Interstellar Travel: Approaching Light Speed

  • Published on: 21 December 2016
  • Is interstellar travel doomed to remain in the realm of science fiction? Sticking to near future space propulsion only, how close can we get to the speed of light?

    This video looks at the current spacecraft speed records with Apollo 10 holding the record for the fastest manned spacecraft, New Horizons probe for the fastest Earth escape velocity and the Helios probes for the fastest heliocentric velocity. But Solar Probe Plus will beat that when it launches in 2018. While Voyager 1 doesn't set any speed records, it was the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, so therefore the fastest solar system escape velocity by default.

    For beating these speeds, this video explores what is possible in the near future only, so no antimatter, Alcubierre drives (warp), ramjets, etc... The EM drive is left out until it's proven with actual reproducible results in space.

    Project Daedalus and the updated Project Icarus represent sound concepts for fusion spacecraft. IKAROS was the first successful demonstration of solar sail technology but hopefully the planetary society is not far behind with their LightSail cubsat (not covered in this video).

    But what appears to have the most potential to reach the nearest star to our own, Proxima Centauri and it's newly discovered planet Proxima b is Breakthrough Starshot. Thousands of super lightweight laser sail nanocraft will be launched into space then the light beamer, a ground based laser array will propel these spacecraft to 20% light speed within minutes.

    *All sources used in researching this video are listed in the end credits*

    Music: "Inspired" Kevin MacLeod (
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
  • Runtime : 9:14
  • light speed speed of light interstellar travel project icarus project daedalus alpha centauri proxima centauri solar sail breakthrough starshot jimiticus space propulsion interstellar travel possible interstellar probe space travel spacecraft interstellar propulsion methods em drive can we travel to other solar systems? can humans survive interstellar travel? can we travel to other planets? can we travel to other stars? faster than light


  • Jimiticus
    Jimiticus   2 years ago

    As a follow up, you can watch my latest video on how the Sun can be used as a gravitational lens to get a high resolution image of an exoplanet for the first time. This would be even better resolution than breakthrough star shot is capable of.

  • Fynder Enlil
    Fynder Enlil   8 hours ago

    BS should build the lasers on the moon, opening up the opportunity to send probes to all ToOs

  • Judy kim
    Judy kim   10 hours ago

    Light Speed Star Trek can travel around the Earth seven and half times per second. With Warp dive, It increases 5~7 times more.

  • Aranya Paul
    Aranya Paul   14 hours ago


  • rides.naked
    rides.naked   19 hours ago

    Light is NOT massless. Photons are massless, but light is not that simple. Light has energy, therefore, it has mass, which is why gravity affects light.

  • Cool Peter Parker
    Cool Peter Parker   20 hours ago

    Don’t worry guys, maybe we will figure out a way... like if we could find a way to interact with dark energy that would really help us since expansion of the universe is faster than light, it could help us? Or maybe we could find wormholes and way to access them. Or maybe....I don’t know... we will figure it out in the future we are technology hungry humans after all...

  • Cas Dessers
    Cas Dessers   23 hours ago

    Will study the corona... Well, that's awkward.

  • Arman OZCELIK
    Arman OZCELIK   1 days ago

    We see light as something moving while it is not. What you see is: you leaving the space-moment where the "thing" (light) has stopped "being". When you switch the light on, you create a "space time stop" that is the anomaly we "see". We should actually say we are "decelerating" when we try to reach the anomaly ("speed of light"). We can never reach that thing because this is the "where-thing" ceases simply "existing". Nothing can reach the "light speed" because there is "nothing" there. And going "faster" has no meaning. Can you see through light?

  • xxDrain
    xxDrain   1 days ago

    How do you even measure speed in space? Relative to what?

  • SickNit
    SickNit   1 days ago

    Dyson sphere: im i a joke to you?

  • John W
    John W   1 days ago

    we are a simulation: thought i had 10 years ago around a campfire is how infinity makes no sense and you cant just end a problem with infinity yet we try to understand how everything came from nothing because infinity existsed before nothing and giving a simulation an unsolvable problem to solve is a good way to make it run forever.sure fire way to keep a sim going forever, give it a purpose it cant ever solve.

