Roswell debris: An inter-stellar craft powered by a solar sail?

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posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:10 PM
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When it comes to Roswell, it always baffled me why an ET craft would be made of aluminum foil and what was described as balsa wood sticks.

Now I have a hypothesis what this aluminum foil could really be – The remnants of a solar sail the craft was using as propulsion system. I believe it makes quite a bit of sense and the materials used for solar sails and the properties of these materials nicely match the descriptions and pictures from Roswell.

We (humans) are now making the first steps using solar sails for space craft. The Japanese space probe IKAROS was the first to be powered by a solar sail and it successfully fulfilled its mission of a fly by of Venus . IKAROS will be followed up with a larger solar sail probe going to Jupiter.

Ikaros:



NASA launched NanoSail-D2 in 2010. Nano's Solar Sail:



Here’s a short NASA video, showing the Nano solar sail material very nicely:


Now look at the Roswell pic and think about how the “aluminum” foil was described by witnesses:



One of the materials used for solar sails is Kapton. It was invented by DuPont in the late 1950s (or, perhaps should I say “re-engineered”? DuPont and the Military are like twin brothers). Anyways, Kapton is used in many space applications and was also used in the Apollo program. One of the problems with Kapton is its low resistance to mechanical wear.

From Wikipedia: (bold and underscore my additions)


Kapton was used extensively in the Apollo program. It was used as thermal insulation on the Lunar Module. During the return journey from the Moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong commented that during the launch of the Lunar Module Ascent Stage, he could see "Kapton and other parts on the LM staging scattering all around the area for great distances."

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has considered Kapton as a good plastic support for solar sails because of its long duration in the space environment.


Also, if it was a space probe, akin to our Voyager I and II, it could have been traveling through space for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years. The speeds achievable by solar sail powered space craft are pretty mindblowing:


.... the solar sail-propelled vehicle will build up speeds that rocket powered vehicles would never be able to achieve. Such a vehicle would eventually travel at about 56 mi/sec (90 km/sec), which would be more than 200,000 mph (324,000 kph). That speed is about 10 times faster than the space shuttle's orbital speed of 5 mi/sec (8 km/sec). To give you an idea how fast that is, you could travel from New York to Los Angeles in less than a minute with a solar sail vehicle traveling at top speed.
If NASA were to launch an interstellar probe powered by solar sails, it would take only eight years for it to catch the Voyager 1 spacecraft (the most distant spacecraft from Earth), which has been traveling for more than 20 years. By adding a laser or magnetic beam transmitter, NASA said it could push speeds to 18,600 mi/sec (30,000 km/sec), which is one-tenth the speed of light. At those speeds, interstellar travel would be an almost certainty.


A plausible scenario:

An alien spacecraft (manned or unmanned, perhaps just a probe like the ones we send into space) enters Earth’s atmosphere. A malfunction triggers the solar sail of the craft to deploy, causing heavy drag and eventually brings the craft to crash. The solar sail is dragged along the crash site, causing it be torn into the bits and pieces later found by Brazel.

What say you, ATS?




posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:19 PM
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I think the major problem with your theory is that you're neglecting the testimonies that this foil and balsa wood seen at Roswell reported to have only looked comparable to those materials. They was no aluminum foil and there was no balsa wood among the debris. The balsa wood-like material could not be burnt or cut. The foil is typically called "memory metal," since you could crumple it in your hand, then open your hand up and it would unfold itself without any creases.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:20 PM
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The problem is those who say they saw the stuff say that the foil shown to the press was NOT the real stuff, they say it was fake.

How would a sail maid of wood and foil withstand entry into the atmosphere?

ETA: Damsel, ya beat me to it while I typed
edit on 17-11-2012 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Damsel
I think the major problem with your theory is that you're neglecting the testimonies that this foil and balsa wood seen at Roswell reported to have only looked comparable to those materials. They was no aluminum foil and there was no balsa wood among the debris. The balsa wood-like material could not be burnt or cut. The foil is typically called "memory metal," since you could crumple it in your hand, then open your hand up and it would unfold itself without any creases.


Yes, I probably should have made it more clear that it was described as 'aluminum" and "balsa", but likely was misidentified.

I'm sure that ET could probably have a material for a solar sail that has the "memory" effect properties described.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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Would a solar sail work between stars?

