Homework – Part 3

Warp drive research – a breakthrough

Interstellar travel is one of humanity biggest goals. To reach this goal Zefram Cochrane invented the warp-drive engine in 2063. But this is just a science-fiction dream as every Star Trek fan knew. But this idea is still maintained by very ambitious scientist on earth, with Harold ‘Sonny’ White at Johnson Space Center leading the way. He designed a experiment to distort the  spacetime around a obstacle in space. This is different from other ideas, because he does not want to accelerate the obstacle but bend the space time around it. This allows vehicles to reach planets in millions of light-years distance to be reached in a some weeks. Upon his idea a lot of enthusiasts have founded several organizations to support White with his idea. These organizations are driven by the idea to reach far planets that have been discovered over the past years. Not enough, theses planets considered to be habitable and may have potential of rudimentary life-forms.

One well-known problem that exists is the fact that there is no spacecraft able of traveling these distances. That’s because current technology is not capable of  ‘driving’  needed speed to reach planets in a fair amount of time. Despite these fact, even if there is a technology, there is a need for the fuel to power the spaceship. Traveling such distance would result in a huge amount of fuel needed. This huge amount of fuel would also result in a way heavier spaceship. So this is kind of paradoxon. Traveling far distance and high speed means more fuel, but more fuel means more weight to move.  So there is a need for different travel-engine. The most promising technology is the use of nuclear fusion energy. But, nuclear fusion is very complex process that is not even completely explored in reactors on earth. Despite this problem, traveling at high speed encounters other problems as well, like space dust that hits the spaceship with a high velocity or deceleration.

The need of space travel is necessary  due to the fact that in several years earth is just before extinction because of nuclear wars, pandemic, interstellar catastrophes etc. The only nearby candidate for this operation is mars, but it takes several hundred of years of climate engineering.

One thought on “Homework – Part 3

  1. Josi says:

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for handing the summary in on time! I really like about your summary, that you use your own words, as a summary is just that: a paraphrase of the text. Again you connected your sentences coherently so that I could easily follow.

    There are some points that you understood wrong from the text and which you mention in your second paragraph: The text emphasized that the spacecraft needs more fuel when it comes to stopping the spacecraft and turning it around again. What you write about the fuel may be right in reality, but is actually not written in the text. Then you tried to connect the fuel to the nuclear fusion propulsion. However, actually the nuclear fusion was mentioned before the fuel problem emerged in the text and in a slightly different context. For the next time, try to stick more to the order of the paragraphs of the text, which is useful for a summary.

    So, yes, you were coherent within your own summary and it is very reader-friendly, but some points were a bit misunderstood. I have written an own summary in my blog if you would like to take a look at it. By the way, you did not have any superfluous information in your summary, which is pretty good 🙂


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