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Futuristic interstellar space probe to test new propulsion systems.

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posted on May, 9 2010 @ 07:40 AM
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A very interesting story..


Project would measure tech maturity of fusion-based propulsion schemes.

New technologies and the growing number of alien planets being discovered are fueling a new look at a plans for a futuristic interstellar probe into deep space.

A dedicated study team has formed Project Icarus, an international initiative of the U.S.-based Tau Zero Foundation in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).

The multi-talented group is delving into everything under our the sun to develop designs for the interstellar spaceship, from inertial confinement fusion to reviewing the latest in nanotechnology, computing, and electronics, as well as identifying target star destinations.

Today's Project Icarus signals a bit of a baton-passing from a BIS-backed star ship appraisal called Daedalus that was done in the late 1970s.

"The Project Daedalus theoretical engineering design study took place over three decades ago. In the time since, there have been many advances in science and technology," said Kelvin Long, a key Icarus designer.

"There is a need to maintain interest in and the capability to design interstellar probes," Long told SPACE.com. "With many of the historical leaders in this field now nearing retirement or deceased, the Project Icarus study group wants to take up the baton and keep alive the long term vision that travel to the stars will one day be possible. This is one of the reasons why over half of the team is relatively fresh out of their university studies."

Think outside the box
Designing an unpiloted Project Icarus space probe is requiring the time and energy of some 20 volunteer designers. Taking on interstellar travel this 21st century go-round is estimated to consume around 30,000 man/woman hours of effort, with submission of the final study reports due for 2014.

Many of the original Project Daedalus study participants are providing guidance.

Long said that Project Icarus is an exercise in theoretical engineering to the extreme. Project Icarus, he said, will take another look at several of the Daedalus assumptions and systems. Furthermore, an objective of the initiative is to continue to inspire the next generation.

"Icarus may not be the blueprint for how we first reach the stars, but it is hoped that it will be an important contribution towards this long term goal. Another purpose of Project Icarus is to remind space agency mission planners to think outside of the box," he said.

Long-haul roadmap
The intellectual thrust behind Project Icarus will measure, for one, the technological maturity of fusion-based propulsion schemes. Key technological stepping stones are to be identified. In short, a long-haul roadmap to the stars is on the group's to-do list to make such a mission possible.

"This would provide an estimate for the earliest time upon which such a mission could be launched. This may be in the latter part of this century, sometime in the 22nd century or even later," Long observed.

The Project Daedalus effort of decades ago proposed mining Helium-3 (He3) from the gas giant Jupiter which necessitated a massive space based infrastructure.

Fast forward to today means that the Project Icarus group will re-evaluate this fuel acquisition tactic and consider alternatives - such as mining He3 from Earth's moon or exhume deuterium from objects in the Oort cloud. Moreover, the assumed Daedalus propellant combination of deuterium and He3 will also be re-examined, as will implosion-driving schemes.


Read the rest of the story here.

So new technologies, new propulsion systems. It seems like Europe is taking the space race to a whole new level. I wonder what kind of ideas and actual working designs they will come up with over the next few years.

Could we see a maned mission to mars in our lifetime? Anything is possible I guess...

Thoughts?

~Keeper

[edit on 5/9/2010 by tothetenthpower]




posted on May, 9 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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"The multi-talented group is delving into everything under our the sun to develop designs for the interstellar spaceship..."

Let's just see how far they 'delve' into Burkhard Heim's hyperspace drive. I dare them to try it!

"Heim theory"
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 08:54 AM
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hmmm... seeing it's a theoretical engineering design study,

instead of looking at propulsion to push out from earth to the stars, how about trying to be 'pulled' to the stars.

gravity is pulling us onto the earth, if you could somehow link the ship to the object you want to go to (or something massive that's close to it) then the objects gravity could then 'pull' the ship to it.

i'd call it an Attractor Beam



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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In order for any "star drive" to be made we must first determine the fundamental nature of space-time. We cannot successfully travel at relativistic speed without side stepping the fact that space is filled, sparsely, but at light speed or near those sparse particles statistically become more crowded and dangerous obstacles. So this means traversing space without attempting dual occupancy of even the smallest space. This implies a control over either the permeability of space time or a bending of it around the traveling object.
Changing the permeability of space time has not been established as theoretically possible but the "warping" of it has.
Conclusion: A method of fine control of gravitometric fields that stretches space time thin in front of the traveling object to the point all matter is pushed out of the narrow region of stretched space time. While space time is simultaneously compressed behind the object forcing it to slide toward the ever retreating thin point in front.Basically surfing space time. It removes restrictions on light speed as space is permitted to "warp" faster than light ( black holes are an instance of such)
IMO there is no future in "push" propulsion as it involves the need to avoid ANY matter even a photon at near light speed and by the law of relativity energy intensive.
The way we will reach the stars will be by changing the distance to them by altering the space time between us not by taking the long expensive scenic trip.
N.



