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Why We Should Consider a Mission to 550 AU From Sol

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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:25 AM
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originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: crazyewok

originally posted by: stormbringer1701
a 4 newton EM drive can make alpha proxima in 29 years. and that is assuming proper acceleration and deacceleration times via the copernicus flight trajectory calculator. current EM output is .1 newton. planned new test articles will up that output.


Thats IF the EM drives works


The jury is still out.

Though it does look promising.
I've concluded personally that the EM drive(s) work. but let us say they don't. Modern ion drive technology can go just as fast.


You still need the power to link into it. And you can not use it for Earth to Orbit launch due to its low thrust which is for me mankind's biggest hurdle.




posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok

originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Sorry but I don't agree you need space station or moon-base, asteroid mining etc to go out that far.

A singular leap in the field of power generation is all that's needed.

Imagine the Lockheed Martin 100mw Fusion reactor that's the size of a small car. Combine this with VASIMR & you have the means to traverse the solar system & beyond in one fell swoop.


And how do you get that VASIMR engine attached to a Fusion reactor into orbit?


Earth to orbit cost and safety is one of the biggest hurdles we need to overcome.


Why would you need to assemble it in orbit?

Fusion is safe clean energy without the harmful radiative waste that you get from nuclear. So there is no safety issues to worry about when compared to the nuclear route.

As to cost:

Given it would be put together on the ground, then there are huge savings to be made vs orbital assembly. Not to mention, the added time & complexity. There is nothing stopping it from being assembled in space, but there is no need whatsoever to do so.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: big_BHOY

originally posted by: crazyewok

originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Sorry but I don't agree you need space station or moon-base, asteroid mining etc to go out that far.

A singular leap in the field of power generation is all that's needed.

Imagine the Lockheed Martin 100mw Fusion reactor that's the size of a small car. Combine this with VASIMR & you have the means to traverse the solar system & beyond in one fell swoop.


And how do you get that VASIMR engine attached to a Fusion reactor into orbit?


Earth to orbit cost and safety is one of the biggest hurdles we need to overcome.


Why would you need to assemble it in orbit?

Fusion is safe clean energy without the harmful radiative waste that you get from nuclear. So there is no safety issues to worry about when compared to the nuclear route.

As to cost:

Given it would be put together on the ground, then there are huge savings to be made vs orbital assembly. Not to mention, the added time & complexity. There is nothing stopping it from being assembled in space, but there is no need whatsoever to do so.


Thats was not my point.

I KNOW fusion is safe.


My point is the greatest barrier to space exploration and exploitation is COST. And the majority of that cost is in the earth to orbit stage.

Iron Engines, VASIMR ect do little to reduce that cost as you still have to send them up on big expensive potentially unreliable rockets.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok

You still need the power to link into it. And you can not use it for Earth to Orbit launch due to its low thrust [snip]


*YET*

The Elf tube thruster actually brings ion drives into the "useful in the upper atmosphere/gravity well" regime. they are powerful with the force. it's just a matter of time until ion thrusters can be used for SSTO.

and that is something that no one would have believed in a thousand years just a decade ago. and yet it is happening.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:54 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: crazyewok

originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Sorry but I don't agree you need space station or moon-base, asteroid mining etc to go out that far.

A singular leap in the field of power generation is all that's needed.

Imagine the Lockheed Martin 100mw Fusion reactor that's the size of a small car. Combine this with VASIMR & you have the means to traverse the solar system & beyond in one fell swoop.


And how do you get that VASIMR engine attached to a Fusion reactor into orbit?


Earth to orbit cost and safety is one of the biggest hurdles we need to overcome.
There is not special safety concern for a fusion reactor getting to orbit. there is no nukey poo in a fusion reactor. no radioisotopes. no radiation at all until you turn it on. even if you turn it on it is not a permanent radiation hazzard. and if it did blow up while activated on the way to orbit the stuff that comes out would go poof in a few minutes. There is far more dangerous stuff in your typical smoke detector.


That's not the safety I was talking about. I know full well how fusion works and how it wont cause fallout. Hell I am a project Orion fan for crying out loud! So I am far from concerned with nuclear safety hehe

The safety I am talking about is the big crude EXPENSIVE dumb rocket that relies on a big crude dumb explosion that compared to most modes of transport have a pretty bad reliability rate.

