Space is a place where humans have wanted to go from the beginning of time. From the ancient astronomers gazing into the stars to our modern day dreamers, space has held its secrets from us simply because chemical rockets are inefficient in terms of mass to thrust ratio. The Cannae Drive is a quantum powered engine that in simple terms: is a big microwave using electromagnetic energy to create thrust.
In order to capture the many dreams of one day flying freelance cargo across asteroid belts to Grand Prix tournaments around Saturn, a “latchkey” discovery of thrust needs to be made. One of those candidates in the Cannae drive. The Cannae drive operates on quantum energy styled reactions which allows the Cannae drive to use a minimal fuel base and produce potentially exponential amounts of thrust for its size. While it might not be good for escaping Earth’s atmosphere, NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) or Space X’s similar solution would be more than necessary.
The Compact Fusion Reactor (CFR) created by Lockheed Martin is another prime contender for engine of the future because of its design. The current design is the size of a truck and produces 100 megawatts of electricity which is more than enough to power ion thrusters or other means of propulsion to escape Earth’s atmosphere. What is very pleasing about the CFR is that it doesn’t need fuel because it makes it. It’s a bit hard to explain/understand, but a CFR works on the same principles as the stars scattered all over the universe. Video games like Halo feature high powered Fusion reactors on 1 km long ships of the line that power ion thrusters to travel within star systems. While a CFR or Cannae drive could make the trip to Mars a few weeks we still don’t have the next thing necessary for viable space travel.
Artificial Gravity. While we’ve made a lot of advances in space one that lags is making gravity. As humans we need gravity in order to keep our bones from breaking or becoming brittle. Astronauts are required to do a LOT of workouts on the ISS in order to keep their bodies in the best of shape, but they still are weak when they land back on Earth. In science fiction we see future space travelers flicking a switch to active an artificial gravity system, but we have not found a “secret sauce” for making that happen. One theory is to have a rotating ring around the spacecraft to provide a centrifugal force to make something much closer to our desired gravity. Without artificial gravity space travel would be highly impractical.
Most issues like food storage space, wormhole/FTL travel, and weapon systems are generally secondary after initial ships have been built. The first foray into space besides our current endeavors would be asteroid mining. After the space industry has been proven to be commercially viable, space versions of dry docks will be built to make larger more proper ships in order to carry humans, cargo, and everything else needed to make an interstellar array of planets under human control in order to fully realize our destiny under the stars.
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