Deep Space Exploration – Pushing the Boundaries

goldstoneAs it was specified in the previous pages, actual limits in outer space exploration are defined by limited transportation methods, both on an interplanetary and intergalactic level. Basically, the means and resources haven’t been yet optimised in order to offer deep space exploration the edge it needs in order to perform manned or unmanned journeys at the end of the universe. This page will cover more about current innovations and technologies available in terms of traveling out of Earth.

Apart from the propulsion means, other important aspects limit human society’s reach for distant planets and galaxies. Here, some of the most pressing issues that can be mentioned are dealing with relativity when traveling long distances and keeping potential human passengers into a constant hibernation state. Although numerous SciFi movies address these issues in an elegant manner and provide realistic depictions of such scenarios, the reality is that in fact, these technologies haven’t yet been actually tested, since no one has ever traveled farther than Earth’s natural satellite, the Moon.

When it comes to the propulsion issues, the two most common methods so far in terms of long distance space traveling are solar veils and ionic engines. The first entail using power obtained from solar winds in order to accelerate to viable speeds that can carry a small shuttle on interplanetary distances in a relatively decent time frame. Much like a sail on the ocean, this propulsion method is highly dependent on the Sun as its main energy source, and as the distance between the energy source and the sail decreases, so does the speed, therefore inducing the need for gravitational accelerations using the nearby planets.

Ionic engines, on the other hand are still in the prototype phase, but once fully developed, they will be the first truly convincing propulsion means that can ensure interplanetary and intergalactic travel in a realistic time frame.