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Project Alpha Centauri

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posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 05:17 PM
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Im unsure whether a thread such as this has been done already but I thought it might be an interesting topic.

Some of you may have heard about a new project NASA is undertaking decades before it will begin.This project involves a spacecraft/probe like that of voyager sent on a mission to our suns nearest star ,Proxima Centuri (the nearest of the 3 alpha centuri star sytem) which is 4.22 lightyears awayfrom earth.This is a very interesting project to keep an eye on.If we are able to send a craft successfully to proxima,this would indeed be an achievement for mankind and how far we`v advanced.

Like many of you are thinking,4.22 lightyears is still a heck of a way even thouse this distance barely makes anything compared to our galaxy.Well ideas have been thought up.A normal craft would cost billions to send that distance away and the time it would take if it were to go the same speed as voyager is now would be decades,even centuries.One alternative idea would be to design a craft that asimulated a yacht.This craft would use the suns solar winds to propelled its sail which will make the speed increase more than double and save a considerable amount of money on fuel and time.There are afew other ideas although im having trouble finding them.

This is indeed very interesting and if any other members have more information to give into this project that would be great.Considering that the alpha centuri star
system will harbour new interesting planets to discover,this would be one project you cant afford to loose interest in.

some other sites on these star systems and possible missions

www.bisbos.com
en.wikipedia.org...
www.glenbrook.k12.il.us...
www.solstation.com




[edit on 17-10-2006 by southern_Guardian]




posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 12:18 AM
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Okay....

No offense, southern_Guardian, but you've got links to: (1) a site with pictures of fictional spaceships and a fictional timeline through to the year 2096; (2) a wikipedia article (albeit a fairly well-written one); (3) a primer on Special Relativity; and, (4) a poorly-constructed site that has something to do with a fictional space station.

What the crap?!?

I usually keep up with what's going on at NASA - although it is by no means my area of expertise - and I haven't heard anything about even a study mission to Proxima Centuri. The NASA sites don't mention anything, either.

Now, I'm not saying that paper studies haven't been done - they have. But there is no "new project NASA is undertaking decades before it will begin" as you put it.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 01:40 AM
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We just dont have the technology to get there in a reasonable amount of time at the moment. I have heard a proposal of a ship that could possibly get ther in 28 years which is remarkable to say the least. However, I think even this is well within the realm of science fiction at the moment.

If we could just travel at 90% or more of light speed, it would dramatically change space exploration as we know it.

However, I dont think we will even get close to these speeds any time soon....we would need a major physics breakthrough.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:22 AM
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And even if we could go near the SOL, why would we? The time dilation would be so extreme, when anyone got back, thousands of years will have passed on Earth, and everyone they knew and cared for them would be long dead, let alone those who knew of the mission (planet of the Apes anyone?)

I think what we need to invest in is Graviton Projection technology. Bend space-time with prefabricated gravitons, and pull the area of interest right to you, withouth time dilation.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:29 AM
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And even if we could go near the SOL, why would we? The time dilation would be so extreme, when anyone got back, thousands of years will have passed on Earth, and everyone they knew and cared for them would be long dead, let alone those who knew of the mission (planet of the Apes anyone?)


Actually to alpha centuri, say at 3/4th the speed of light, it would take (guesstimate here) 7-8 years. To you, it would only seem like only a few months(or a year or so) has passed while us on Earth would experience 7-8 years of time. It depends on how far and how fast you go.

Perfect for Generational Colony ships. In a hundred years we could be sending out huge ships filled with entire towns to lay down roots on another planet tens to hundreds of lightyears away, maybe even farther.

[edit on 18-10-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:48 AM
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sardion2000

Well, that's not too bad I suppose. But then againm isn't alpha centuri rather close? What about much further stars? I think I heard somewhere that most scientists think that life bearing planets would probably be over 70 light-years. Maybe I'm just pulling that outta my pants though,
I thought I heard that though.

In any case, would you not agree that a graviton projector would be sweet ass and get us places quicker, w/ out the dilation?


Disclaimer: I'm not a scientist



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:52 AM
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...according too: SETI and TPF

www.space.com...


SETI
* Beta Canum Venaticorum: a Sun-like star about 26 light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. This was Turnbull’s top choice for SETI.
* HD 10307: a near replica of the Sun but with a companion star. Located about 42 light-years away, this star has almost the same mass, temperature and metal-content as the Sun.
* HD 211415: has about half the metal content of the Sun and is a little cooler; just slightly farther away than HD 10307.
* 18 Sco: a near-identical twin of the Sun, located in the constellation Scorpio.
* 51 Pegasus: The first planet beyond our solar system was detected around this star in 1995. Although that planet was a gas giant, Turnbull thinks 51 Pegasus could harbor rocky planets as well.

