Although it is nothing new for us humans to hear that a ship has already reached space, the certainty we all have is that it has not yet been possible for a ship to have visited even more distant places.
Of course, this has to do with the fact that our universe is somehow considered extremely large, and so it’s a little frustrating to want to explore it, but will that still be possible one day?
One of the most expensive constructions ever carried out was the creation of Voyager 1 , now considered the fastest spacecraft ever built by a human being in all of human history.
It is possible to travel at a speed that reaches the mark of 16.9 kilometers per second, but all this speed is considered just a tiny fraction of what the speed of light really is and what it means for the universe and for discovery. . of more galaxies.
To get an idea, to visit our neighboring planet, Mars, it takes an average of seven to eight months of travel, using the engines of ships considered conventional. Possible uses such as warp factors, which are mentioned several times in the Star Trek saga, by Gene Roddenberry, are still considered projects that can get off the ground, because even if they make sense, we can say that we are still far from seeing them working correctly. true.
According to information released by the Wired website, it would be possible to reduce this trip to Mars to a minimum period of up to three months, all using a new form of fusion fuel that would be dilithium crystals, the same ones present in Star Trek.
Of course, these crystals are not the same as those mentioned in the series, which is nothing more than a kind of rare fuel that everyone on board the ship would spend a lot of time in search of, with the greater objective of making their engines use it. to function and so they had a large amount of raw material, so that they could travel faster than the speed of light, something that would be impressive.
The great news is that this mechanism is being developed by researchers at the University of Huntsville. This new prototype has as a priority to be up to twice as fast as the current one. This team works closely with Boeing, NASA as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
According to confidential information that reached the press, this fusion reactor should be fed by a large amount of deuterium, that is, a heavy isotope of hydrogen and also with lithium-6 within a crystalline structure, thus providing the well-known “dilithium crystal”. ”.
Technically speaking, dilithium is a type of molecule with two covalently bonded lithium atoms, while lithium-6 is made up of up to six bonded atoms. But, in a way, trying to understand and measure the attempt to make use of the same fuel as the series would be unlikely, but not for scientists.
This new engine already has a name, Charger-1 Pulse Energy Generator, which should be built in space, since the entire structure of the spacecraft, to avoid certain engineering difficulties, would be carried out in the Earth’s atmosphere, in the same way. which was carried out with the International Space Station (ISS) .
Once the reactor was ready, it would be docked to the spacecraft, where millions and millions of amperes would run down the path of thin wires of lithium with 100 nanosecond pulses. These strands would vaporize into plasma and be collected by the deuterium and lithium-6 nucleus, thus inducing a fusion reaction. All these conditions could generate over 3 terawatts of power.
This large amount of energy from this fusion would be launched out of the back of the spacecraft, a phenomenon known and called “z-clamp”, all through a “magnetic nozzle”, which is also a component under development. For the team. All that maximum engine energy would generate a power of about 100,000 km/h, which, if we compare, would be the same speed that the Earth does around the Sun.
Still according to information provided by Business Insider, most likely any commercial and scientific use containing all this technology will only be allowed with the consent of the United States Army, since all this research was carried out using equipment reused from military projects that ended up not working out.
Not long ago, NASA showed that it wanted to surprise once again and go even further in a way considered even faster.
The company plans to make its astronauts able to travel at the speed of light, creating warp space similar to that seen in Star Trek. As a result, we can only wait and who knows, in a few years we will not be able to successfully cover distances that have never been covered in fractions of a second.