Space Travel near Light Speed

The fastest man-made satellite thus far is the Voyager 1 which got the close flyby of Saturn and Titan gave Voyager 1 a massive advantage with its extra gravity assist and accelerated to 38,200 mph.  The New Horizon is moving at 36,000 mph. and will arrive at Pluto July 2015. Now lets look at the speed of light which travels at 186,283 miles a second that would be 670,616,629 mph as you look at the speed.  Now navigating is one thing the other is moving at such a fast rate even 36,200 mph the speed becomes inherently dangerous.

Ultra high-speeds cause three major problems.  First, higher speeds increase the damage brought on by a collision.  Second, higher speeds reduce the pilot’s ability to detect objects in his path.  Third, higher speeds reduce the pilot’s ability to avoid objects once they have been detected.

Running into large objects is bad at any speed, but running into something as small as a grain of sand can be destructive for high-speed travelers.  Take for instance back in 1983 the Space Shuttle Challenger its first flight STS-7  ran into a flake chip of paint pitting the window which had to be replaced once she returned from orbit.

In 1958 the United States launched Vanguard I into a medium Earth orbit (MEO).  It became one of the longest surviving pieces of space junk and as of October 2009 remains the oldest piece of junk still in orbit.

In a catalog listing known launches up to July 2009, the Union of Concerned Scientists listed 902 operational satellites.  This is out of a known population of 19,000 large objects and about 30,000 objects ever launched.  Thus, operational satellites represent a small minority of the population of man-made objects in space.  The rest is, by definition, debris.

We are getting to a tipping point where lunching through the debris field is going to cause impact on the ship and at a speed of just 23,000 mph a grain of sand has an impact capacity of a .30-cal. bullet.   At 50% light speed this impact reaches  the equivalent of a 124,000 ton weight falling at 100 mph. well there goes the ship.

The future for space travel but watch those rocks!

Video uploaded by U Tube user  


Until we can get around our own debris field and construct some sort of force shield for the ship to travel even to a 10th of the speed of light which would be 67,061,662.9 mph.  I think the safe zone right now is your arm-chair for this is going to be awhile.

Video uploaded by U Tube user  

Urantia Book

For the most celestial ride we turn to The Urantia Book which will take you out to The Master Universe and arrive at 1,000,000,000,000 light years from Earth.  The only way we can every arrive at such a distance is to warp the fabrics of space.  Look at rug on the floor and pull the length of the rug together now it is folded in half this way we pierce through the center and come out the other end.  Maybe this can be done through a Black Hole? But here the gravitational pull is so great that theory has it as nothing can survive and as you know light can not even escape.

The only time travel as of now is NASA’s Voyager 1 & 2 which are arriving in the Heliosheath where the solar wind meets interstellar gas for the first time.  On December 13, 2010, it was confirmed that Voyager 1 past the reach of the solar wind emanating from the Sun. It is suspected that solar wind at this distance turns sideways due to interstellar wind pushing against the heliosphere. Since June 2010, detection of solar wind has been consistently at zero, providing conclusive evidence of the event.

On December 5, 2011, it was announced that Voyager 1 had entered a new region referred to as a “cosmic purgatory” by NASA.  Within this stagnation region, charged particles streaming from the sun slow and turn inward, and the solar system’s magnetic field has doubled in strength as interstellar space appears to be applying pressure.  Energetic particles originating in the solar system have declined by nearly half, while the detection of high-energy electrons from outside has increased by 100 fold.  The inner edge of the stagnation region is located approximately 113 astronomical units (one unit =92,955,807.3 mi) from the sun, while the outer edge is unknown.

Voyager 1 one is the prob that took the shot of The Pale Blue Dot.

Video uploaded by U Tube user  


3 responses to “Space Travel near Light Speed

  1. The video regarding traveling into the future using an ultra-fast spacecraft was enjoyable, but I couldn’t help but notice the animators couldn’t resist adding rumbling engine sounds and exciting whooshes as the ship sped past the “camera…” thru the vacuum of space…

    Since that clip seems to be an excerpt from a full length program I imagine the theoretical technology was described earlier, but I have to wonder what type of as-yet designed engines are being suggested for propelling a massive spacecraft to 99% the speed of light…

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