Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/13/2014 (1 month ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Other, less exotic methods of travel are also being considered.

A not-so-secret project known as the 100-year Project is underway with the goal of sending humans beyond the solar system by 2112. NASA, DARPA and the Icarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development are jointly participating in the project. The project, launched in 2012, is currently discussing ideas for sending humans to the stars.

A ship capable of traveling faster than light has been conceptualized and mocked-up by scientists in this graphic.

A ship capable of traveling faster than light has been conceptualized and mocked-up by scientists in this graphic.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/13/2014 (1 month ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: spaceship, faster than light, warp drive


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Planet Earth is a finite place with finite resources and a finite span of time after which the planet itself will become uninhabitable. If the human species is to survive amid these realities, it will have to find a way to travel outside of the solar system to find new planets to inhabit.

Barring the return of Christ, there is no reason to believe that help for humanity will come from among the stars. We will have to find ways to save ourselves from threats, both cosmic and man-made.

St. Christopher, a saint for those who travel.

Travel to neighboring stars is a daunting task. Even moving at the speed of light, humans would travel for years before reaching the nearest star system. Then, the chances of finding an inhabitable world are probably slim. Working against us is the understanding that nothing can travel faster than light itself.

The reason nothing can travel faster than light is because the faster something moves, the more mass it acquires. Such effects aren't noticeable at the speeds we move, but as we approach the speed of light, mass begins to increase exponentially. In order to propel an increasingly massive object at faster speeds, more energy is required. To move a spaceship at the speed of light would cause it to attain virtually-infinite mass and would require an equal amount of energy. This is wildly impractical.

It is clear to scientists that speed-of-light travel is both too difficult and too impractical to use. So what's the solution? Perhaps to travel even faster than light.

There are ways to dodge the problem of infinite mass and energy. One is to create a bubble around the spaceship so it remains in normal space, while the bubble travels through space. Since this bubble would be massless, it could violate the laws of the universe allowing it to travel faster than light.

This is the proposal of Dr. Harold White, a NASA scientist who suggests that using the Alcubierre Drive, a theoretical system conceptualized by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre, a ship could create a wave in the fabric of space-time, and surf that wave to attain faster-than-light speeds. The drive would literally distort the fabric of space-time both ahead and behind it and it would only require a relatively small amount of energy to do it. The energy would come from a fuel source about the size of a car, composed of "exotic matter."

Nobody knows what this exotic matter would be, however, or where they might get a couple tons of it.

Other concepts include slower travel using a solar sail, which moves on the solar wind like a sailing ship at sea. This proposal would be cheap and effective, but like a sailing ship it would be very slow.

Under discussion is also the prospect of launching long-term missions in which several generations of people would live their lives during an interstellar voyage lasting hundreds of years. This is the most likely scenario, but designing s system that sustains a human population for centuries while withstanding the harshness of space, seems daunting.

For now, Earth is all we have, and we can barely travel to the Moon, our nearest neighbor in space. But just 500 years ago, we could barely traverse our own oceans. Today, we fly over them with ease. Who knows what the next five centuries could bring?

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Technology

Astronomers crack mystery of 'transformer' star Watch

Image of The mysterious star switches between two states of energy output, baffling scientists -- until now.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers have discovered a star that seems to vary and vanish in a surprising fashion. They mystery may now have been solved. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists observing a pulsar have been surprised to notice the star disappear and reappear in their ... continue reading


Apple dominates tech market as anticipation builds for iPhone 6 Watch

Image of The iPhone 6, expected to be released in September, is highly anticipated, and may be responsible for the slight increase in sales of iPhones.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Apple continues to do well in the market, as the company's flagship product, the iPhone, gained significant traction since March, and the Mac line of desktop computers also saw growth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones over the ... continue reading


Latest claim: the universe might not be natural... Say whaa? Watch

Image of A map of the cosmic background radiation which permeates the universe. Note the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nature and structure of the universe is one of the most enduring questions of the ages. Even the Book of Genesis addresses the topic. Presently, scientists are using modern scientific tools and methods to probe these mysteries and the preliminary results are ... continue reading


What is Microsoft up to? After this rambling memo, even its employees don't know! Watch

Image of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is planning to eliminate almost 20,000 jobs by 2015.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Software giant Microsoft announced that it is going to cut 18,000 jobs by 2015-about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees, by far the largest amount of layoffs in the history of the company. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of these layoffs-12,500-will ... continue reading


Mars Rover finds massive iron meteorite Watch

Image of NASA has now published the combined image. A preliminary analysis has been made of what the meteorite is made from.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What will they find next on the surface of Mars? Just recently, NASA's Curiosity rover came across a massive iron meteorite half buried in the sands of Mars. The space agency has dubbed the find "Lebanon." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two-meter-wide ... continue reading


Ever wondered why North America doesn't have any elephants? Scientists have the answer Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the earliest American natives hunted to extinction, a precursor to modern elephants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clovis people, thought by many archaeologists to be the original native Americans, hunted to extinction the precursors to modern elephants that lived alongside them in North America, new scientific evidence suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Jesuit Brother gains prestigious award for astronomy Watch

Image of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno received the coveted Carl Sagan Award for 2014, by bringing an enthusiasm for science to the general public.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Jesuit brother has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for 2014 for his radio shows and public lectures on astronomy which helped generate interest in scientific inquiry among the general public. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The American Astronomical ... continue reading


Untouched by human hands: iPhone 6 made completely by robots Watch

Image of The machines that were introduced in 2011, known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Robots are performing more and more human-like functions in the worlds of industry, and it comes as little surprise that Apple is increasingly using automations in the constructions of iPhones. Human hands attached to real living humans in the past previously ... continue reading


New Google Glass app lets users know of imminent Israeli missile attacks Watch

Image of These alerts provide similar information to the Red Alert, which is an Israel app for smartphones and tablets, which recently incorporated the popular instant-messaging app

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a new app that sadly paints a distressing picture of contemporary life in the Middle East. The app, for Google Glasses, is capable of warning users in Israel of impending enemy rocket attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called Israel Missile Alerts, ... continue reading


IN THE DARK: Astronomers wonder what happened to 80 percent of the light in the universe Watch

Image of A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The universe has gotten a lot darker. Astronomers have discovered an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the known universe and are at a loss as to why that is. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - They are forthright in saying that there is "something is ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2014 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter