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Interstellar travel research exposed

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posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:31 PM
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These orbits will be highly inclined - meaning the orbit is tipped by tens of degrees away from horizontal around the equator. They should allow the spacecraft to gather high-resolution data on Saturn's ring system, allowing scientists to more accurately measure their mass


source

This is a snippet from an article about the longer extension of the Cassini mission to Saturn. Me thinks they are not curious about the age of Saturn's rings, they're taking advantage of a fortunate circumstance to study what could be anti-matter, up close.



The team identified 28 antiprotons with kinetic energies between 60 million and 750 million electron volts. That number is far higher than scientists would expect to see shooting toward Earth from distant reaches of the galaxy. The antiparticles appear to form a thin belt around Earth, gyrating around Earth's magnetic field lines and bouncing back and forth between the planet's north and south magnetic poles, the team notes. The belt, which extends from a few hundred to about 2000 kilometers above Earth, "constitutes the most abundant source of antiprotons in Earth's vicinity," Bruno says.

source

Antiprotons, or anti-matter could be used to build a drive system for interstellar craft, theoretically. Perhaps the many crafts seen world wide are powered by this technology?



But Bickford says some researchers have proposed that a smaller supply of antiprotons, comparable to the population of the belt, could be used as a catalyst to trigger nuclear reactions that would release charged particles. (The antiprotons in this scheme would be gathered into a vast fuel tank, a nearly weightless cloud hundreds of meters long surrounding the craft.)

Traveling at nearly the speed of light, the charged particles produced by the nuclear reactions would fly out of the back end of the craft, propelling it beyond the solar system. In contrast, Bickford notes, a spacecraft using chemical propellant to journey well past the fringes of the solar system at high speed would need a fuel supply more massive than the observable universe

source

They may also be using the nuclear material onboard Cassini, to test the energy potential for antiproton/nuclear drive, from a very safe distance. Is Cassini being used as a testbed for a possible interstellar propulsion drive? It looks at least plausible.

If this is what it looks like, this could be a very cool thing. As long as they do not blow us all into the sun.

edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by AnarchysAngel
 



This set of 22 "proximal orbits" will allow mission scientists to map the gravity field and magnetic field of Saturn in detail,


same source as op emphasis mine

hey maybe you're right at the very least with map of the magnetic field they would know where to look in the future for the antiparticles


The number of antiprotons needed, however, would exceed the amount in the newly discovered belt or even the much larger belt that may circle Saturn, Bickford says.


from the other op source

Cassini seems to me to be afairly open mission with Dr. Carolyn C. Porco often discussing the high likelihood of finding life around Cassini's many discoveries. Interesting post OP things for sharing the idea


edit on 7/26/2012 by iforget because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by iforget
 




More provocatively, antiprotons in the belt might one day be harvested to fuel missions that would travel far beyond the solar system, Bickford says. The best concepts for antimatter propulsion require that the antiprotons be collected and isolated. At the right moment, the antiprotons would mix with protons and annihilate them to produce highly energetic charged particles to propel the craft. The number of antiprotons needed, however, would exceed the amount in the newly discovered belt or even the much larger belt that may circle Saturn, Bickford says.

But Bickford says some researchers have proposed that a smaller supply of antiprotons, comparable to the population of the belt, could be used as a catalyst to trigger nuclear reactions that would release charged particles. (The antiprotons in this scheme would be gathered into a vast fuel tank, a nearly weightless cloud hundreds of meters long surrounding the craft.)

Traveling at nearly the speed of light, the charged particles produced by the nuclear reactions would fly out of the back end of the craft, propelling it beyond the solar system.

source

Here's the entire quote. Read closely. He's talking about two different ways of using the anti-protons. One, would require a massive amount, the other, wouldn't require that many.
edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by AnarchysAngel
 


thanks I did see the two ways I'm not sure what you're getting at exactly



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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Didnt scientist find something very interesting about saturns rings, something weird, about them being manufactured, and that the have spotted craft in the rings, cylinder shaped craft, The guys name was Dr Norman Bergrun. pretty cool videos



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by iforget
 


I thought you were trying to say there was a lack of antiprotons to pull it off. Sorry.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by AnarchysAngel
 


no problems here like I said thanks for sharing the idea I hope they do find lots of antimatter around Saturn and we find a way to put it to good use. To me it seems more that they are looking to discover it than testing possible ways to utilize it but what do I know



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by iforget
 


They are extending the mission a whole 5 years. That's a long time to look around. Why can't they map the magnetic fields from where they are now? How long would 22 low orbits take? Saturn is nine times the size of Earth, so I'm guessing they have some time to kill.


