posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 05:48 PM
Originally posted by abeverage
reply to post by Illustronic
Yes, but now and then we get a few leaps such as splitting the atom, allowing for forms of transportation, energy creation or weapons that were
unthinkable before. Already interstellar travel is plausible and perhaps even possible the biggest hurdle is not if we can...it sadly is money.
Well it would be a huge leap, considering the fastest space probe speed ever achieved were the Helios 1 and 2 probes that reached around 158,000 mph
from a solar slingshot just inside the orbit of Mercury, of course small unmanned probes. Even 10% light speed (c) one would be going over 67 million
mph, and even at that speed it would take over 80 years to get to our nearest star, outside of our Solar System. The fastest man ever went was just
under 25,000 mph in Apollo 10.
Actually liquid fueled rockets provide excellent thrust, able to sustain 4Gs plus, greater than anything on the drawing boards, the problem is fueling
them. Hypothetically even at 1G acceleration from earth orbit to the nearest star one would expect about a 67 year trip, to pass the closest star,
although at that 1G acceleration if one wants to also stop at that star system, half of the trip would have to involve 1G deceleration, so double that
time frame for a realistic destination aimed trip, unless more than 1G deceleration could be sustained or even achieved for any substantial length of
time. It was an involved calculation exercise these numbers come from, leaving out many variables of a realistic flight, like for instance material
structure which at speeds entering 10% c interstellar dust and stray subatomic particle impact would shred anything we know of. So there's also that,
a bigger leap from fire to splitting an atom IMO.
I don't think money is thwarting substantial advances in generating that kind of thrust or material science.