Time Travel and space>
Is it possible?
Science had agreed on paper that it might be possible. As yet no one has committed any serious study to this as it could be the graveyard of their careers.
More to the point it is not driven by any real need. Maybe a science fiction itch, but there is nothing in it for the military and little in it for business. You could argue that weapons technology would be advanced and there is plenty of real estate to be had. But the military are happy enough with what they have, and until there is real evidence that an alien Imperial fleet is on it's way to hit us, they will not waste their time on something that will eat up precious recourses.
Big business has to see some quick results from even a small investment. The old legends about Teflon frying-pans and Velcro straps which came out of the Apollo missions; only came about years later and almost by accident.
It would not be enough to have Google Adsense on their web sites or brand names on the side of their rocket ships. Investors would want the stock price to at least keep pace with the market, and in the present climate that just can't be delivered.
Nor is a political answer of any use. Even if the most Marxist rgime came to power, there might not be enough momentum in the population to even achieve it.
I think the answer is to appeal to our imaginations. To go beyond just the normal science fiction fantasy and deliver something truly wonderful. To do this we have to upset more people than the people in Dow Jones.
In order to travel to other planets and return in the life time of the crews, we would have to travel in time. This might technically be possible but other problems would arise.
What if the ship returned to an earlier time? You would get a paradox and history might be so upset no one would take the risk. After all no one wants Hitler to come back at the head of the Imperial space Fleet!
It would only take the changing of a few atoms in our time to change everything. Go back far enough and you could stop mankind ever being evolved at all. So rules have to apply. The scientist Stephen Hawkins often says that we have never been invaded by tourist from the future. Citing this as evidence that time travel is impossible.
But what if we had a rule saying we must never travel in our own time and space? Other dimensions exist, and science can come up with plenty of examples. Quantum physics had proved that it can use the power; after all you're ability to view this screen is based on quantum effect!
So why don't they just go for it?
Think of the problems? We could travel to another dimension, and from there, to another point in space, and all the way back again. We would not have to worry about the con who would upset on the other side? Would they not object to having their world raped and pillaged, for real-state and assets? We abuse the power we have now and show no signs of using more advances devices more sensibly.
So it would take a major turn in human development to convince anyone that we should even go there. When the British Empire was being forged, they used the colonies of the New World as a dumping ground for political decent. Instead of looking inside themselves to see why people stole and shouted down the leaders, they simply shipped them off to prison islands, in the hope that they either died out or saw the error of their ways.
Imagine a world were a ship could go back in time and stop human evolution from ever starting? This would leave a totally virgin land; open to anyone who wanted to colonize it from another dimension.
Sadly even though this posses some moral dilemmas, I think this might be the angle we need to get things going. You only have to look at the project to plant a colony on Mars to see the problems ahead. It would be several generations before and real life could be had from such a world, and by then business might lose faith.
If a whole string of planets was put before them, just like our own, it might just appeal to the imagination. The wagon trains of the old West were open to anyone who could simply get up and go. Very low tech and very cheap. I think these are the building blocks of a new revolution.