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NASAs International Space Station Paves Way for Farther Space Travel, 'Star Trek' Warp Travel Possible?

Jul 29, 2016 05:04 AM EDT
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NOORDWIJK, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 14: A general view of inside the Columbus replica / simulator as is attached to the International Space Station or ISS in the ESAs Planetary Robotics Lab, part of the Automation & Robotics Labs, together with the Telerobotics and Haptics Lab and the Orbital Robotics Lab at the European Space Agency on April 14, 2016 in Noordwijk, Netherlands. Space is such a harsh place for humans and machines that future exploration of our Solar System will most likely involve sending robotic explorers to 'test the waters' on uncharted planets before sending humans. The 'Multi-Purpose End To End Robotics Operations Network', or Meteron, project is preparing for that future.
(Photo : Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Warp travel as portrayed in the science fiction film, "Star Trek Beyond" may just become a reality. According to NASA, the International Space Station (ISS) is discovering and creating ways for farther travels to the corners of the universe.

First launched in 1998, the ISS continues to be inhabited by NASA since the year 2000. Aboard the ISS, astronauts are laying out a plan for man's travel across the solar system. The station currently serves as a test bed for microgravity technologies and astronaut health techniques.

"For most of us, the thought of traveling to another galaxy probably seems like science fiction," states Victor Glover, who was selected in 2013 but has yet to fly into space. "But the truth is, the foundation for humankind's journey beyond Earth's solar system is being laid right now aboard our very own International Space Station."

Before any other destination across the solar system, NASA is preparing for their mission to Mars. On July 21, a group of astronauts had dived into the Aquarius Reef Base for the NASA Extreme Environment Mission. The expedition under the sea is a preparation for NASA's trip to Mars set for the year 2030.

There is a lot of preparation involved in NASA's expedition to Mars. One of the things astronauts have to watch out for is the effect of microgravity. When the force of gravity is taken off from the body, it affects bone density and muscle mass. In addition, the heart doesn't work as much.

"But thanks to the International Space Station, we're able to study the effects of weightlessness and develop countermeasures in orbit, close to Earth," explains Glover. Astronauts spend approximately 90 minutes to two hours running on the treadmill and lifting weights to help slow down bone and muscle deterioration.

While space exploration is still far from the likes of "Star Trek," traveling towards distant locations through space is a close possibility.

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