From what I understand a solar sail rides the solar winds, which would carry a craft AWAY from a star. This would work to leave the star the craft came from, but when the craft approached a new star (ours in this case) wouldn't the solar winds work AGAINST the craft, as the winds would be blowing from the direction the craft is traveling (towards our star) slowing it down, or perhaps turning it around and shooting it back out into interstellar pace?

In other words, a solar sail only works to move a craft away from a star, not towards it. Just as you couldn't use a solar sail to travel from Pluto to Earth, because you'd be working against the winds, surely it would be impossible to enter a solar system and travel towards the inner planets under power of a solar sail, as the new star's winds would just blow you away, right?

I'm no expert on this kind of stuff so I'm curious what others think. It's a cool idea for sure, perhaps roswell was a solar sail craft, but it came from aliens living on Mercury instead of aliens living outside our solar system.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:51 PM
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I still believe that it is more likely the crash at Roswell was a Russian craft with dwarf pilots which was part of a fear campaign based on technology that may have originally been commissioned by Hitler than an extraterrestrial craft. Anybody that's gambled or gotten into maths knows about playing the odds and the odds certainly favor a more earthly explanation. It's the same fear of the unknown that prompted humans to invent gods which is propelling this invention of an alien threat.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by James1982
Would a solar sail work between stars?

From what I understand a solar sail rides the solar winds, which would carry a craft AWAY from a star. This would work to leave the star the craft came from, but when the craft approached a new star (ours in this case) wouldn't the solar winds work AGAINST the craft, as the winds would be blowing from the direction the craft is traveling (towards our star) slowing it down, or perhaps turning it around and shooting it back out into interstellar pace?

In other words, a solar sail only works to move a craft away from a star, not towards it. Just as you couldn't use a solar sail to travel from Pluto to Earth, because you'd be working against the winds, surely it would be impossible to enter a solar system and travel towards the inner planets under power of a solar sail, as the new star's winds would just blow you away, right?

I'm no expert on this kind of stuff so I'm curious what others think. It's a cool idea for sure, perhaps roswell was a solar sail craft, but it came from aliens living on Mercury instead of aliens living outside our solar system.


Actually, despite that it's called a "sail", it doesn't work like a conventional sail on a boat.

And yes, it is perfect for interstellar travel, since there is no need for any fuel to take along.

The way it works is that the solar sail "captures" the photons emitted by a star. Photons don't have mass, however, they have momentum, so when a photon hits the sail it will "push" the craft forward. Of course, we're talking about extremely low forces, but multiply it by billions of photons hitting the sail at any given time and that there is no friction in space to slow down the craft, it results in incredible speeds.
edit on 17-11-2012 by nv4711 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by nv4711
 


Either way it's still being "pushed" by a force that is coming FROM a star, so you can only travel in the direction that force is moving, which is outward from the star, not towards it.

If you are approaching our star from another solar system, once you get close enough the photons from our sun will start pushing AGAINST the craft in the opposite direction, right?



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by James1982
reply to post by nv4711
 


Either way it's still being "pushed" by a force that is coming FROM a star, so you can only travel in the direction that force is moving, which is outward from the star, not towards it.

If you are approaching our star from another solar system, once you get close enough the photons from our sun will start pushing AGAINST the craft in the opposite direction, right?


It's what's called "Attitude" control. Here's how the IKAROS probe is navigated:
Solar Sail Navigation



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by nv4711
 


I'm of the opinion that solar sails might be economical means for craft to scoot about inside a solar system, but, as means to go interstellar, the lengths of time involved in travel from point A to point B would, at least for humans, make the proposition a no-go.

Suspended animation, plus an on-board nuclear powered or equivalent laser to constantly fire into the sail for continued push once outer solar system winds are essentially ineffective would help matters, but, cost, time, feasibility and the sheer immensity required of any "practical" solar sail would seem to make solar ailing a fun idea, but, impractical compared to something like a fusion jet propelled craft.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by Damsel
 


looks like it's got creases in the picture... like a crumpled up mylar blanket.



vs




kitty-kitteh

which was created(or reversed engineered as you might've implied op?)
by DuPont in 1952
edit on 17-11-2012 by Komonazmuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


how long would the fusion jet engine be able to be used for before its energy was spent?