Every time you spend tens or hundreds of million to get a object into space you stand a chance of losing it in a launch failure and worse if what you send up is crewed!

And there is the fact you have to spend tens or hundreds of millions in the first place to get something actually into orbit
This is all true (for now.) But there is no use grousing about the fact we are reliant on chemical heavy lift to get the things into space. we are also reliant on that for those light weight cube sats too. so there is no difference. eventually chemical will be supplanted. and in the meantime the only way to get the reactor and vasimr into space is on a chem rocket. It's not a big deficiency on Vasimr or fusion powered craft. I'd rather have a big fast enduring spaceship that can do real stuff and go real places built in orbit than not have one.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: stormbringer1701

O I agree if we can build one It would be nice to see one built even if we do have to send it up on a chemical rocket.


But large scale space exploration and things we all dream of like colonization are going to be out of our reach until we get that earth to orbit cost down.


PS

I have my hopes on SKYLON


Would be nice to have us Brits not just do something useful in space but revolutionize it somehow

edit on 24-4-2015 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok
a reply to: stormbringer1701

O I agree if we can build one It would be nice to see one built even if we do have to send it up on a chemical rocket.


But large scale space exploration and things we all dream of like colonization are going to be out of our reach until we get that earth to orbit cost down.


PS

I have my hopes on SKYLON


Would be nice to have us Brits not just do something useful in space but revolutionize it somehow
Skylon is certainly an awesome concept and they have the engine almost totally worked out. the big argument is on business model. That and funding. There is a thread on skylon development at the NSA advanced concept forum. most ofthe argument lately was on how to make it profitable; then U.S airforce interest; the legal entanglements of that. and then back to working out the details of the craft itself.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: stormbringer1701

At there projected launch costs they propose I would think they could very much monopolize the earth to orbit market at there what was it $600 Kg price?

The fact the UK government has been dumping millions into it when they are doing there austerity speaks a lot as its like getting blood from a stone from then right now.

IF they can pull SKYLON off it would act as a game changer with the EM or VASIMR.
You would have complete Anglo/American dominance of the sky's

edit on 24-4-2015 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 11:54 AM
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The skylon guys have promised to be a little more open to the public. they have...sort of. but it was just an incremental bit. we still aren't getting much out of them over here on this side of the pond.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 02:10 AM
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originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Sorry but I don't agree you need space station or moon-base, asteroid mining etc to go out that far.

A singular leap in the field of power generation is all that's needed.

Imagine the Lockheed Martin 100mw Fusion reactor that's the size of a small car. Combine this with VASIMR & you have the means to traverse the solar system & beyond in one fell swoop.


There are Human and safety elements to be considered.

As example we crossed the Atlantic over x number of months... think about that citrus and woman-less nightmare, bunch of guys with scurvy heading down to the Glory hole occasionally... Not exactly a Carnival Cruise line brochure, No stop in Aruba to buy bad T-shirts and snorkle, nothing.

You might be able to build the engine to go to 550 AU, but who exactly wants that long journey, no other places to stop, no other faces to see, where is the incentive?

Now, here's what I see pushing the drive to space, making it "sort of okay" to normal people

The ride to orbit on some kind of "plane like" craft of the Branson variety, stewardess and cocktails served, from the ground it seems "normal" to friends and family, safe, goes up often, people hit the Moon for "extremely lucrative mining jobs" on a regular basis

Next a few days on the space station, a little time to look at earth before a long Journey, still able to talk to family use the internet etc...

Then on to Mars, where after, hopefully a Month you can safely "hit the ground for a few days" a sizable colony is there "it's an experience"

Off again you go... next stop, Jupiter or Saturn, maybe there is a base on Europa, you dive in an Alien Ocean, perhaps there is alien life or perhaps at the right zones we have introduced it...

From there onto the Kuiper belt, maybe not much there, a water and mining station... some kind of humanity and there is a series of relays for the Internet the whole way back so the signal is strong and contact is continuous

etc, etc, etc...

