Reaching for the Stars – Yes

The problem, as it has been so beautifully stated, is time.  Eventually it is conceivable that humans will develop the capacity and technology to go to the stars but there are a few problems that need to be overcome first.  Unfortunately, these problems come from this guy named Albert Einstein, you might of heard of him, and the problems that need to be overcome are not that small.

First, according to Einstein, the fastest speed we can possibly hope to achieve is the speed of light (186,000 miles per second).  However, if this is true it would still take us three to four years at light speed to go to the next closest star beyond our sun.  To make space travel practical this means that we must either go significantly faster than the speed of light, which is impossible according to Einstein, or we must find a way to get around that deficiency.  One way to get around this deficiency is to create a wormhole, which in turn folds space/time and creates less distance for a spaceship to travel.  The problem is that wormholes are not stable and we really don’t know how to make them in the first place.

The other problem we have to overcome is the speed of light itself.  As we approach the speed of light, the mass of an object increases significantly.  This of course creates more issues.  Time is also slowed down in an object moving at light speed.  What feels like minutes in the spaceship could literally be years of time passing on Earth.  How do you propel something to light speed?  Anti-matter could provide the answer but you would have to make tons of the stuff and the technology we have now is quite far away from being able to do that.  What materials would the spaceship need to be made out of?  In time, I am sure synthetics can answer this call but again this is not going to happen in the near future. 

Being an avid Star Wars fan, I truly long for the day when we can have real epic space battles between Star Destroyers and Mon Cal Cruisers.  Sadly, this day is well beyond my lifetime.  We will make it to the corners of space someday but for right now it is probably best to keep major space travel in the realm of Hollywood.