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by Komonazmuk
 



Well, aluminized Mylar is another one of the materials used for solar sails:

Wikipedia:


The most common material in current designs is aluminized 2 µm Kapton film. It resists the heat of a pass close to the Sun and still remains reasonably strong. The aluminium reflecting film is on the Sun side. The sails of Cosmos 1 were made of aluminized PET film (Mylar).



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by nv4711
 


I'm of the opinion that solar sails might be economical means for craft to scoot about inside a solar system, but, as means to go interstellar, the lengths of time involved in travel from point A to point B would, at least for humans, make the proposition a no-go.

Suspended animation, plus an on-board nuclear powered or equivalent laser to constantly fire into the sail for continued push once outer solar system winds are essentially ineffective would help matters, but, cost, time, feasibility and the sheer immensity required of any "practical" solar sail would seem to make solar ailing a fun idea, but, impractical compared to something like a fusion jet propelled craft.




All I can say is that NASA and JAXA beg to differ. They think it is a very good contender for interstellar flight.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by nv4711
 


I agree... why build a mini star in your space craft,, when you can borrow all the energy you need from a large one...

i wonder if they can put mini "charging chambers" in orbit to collect solar power,,, bring them down to earth, and then establish them onto the ship,, i guess they could just solarly charge them on earth (duh)... but a bunch of those,, along with the solar sails would be nice...



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 11:18 PM
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Originally posted by ImaFungi
reply to post by Druscilla
 


how long would the fusion jet engine be able to be used for before its energy was spent?


Bussard Ramjet concept using magnetic scoop to collect interstellar Hydrogen and other gasses for fusion fuel ... as long as you want and as long as the most abundant element in the Universe is available to use for fusion?

Even so, fusion, or solar sail, or any sub-C travel, we're still looking at enormously prohibitive travel times just one-way to/from somewhere, anywhere.

For robotic probes that aren't really effected by time, any speed, like Voyager would be fine. Eventually, the machine will get wherever it's going, whether it takes hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years to reach destination.

Something biological, even in a suspended/arrested state of stasis, technology we don't have and have only been able to imagine, what would be the upper limit for stasis duration?
Since we don't have any stasis technology, we can only speculate.


Originally posted by nv4711

All I can say is that NASA and JAXA beg to differ. They think it is a very good contender for interstellar flight.


Certainly; for robots.

Anything, at this point, for robots, is an excellent solution if it proves workable and cost effective.

If there were celebrity American style Football kickers available that could put enough spin and force into a kick such they could serve as a launch platform alternative, if such alternative were cost competitive with other solutions, NASA, JAXA, ROSCOSMOS, any and every space agency would be signing up football kickers.

With robots, any solution that's cost competitive compared to others is a viable solution.

Biological cargo?
Sentient Biological Pilots/crew?
That's a different story unless you add in the suspended animation thing.
We're talking sub-C travel, and pretty much anywhere, from a human lifespan and functionality perspective is a lifetime away at the velocities we're looking at for Solar Sails, Fusion Jet, or any currently proposed solutions.



edit on 17-11-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 12:38 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla


Originally posted by nv4711

All I can say is that NASA and JAXA beg to differ. They think it is a very good contender for interstellar flight.


Certainly; for robots.

Anything, at this point, for robots, is an excellent solution if it proves workable and cost effective.

If there were celebrity American style Football kickers available that could put enough spin and force into a kick such they could serve as a launch platform alternative, if such alternative were cost competitive with other solutions, NASA, JAXA, ROSCOSMOS, any and every space agency would be signing up football kickers.

With robots, any solution that's cost competitive compared to others is a viable solution.

Biological cargo?
Sentient Biological Pilots/crew?
That's a different story unless you add in the suspended animation thing.
We're talking sub-C travel, and pretty much anywhere, from a human lifespan and functionality perspective is a lifetime away at the velocities we're looking at for Solar Sails, Fusion Jet, or any currently proposed solutions.


Druscilla, I wasn't talking about whether or not a solar sail powered craft is suited for manned space travel. I was talking about the idea that the ominous "aluminum foil" could have been a solar sail from an unmanned space probe, launched by an alien civilization perhaps tens of thousands of years ago. It crashed on Earth, and the pieces of the solar sail littered the fields of Roswell.

Just imagine what will happen on a distant planet, a few ten thousand years from now, when the Voyager probe crashes there. Maybe its a relatively young Planet, the people there just mastered nuclear power only 3 years earlier, they are making the first baby steps with radio astronomy, jet air planes just came into service and space travel is science fiction.

