Can we travel to other planets, as science fiction seems so compelled to suggest?
Here's a thought experiment. Remember the charts of the solar system on the wall in elementary school? All of the planets are spaced roughly evenly, right? Well it turns out that they're not exactly drawn to scale.
This makes sense, of course. If we tried to draw a to-scale version and started with Earth (about the size of a pea maybe), Jupiter would be about 10 000 feet away.
And Pluto? Oh about a mile and a half (and not to mention about the size of a bacterium).
So the next time someone tells you that travelling to other planets may be a reality, remind them that we have difficulty sending people to our moon, or about 240 000 miles away- a mere hop, skip, and a...well not quite a jump on our to-scale model.