Interstellar Travel: Approaching Light Speed

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  • ℹ️ Description
Interstellar Travel: Approaching Light Speed 4.5

Is interstellar travel doomed to remain in the realm of science fiction? Sticking to near future space propulsion only, how close can we get to the speed of light?

This video looks at the current spacecraft speed records with Apollo 10 holding the record for the fastest manned spacecraft, New Horizons probe for the fastest Earth escape velocity and the Helios probes for the fastest heliocentric velocity. But Solar Probe Plus will beat that when it launches in 2018. While Voyager 1 doesn't set any speed records, it was the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, so therefore the fastest solar system escape velocity by default.

For beating these speeds, this video explores what is possible in the near future only, so no antimatter, Alcubierre drives (warp), ramjets, etc... The EM drive is left out until it's proven with actual reproducible results in space.

Project Daedalus and the updated Project Icarus represent sound concepts for fusion spacecraft. IKAROS was the first successful demonstration of solar sail technology but hopefully the planetary society is not far behind with their LightSail cubsat (not covered in this video).

But what appears to have the most potential to reach the nearest star to our own, Proxima Centauri and it's newly discovered planet Proxima b is Breakthrough Starshot. Thousands of super lightweight laser sail nanocraft will be launched into space then the light beamer, a ground based laser array will propel these spacecraft to 20% light speed within minutes.

*All sources used in researching this video are listed in the end credits*

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

💬 Comments on the video

It would be funny if, in a few years time, we spotted thousands of tiny probes shooting through the solar system at 20% the speed of light, originating from Proxima Centauri.

Author — pineapplepenumbra


Aliens, if you are reading this, please just come here and show us how to bend space time.

Author — 10,000 videos with 0 subscribers


"Lightspeed's too slow" - Dark Helmet

Author — R Brooks


I just wish I could be alive the explore the universe...

Author — Elijah [REDACTED]


This is the kind of stuff I WISH the news actually talked about. This is interesting, exciting, and gives hope for the future… yet it’s not common knowledge.

Author — Andrew S


the problem is when your traveling interstellar distances, even light speed is still way to slow.

Author — dmerritt4ever


Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to travel at light speed is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Author — SimkeZ


Why am I watching this instead of studying for tomorrow's exam

Author — Ranvir singh


2:37 i hope it gets done fast, otherwise we're doomed

Author — 「CELLO KID」


I'd be happy if we could just get that damn James-Webb telescope up there already.

Author — 𖥠 ꧁Æ♱ℍᴲᮄℜᴲⅅ꧂𖥠


I really want to see pictures of a planet outside our solar system :(

Author — Adam Tak


2:36 better be studying the corona a little faster

Author — Henry Storffen


2019: we will go lightspeed!

2050: flying cars

Author — David Andrews


"Captain, we are slowly approaching light speed."

Author — Charlie X


7:43 "You may fire when ready"

Author — Ryan Henderson


I think we should send signals out to space saying "Free Cake on Earth" then when the aliens arrive we just take there ships.

Author — SKS Studios Toronto


nickel for scale, yet 4meters to a side?? that makes no sense.

Author — Hue Manatee


Light speed: Oh? You're approaching me?

Author — Floating F


Nasa gets $20B/yr

US Military will spend $989B in 2020

Makes me sick.

Author — Matt O


We need find something that produce infinite energy.

Author — Jakob Arman