What your talking about people will have trouble getting behind, that's an unmanned craft which is a fine start... but if you want the push to new systems and long Journeys, you want to pave the way with "stuff" money to be made, work of interest, other people to see...

Life is long, maybe in this century 120 years, maybe more... plenty of time for 10 or 20 year adventures, especially if you can get laid and come back rich eventually, people love to pioneer, to explore... they don't "love" sailing into a void locked in the same trailer sized space for 10-20 years, so you have to litter the path with "stuff" maintain good contact back to Earth and along the way with "humanity" and "making money" needs to be part of the program to finance it, plenty of people would go mine asteroids for 2-3 years and return

But 10-15 years to 550 AU and then back... screw that, I love space I need a modicum of safety, someplace to "change a flat tire" fresh water not the endlessly recycled crap, a few nuggets of Platinum... heck a Hooker on one of the moons of Pluto... anything

But the challenge of "science" isn't the only incentive people need to go out as far as 550 AU, that gets you a Trillion dollar project the Republicans complain about for 50 more years just like the Moon project and 4 astronauts go, and it never happens again...

No, if you want the "drive" the "real drive" isn't the engine it's public desire... that takes money to be made, entertainment, security and other people along the way.

It starts in orbit and goes from there... Branson has the path right, you need a Five Star Hotel in Orbit and Bar Credits



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 09:48 AM
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a mere 4 newton ion or plasma engine could cut the travel time down to several months. Dr White made a projection using copernicus flight software. i don't have the exact figure in memory but i may go look up the slide with that data on it.

Oh i remember now; that was to Tau which is double the distance to the area we were talking about. 1000 AU.

beginning at 39 minutes in this video:

www.youtube.com...

41:30 for tau. 1.8 years to TAU. so half the distance would take about .9 years.

4 newton to alpha proxima 29.9 years for a capture mission.

And that's just 4 newtons. try it at 8 or ten newtons

edit on 26-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: criticalhit

originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Sorry but I don't agree you need space station or moon-base, asteroid mining etc to go out that far.

A singular leap in the field of power generation is all that's needed.

Imagine the Lockheed Martin 100mw Fusion reactor that's the size of a small car. Combine this with VASIMR & you have the means to traverse the solar system & beyond in one fell swoop.


There are Human and safety elements to be considered.

As example we crossed the Atlantic over x number of months... think about that citrus and woman-less nightmare, bunch of guys with scurvy heading down to the Glory hole occasionally... Not exactly a Carnival Cruise line brochure, No stop in Aruba to buy bad T-shirts and snorkle, nothing.

You might be able to build the engine to go to 550 AU, but who exactly wants that long journey, no other places to stop, no other faces to see, where is the incentive?

Now, here's what I see pushing the drive to space, making it "sort of okay" to normal people



The 550 AU mission would not be a human spaceflight mission. There's no reason for it to be. It would be to send advanced telescopes to the Sun's gravitational lens, test out long term spaceflight technologies which MIGHT be used on future mission at sub-light speed (while I'm hopeful about the research White, et al are doing I am not nearly as optimistic about its near-term viability as stormbringer).

This would be things like deep, deep space communications, new propulsion technology etc.

If you had to involve a human spaceflight component (something I doubt you have to do as evidenced by the public's fascination with the Mars rovers) then you could test out systems which might be used on a future human interstellar mission.

So you could perhaps use a 550 AU mission to prove out things like long term electronics, self repairing systems, long term life support, "suspended animation" sleep chambers, a mini greenhouse to automatically grow and harvest food, etc.

Stuff you'd want to test out thoroughly before sending people on a 50 year trip to Alpha Centauri at 0.1c

Of course all this is moot if Dr. White and company produce a warp drive in our lifetime. I just have severe doubts. Then again, I am not a propulsion engineer so take my doubts with a grain of salt.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: criticalhit

Using an Ion drive to proper a 100 ton starship to Neptune (30AU) in 1.5 years would take 1000 Newtons of thrust & 25 MW's of power. Even if scaled up, it's still a good few months to make the trip. To use the gravitational lens for an optical sat, then 700AU is the minimum you should be looking at for deployment. So a manned version to me using an ion drive is not really viable anytime soon.

