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New study suggests a way to speed up space travel exponentially

Published Dec 7th, 2022 4:46PM EST
hubble photo
Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Kalirai

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A new study may suggest a new way for us to approach space travel in the future. Humanity has long dreamed of exploring the final frontier, the space beyond our own, where planets like Mars, Jupiter, and even planets we’ve only seen with telescopes would somehow be within reach. But, two things have always held us back, the distance from our planet to those and the time it would take to cross it.

Now, though, engineers and scientists may have come up with a way to speed up space travel exponentially. This could then make it possible to travel to planets like Jupiter in just a matter of months. The researchers proposed the idea in a new paper they published in Frontiers in Space Technology.

space travel could change drastically with new discoveries
A fictional spacecraft approaches the Moon. Image source: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (KBRwyle)

The idea behind the new space travel method is called dynamic soaring and it builds off of the same mechanics used by seabirds to fly. Basically, the system works by creating lift by extracting power in the direction of the medium blowing over the spacecraft. This will create an accelerating flow in a perpendicular direction.

It’s really a very complex thought, and one that the researchers explain a lot better in their paper. But, the main thing to take into account here is that it would open the door for much faster space travel, something that we’ve all been trying to figure out additional ways to improve.

For example, a manned mission to Mars would put astronauts in space for six months. If we could lower the time that takes for space travel, it would also lower the risk to their bone structure and other concerns about their bodies. It would also remove a lot of the need for the usage of propellant, which can be quite expensive for long-term spacecraft.

With the success of Artemis I now looming ever closer, being able to come up with new ways to improve space travel could literally change the future of humanity’s exploits in exploring the universe. Perhaps this new method can be used to pioneer new types of spacecraft that allow us to get to new places in even more efficient ways.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.