We send out these space probes - it is plausible that other civilizations would do the same. Forget about how long it would take to get anywhere, that wasn't the point of Voyager either, it is about sending a "message in a bottle".



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 12:44 AM
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Point an arrow into the dark sky. Fire.

And hit a bullseye thousands of years away.

Plausible if we live in a straight line to the next life forms in space. Not so much if you look around us.



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 12:59 AM
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Originally posted by winofiend
Point an arrow into the dark sky. Fire.

And hit a bullseye thousands of years away.

Plausible if we live in a straight line to the next life forms in space. Not so much if you look around us.


Who says it has to cruise in a straight line? Voyager I for example most likely has by now left our solar system. It's further course will be subject to all kinds of gravitational forces and will be anything but a straight line. Nobody knows where it might end up. Perhaps it will be caught by the gravitation of a distant star and forever orbit it, or it might get a new trajectory swing from the gravitational force of another star and send it who knows where.

The same could have happened to an alien probe, caught by Earths gravity, finally crashing in Roswell. Happens to Earth made satellites every once in a while - like NASA's UARS last year.



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by nv4711

Druscilla, I wasn't talking about whether or not a solar sail powered craft is suited for manned space travel. I was talking about the idea that the ominous "aluminum foil" could have been a solar sail from an unmanned space probe, launched by an alien civilization perhaps tens of thousands of years ago. It crashed on Earth, and the pieces of the solar sail littered the fields of Roswell.

Just imagine what will happen on a distant planet, a few ten thousand years from now, when the Voyager probe crashes there. Maybe its a relatively young Planet, the people there just mastered nuclear power only 3 years earlier, they are making the first baby steps with radio astronomy, jet air planes just came into service and space travel is science fiction.

We send out these space probes - it is plausible that other civilizations would do the same. Forget about how long it would take to get anywhere, that wasn't the point of Voyager either, it is about sending a "message in a bottle".


Agreed.

IF there are/were other intelligent technological species with space faring understanding at least on par and equiv-tech to ours, a chance random probe finding us could be a probability.

Keep in mind, however, as a matter of perspective:
"Put three grains of sand in a vast cathedral, and the cathedral will be more closely packed with sand than space is with stars"
- Sir James Jeans

The universe is astoundingly dumbfounding stupendously vast.

Take those 3 grains of sand, and then, for our galaxy alone, make that 500-700 billion grains of sand scattered to a density of no more than 1 grain of sand per 1000 sq/ft, where some areas have a density of one grain of sand per 3000 or 4000 sq/ft where densities vary in proximity to the galactic core.

consider that those grains of sand are stars, not planets, and then consider the finite size in comparison to those grains of sand any planetary motes might be.

Probability of finding any one planet among those sand grains, much less chancing upon a civilization remarkably equivalent tech enough to understand solar sails is almost inconceivable.

Finding a crashed alien space probe embedded in the shattered rib cage of a fossilized Brontosaurus would seem more likely considering the Dinosaurs held the throne of this planet for some 300 Million years while we, humans, have only been consciously around for what? 50,000 years as Homo Sapiens?

The razor thin section of time we've been around, coupled with the density of the galaxy in stars and planets makes the chance that any chance robotic probe would ever reach this solar system, much less the near invisible speck of our tiny little rock of a planet extremely remote.

Now, if perchance, by some remote chance there is/was some alien civilization in our reasonable locality of, say a 200 light year bubble, and said proposed civilization targeted every single star in a 200-300 light year bubble for robotic probes as a matter of random chance in shooting off disposable probes in every which way direction, then, perhaps, maybe, potential goes up, but, we still need to consider Jupiter and Saturn as enormous gravity wells and system janitors for having a tendency to attract and such up anything chancing upon our system.
Additionally, we've further got our moon as another barrier reef against interstellar flotsam ever making planet fall, and even then, our tiny little rock is so small, the sun's gravity well itself has a greater chance of pulling any wayward probe in for a sizzle.

For a robotic probe to reach us, and find us, such a probe would necessarily need be more than just a message in a bottle, but have some autonomous programming that would allow it to seek out life, like us, where then it could then go about the task of avoiding Jupiter, Saturn, our moon, and finding us for a 'hello'..





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