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An important point sticks out here: Whether attaining that speed is possible or not, we should never stop trying to push the boundaries of science. This is the only we can progress in knowledge.
That's right. Some researchers at Glenn feel that without breaking light speed, we cannot hope to travel beyond Jupiter and return in a lifetime.
According Dr. to Stephen Hawking (Into the Universe, 2010), humans will eventually need to leave the earth to avoid destruction by the sun. Traveling at the speed of light would probably be necessary to find a habitable planet.
Thank for posting the question. I am not surprised NASA is on this as we speak. It's all so fascinating.