Illustrator Kemp Remillard detailed the interior of the Millennium Falcon.
(Images from Star Wars: The Force Awakens™ Incredible Cross-Sections” reprinted with permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015 by Jason Fry and Kemp Remillard)
With so many incredible, newly developing technologies, we can build a real-life Millennium Falcon? In short, no. But we are getting closer.
In the ‘Star Wars’ universe Millennium Falcon has been named as the coolest ship around. The freighter that Han Solo originally won from Lando Calrissian in the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament, the Millennium Falcon is in the center of some of the most incredible adventures in the series.
With “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hitting theaters on May 25, let’s look at some of the most remarkable technological characteristics of this iconic ship and what would have to happen before we can build today. [Tour the Millennium Falcon with This “Star Wars” Photos!]
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According to the calculations of Wired
Star Wars Starships of a Galaxy far, far Away
The Millennium Falcon the signature of the speed of the hyperdrive, a propulsion system that pushes the ship to light speed — even though Han Solo has the famous boasted that the ship can travel even faster. The hyperdrive features with the help of “hypermatter particles” to send the craft into hyperspace, an alternate dimension reached by traveling at or above the speed of light. This technique uses wrinkles in the fabric of space-time or wormholes: pieces of fabric that fold over this connection otherwise-distant points.
Now, while the theory of general relativity predicts wormholes, they are still only a theoretical phenomenon. So, because we cannot prove their existence, we certainly can not manipulate for our own purposes. Stephen Hsu, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oregon, told our sister site Live Science, “You would need some very exotic kind of matter to stabilize a wormhole, and it is not clear whether such matter exists in the universe.”
Now, there is some excitement in the scientific community around an engine called the EmDrive. This is not a hyperdrive, or warp drive, as some have suggested. But it bounces microwaves around a room as a substitute for locomotion. Recently, researchers make the EmDrive the testand found that the thrust produced is a kind of electromagnetic interaction that is likely between the engine power cables, and magnetic field of the Earth, according to their research, This would not be the end of the EmDrive as a potential future engine — but it is certainly not a hyperdrive.
Even if we suspend our disbelief and accept the speed of the ship, another problem arises: the g-forces. According to the calculations of Wired, passengers aboard the Millennium Falcon could up to about 12 g’s while traveling at the speed portrayed in the film (though this might not be the case if they travel through hyperspace). This is similar to the in a gravitational field 12 times higher than what we normally experience on Earth. [“Star Wars” Spaceships from a Galaxy far, far Away]
At 1 g, we can still blood to our brain, but as the g’s increase, this becomes more difficult. Twelve g’s is about the maximum that jet fighter pilots experience before they get out of, but this assumes that they are wearing g-strings, which squeeze the legs in high-g situations to prevent the blood from being pushed down.
So, in theory, without a high-g suits the human passengers aboard the Millennium Falcon would be a black-out as the ship took a high-g turns, even without having to travel as fast as Han Solo bragged.
On Chewbacca, at the request of a hologram, “chess”, or holochess table was installed on the Millennium Falcon, so that passengers can play Dejarik, a classic strategy game in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. But while the astronauts on board the International Space Station won’t be playing Chewie’s favorite game at any time soon, hologram technology is inching the way to the modern spacecraft.
In 2016, after some start problems, two of Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset traveled to the space station to the support of the members of the crew. In addition, the innovators behind the Voxiebox have built an early version sort of holochess. You can’t feel the pieces or move them with your hands, but this function is not far away, and researchers have already gotten close.
In one example, reported by fixed teams of the University of Tokyo and Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan have made of small, plasma holograms that you can feel with your hands.
Invisible Deflector Shields
On board of most ships in the “Star Wars” universe, and the whole sci-fi stories, deflector shields are a staple security measure. When a conflict arises, deflectors, go right, to the ship intact, despite enemy attacks. But is this just a well worn science fiction trope? Not exactly.
Back in 2014, ExtremeTech formed a team of students from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom that the possibility of the use of plasma to build a deflector. The students took notice of the Earth the ionosphere is a part of the upper layer of the atmosphere in which the plasma.
We are currently bouncing communication signals off of the ionosphere plasma to send to different locations on the Earth. This “invisible shield” around the Earth, was the inspiration for this team the suggestion that you could use and manipulate plasma to deflect electromagnetic radiation, like that coming from an energy or laser weapon, as possible. Such a shield is not technically feasible, but their general concept is to use plasma and deflect the radiation is certainly within the limits of what is possible.
In addition,in 2008, Ruth Bamford of the Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England, and her colleagues studied the possibility of deflecting the radiation using a portable magnetic shield. Although it is not the battle-ready chute we have seen in Star Wars, it is certainly a step in that direction.
Quadex Power Core
Grey, round and suitable for installation in YT-1300 light freighters, like the Millennium Falcon, the Quadex power core, the ship’s main source of energy, is pure fiction. [‘Star Wars’! 40 Surprising Facts from a Galaxy Far, Far Away]
Other than the description on a power source for spaceships like the Millennium Falcon, the Quadex power core is a pretty mysterious technology. The series never explained how the power core works, so it is equally possible and impossible that we could build.
Quad Laser Cannons
Some of the Millennium Falcon, the most powerful and most used weapons, the quad laser cannons are also quite feasible. The U.S. military Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the development of the closest thing we have to a “Star Wars” – style laser cannon. It fits on a fighter jet, but is still powerful enough to shoot a 150-kilowatt energy beam.
In addition, the researchers have suggested that a coherent amplification network (CAN) laser, a beam made of multiple small lasers, could get rid of space debris around the Earth by evaporation of a thin layer of the material of the surface of the space junk. This would be the pressure of the rubble to the bottom, where it would burn up in the atmosphere of the Earth.
Laser weapons may currently be large, dangerous, and difficult to make, but they are definitely possible.
The technology on board the Millennium Falcon are not constant. The ship is an ever-evolving amalgamation of various stolen, modified, and parts. It might seem strange that a very good future ship could be assembled — but if you think about the current space advances, it makes sense.
The Millennium Falcon has a lot in common with SpaceX’s Dragon, which is the reusable design is optimized for an efficient, sustainable start. Also the Millennium Falcon’s design is based on the reuse of parts.
With long-term space travel, the tech board of a ship to break down, become obsolete, etc. It may not always be possible to 3D-print new items or make repairs with what is already present on a ship. Future space travelers might do what Han Solo has done and reusing found items efficiently to be able to survive in the cosmos.
The Millennium Falcon features a seemingly endless list of gadgets and possibilities. From the large sensor dish to her Gigyrodyne sublight engine, the thrust-pressure manifold and the sensor-proof smuggling compartments, on-board technology of this ship varies from very plausible to fictitious.
So, mankind is not quite ready for the building of a Millennium Falcon. Still, many the development of technologies that could one day make on-board tech like laser guns and invisible deflector shields a reality. Until then, we can always look at Han Solo and company zip through the milky way on one of the science fiction of the most iconic ships.
Original article on Space.com.