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Earth To Mars in a Month With Painted Solar Sail

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posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 07:45 AM
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Heres an interesting article i found on the latest development of solar sail technology,



Gregory Benford, professor of physics at UC Irvine (and noted science fiction author) believes that a spacecraft powered by a special kind of solar sail could reach Mars in just one month.


www.space.com...
www.newscientist.com...

[edit on 11-2-2005 by rufi0o]




posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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It's really a shame man kind is so obcessed with killing each other, our violent tendancies and the latter era of the cold war lead to the banning of nuclear testing in space. Pity really because some of the intitial designs for engines using nuclear power were supposed to accelerate to incredible sub-light speeds. I for one, can't imagine a better place to test any damn nukes than a few millions miles out from earth. A nuclear ramjet type engine would be a huge step in interstellar travel.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by twitchy
It's really a shame man kind is so obcessed with killing each other, our violent tendancies and the latter era of the cold war lead to the banning of nuclear testing in space. Pity really because some of the intitial designs for engines using nuclear power were supposed to accelerate to incredible sub-light speeds. I for one, can't imagine a better place to test any damn nukes than a few millions miles out from earth. A nuclear ramjet type engine would be a huge step in interstellar travel.


I am all for advancing ourselves as a species. On a side note, seen this movie already. Test a nuclear engine, the Vulcans see it, and we get first contact and off we go.

But seriously, we really need to pull our heads out of the black abyss we are hiding them in, and quite fighting all the time. Onward and upward with humanity or back to the cave banging rocks together to make a knife.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by twitchy
A nuclear ramjet type engine would be a huge step in interstellar travel.

correct me if im wrong but doesent a ramjet (scramjet) need somewhat pressurised air to operate?



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by denseuno

Originally posted by twitchy
A nuclear ramjet type engine would be a huge step in interstellar travel.

correct me if im wrong but doesent a ramjet (scramjet) need somewhat pressurised air to operate?


Yes it does.


Also...about the "To Mars in a month", It sounds feasable but costly and wastfull. The solar sail would probably be garbaged once your there, and judging by its size, its costly. Unless maybe if you could "reel in it" once you get close to Mars, so it can be used for the return trip. But you cant keep picking up speed to Mars and just stop when you get there, you have to slow down. I'm not sure how they plan on accomplishing that.

So far my pick would be the magbeam, You could get to Mars in 45 days, and that includes stopping time. (Magnetized Beamed Plasma Propulsion)-To make it work, basically you need a satellite by earth and one by Mars and by each having there own pretty hefty power source the will connect by means of a magnetic beam, think of it as, you have a metal space craft and you launch from earth and get into space, then pull in front of this "satellite" and have it turn on, connecting the two satellites of earth and Mars, and it does what magnets do, one will be positive and the other negative, making one push the craft away while the other pulls it towards it. Then at the half way point you have them change there polarity, in effect slowing down the craft at its arrive point. It would only take 90 days to go from Earth to Mars & Mars to Earth. If they were both built will a nuclear power plant, then they could last for decades, Trips to Mars would become within reason.


MagBeam



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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Never mind...I read the story also from space.com and the way they explained it gave me more insight into how it works.



They believe that by beaming microwave energy up from Earth to boil off volatile molecules from a specially formulated paint applied to the sail will provide enough added force to propel a spacecraft to Mars in record time.

Boil off.....in other words its a one ways trip, not to mention that if you used this to get to mars then took the time to have it re-painted you would still need a large microwave dish on its survace to beam up to it to get a paint reaction. So I wouldn't think Mars would be its best use, however distant planets this could become a very attractive option.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

Originally posted by denseuno

Originally posted by twitchy
A nuclear ramjet type engine would be a huge step in interstellar travel.

correct me if im wrong but doesent a ramjet (scramjet) need somewhat pressurised air to operate?


Yes it does.


Also...about the "To Mars in a month", It sounds feasable but costly and wastfull. The solar sail would probably be garbaged once your there, and judging by its size, its costly. Unless maybe if you could "reel in it" once you get close to Mars, so it can be used for the return trip. But you cant keep picking up speed to Mars and just stop when you get there, you have to slow down. I'm not sure how they plan on accomplishing that.

So far my pick would be the magbeam, You could get to Mars in 45 days, and that includes stopping time. (Magnetized Beamed Plasma Propulsion)-To make it work, basically you need a satellite by earth and one by Mars and by each having there own pretty hefty power source the will connect by means of a magnetic beam, think of it as, you have a metal space craft and you launch from earth and get into space, then pull in front of this "satellite" and have it turn on, connecting the two satellites of earth and Mars, and it does what magnets do, one will be positive and the other negative, making one push the craft away while the other pulls it towards it. Then at the half way point you have them change there polarity, in effect slowing down the craft at its arrive point. It would only take 90 days to go from Earth to Mars & Mars to Earth. If they were both built will a nuclear power plant, then they could last for decades, Trips to Mars would become within reason.


