Great distances between objects in the universeI require movement at speeds substantially exceeding the speed of light. In science fiction, this is accomplished through space folding, FTL jumps, or warp drives. However, in the real world, everything is much more serious and modern inventors are limited by the laws of physics, asserting that movement with speeds higher than the speed of light is impossible.
However, even traveling at speeds close tothe speed of light is a serious test and gives rise to many problems. Therefore, long before even a theoretical understanding of the problem of building space objects moving at near-light speed, NASA scientists created an informational cartoon telling about super-high-speed travel.
In a video entitled “NASA's Guide totravel at near-light speed ”, it is assumed that an interstellar traveler (who is represented as an alien creature) has built a spaceship capable of traveling at 90% the speed of light (0.9 s). The video is presented as an informational video for the interstellar traveler.
Without dwelling on the technical side of creationsuch a ship, the video presents a solution to the serious problems associated with travel in the relativistic universe. These include time dilation, the need for protection in the interstellar environment, and the time it takes to get even to the closest destinations such as the nearest star (Proxima Centauri), the nearest galaxy (Andromeda), or the farthest (GN-z11).
Some idea of travel withultra-high speeds can be obtained after the implementation of the Breakthrough Starshot project, during which a small probe with a solar sail will be sent to Alpha Centauri, using the energy of the Sun and a super-powerful laser installation from Earth. The spacecraft will reach a speed of 0.2 s (20% of the speed of light) and the flight will last about 20 years.
When implementing Breakthrough Starshot, Earthlingswill be able to get answers to many questions, such as the creation of protection against space debris and micrometeorites, which at such speeds threaten the very existence of the spacecraft. The problem of communication will also be investigated, the process of creating a solar sail and choosing its shape will be optimized. In addition, the problems of braking and the possibility of maneuvering at such speeds will be considered.