TPF
* Epsilon Indi A: Turnbull’s top TPF mission choice; this star is only about one-tenth as bright as the Sun and about 11.8 light-years away in the constellation Indus.
* Epsilon Eridani: This star is a bit smaller and cooler than our Sun; it is located about 10.5 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus.

* Omicron2 Eridani: A yellow-orange star about 16 light-years away that is roughly the same age as our Sun.
* Alpha Centauri B: This triple star system is located just 4.35 light-years away and one of the Sun’s closest stellar neighbors.
* Tau Ceti: This star is a G-class star and is in the same brightness category as the Sun. Despite being relatively metal-poor, it is long-lived enough for complex life forms to evolve.




posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 04:07 AM
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Heres one idea, using nuclear pulse propulsion;


The journey to Alpha Centauri B orbit would take about 100 years and another 4.39 years would be necessary for the data to reach Earth.


Of course nuclear pulse propulsion is one way to go rather fast, but as there is a law against Nuclear explosions in space, it won't happen.

en.wikipedia.org...

Can anyone explain why it is illegal to use nukes in space? Also it only specifies test detonations, so what would be wrong with a spacecraft?



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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Think of what will happen if the rocket explodes on take off...well anytime between lift off and orbit inserion....



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 06:52 AM
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But it doesn't use conventional rocket propulsion, so it shouldn't be able to explode easily.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by Apass
Think of what will happen if the rocket explodes on take off...well anytime between lift off and orbit inserion....


Pretty much nothing, just like what would happen if a craft carrying an RTG for a power source (a la Cassini) were to explode on lift off. Despite popular beliefs, it's pretty hard to spread radiation from an explosion like that - especially when the containment is designed specifically to not allow for that.


Anyway, if we had to mount a mission to another star immediately, the best propulsion choice that could be made would be with an ion engine. Low thrust over a long time can create some astonishingly high velocities. On top of that, you don't need to carry much reaction mass.

As for solar sails? They're a neat idea, but what about when you get too far away to use the sail? There is material in space, so just like a sailboat without wind, the resistence of that would eventually leave you dead in space. Now, one way to get around that little quandary is to use a high powered laser to propel the craft when it gets too fa away for solar pressure. Of course, such lasers don't exist, and all attempts to deploy solar sails have thus far been failures.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
Pretty much nothing, just like what would happen if a craft carrying an RTG for a power source (a la Cassini) were to explode on lift off. Despite popular beliefs, it's pretty hard to spread radiation from an explosion like that - especially when the containment is designed specifically to not allow for that.


Ups...yes, you're right
.
Eh...LOL
I guess the only problem would be where all that nuclear material would land...in Osama's hands....



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 11:24 AM
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This was another method, but Antimatter isn't easily available yet. Another method mentions using lasers to cause fusion detonations.

en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 20-10-2006 by apex]



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 01:28 PM
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Just the idea of getting some kind of ship as far as the nearest star would be enough to get scientist’s brains into a high gear. Aim high!

Anyway, the idea of setting up a colony is of course a good one (maybe even a romantic one?) but that is providing there is a rock of some kind that could sustain a large number of people.




posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by The Director
Just the idea of getting some kind of ship as far as the nearest star would be enough to get scientist’s brains into a high gear. Aim high!

Anyway, the idea of setting up a colony is of course a good one (maybe even a romantic one?) but that is providing there is a rock of some kind that could sustain a large number of people.



We shall know this fairly soon(within the next 10 to 15 years, maybe much sooner). We only have the capacity to detect large planets(the smallest was something like 5 Earth Masses I believe and the least volume we can detect is roughly the same.

The next generation of space and ground based telescopes will be able to detect Earth sized planets within their own stars habitable zone. It also maybe possible to detect the atmospheric content eventually as well. So within the next generation, we will know where there are habitable planets within our vacinity.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 03:30 PM
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But it doesn't use conventional rocket propulsion, so it shouldn't be able to explode easily.


It's not about the rocket exploding. Apparently the Earth's magnetosphere would carry fissionables back to earth unless the spaceship were launched from ma polar region like Antarctica.




Anyway, if we had to mount a mission to another star immediately, the best propulsion choice that could be made would be with an ion engine.


I would agree with cmdrkeenkid. The ion engine's thrust isn't great but it has less mass to propel. Also, perhaps the ship could use conventional rockets or a solar sail to get to the outer edges of our solar system... At this point the ion engine would take over and it would have less gravitional effects (being farther away from solar system) on it making it even more efficient.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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Use the solar sail for a couple of close passes to the sun to pick up as much of a speed boost from Gravity as well as from Photons and when it gets up to speed have it slingshot out of the solar system on a trajectory to the destination in question. Ion engines will kick in when acceleration stops to keep the acceleration constantly increasing. Keep the solar sail deployed and use a laser to add additional speed boosts. Pulses would probably be the most efficient way to do it. Get it up to reletavistic velocity asap.

[edit on 23-10-2006 by sardion2000]



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