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# Getting to Alpha Centauri in 16 years via Laser Propulsion

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posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 07:45 PM

originally posted by: chr0naut
Also, no one seems to have considered what happens when a slight misalignment spins the probe and exposes its non-mirrored side. With the energy being poured into it, it would (by my estimation) last one only poofteenth* of a second.

If our tiny interstellar probe happens to hit a grain of sand at .25c, the energy release would be equivalent to ~6,000 pounds of TNT.

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:13 PM
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:32 PM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.
presuming either or both of the following the data would take 4.24 to 4.36 years to get back from any star in the alpha centauri system. (signals travel at light speed not 25% light speed)

1. a way is found for the probes to assemble a 1 megawatt transmitter.

2. receiver, amplification, and antenna tech reduces the power requirement for detecting and decoding a weaker signal from that distance.

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:35 PM

originally posted by: Saint Exupery

originally posted by: chr0naut
Also, no one seems to have considered what happens when a slight misalignment spins the probe and exposes its non-mirrored side. With the energy being poured into it, it would (by my estimation) last one only poofteenth* of a second.

If our tiny interstellar probe happens to hit a grain of sand at .25c, the energy release would be equivalent to ~6,000 pounds of TNT.

Welp. the predicted impact rate for a space craft at near c is 1 per day per *SQUARE METER* of frontal cross section. so one every 4 days per square meter is logical for 1/4 that speed. so for tiny probes the impact chance is pretty small. furthermore at that size you could send a few million of them as easily as one since the beam has to remain on anyway. not all of them would get creamed.
edit on 14-9-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:38 PM

originally posted by: Saint Exupery

originally posted by: chr0naut
Also, no one seems to have considered what happens when a slight misalignment spins the probe and exposes its non-mirrored side. With the energy being poured into it, it would (by my estimation) last one only poofteenth* of a second.

If our tiny interstellar probe happens to hit a grain of sand at .25c, the energy release would be equivalent to ~6,000 pounds of TNT.

no it wouldn't. not that it matters because the collision would be catastrophic anyway, but the figure you are looking for is more like the impact energy of a high powered large caliber rifle bullet.
edit on 14-9-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:50 PM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:56 PM

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.
presuming either or both of the following the data would take 4.24 to 4.36 years to get back from any star in the alpha centauri system. (signals travel at light speed not 25% light speed)

1. a way is found for the probes to assemble a 1 megawatt transmitter.

2. receiver, amplification, and antenna tech reduces the power requirement for detecting and decoding a weaker signal from that distance.

and signals telling the probe what to do take the same time getting there. Then there is the concept stage, the build stage, 16 years there, years for signals to get there, years to get back.

posted on Sep, 14 2015 @ 11:57 PM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

The masses were not involved in those decisions, and they could see it being built, see the progress, it was tangible.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:00 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

One can also say that only a complete niiiiiiiiiiincompoop would wait for distal arrival to begin measurements and data transmission. well not a nincompoop (necessarily) but someone thinking far too linearly.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:03 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

The masses were not involved in those decisions, and they could see it being built, see the progress, it was tangible.

The progress could be just as tangible.

Imagine every year it taking a selfie and then turning its camera back towards the Sun with transmissions timed so that they arrive on Earth at 12:01am New Year's Day (pick your timezone - I'd be in favor of GMT).

Every New Year when champagne corks are popping people would see Sun become just another star in the sky fainter and fainter.

By the time the novelty of that wore off you'd almost be to Alpha Centauri.
edit on 15-9-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:03 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.
presuming either or both of the following the data would take 4.24 to 4.36 years to get back from any star in the alpha centauri system. (signals travel at light speed not 25% light speed)

1. a way is found for the probes to assemble a 1 megawatt transmitter.

2. receiver, amplification, and antenna tech reduces the power requirement for detecting and decoding a weaker signal from that distance.

and signals telling the probe what to do take the same time getting there. Then there is the concept stage, the build stage, 16 years there, years for signals to get there, years to get back.
with about a million of the little buggers the need for close control is negated. especially if they have a set of heuristics to allow some flexibility on the part of the probes. with numbers you can have them doing all sorts of task organization.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:04 AM

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

One can also say that only a complete niiiiiiiiiiincompoop would wait for distal arrival to begin measurements and data transmission. well not a nincompoop (necessarily) but someone thinking far too linearly.

Things the average person would not care about. That's who needs to be on board to make it happen. I think 40 years to provide something for the average Kardashian fan is a close estimate.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:07 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
And then how many years to get information back? It's a hard sell to fund something you won't get any results for 40 years.

The great cathedrals of Europe were not completed in a human lifetime but they still were built.

Perhaps we need an interstellar religion

One can also say that only a complete niiiiiiiiiiincompoop would wait for distal arrival to begin measurements and data transmission. well not a nincompoop (necessarily) but someone thinking far too linearly.

Things the average person would not care about. That's who needs to be on board to make it happen. I think 40 years to provide something for the average Kardashian fan is a close estimate.

The average Kardashian fan wouldn't even know the mission was going on.

Does the average Kardashian fan know about Kepler?

But um, yeah my idea for the spacecraft to take selfies and send them back so they are received every New Years might interest Kardashian fans.

"OMG, INTERSTELLAR SELFIE!"*

*yearly selfies would also serve a scientific purpose as it would show the amount of wear and tear on the space craft of the course of its mission so more robusts ones could be designed in the future.
edit on 15-9-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:21 AM

The new rovers take selfies. The new probes take selfies. That is the world we live in.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:26 AM
well if you sent millions of little minions keeping track of the ones that got annihilated by a collision would be good data for any manned missions. also checking radiation levels, particle counts, magnetic fields, maybe checking gravity or checking for variations in physical constants or equation predictions... as well as telling us how far our radiation military radar and old TV signals can be detected and so on

maybe about two light years out they could resolve planets or asteroid belts or signals of some sort. maybe they'll come across some frozen old ejected ET corpse and craft debris or a frozen orphan planet in the Oort cloud or something like that

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:29 AM
how about a long base triangulation to verify distances to stars or galaxies on a trig base accuracy scale impossible any other way?

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:30 AM
Sort of on topic, my vote would be Kapteyn's Super Earth, as it's in the habitable zone.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:39 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
Sort of on topic, my vote would be Kapteyn's Super Earth, as it's in the habitable zone.
if these thing sare easily mass produced you could send swarms of them to all the likely suspects within 15 or so light years. though an inhabited world might be "a little annoyed" if you poked a gigawatt laser beam in their direction for several decades.

i guess you could encode basic messages in the laser by chirping it in a digital pattern. but they might get even angrier if you broadcast Miley Cyrus at them on an endless loop.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:41 AM

Why would they care? It's "habitable", not "inhabited" with intelligent life, or we'd have seen them. It's close, and billions of years older than Earth.

posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 12:52 AM

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04

Why would they care? It's "habitable", not "inhabited" with intelligent life, or we'd have seen them. It's close, and billions of years older than Earth.
firstly i was joking and secondly we do not know if any planet is inhabited yet. but if they were and they were like us in temperament; shining a laser on them might not be a good idea.

how do you know i am joking? well the laser would not be gigawatt class at the distal end of the beam and the beam would not be pointed at a planet but the general vicinity of a star. If it were pointed at a planet it probably wouldn't do much except put a large glowing but harmless area on any clouds or something like that if it got through the ionosphere and magnetosphere.

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