I personally have watched countless movies, T.V. shows, and documentaries that detail the incredible world of space exploration. Our biggest limitation, and the reason humans have never stepped foot an a celestial body outside of the Earth and Moon, is the speed at which we move through space. As it stands, it takes days to get to the closest celestial body outside of Earth, months to the next, and years to any after that. Our chances of inhabiting another planet as a permanent colony is restricted almost entirely by our physical limitations of speed. The ideal speed for us, the one that movies like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. I love this idea — going to another planet in seconds. In practice, however, it is much more complicated.
Albert Einstein, the stickler of science that he was, reasoned that we could not go faster than the speed of light, since light is the fastest thing that exists. According to a recent BBC article, however, “Last summer, a small neutrino experiment in Europe called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion tRacking Apparatus) stunned the world with a preliminary announcement that it had clocked neutrinos travelling just a few fractions of a second faster than the speed of light. ” A neutrino, by the way, is a sub-atomic particle. It is really small. We can’t be this small, so right now, we definitely can’t travel this fast. Additionally, the evidence was later found to be a calibration error, so it was irrelevant. Later in the article, BBC details how it might be possible in the future.