The Stellar Engine. How to Turn the Sun Into a Spaceship

R/I ~ AA


Space is big. Obviously. Traveling through space therefore takes a lot of commitment. Unfortunately due to the insurmountable size of space we’ll probably never see mankind reach the levels of interstellar travel seen in Star Trek or Star Wars. We’ll never travel back and forth between interstellar planets. We can however potentially take our planet and indeed the entirety of our solar system to other worlds, and all we need to do is turn our sun into basically a great big tugboat. The right tool for the job is a Stellar Engine.

There are many different theories and various different designs for stellar engines but the most practical one is the Caplan Thruster. Named after Professor Matthew Caplan of Illinois State University the theoretical machine would potentially move the sun in any direction of our choosing. It sounds like fantasy but such a machine is possible albeit expensive and potentially self sustaining.

The Caplan Thruster would essentially be an engine that propels itself forward using a rocket while firing a beam of the sun’s own energy against it. This cannibalized ray of the sun’s own heat would in turn heat up one specific spot of the sun to such a degree that it would propel the sun into the opposite direction.

The Caplan Thruster would have to use up a bit of the sun in the process of making its directional laser but doing so would only take a tiny fraction of the sun’s surface energy and would in fact lengthen our sun’s lifespan since in general smaller stars live longer than larger ones. The Thruster would be capable of absorbing the sun’s energy for fuel by being linked to a type of Dyson Sphere or Dyson Swarm, basically a web of mirrors that reflect the sun’s energy into the engine itself as borderline eternal fuel.

By firing it’s own energy into it the Caplan Thruster would turn the sun almost into a giant slingshot that would take all of its little revolving planets with it. We’d be basically turning the entirety of our solar system from Venus, Mars, the Moon to Pluto into a giant boat. We’d be traveling through space without ever having to leave our solar system.

Now such a journey would take at minimum a million years. This doesn’t sound exciting but keep in mind that a million year timeframe is more than enough to dodge cosmic sized threats such as supernovas, so such theoretical technology is worth thinking about. Plus it would be the safest way to explore space. By turning our sun into a giant space engine we’d have all of our solar system’s worth of resources constantly with us as we safely explore the far reaches of space. We could simply hop onto other solar systems as we pass them by.

Such technology would basically make us gods in our own right. The power to move the sun is just a bunch of mirrors and a laser away.

Some References:

Some Questions: 

  1. With such a technology we’d for all practical concerns be gods ourselves. Do you think anyone on Earth would still be religious at that point or would society have completely secularized?
  2. Do you think mankind will ever reach a stage where we can pull off something as grand in scale as the Caplan Thruster?
  3. How much would such a technological feat change society? Would it secularize us? Make us more unified as a species? Or just compound our societal issues further? 

Dollarmenu Jesus

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