Yes its possible.
Since the dawn of time, man has dreamed of flying through space, and exploring new worlds. Until recently though, that idea was nothing more than an unrealistic dream. Currently, we only have the ability to go short distances through space, mainly because we just cannot go fast enough to reach any specific place in any human life time. Current technology will not seeing us jump into warp speed, or riding near the speed of light, so what can be done now to reach an acceptable speed?
Scientists have been developing a new type of material that would literally allow us to surf along beams of light. The idea is pretty simple actually. Think of how a sail on a ship would work: Air blows into the sail, allowing it to catch the air, and propels the boat forward. You’re probably asking yourself about now: What does air blowing have to do with sunlight? Your question would not be wrong. In fact, a sail in space would be virtually useless, as space is basically a vacuum without oxygen. However, this new sail design that is currently being manufactured is so light and reflective, that it could literally allow us to take what little energy sunlight produces, and let it catch our sails to propel us. This isn’t just a theory either, there is hard data to support that this sail could propel us to speeds we have currently only dreamed of reaching.
How fast would we be able to go?
That depends entirely on the size of the sail we produce. We would need a sail between 400-600 miles in diameter in order to propel us to the speeds we are looking for. With a sail this size, we could travel up to 1/16th the speed of light. There is a catch to this: In order to get the propulsion, we have to be close to the sun. Now I can see where this would be cause for concern, as we all know that if we get too close to the sun, we would burn up and die. The bright side (no pun intended) is that we would not have to get all that close in order to gain the energy we would need. After searching for a distance that would be suitable for attaining this speed, scientists have stated that we would only need to go as far as Mercury, and deploy sails from that point.
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