MagBeam


Maybe I don't understand this theory so I would like to ask some questions. How would these two satellites be able to keep a constant beam between each other when one is orbiting the Earth and one Mars? Most of the times they wouldn't even be visual to each other. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't have any object just sitting in space, unless it is far enough outside our solar system or any gravitational pull. Believe me, I wish it would work though!



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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do you think the magnetic beam would be strong enough to counteract the gravitational pull from both planets so it would essentially they would just "float" in their same positions while the planets just spun normally. i think that the space in between earth and mars would vary quite a bit to the effect that it (the magnetic beam) might be stretched out like a rubberband and it would lose its power and the pull and push of the magnet would get lower and lower and eventually the ship would just "lose its path" along the weak magnetic "trail". im pretty sure their are stronger magnetic forces even just in our solar system that would mess with the signal between the satellites.(maybe not though) who the hell am i to say it cant work! im no scientist!


[edit on 13-2-2005 by denseuno]



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 07:29 PM
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raabjorn
Maybe I don't understand this theory so I would like to ask some questions. How would these two satellites be able to keep a constant beam between each other when one is orbiting the Earth and one Mars? Most of the times they wouldn't even be visual to each other. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't have any object just sitting in space, unless it is far enough outside our solar system or any gravitational pull. Believe me, I wish it would work though!

The overall lay out isn't complete. NIAC awarded them with $75,000 for more research. But I would think it would go in GEO, which is essentially floating. if you placed the 2 satellites on the correct side of the planet in Geo orbit then you would have your line-of-sight a large majority of the time, the only interference would be the sun once every two years, and even then only for a couple weeks or so.

A lot more work has to be done in this but so far its the best thing i've heard of. Waiting in a spaceship for 7 months to 2 1/2 years is just plain unexceptable. So i hope we have something to drasticly slash the time between Earth & Mars before we send people there in 25-ish years.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
The overall lay out isn't complete. NIAC awarded them with $75,000 for more research. But I would think it would go in GEO, which is essentially floating. if you placed the 2 satellites on the correct side of the planet in Geo orbit then you would have your line-of-sight a large majority of the time, the only interference would be the sun once every two years, and even then only for a couple weeks or so.

A lot more work has to be done in this but so far its the best thing i've heard of. Waiting in a spaceship for 7 months to 2 1/2 years is just plain unexceptable. So i hope we have something to drasticly slash the time between Earth & Mars before we send people there in 25-ish years.


actually a GEO ( i think you mean a geosynchronous satellite?) is fixed with our orbit. so it appears to "hover" in the same place in space but it just stays "stuck" over a certin part of the world. so every day for half a day there would be no signal because it would be on the other side of the earth (not facing mars) i dont think there is a satellite the counteracts the spin of earth to stay facing a certin part in space, at least yet!



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 11:41 PM
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hmmmm...yeah...guess i'm not sure how they are planning on doing it. I was referring to geostationary orbit.

well...I guess i'll have to wait and see what research into this in the future produces.

Question: If you throw a ball in space will it gain speed, stay at the speed it left your hand, or slow down over time?

If it would stay at a steady speed, could you not just use a rocket or other propulsion system to have the craft circle the earth the oposite direction of it spinning? If so then you can just do the same on mars and pesto, the magbeam could work.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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Question: If you throw a ball in space will it gain speed, stay at the speed it left your hand, or slow down over time?


it would continue at the same speed,unless it hit something because of space being a vacum...no friction.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
hmmmm...yeah...guess i'm not sure how they are planning on doing it. I was referring to geostationary orbit.

well...I guess i'll have to wait and see what research into this in the future produces.

Question: If you throw a ball in space will it gain speed, stay at the speed it left your hand, or slow down over time?

If it would stay at a steady speed, could you not just use a rocket or other propulsion system to have the craft circle the earth the oposite direction of it spinning? If so then you can just do the same on mars and pesto, the magbeam could work.

i think if you were to throw a ball in space it would not lose speed unless something obstructs its path, ie space dust, gases, etc. however, i dont think that it holds the same for something within an orbit. if you were to throw a baseball from the space station then its orbit would just gradually decay until it burnt up in our atmosphere.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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denseuno
if you were to throw a baseball from the space station then its orbit would just gradually decay until it burnt up in our atmosphere.

yeah, because the ISS is in LEO, but if its in GEO I believe it could work.



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