Feb 28, 2017 01:46 AM EST
Since NASA discovered that there are other Earth-like planets, they have been researching on how to travel faster to get there. The Trappist-1 system has seven planets and three of them are very much like Earth, which might be supporting life.
According to The Motley Fool, there are many space companies who are developing space craft that can travel 10 times faster than space shuttles that exists nowadays. Stellar Exploration Ecliptic Enterprises, Boreal Space, and the non-profit Planetary Society designed its military space shuttle X-37B that Boeing (NYSE:BA) sent to space. It has a prototype of "solar sail", in which in the future people are expecting to travel 10 times faster.
Moreover, Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA) is working with NASA to create solar panels that can power up spaceship through its ion drives with collected sunlight. Meanwhile, Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) is also trying to develop another ion thruster system, the Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial, or "NEXT-C". It will make spaceships travel space three times faster than current interplanetary propulsion systems.
On the other hand, the privately held Ad Astra has an even faster nuclear-powered ion drive system in the works. It is the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket or VASIMR. Lastly, NASA is still trying to work on their EmDrive system. It is said to generating force without any physical fuel source.
The planets are orbiting a dwarf star, Telegraph reported. TRAPPIST-1 means Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope. They are placed in the constellation Aquarius, 40 lights year far from Earth. 40 light years is also 235 trillion miles away. Six of the planets in the system are exo planets, the Belgian-led research team who announced its discovery on Wednesday said.
Since the sun is small, the planets orbit ranges from one day to 20 days. The planets are near the sun but they are not as hot as Mercury or Venus because the star is not as big as our sun. If the researches are successful, maybe in 2030 to 2040 or 2050, people can go to some of the planets in the Trappist-1 system.