How many times have we seen science friction films beaming humans from and into their space crafts.
At this moment, a NASA scientist named – Philip Lubin is in the process of bringing such a friction element into the domains of reality which isn’t too far away from the present day world.
This technology will be powered by photonic propulsion which is basically just particles of light. Much of the technology is already available, all you need to do is to get the powerful earth-bound lasers to propel the spacecraft in the sky. So, one just need to speed up its growth and make it happen at a larger scale.
Currently, the technology that we have is limited to its fuel and thus like any other chemical based setup its speed will be limited. At this moment – it takes us at the minimum 5 months to reach Mars with the currently chemical-fuel based technology. While this new technology is powered by lasers which is limited by the speed of light. Thus, that limit is insanely huge. Based on Lubin’s calculation, a robot spacecraft that weighs 100 KG will reach Mars in 3 days time.
Now, you must be thinking that all this sounds great but nothing practical is there to show? Which means it is only just paper work and theoretical. But before you deflate your enthusiasm – please do note that NASA has already granted Lubin a proof-of-concept.
So, basically the concept is pretty simple – the particles of light does not have any mass but they do have momentum and energy. Thus, if you make a spacecraft with a really large sail then all these particles of light from a really strong laser will hit the sail and pass on their momentum and energy on the sail which will get a slight push. This push, with a larger laser can propel the spacecraft further with a bigger momentum – thus in time this momentum will speed up the aircraft so much that in 3 days time – it will reach Mars.
Lubin claims that the spaceship will run at 30% the speed of light, which is a huge claim to make – theoretically, or on the basis of the photons that NASA scientists have been flying in their labs. That said, according to Lubin – there isn’t anything known to us yet that says we can’t do this.
This new technology will revolutionize space travel as we know it. It will allow people to travel to distant planets for both scientific and personal purposes.
There hasn’t been much changes to NASA in terms of budget and they have received nineteen billion dollars for this year – hopefully that might change to something more with this amazing breaking technology.