In science fiction it’s easy to hop into your spaceship and blast off for other stars. But the true distances between stars, and the limits of relativity make interstellar travel almost impossible with our current technology. What would it really take to travel from star to star, exploring the galaxy?
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Dr. Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space. Now, she’s leading a wildly ambitious project: to achieve interstellar travel in the next 100 years. She’s with us.
Think Star Trek and you won’t be far off. A new Pentagon project is putting out seed money for interstellar travel. Humans, rambling around among the stars. It’s called the 100 Year Starship project. It’s as wildly ambitious as just about anything you can imagine.
The spaceship, its energy source, its passengers’ survival – full-blown or just as DNA… all giant challenges. Not to mention that we’re sort of broke and not even flying space shuttles right now. Leader of the new effort: astronaut Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. She’s with us.
This hour, On Point: the 100 Year Starship.
It’s famously called the Final Frontier, and thanks to rapidly developing technology we now know more about the outer reaches of our galaxy than ever. But that leaves unknowns.
Does the universe have any limits? Are there any other earth-like planets out there? And the big one, are we alone?
Addressing the University of Melbourne recently, Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, reports on the latest research.
Stars cover The Smiths.