It’s basically a given that we’re not going to have that much longer on this planet. We’ve crapped it up pretty severely with pollution and overpopulation and Kardashians. But current space technology just isn’t going to get us to a habitable world in any decent span of time. That’s why some scientists believe that the design for the spaceships of the future might take inspiration from disco balls.
Present-day space craft work along the same lines as old-school rockets: a big tube of propulsion and a tiny compartment for people at the top. But to travel longer distances at any decent rate of speed, you need to think outside of the box and inside the ball. The disco ball, to be precise.
Researchers believe that a craft with a spherical, mirrored form could use pulses of laser light to push itself through space at 1/5 of the speed of light – far faster than anything we can do now. These spacecraft could push interstellar probes to far off solar systems, allowing us to search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.
Project Starshot, a new space exploration concept from Stephen Hawking, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is taking a similar tack with “solar sails,” but the disco ball spaceship might be even more efficient.
The Daily Mail has more on the story.Get your balls in the game! Donate to the Sean Kimerling Foundation to win the battle against testicular cancer.