This desire was strong enough to span the centuries and still lives on today, driving space science to continue investigating new ways to overcome the
huge distances, literally astronomical, that separate the celestial bodies of the Universe, with the intention of one day reaching another planet.
The media has recently been reporting some revolutionary news - researchers from NASA are conducting laboratory tests for a new way to travel through the Cosmos, an idea that had previously been thought impossible but it now appears that just maybe it could be viable: the creation of 'bends' in
space-time at certain points in the Universe.
Until recently, this idea seemed confined to the world of science fiction on such programs as Star Trek, where it was called warp drive. The theory behind this idea was conceived by the Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre who believed that a volume of flat space could function like a wave on the
ocean, in which "there is a local expansion of space at the rear and an opposite contraction to the front". This phenomenon would propel a spacecraft along at a speed greater than light, traversing the cosmic distances rapidly, while for the crew inside, the craft would appear to be stationary.
Alcubierre calculated, however, that the energy required in order to create this space warp would be an amount of energy similar to the mass of the planet Jupiter - something unimaginable! Hence, in the NASA tests, the 'bend' in space-time will be tiny, a mere fraction of the warp speed necessary for a manned mission to another world - but, it is a beginning - and a good place to start.
The conquest of the planets, let alone the universe, always comes up against the barrier of the huge distances between. The nearest star outside our solar system is 4.2 light years from Earth, and it is worth remembering that each light year equates to 9.5 trillion kilometers! Thus the idea of creating a bend in space-time, a warp drive, born as a hope - may transform one day into a reality the centuries old dream of reaching other worlds.
Link para o texto em português escrito no Diário Popular, de Pelotas: