To the stars!

Picture: Antimatter driven spacecraft: ICAN-II
Antimatter driven spacecraft: ICAN-II (Penn State University)

Have you ever thought about how to go to the next star, Proxima Centauri? Or to the Orion Nebula? Or even to the Andromeda Galaxy? - OK, the last two targets are far too far away than we will be able to reach them in the near future. But Proxima Centauri (as part of the Centauri Cluster) is "only" 4.3 light years away: you need 4.3 years to go there when moving at the speed of light. Sounds quite good, right? Don't be disappointed - but at present we aren't able to reach that star in an acceptable amount of time. And even the outer rims of our own solar system (Pluto, the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud) are far away by means of today's space drives. Saturn is about 7 years and Jupiter 5 years of space travel away (using today's space drives) - Mars only about one year.

When back on light speed, Mars is only a few minutes, Jupiter only 3/4th of an hour and Saturn 1.5 hours from Earth. Pluto, over 12 years away by conventional space travel, would be only a few hours away.

So what's the conclusion: we have to go faster - much faster. The speed of light is not reachable at the moment. Not in the near future. Not with our present knowledge.

That's the point for Project Genesis. But to reach it's goal, it doesn't aim mainly for applied technology, but for the knowledge to make light speed space-drives (and even beyond) possible. Fundamental physics (quantum physics, theory of relativity and even newer theories (e.g. string theory)) are the essential base of the project: imagine what might be possible when one can find out, how to manipulate space-time...

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 ©2007 Carsten König