Astronomy

Space Exploration in the Future



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A fundamental problem facing the future of space exploration is tyranny of incomprehensible distance between stars, solar systems, across our one small galaxy and between neighbouring galaxies. At our current level of technology it takes the better part of one year for our exploratory spacecraft to cross the void of space between earth and mars; current methods of propulsion will never achieve the kind of velocity required to even explore beyond our own tiny solar system without years of travelling.




The solution is not as simple as increasing acceleration and propulsion given the limits of tolerance to extreme forces the human body can withstand. Clearly the answer is some other form of spacecraft or mode of travel able to cross the vast distances between star systems without the crushing forces of acceleration required to achieve incalculable velocities beyond light-speed required. There is another huge barrier - the physics of mass approaching the speed of light, albeit still in the realms of pure theory at our current stage of technological development.




We should now consider the bizarre and inconceivable such as the much-vaunted science fiction of hyperspace. Most current sci-fi classics feature spaceships that travel through this undiscovered layer of space in one form or another, and with the common theme being faster-than-light speeds enabling interaction between humans and other inhabitants of our galaxy. Considering the idea of a cell-phones and desk top computers were considered science fiction as few as fifty years ago, who knows what might be discovered in another fifty years. (Assuming of course the human race learns to get along with each other and has not destroyed the planet) Nothing should be discounted; what history demonstrates is what was once considered impossible often becomes a future reality.




Perhaps a form of travel between undiscovered dimensions that enable instantaneous translocation is the path to future space exploration. This is another commonly depicted form of travel in classic sci-fi features such as Star Gate and Deep Space Nine. Quantum physics is a developing field where so much is not yet fully understood. The human mind is capable of incredible leaps of intuition and brilliance. Given the right circumstances a breakthrough might be a catalyst to such a form of travel. Portals that transport people or spaceships may not be outside the realms of possibility, who knows perhaps an unexpected breakthrough might be just around the corner.




Problems of travel are only a minor consideration. What if we could suddenly travel to distant stars using a new and fantastic mode of travel that enables an instantaneous crossing that spans thousands of light years? Our destination star may not even exist; it may have gone super-nova long ago. Communicating across the light years again pose yet-to-be solved dilemmas of future space exploration.




Much like early explorers taking their first bold adventures across unknown seas our challenge of space exploration has barely lifted off. The human race is taking the first tentative steps of exploration much like earlier seafarers and no doubt the risks are greater however who knows what rewards might await should we succeed in this lofty goal.

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