A replica of the star ship Enterprise
A replica of the star ship Enterprise (Reuters/Keith Bedford)

Star Trek-worthy voyages will come to life within the next 100 years, according to the 100-Year Starship Symposium.

Experts gathered in Orlando, Florida for a three day think tank to discuss the possibility of spaceships making trips to distant planets and stars within the next 100 years.

The closest star to Earth is called Alpha Centauri and it's only a hop, skip, and four light-years away - meaning it would take any spaceship significantly longer due to the less-than-light-year speed of any craft.

To put that in perspective, the Voyager I is currently the furthest man-made object sent into space, and after 30 years it is only one percent of the distance to the nearest star.

Just knowing that would make almost anyone give up the idea, but not NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. These guys thought up the early innovations of the Internet, so if anyone's making it to the stars it's them!

In between debates on fusion vs. nuclear thermal propulsion and discussions of plasma shields for the interstellar vehicle, the question of sex and procreation was also pondered.

It is still unknown, if you want kids and you want reproduction, what gravity has to do with successful development, MIT researcher Dan Buckland told LiveScience at the event.

Although child development in a weightless environment is important, scientist are unsure if the process of having a baby in space is even possible.

Sex is very difficult in zero gravity, apparently, because you have no traction and you keep bumping against the walls, biologist Athena Andreadis told SPACE.com. Think about it: you have no friction, you have no resistance.

If a women can manage to get pregnant, there is only an uphill battle from there. Giving birth in a weightless environment would be almost unbearable as the baby's weight helps push it out.

Experts also weighed in on the pros and cons of colonizing distant planets. Humans would need to make a dome to create an earth-like atmosphere in order to survive. The option of hybrid humans raised to withstand the new atmosphere was also talked about - something only a symposium filled of brainiacs would think to discuss!

Questions of ethics were similarly raised on rights of colonizing a new planet.

We will have to grow up and do self-directed evolution, realizing that what comes out of the other end may not be human, Andreadis told SPACE.com. If we stake our future among the stars, we must change for the journey and the destination.