by nature, so it's no suprise that humanity's brightest minds are at work on solving this seemingly insurmountable problem.

The most promising answer so far relies on some sort of "warp drive"  Such a propulsion system would warp space-time itself around a vehicle, to allow it to bypass the relativistic effects of traveling close to the speed of light.

Like many precursors to modern technology, this is a concept that has been explored in sci-fi, like the classic Star Trek warp drive. Another example is the excellent video game Mass Effect puts you in a future scenario where Earth has joined a galactic civilization, connected by "mass effect" technology that warps gravity- allowing faster-than-light (superluminal) speeds.

Interestingly, a warp drive is how Bob Lazar claimed alien UFO technology worked. Lazar was an engineer who came out with information about Area 51, where he said he worked on reverse-engineering alien craft.

Here are some articles on the advancement of humanity's attempts to develop interstellar space travel.


Another possibility would be creating space settlements for generations of humans to live within, as it travels between the stars. I've always been facinated by concept art for these kinds of space stations, such as this set of NASA images:

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