Discovery of new fuel could make spacecraft overtake and travel at the speed of light
Even though it is nothing new for us humans to hear that a spacecraft has already arrived in space, the certainty we all have is that it has not yet been possible for a spacecraft to have visited even more distant places.
Surely, this is linked to the fact that our universe is somehow considered extremely large, and for this reason, it is a little frustrating to want to explore it, but will this still be possible one day?
One of the most expensive constructions ever carried out was the elaboration of Voyager 1 , today it is considered the fastest spacecraft that has ever been built by a human being in the entire history of humanity.
Through it, 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 actually is and what that means for the universe and discovery. of more galaxies.
To get an idea, in order 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 properly. truth.
According to information released by the Wired website, it would be possible to reduce this trip to Mars in a minimum period of up to three months, all this 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 ones that are mentioned in the series, which is nothing more than a kind of rare fuel that everyone on board the ship would spend a great amount of time in their search, with the greater objective of making with that their engines, came to operate and thus possessed a large amount of raw material, in order to be able to travel faster than the speed of light, something that would be impressive.
Great news is that such an engine is currently under development by scholars at the University of Huntsville. This new prototype has a priority to be up to twice as fast as the current one. This team works closely with Boeing, NASA and also with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
According to confidential information that came to be leaked to the press, this fusion reactor should be powered by a large amount of deuterium, which in other words would be 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 kind of molecule with two lithium atoms that are covalently bonded, whereas lithium-6 is composed 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, the Charger-1 Pulse Energy Generator, which should be built in space, since the entire structure of the spacecraft, in order 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 then be docked to the spacecraft where millions and millions of amps would travel the path of thin lithium wires with pulses of 100 nanoseconds. These wires would vaporize into plasma, and would be collected by the deuterium and lithium-6 nucleus, thus inducing a fusion reaction. All this condition could generate more than 3 terawatts of power.
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This large amount of energy from this fusion would be thrown out of the back of the spacecraft, a phenomenon known and called “z-clamp”, all this through a “magnetic nozzle”, which is a component also under development. for the team. All this maximum energy from the engine would generate a power of about 100,000 km/h, which, if we compare it, would be the same speed that the Earth makes around the Sun.
Also according to information provided by Business Insider, most likely any commercial and scientific use containing all this technology will be allowed only with the consent of the United States Army, since all this research has been carried out by means of reused equipment from military projects that ended up not working out.
A short time ago, NASA demonstrated 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, crafting a warp space similar to the one seen in Star Trek. As a result, we can only wait and who knows, in a few years, we may not be able to successfully cover distances that have never been covered in fractions of a second.