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A starship is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between the stars, as opposed to a vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel.

The term is mostly found in science fiction, as humanity has not yet constructed such vehicles (while the Voyager and Pioneer probes have traveled into local interstellar space, they are not generally considered starships, mainly because they both lack a propulsion system, and are uncrewed. However, exploratory engineering has been undertaken on several preliminary designs and feasibility studies for starships that could be built with modern technology or technology thought likely to be available in the near future.



To travel between stars in a reasonable time using rocket-like technology requires very high effective exhaust velocity exhaust jet, and enormous energy to power this, such as might be provided by fusion power or antimatter.

There are very few scientific studies that investigate the issues in building a starship. Some examples of this include:

The Bussard ramjet is an idea to use nuclear fusion of interstellar gas to provide propulsion.

Other ideas involve going more slowly and building a generation ship.

Other concepts involve trying to exceed the speed of light in some way, such as creating and maintaining a wormhole.

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