Will we ever visit other stars ?

Will we ever visit other stars ?

Will we ever visit other stars ?
Will we ever visit another star?
Courtesy: google images

When will we be able to visit other stars, or will
we ? Well we have put Humans on the surface of Moon, rangers and rovers on the surface of Mars and Titan, a promising and exciting moon of Saturn. Interplanetary travel has been scary cool but what about the interstellar travel ! Sounds exciting right. Well let's put out some numbers to make you feel comfortable, there are around 81 visible stars within 20 light years from our Solar system, the closest of them all being Proxima Centauri, which is just 4.3 light years away, Piece of cake ! Right. Piece of difficult cake ! The Human numbers are still pretty far from speeds required for interstellar travels. A light year is an incredibly large distance, it is the distance travelled by light inside a vaccum in one year, within 1 second light can encircle entire Earth 7 times ! Imagining such speeds and matching them may sound something extraordinary but on the scale of interstellar paths its just on par.

Will we ever visit other stars?
Our neighbouring star system
Proxima Centauri
Courtesy: google images

For instance, 
  • A bullet can travel at 1500 m/s (3400 mph)
  • Voyager 1 is travelling at 17,000 m/s (38,000 mph)
  • Our Earth is orbiting Sun at a speed of 29,800 m/s (66,700 mph)
  • The fastest man made object was Helios 2 probe, moving at speeds of 70,220 m/s (157,000 mph).
Fast isn't it ! Not really, even at the speed of Helios 2 probe it would take around 19,000 years from today to reach nearest star Proxima centauri. Heart breaking isn't it ! But technology in the future is bound to improve to take care of speeds required for interstellar travel. 

Will we ever visit other stars?
Worm hole
Courtesy: google images

Will we ever visit other stars?
Alcubierre drive
Courtesy: google images

Theoretically we have solar cells which can attain nearby light speeds, which would considerably lower our tenure of journey. Worm holes and Alcubierre air drive have shown promise theoretically.

N.B: Alcubierre air drive proposes a way of travel in space faster than speeds of light not by moving the space craft but by moving and debunking space itself.

Worm holes along with Alcubierre air drive are presently theoretical, but what could be the time when they actually be practical and ready to be utilised for. The time until we wait for our first interstellar journey is reffered as wait calculation. 

Andrew kennedy
calculated the time required for our first interstellar journey, given the required velocity and the average mean economic growth of our Earth. The time calculated was for travel to Bernard star which is 6 light years away from our solar system, the time being another 1,104 years from now ! Which is definitely not within our life time. The calculation is pretty optimystic in its own way, because we also have to assume the way required to survive interstellar radiations for years another thing to take account of is to protect the ship or aircraft from interstellar objects, when travelling in high speeds.

Considering our pace of travel in space today, maybe in about 5 - 50 millions years, we would be able to colonise our entire galaxy if not more, but that's a lot of time to be honest !

Stastically speaking in around 50,000 years Earth is more likely to be encountered by a meteor shower capable of wiping out any life form here, hopefully until that we would have the bit to protect ourselves, who knows.

Given all those information, this is why the joint propolsion committee in the year 2008, considered interstellar travel 'improbable' in the human life left on Earth. Its kind of depressing that all of what we see in the night sky, with our telescopes, with naked eye or anything maybe is just there to be seen. Whether we would be able to make an interstellar journey depends upon whether we are optimystic or passimistic. But we still have achieved so much considering how much fragile, weak and incapable human body is in the not so vaccum of space.

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