How long before we could travel to the nearest galaxy Magellan Cloud?
The simple answer, but not the correct one, many, many lifetimes if ever for intergalactic space travel. This, being just like anyone else’s answers, as long as one is using today’s technology and scientific thinking. However, what if we should start thinking outside the box, could there be a different answer? Let us view one of our closest neighbors, the Small Magellanic Cloud orbiting our Milky Way galaxy some 200,000 light years away. How could we possibly ever get there, most definitely not with any technology existing today and neither with any current scientific thinking. In order for this to ever become a reality, one would need to start thinking outside the box. It requires a different technology and a different science.
What is needed
Having worked on deep space missions at JPL, I do have an appreciation of what is needed to make a mission to this Small Magellanic Cloud. There are two immediate, very important ingredients needed: 1) a transfer method for the spacecraft well beyond light speed, and 2) an instantaneous communication system between the spacecraft and Earth, i.e. not electromagnetic waves. Of course, neither of these exist today, leastwise NOT in the open for the general public. The first requirement is the method to get there, and even this requires much more than just some kind of propulsion system, although it is a starting requirement.
NASA is expending taxpayer’s dollars on the Alcubierre system; using a phenomenon of expanding space in front of a spacecraft and collapsing space behind. If it should become a reality, a doubt being it appears to require exotic matter which has yet to be discovered, it could possibly achieve unlimited interstellar space speeds, however, the problem then being possibly nothing could survive the phenomena, including the spaceship.
Tesla’s electrogravitic effect??
More realistic is the ‘gravity beam propulsion’ being devised by a Russian scientist Eugene Podletnov using a phenomena discovered by Nikola Tesla which is referred to as a electrogravitic impulse effect. In Paul A. LaViolette, PhD book on ‘Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion’, he is referring to speeds reaching Warp 11, i.e. 3,000 times speed of light. This phenomenon providing a trip to the Magellan Cloud being under 70 years.
Problem with technology life times
But here is the problem, could we create the technology that would never fail in 70 years; probably not. However, if it always has the capability to be serviced while in route, or even replace the entire spacecraft while in route, the probability greatly increases of reaching the destination. Unless this condition existed, it being extremely doubtful the craft would achieve its mission objectives. Also, what would one do when they got there? Just take a picture? Stupid!!! But first, one more very important ingredient needed, communications with the spacecraft during its entire journey.
Having worked at JPL with the Deep Space (radar) Network DSN it is imperative to be able to have communication and control the spacecraft at all times to ensure the mission’s success. When one is discussing a 200,000 light year mission, current communication technology cannot cut the mustard. This would relate to many human lifetimes of waiting for outcomes, that would prohibit any consideration of inter galaxy space travel. Thankfully there is a solution for this also; ESP-like technology. This technology, similar to entanglement transfers information instantaneously across any two points within the whole Universe. Okay, so why would we go there in the first place? Just to say we have been there?
Why even go there — unless
Back in 1971, while at JPL in Pasadena, I was assistant DSIF project engineer on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft; the first object to leave the solar system (back then). It was a big deal back then, but what really did it accomplished? We did it! Actually Pioneer 10 mission was changed and Voyager I received the distinction. This could be the same scenario with the Magellan Cloud, without the capability to go there anytime thereafter what is the purpose? This is where the ESP-like propulsion system becomes a reality; with technology at both points, instantaneous object transfers could be a reality. Now the Magellan Cloud is closer than the house next door. Without this ESP-like propulsion system it is pure stupid to even go the Magellan Cloud.
The requirement to make this happen is not thinking in some man made box, using a science that does not align with Nature. It requires innovative thinking and finding solutions to get there, verses items within today’s toy box. We do not have the science, nor the motivation, and definitely not the right attitude in taking the initial step to get to the Magellan Cloud. We use today the lack of money as one primary excuse, however, even if the resources were there, other excuses are quickly manufactured.
Maybe we already have it
There is one organization having all the needed attributes to achieve this task, and just possibly they are already on the way to the Magellan Cloud or beyond. Meanwhile, you and I in the open, just sit and claim everything is science fiction because our man made science cannot put humans beyond the moon and just send probes some 45 years ago to our solar system’s horizon. If we really want intergalactic travel, we need to stop making excuses why we cannot do it and start thinking outside the box to make it happen. Astronaut Jim Lovell says it better than me (why I use it a lot, he is smarter than I am too):
“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” ― Jim Lovell