Future Space Craft
The future of space travel will probably have many different faces, and will be guided by many different individuals and companies. The first 50 years of the space age have been dominated by large and powerful governments. Today this is changing. To learn more about how private citizens are advancing space age technologies and reaching for the stars, Click Here.
The future of space travel is as difficult for us to imagine as it would have been for the ancient romans to contemplate and understand our modern space shuttle program. The technologies found in the space shuttle are too revolutionary and completely different from anything they would have experienced.
Likewise, the technologies of future space craft are likely to be so completely new and revolutionary, that for us to try and guess what they will consist of is very difficult. Perhaps future transportation will not even use craft at all, but take advantage of such exotic ideas as worm holes.
In any event, the articles below are KidsAstronomy.com’s attempt to make a guess at the unimaginable.
Space Ship, or Sailboat?
The great explores who came to the new world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries came on massive sail boats. They could have paddled but that would have taken to long. Steam engines had not yet been invented, nor would they for along time, but this did not stop humankind. Rather than wait around for better things to be invented people used the powerful winds to carry them across the large unknown waters.
Today we could set out on a long slow journey across the galaxy, but with current technology it would take us much to long to get anywhere. Much like the ancient explorers trying to reach the new world by paddling.
We could wait around possibly centuries for better technologies such as a warp drive type device. Or we can do as our fore fathers. Use the power of the wind to carry us across the immense divide between us and other stars.
Engineers and scientists are currently exploring the possibility of creating space ships with large wing like sails. In the same way that the sails of a sailboat catch the Earths winds, the sails of these space craft would catch the Solar Winds of the Sun, and whisk them to other stars.
The larger the sail the faster the craft would be able to travel, if large enough it would be able to reach amazing speeds. Perhaps even light speed.
Just as we study Christopher Columbus’s’ discovery of America using the limited technology of the times it is likely that five hundred years from now our descendants will look at us, and marvel at the discovery of literally a new world.
And just like today where one can now travel from the East to the West in a matter of hours perhaps in the future we will have technology which will allow people to be transported from one planet to another in a matter of hours.
Warp speed has been the subject of science and science fiction for many years. Scientists dream of technologies that will allow us to travel through the many galaxies at faster than light speed. Science fiction authors use these dreams to create wonderfully entertaining stories.
In order to qualify as “Warp Speed”, a craft must be able to travel at speeds faster than light speed. There is a lot of debate as to whether or not this is even possible. Many scientists say that light speed is the absolute fastest possible rate of travel. Others say that just because we have not found a way to travel faster than the speed of light does not mean it is not possible.
If science is able to create a way to travel faster than the speed of light, there are many interesting and strange effects. These effects include the possibility that time slows down for the space traveler. These means that while on a journey they may age at a slower rate than everyone back on Earth. As a result, when they return, they might be several years younger than people who were the same age as them when they left.
Perhaps you will be the one to discover this type of technology.