Look, I love Mass Effect; But the people here are talking nonsense. We could get to the nearest stars in 6 months flight time with techonology of yesterday. In 60's nuclear airplane engines were tested, there were nuclear fission rockets tested that kick out 10,000 times more energy per particle than standard chemical rockets. The russians tested 5 nuclear rocket prototypes in earth orbit! The point is with an acceleration of 1G using one of these rockets, it would take 6 months flight time to get 30 light years! People usually do not know this stuff as it is left to Astronomers to tell the public what is possible. Engineers are the guys you need to ask. The gentleman at Oxford is simply un aware of this stuff. We have not travelled because there has been no focussed effort. Money, effort & a target equal results.
@mike_thoth No conventional propulsion engine will get you to travel 30 ly in 6 months. You can achieve high speeds with nuclear fuel, yes, but you won't be able to even come close to the speed of light - laws of physics won't let you.
@ponci7 @mike_thoth I also did not mention conventional engines. I am talking about nuclear fission rockets that were tested in Los Alamos during the 1960's. Using this technology you can get to our nearest star in 6 months. I think the 30 light years was a typo. Certainly this technology acceleration at 1 G would get us there within 6 months. Mars much quicker. If you want to know about space travel, ask a aerospace engineer or a physicist.
@mike_thoth @ponci7 Our nearest star (apart from Sun) is Alpha Centauri which is ~4.2 LY away. To travel that distance in 6 months, you would need to travel at 8.4 * speed of light. This is not possible using any engines that humanity know of at the moment, including nuclear engines (this is what I meant by saying conventional engines). Of course we have no idea of what scientists will find out in the future and at some point, it might be possible to achieve this, but not right now.
@ponci7 @mike_thoth Yes you are correct in what you say currently but I did not make any mention of the speed of light in my post. We should also remember that scientific progress is made by doing things differently in an unconventional way. The future is not an extrapolation of the past. The Laws of Physics are man made, and we know with 100% certainty that our mathematical laws of space/time are wrong. Physicists know & who knows what could happen in the long term future if we invest time & money to do so.