SpacecraftOchloy56 - 6 Answers
Of course, ultimately it depends upon what one considers to be "quickly." Still, from a purely practical standpoint, I can't imagine that humankind will ever fashion a means of travelling to other stars and galaxies in any measure of time that could reasonably be considered "quick."
The distances are simply far too vast -- and the relativistic limitations on the speed of any physical craft are just too constraining -- for us to EVER be able to 'quickly' arrive at even the nearest star (Proxima Centauri), which is more than four light years away (and that's presuming travel at LIGHT SPEED, which is theoretically impossible).
No, unfortunately, regardless of whatever new forms of propulsion we may create in the future, if we're to travel to ANY location beyond our own solar system, it's going to be a matter of GENERATIONS worth of travel time.
I think given enough time we will, but it probably won't be for a few thousand years. I recently read that NASA has several theories on how to build engines that would propel spacecraft to other galaxies, but they are only theories, and would take decades of work just to begin testing them. For instance, NASA has a theory that they could travel to other galaxies by basically "bending space", so that instead of traveling through space, we would "fold" space only have to travel a short distance between the folds in order to reach a far away galaxy. This is very theoretical, and it would most likely take centuries to come up with the technology just to begin working on something like that.
Thus, I think we can, but it won't be in our lifetimes. NASA is still having trouble getting humans to Mars. Getting to another galaxy will take many hundreds of lifetimes to figure out.
Forever is a long time. If the human race can figure out a way to survive long enough then yes, someday we may discover the technology that can take us to other galaxies and solar systems. Will it happen in our lifetime? Not a chance. We will be lucky to send a manned mission to Mars in our lifetime. But, given a long enough time period, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of years, we will eventually figure out a way to travel quickly to other parts of the universe. As far as what the technology will be that will accomplish this I don't think anyone really knows yet as it has yet to be discovered.
I would love to be alive when this does happen but I know that won't be possible. I just hope that I am still here when we finally land a manned mission on Mars.
Thanks for the question.
Realistically, unless scientists can figure out a way to make wormholes (ie. bend space/time) then the most viable way of travelling to other galaxies is probably by slowly colonizing into space. Eventually, colonies will spread out from other colonies creating an exponential spread of humanity across the universe. Assuming that all "colonies" stay networked together, there may be some sort of virtual intergalactic travel in the future but I wouldn't hold your breath thinking it will be during your lifetime...
The thing is we have figured out a bunch of ways to do that. We just have not made any of them work so far.
Multi-generational ships, atomic combustion and even warp drives are "theoretically feasible". But that does not mean practical. Space Travel to other systems and galaxies might be far off. Colonizing our own system could be a much more achievable dream though. Maybe still not within our generation but definitely possible within a few.
As the idea of traveling quickly though space has already been dreamed up and presented in a variety of television shows such as Star Trek and Star Wars it wouldn't surprise me if it came to pass however, considering our current level of technology I do not believe it will be in our life time.
Thanks for asking.