If an ion drive was to be used, it would most likely be as an unmanned mission using something like the X-37 that could deploy the optical satellite automatically. From there micro thrusters could take over to align the sat into position. The shuttle sticks around, not just as a communication relay device but it could be used to potentially beam energy to the sat during it's mission lifetime etc.
edit on 26-4-2015 by big_BHOY because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 10:46 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar

Of course all this is moot if Dr. White and company produce a warp drive in our lifetime. I just have severe doubts. Then again, I am not a propulsion engineer so take my doubts with a grain of salt.


Consider the implications of the combination of circular track Lasers with squeezed light (one of the few ways we know of to obtain negative energy.)

These Laser beams are bent and guided into a circular path; effectively infinite. If I have it right they are induced to the distorted wave shapes that produce fleeting tiny bits of negative energy. These paths however mean that rather than being available for minute amounts of times there are regularly spaced regions of negative energy all around the ring. i think these regions precess along the path so that the negative regions effectively circulate along the whole path. at high wavelengths you effectively have an almost contiguous band of negative energy.

Now the amount of negative energy is still tiny but at least it should be persistant. and these rings are actually stacked in the diametric drive work of 2012 to 2013. found here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

so apparently stacking of laser ring tracks can be done so that the fields interact. which leads to possibilities to manipulate the waveform components.

Conclusion: no one knows when something that was supposed to be impossible becomes possible. like a pretty much persistent negative energy state. the diametric drive negative conditions are not the massive quantities needed for a full scale warp drive. but they should allow stronger more convincing Sigma tests to be done than what Dr white has done so far.

Also the negative energy region of these laser rings should be very very very thin; nano or pico scale. which may or may not prove useful as Dr White says he has a couple of ways to decrease the negative energy requirements and that his figures were nowhere near the end of the optimization; just a handy working example.

Anyway the important thing is no one would have guessed that we could produce semi-stable levels of negative energy like that. But we can and in a very short period of evolution of the problem. it is just as likely that further surprises will change the nature of the problem. This also happened with the problem of antimatter production and storage recently.
edit on 26-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2015 @ 03:50 PM
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I disagree with nothing, it's almost a given that the first craft to go to 550 will be unmanned, I completely agree in regards to the technology.

My post however is simple, it's the human element and money, I believe that private space industry will eventually out pace Nasa and one day when i'm an old man barring accident or injury it will be private missions that accomplish these things.

I Use the Moon missions as example or...the complete 40 some odd year lack of them... it's exciting for a small length of time and looses practicality to the public

I don't think the technical aspects are all that difficult given "finance" what the Moon landings had was a "Beat the Russians factor" so the Govt got involved.

There was...

#1 FEAR

This is entirely a post in regards to what i see as the more difficult obstacle, public resolve and finance, give thousands of egg heads a Trillion dollars we can do anything, the work will get done because "I want a house and a much hotter wife than I deserve" no issues there... but who will vote for the money to be spent?

So again FEAR is a good start, Incoming asteroid threats, running out of resources etc... Look at the drive to fix Global warming it's a Huge movement, surely more money involved 10 fold above Nasa. Why? an effective dose of Fear has been instilled in the public "We MUST do this"

#2 What is in it for me? There we have Asteroid and Moon mining, 17 Trillion in Platinum on one rock brought home... Not bad... Jobs, "exciting Jobs" certainly this would be an "incentive" to the public, what pushed colonization of America and Australia? Moolah...

#3 Do I get to go? No one cares so long as the ride sucks, only ex airforce gets to go and there isn't a damn fun thing to do on the way...

I don't think the tech is an issue over time and money spent, I think it's a formula that guarantees success.

The question to me is "How" do we get the public to consider it worth the loot and taxes a big answer being "profits" "adventure" "survival instinct" and "Participation"

To me this is the "real" way we get to 550 AU, the battle isn't the tech, the tech comes with effort + finance, the war is for "the people" particularly in a nation where the majority will say "spend my money on Jawbs" I'm pretty sure this year as much will be spent on "Transgender Bathrooms" as the new Hubble Sister scope... not exactly encouraging for this cause...

