Yes, a mystery for sure, but then the universe tends to have a warped sense of humour. This all started yesterday when the Dutch NOS gave me the idea with ‘This is how we seek for life in the Universe’, you see, we can search the quadrillion of stars that might give us the answer, or we can look at 1,000,000 places the will give us the answer. The riddle was never scientific, it was a set of variables that an engineer could use to find what he needs, and therefor we see wht others need too.
Before we take that journey, we need to take heed of one part, the US allegedly have found the solution to a working fusion reactor. This might switch on the lights in a city, but for space travel not really a working solution. To see this I need to give you an example. Most people remember the age of the Moped, a 2 stroke system almost 50cc. It works but for what we need, we would need a Triumph Rocket R3, a very nice bike that will not get you anywhere with a 2-stroke engine. You need more powerful fuel and a big ass engine. The problem is that Uranium is pretty much the best we can do on this world.
We are a temperate world and you need layer 7 elements to get anywhere.
The first element
The first element is not the most vital one, but has essential abilities. It is Negrinium, it has a black crystalline structure and the rings of Saturn have a decent supply of it. When these crystals are shaped like a comb and fusion energy is pushed through it, the Negrinium will align and direct the energy, it is a great way to direct fusion power. It is not the most essential part, but you will get 10%-25% better use of fusion power. Negrinium is found not unlike Amethyst in rocks, the crystals are on the inside. The rocks are slightly harder (read: tougher) than granite, but it keeps the Negrinium safe.
The second element
This is a more difficult one. Like Uranium there is a 235 and 238 version. This one, named Klaventium comes in 4 versions, the largest one is the right one, the other three create a very toxic version of waste and the only place to story it is on the world you found it in the first place and it better be safely stored for over 150,000 years. The biggest version is the good one, it burns clean leaves no mess and has 500 times the power of Uranium. The closest place is Jupiter and you can start finding it 3-5 miles below the surface and there is a setback. In the first that stuff can never be on earth. If you would ‘hide’ a piece of Klaventium the size of a rice grain in an envelope, set in a hidden corner on Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street. Whatever comes within 80 meters of the place will die in 30 days, it is radiation poisoning on steroids. There is no cure and klaventium will not leave any normal signal like gamma radiation, it is out of our scope to monitor it and it is a way to deal with the surplus population, but not in a nice way. Also mining that stuff can only be done by reinforced droids or drones). Yet the impact on engines will be seen, a 7ft container will be enough to power a ship the size of one of those star wars vehicles all the way to Alpha Centauri with a compliment of 250,000 people. The downside is that all fusion goes wrong at some point, there is no solution, things happen and when fusion goes bad, the ship will be gone, there is no exception and anyone say there is is out of his (or her) mind.
The third element
This is the problem and it is a universal one. We need an essential part, a noble gas named Celestrium. It has a very nice side effect and the problem is that there is only one place in the universe where this stuff can be found (It is not Arrakis). You see Celestrium can only be found in a system with multiple stars (like Binary and tertiary systems). When the stars get close enough the rays will have a nice side effect. As EVERY star has a different frequency, two stars will create an area of effect. This creates Celestrium and the side effect is that Celestrium stops fusion, it inhibits it. It is the universe way of stopping suns to become a little too hot tempered. And there is the one element every Engineer in the universe needs. Celestrium! And it also answers the question where life is. It is not on that system, binary or tertiary systems do not allow for temperate planets. But the star adjacent to it will and there is your answer. You see, when this gas in mined the radiation print will change, it will fluctuate between values, when normally that is a scientific impossibility, mining is the answer to that impossibility. So if we had a powerful telescope like the James Webb Space Telescope, we could monitor these worlds. For us, I reckon about 50 of them should be within scanning range, so the search for life went from quadrillion to 50 in mere seconds.
So when my diary in the future states “I have had magnificent sex with a beautiful Swedish woman, and I got a Nobel price to boot. Today my life is awesome! (Many thanks to the Nobel committee in Stockholm)” I will not be kidding!
Have a lovely day and let your imagination run amok with you too! It might make your day less dreary.