Galactic Travel: Breaking the Speed Limit

Humanity’s exploration of the Galaxy faces a significant obstacle – the speed limit. Despite advancements in space technology, spacecrafts travel at a slow pace compared to galactic standards.

In late 2023, the NASA Parker Solar Probe set a new speed record for man-made objects, reaching 635,266 kilometers per hour. While impressive, this speed is only 0.059% of the speed of light.

To illustrate the challenge of interstellar travel, consider a journey to Proxima Centauri – the nearest star located 4.2 light years away. Even at the Parker Solar Probe’s record speed, it would take approximately 7700 years to reach this star.

NASA employs the “Gravity maneuver” technique to gain speed by using the gravitational pull of celestial bodies such as planets.

Alternative propulsion methods are being explored, including the proposal by astronomy professor David Kipping to utilize black holes for acceleration. The Halo Drive concept suggests using rapidly rotating black holes or pairs of black holes to accelerate spacecraft by sending a ray of light around them to gain energy.

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