  • Gautham Sundararajan

    @2:15 - The animation shows that Helios-2 probe is launched in the direction opposite to earth's orbital velocity. Such a trajectory is impractical and hence cannot be the actual trajectory (which is duly pointed out in the disclaimer by the video creator).

  • Jay N
    Jay N   2 days ago

    Hello!! You’re speaking Greek, what’s all this metric shit. Do you know United States does count and we don’t use no fucking metric here

  • Alex Tetley
    Alex Tetley   2 days ago

    The worst thing about faster than light travel is, if you're going faster than light then you are literally time travelling. Yku could be going to a planet after them making sending a message about where they are, but when you get there they could be just creating fire (depending on how fast you're going)

  • A Nxmb::.
    A Nxmb::.   2 days ago

    It sounds like Star Wars is probably scientifically closer to the idea obviously using energy or electricity as an infinite source

  • Leo F
    Leo F   2 days ago

    Nice reference

  • Crofty
    Crofty   3 days ago

    Why don’t we just teleport stoopid

  • Rotten Wenom
    Rotten Wenom   3 days ago

    You remember you are from 2034 every time when he says "still" or "fastest ever". Lets celebrate our 89 years of peace!

  • CoolGameBro
    CoolGameBro   3 days ago

    i couldnt watch because the gubz music was playing

  • - Albinn -
    - Albinn -   4 days ago

    Proper for light speedSpace Kadet

  • Brave Gaming
    Brave Gaming   4 days ago

    Ok so we got it to travel in light speed we need a rocket that has a metal that can protect us from the sun and get in an orbit around sun. To add more speed we can add rockets and sails but the rockets can work with nuclear cores.

  • Lubomir Vlcek
    Lubomir Vlcek   4 days ago

    Critical examination of fundamentals in physics L. Vlcek, : New Trends in Physics, Slovak Academic Press, Bratislava 1996, ISBN 80-85665-64-6. Presentation on European Phys. Soc. 10th Gen. Conf. – Trends in Physics ( EPS 10) Sevilla , E 9. -13 September 1996,

  • Dokkaebi
    Dokkaebi   4 days ago

    Heard word coronaYoutube: so you have chosen death

  • John Grabowski
    John Grabowski   4 days ago

    7:33 - Four meters to a side but then you show a nickel for scale? How big is that nickel?

  • BATM7N x
    BATM7N x   4 days ago

    We have a long way to go. The farthest star from our planet is 68 trillion light years away.

  • Jeff Dunlap
    Jeff Dunlap   4 days ago

    THE PARTITION OF GOD, OUR greatest dream as a species would be to find other advanced civilizations, but the distances make it impossible that we will ever know them, doesn't seem quite fair, even if they were only 10,000 light years away(a stones throw in the Galaxy) it would take a Space Ship traveling at a tenth of the speed of light (which would be incredibly fast(orbit the earth in a second and a half) it would take 100.000 years to get there. and then once your there 10,000 years to communicate anything that is happening. I think no matter how successful we are as a species there will never be the resources on this planet to make such a trip. Star Wars and Star Trek will never be possible, unless we are wrong about the laws of physics, and common sense kind of tells us that we're probably not, so we can see stars that may have life and they may be able to see us, but we'll never meet unless they are very close, and the odds of things being that convenient are most likely wishful thinking, and of course, traveling to the nearest galaxy is a 25 million year journey. With our physical limitations, any real hope would be some multi-dimensional incorporeal existence of pure consciousness. Without that our species is scheduled for extinction at a point, and will the universe care, common sense says, probably not.

  • Dr. Insert
    Dr. Insert   5 days ago

    Hi!? This 2020. This man just said corana.

  • LumielTV
    LumielTV   5 days ago

    2:36 CORONA OMG 2016 CORONA

  • Ramon Medina
    Ramon Medina   5 days ago

    Senesitaria muchos chalecos contra balas Pará evitará las perforaciones velosidad de la luz 👁🦠👁

  • Ramon Medina
    Ramon Medina   5 days ago

    SÍ pero se yenara de huecos de meteoritos y meteoro 👁☄👁