Here we have a patent application (US8109471B2) for a “tubular shaped interstellar space craft,” filed on November 14, 2008.
It’s an ambitious patent, outlining a “plasma based aircraft” that can “approach the speed of light,” and it’s packed full of gadgets:
“The craft has a proton accelerator, plasma guns, diversion devices…This invention is comparable to the discovery of fire insofar as man’s future is concerned, particularly in view of our climate change, and a recent near impact from an asteroid—which would have put us within an ice age.”
Hey. Plasma guns. And something about a “proton accelerator.”
I suppose the most intriguing thing is that this patent was actually issued on February 7, 2012. But I’m not sure why I’m surprised — sooner or later, we’ll get our acts together and head out into the final frontier. It’s just a matter of time.
Might as well have some blueprints ready.