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The Future Antimatter Spacecraft INDEX 1Index1 2Introduction2 3What is antimatter3 4Matter-Antimatter Engine5 5Last Improvements7 INTRODUCTION Engineering stand by for warp drive With that command the Star Trek crew of the USS Enterprise prepared to hurl the spaceship through the cosmos at superluminal speeds Warp drive is another one of those science fiction technologies like teleportation and time travel that have some scientific basis It just hasnt been achieved yet However scientists are working on developing an interstellar spacecraft engine that is similar to the matter-antimatter engine of the Enterprise Photo courtesy NASAAntimatter spacecraft like this one could some day shorten a trip to Mars from 11 months to one month No engine is likely to generate superluminal speeds the laws of physics prevent us from doing that but we will be able to go many times faster than our current propulsion methods allow A matter-antimatter engine will take us far beyond our solar system and let us reach nearby stars in a fraction of the time it would take a spacecraft propelled by a liquid-hydrogen engine like the one used in the space shuttle Its like the difference between driving an Indy racecar and a 1971 Ford Pinto In the Pinto youll eventually get to the finish line but it will take 10 times longer than in the Indy car WHAT IS ANTIMATTER This isnt a trick question Antimatter is exactly what you might think it is the opposite of normal matter of which the majority of our universe is made Until just recently the presence of antimatter in our universe was considered to be only theoretical In 1928 British physicist Paul AM Dirac revised Einsteins famous equation Emc2 Dirac said that Einstein didnt consider that the m in the equation -- matter -- could have negative properties as well as positive Diracs equation E or
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