An "unmanned" mission to 550 AU is exciting as hell to ME... to most people they can't even comprehend how far that is or why it's better than going to Pluto...

So call me the "public relations" guy of this thread, I don't think the engine is the long term problem... I think the real issue is public sentiment and it begins with hauling in loot to pay for it and being able to stay in a room in orbit with a fully stocked bar and screw in zero G and things of that nature... reasons for Joe average who doesn't understand squat to care... and more importantly spend...



posted on Apr, 27 2015 @ 11:25 PM
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originally posted by: big_BHOY
a reply to: criticalhit

Using an Ion drive to proper a 100 ton starship to Neptune (30AU) in 1.5 years would take 1000 Newtons of thrust & 25 MW's of power. Even if scaled up, it's still a good few months to make the trip. To use the gravitational lens for an optical sat, then 700AU is the minimum you should be looking at for deployment. So a manned version to me using an ion drive is not really viable anytime soon.

If an ion drive was to be used, it would most likely be as an unmanned mission using something like the X-37 that could deploy the optical satellite automatically. From there micro thrusters could take over to align the sat into position. The shuttle sticks around, not just as a communication relay device but it could be used to potentially beam energy to the sat during it's mission lifetime etc.
i am pretty sure your figures are way off. They do not match Copernicus software calculations and Copernicus was made to do these calculations.



posted on Apr, 28 2015 @ 12:09 AM
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I can't say it matters much if the calculations are "correct" or not. The reality is if any of us were working on spaceship engines we wouldn't be on ATS posting it for the world to see.

I'd say it's +1 to the argument that it can be done that people on a conspiracy forum have a basic understanding of the matter.

The "can we can't we" argument wasn't actually the topic storm addressed it was "why we should" it's a shame that so many threads dissolve into "you can't" our actual history as a species has yet to encounter "CAN'T" and the actual engine we use would be determined by the "Best"

There are engines now, there will be "better" ones in the future and I for one see no reason against going "large and slow"

As to the topic of the thread "WHY?" I respond with... "we have no god damned choice if we want to survive"


edit on 28-4-2015 by criticalhit because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2015 @ 12:45 AM
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just as a side note: it turns out the X-37 B was testing "exotic propulsion" in the form of advanced hall effect thrusters. It's not really exotic compared to say an EM drive but still it's one of those things that can go really fast over time. so it is pertinent to this thread. It will result in besting our current speed demon records for space flight.



posted on Apr, 28 2015 @ 12:50 AM
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originally posted by: criticalhit
I can't say it matters much if the calculations are "correct" or not. The reality is if any of us were working on spaceship engines we wouldn't be on ATS posting it for the world to see.

I'd say it's +1 to the argument that it can be done that people on a conspiracy forum have a basic understanding of the matter.

The "can we can't we" argument wasn't actually the topic storm addressed it was "why we should" it's a shame that so many threads dissolve into "you can't" our actual history as a species has yet to encounter "CAN'T" and the actual engine we use would be determined by the "Best"

There are engines now, there will be "better" ones in the future and I for one see no reason against going "large and slow"

As to the topic of the thread "WHY?" I respond with... "we have no god damned choice if we want to survive"

no; what i mean is that copernicus says that a mere .4 newton thurster can get a 90 ton payload anywhere in the solar system in a year or less. And that a 4 newton thruster can go that much faster including 500 AU and to the nearest stars.

The post i was replying to said for a ship just ten tons more massive it would take a thousand newton thruster powered by a double or triple digit megawatt class power source.

it was that notion that i declared most probably an error.
edit on 28-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2015 @ 01:03 AM
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I actually got switched up with who was posting to who there honestly.

My point is simple, while interesting the "how" will absolutely work itself out, likely as usual in an unexpected manner, much in the same way alternative energy is opening up from 100 directions right now.

It feels "futile" to me to debate the "how" since innovation has that way of exploding in directions hardly anyone could have predicted since research opens doors...

I'm just in the "why" camp... the incentive, that's where I think the real issues lay, the harder problem to solve is the motivation imho... I'm a giant geek, I don't need it, but politicians and people do... like I said earlier, my mind goes to the PR issues on it. How to create incentive on the whole concept.




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