Elon Musk Reveals Why Traveling at the Speed Of Light Is a Terrible Idea
Elon Musk is a man that knows the value of time. He will soon start sending people to
Mars, which means, at the minimum, these explorers will travel 33.9 million miles. This
will take at least five months of travel through vast space, with all the dangers
associated with it. Since Musk cannot do anything about the distance from the Earth to
the Red Planet, all he can do to cut down the travel time is increase the speed at which
his Starship spacecraft can move! If the Starship can travel at or above the speed of
light, a large chunk of Musk’s problem would be solved! However, the CEO believes it is
a terrible idea! In this video, we show you why Elon Musk thinks traveling faster than the
speed of light is a bad idea!
Many people will balk at the idea of transporting one million people from one continent
to another! And it is not for invalid reasons because the logistics required to pull it off
can make one crazy! However, Musk is undertaking this transport on a large scale! His
goal is to transport one million people from the Earth to Mars to live there permanently!
And he wants to do this in a short period, for important reasons! The biggest reason is
that deep place is full of powerful, harmful radiation that could kill or ruin your health if
you stay exposed for too long! One could even become sterile! Similarly, spending so
long in a low-gravity environment may cause huge problems to your health, including
loss of muscle and bone damage, making it a double whammy of radiation and low
gravity! Also, why spend so long in space when anything can go wrong at any moment,
but you will ultimately be on your own?
So the best thing is for Musk’s explorers to get to Mars as soon as possible! This is
where the problem lies. While the Starship is really fast, all Musk can do is to target the
window of when the Earth and Mars have the shortest distances separating them! But is
that really all he can do? What if he can make the Starship move at, or, faster than the
speed of light and reduce the travel time or a large order of magnitude? What could go
wrong? You shall soon see in this video! However, what exactly is the speed of light,
and how fast is it?
Many people will be surprised that light travels, and not only that, but that it travels at a
specific speed! Some people do not pause to think of how fast the light traveled when
they switched on a bulb in a dark room. They just accept that the room is no longer dark
and go about their business! They won’t be the first to think light is instantaneous or just
happens. Aristotle, the famous 5th-century Greek philosopher, did not believe that light
traveled either! In fact, he wrote a whole treatise, On Sense and the Sensibility, as a
rebuttal to Empedocles, another philosopher who believed light could travel!
However, thanks to science, we can now one-up Aristotle because we know the exact
speed at which light travels! The value is 299,792,458 meters per second! That is about
186,282 miles per second or 299,792.458 kilometers per second! On Earth, to a casual
observer, the effect of light traveling may be lost on us because light appears instantly!
However, in space, where distances are vast, it begins to take significance! And this is
where it gets mind-boggling, to say the least! We will talk about the concept of a light-
What is a light-year?
It is a unit of measurement of distance. In fact, it is the unit scientists use to measure
vast distances across the universe! A light-year is the distance that light can travel in
one year, about 6 trillion miles 10 trillion kilometers!
Here is what that means; for example, light travels from the moon to our eyes in about 1
second, which means the moon is about one light-second away. Sunlight takes about 8
minutes to reach our eyes, so the sun is about 8 light minutes away. However, light from
Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to our own, takes about 4.3 years to get to the
Earth, so Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light-years away!
Better still, to get an idea of the size of a light-year distance, take the circumference of
the Earth, that is some 24,900 miles, lay it out in a straight line, multiply the length of the
line by 7.5, the corresponding distance is one light-second, then place 31.6 million
similar lines end to end. The resulting distance will give you almost 6 trillion miles!
There are objects even further away than Alpha Centauri, like stars beyond our solar
system! They lie anywhere from a few light-years to a few billion light-years out! This
means everything astronomers see in the distant universe is literally history. When
astronomers study objects that are far away, the objects appear as they existed at the
time that light left them! So, this group of professionals is actually dealing with data that