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by N.of norml
 


I think you are suggesting the "Alcubierre drive" - which requires consumption of the equivalent of planet Jupiter masses of energy to achieve.
"Alcubierre drive"
en.wikipedia.org...

This is over my head, but... I think the Burkhard Heim theory I mentioned (in prior post) is based on 11-dimensional physics. I think it utilizes the hyperspace between universes as a travel medium. In that medium, a vessel would be isolated from encountering any matter/energy contained in 'our' universe, and at any super-luminal speed. But, I don't know what the energy requirement would be, for a vessle to leave our universe and enter that hyperspace region. It must not be as great of an energy consumption as the Alcubierre drive method, if they think it could be achieved by simply spinning a superconductor magnets, or a mercury plasma in a torrid ring.



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 11:08 AM
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IMO the way forward is magnetic propulsion.

The Japanese have been using it for years and the technology could be easily adapted if we actually put the money into it.

Although there is a giant conspiracy to keep Magnetic Power under wraps as it would provide free energy for everybody with very little or no start up costs at all.

~Keeper



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
IMO the way forward is magnetic propulsion.

The Japanese have been using it for years and the technology could be easily adapted if we actually put the money into it.

Although there is a giant conspiracy to keep Magnetic Power under wraps as it would provide free energy for everybody with very little or no start up costs at all.

~Keeper


Electromagnetism is completely bound by, "c", the speed of light and can have no real use as a near luminal or superluminal drive save in the ability of electromagnetism to affect spacetime not as a direct agent of propulsion.
N.



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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Paging Phage... Paging Phage...

Which stardrive concept is the more practical for FTL deep space exploring?

The "Burkhard Heim - hyperspace" method:
en.wikipedia.org...

or

The "Miguel Alcubierre - spacewarp" method:
en.wikipedia.org...




posted on May, 10 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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I have my vote on sometype of hyperspace model,



Jupiter sized planet for fuel? That is quite a lot!



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by Larryman
Paging Phage... Paging Phage...

Which stardrive concept is the more practical for FTL deep space exploring?

The "Burkhard Heim - hyperspace" method:
en.wikipedia.org...

or

The "Miguel Alcubierre - spacewarp" method:
en.wikipedia.org...




OK, here is how I break it down. Heim says basically slide between dimensions and sidestep space.

Alcubierre says change space to "cause" an object to traverse distance.

#1 requires the ability to 'fool' reality into letting this universe( you and your ship/device) in between itself and other possible universes using the widely accepted "membrane universe" model of the multiverse. Or if a "hypersace" is theorized ( in my mind defined as a position outside of our timespace) it still requires a mode of traversing distance meaningfully.
Unless the proposed hyperspace is completely non-local and emergence from it can be targeted.
Unknown energy required until an object has been put into hyperspace and retrieved or some how the energy needed to breach the dimensional boundaries is determined.

#2 Has two possible expressions
first is the standard model warp bubble that relies on exotic matter and is energy defined and expensive.
second is perhaps my own model, I am not sure if it has been fleshed by physics.
My thought is project a long steep gravity well in front of an object and as the object "falls"space collapsing behind it would provide a push to the grav well pull.The gravitic projection would cease at the destination and the object would drop into un-warped spacetime at the destination.
Problem, more knowlege of the nature of spacetime is needed to manipulate it accurately.
Or that is how I see the whle thing
N.



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by N.of norml
 


Ok. Your #2 proposal is now like: create an artificial gravity source ahead of the ship, to attarct the ship in that direction. That's interesting, as a variation of the Miguel Alcubierre spacewarp theory. Because somehow the Burkhard Heim theory begins as an anti-gravity theory, then develops into a hyperspace theory. Maybe the anti-gravity of Heim, and your artificial gravity source of warped space, are overlaping concepts.


And here is something else which confuses me...
If a ship using spacewarp must be protected within a warp-bubble - that seems to me to the same, as the ship is in hyperspace. Because the content of the warp-bubble is isolated from our universe.



[edit on 5/10/2010 by Larryman]



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