We can speculate all day, but only time will tell. I am excited for sure!



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:32 PM
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Me thinks they are not curious about the age of Saturn's rings, they're taking advantage of a fortunate circumstance to study what could be anti-matter, up close.
You know that those 28 antiprotons were found around Earth, right?
www.technologyreview.com...




Is Cassini being used as a testbed for a possible interstellar propulsion drive? It looks at least plausible.
I don't think so. Not unless there is some provision for capturing antiparticles on board. I didn't see that in the specs. Detecting antiparticles is one thing. Collecting them is something else entirely.
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov...

edit on 7/26/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


The article states that Earth, and Saturn as well as many others may have them.

I was suggesting that Cassini may end it's mission by dumping it's nuclear payload of small pellets of plutonium into the rings, so we can observe the reaction. It could destroy Saturn's rings though.



Shielding is critical for each plutonium pellet, primarily to prevent radioactive contamination during launch of space missions. Should there be an incident during launch, space agencies such as NASA must assure the containment of the radioactive material. Therefore all RTGs and RHUs are completely safe regardless of the stresses they are put under.

So, like Galileo, Cassini will hit Saturn's atmosphere at a high velocity (Galileo hit the Jovian atmosphere at a speed of 50 km/s) and disintegrate very quickly before burning to a cinder. The point I want to highlight here is that Cassini will break apart like any fast-moving object during re-entry.

Still, conspiracy theorists are quick to point out that Cassini is carrying a huge amount of plutonium, totalling 32.8 kg (even though it is not the weapon-grade 239Pu and all the bits of 238Pu are tiny pellets, encased in damage-proof containers, being scattered through Saturn's atmosphere). But ignoring all the logical arguments against, it will still generate a nuclear explosion, right?

source

Sounds fairly close to how we release biological weapons to be honest. Is Cassini speced for it? Looks like it may actually be built for this.

I'm thinking Cassini and Saturn make more sense, because who knows what environmental effect the experiment could have on Earth, or another close planet like Jupiter.
edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by AnarchysAngel
 


I was suggesting that Cassini may end it's mission by dumping it's nuclear payload of small pellets of plutonium into the rings, so we can observe the reaction. It could destroy Saturn's rings though.

Why plutonium? If they were looking for antimatter reactions it wouldn't matter what they dropped.

Why the rings?

But in any case there isn't really any way to jettison the RTGs or the plutonium within them. The actual fuel units are highly protected.
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov...

The planned end of the Cassini mission is for it to be crashed into Saturn.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 




Sounds fairly close to how we release biological weapons to be honest

We release biological weapons so that they burn up in the upper atmosphere?



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


What they drop does matter. In order to observe the desired reaction, they need to drop the corresponding matter, into the anti-matter.

Maybe I'm just being a crazy conspiracy theorist, but the whole thing sounds like a good way to cover up a test. Release it, and if the SHTF, deny everything.


If the outer shell of the craft were to burn off, or if they were released into low orbit, how long would the casings around the plutonium last?

How hot is it in low orbit around Saturn?

reply to post by Phage
 


They're packaged in indivdual containers so they can do their deed at the right time. At least I think that's how it's done. I haven't taken apart a biological weapon lately.

edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by AnarchysAngel
 


How hot is it in low orbit around Saturn?

Not very.
But when something enters an atmosphere at orbital speeds it gets very hot.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Like I said in my OP, it sounds at least plausible to me. The design looks reasonably suited to the task. The fact that's it's now been extended 9 years beyond it's original mission time suggests that it was carrying alot of fuel. Maybe for more than one purpose.


Just speculation.

One more thought. Cassini discovered liquid water on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. Saturn is giving off a fair amount of heat, like any other gas giant. I wonder how hot low orbit is?

edit on 26-7-2012 by AnarchysAngel because: (no reason given)



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