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Puzzled at Nasa's lack of interest in the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project (BPP)

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posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:52 AM
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I was reading an article in Discovery News news.discovery.com... about the BPP and saw that NASA ran this project from 1996 until 2002 when they binned it the entire budget for this project was $1.6 million which is pocket change really and I have to wonder why the lack of interest surely they would be so interested in interstellar travel and ways to speed it up so either they gave up and concluded that advanced propulsion is just impossible or they know something we don't and that advanced propulsion is alive and well in the black budget world so they didn't see the point in developing tech that is here already.
At least Marc Millis and his Tau-Zero project took up where Nasa stopped they talk about a Project Daedalus a fusion based starship design that was dreamed up in the 1970's it made for interesting reading and makes me feel good that there are people and companies out there pushing the boundaries and not sitting back on their hands.




posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 


Its not conspiracy just bureaucracy. Budgets shrink and those without strong backers in either congress, academia or industry get snuffed.

-Congress wont support it because they are all simpletons and it doesn't really represent big employment.
-Academia wont support it as they want those grants themselves
-Industry wont support it as it doesn't require production of chemical rockets (which is the business they are in).

Survival of the best connected.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by justwokeup
 


That just sucks it means we will just take so much longer to get to where we want to be all because of the profit margins not looking good surely there is someone out there with the tech in his/her head just waiting to unlock it and get the backing needed it is soooooo frustrating waiting for science fact to catch up with science fiction.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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I think you nailed it when you mentioned this propulsion
(or better) may already exist in black projects.
Black projects rarely have to worry about budget shortfalls.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by sealing
 


Yeah I see what you saying ,they quickly spend 1.6mil that they found down the back of the sofa so they can say " well we did do the research" meanwhile they spending $50k on a hammer here and $100k on specialized bolts etc and alot more gets channeled elsewhere.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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Perhaps they shut it down because there was no breakthrough?



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by wildespace
 


Hmmmm I don't know normally one would keep going until you get a breakthrough otherwise what is the point,I also don't know what a reasonable time frame for researching something is ,it just seems they didn't try for very long at all.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 


They closed it down because it succeeded. How do I know that? Back in 2001 I was looking at their website. And I found something interesting. As I looked through the various proposals and the grants given to them what I saw was this.

The various projects had grant amounts from about 5 to 40 thousand dollars and according to their performance matrices were mostly just proposals. Pretty much ones on a scale from one to five. Then I looked at the Slepian/Heaviside proposal and did a double take. A $919,000 grant by direct congressional action bypassing the BPP review board. And the performance matrix was a 3! Working lab models and he was ready to start with preproduction prototypes.

And after doing a new search I found this. An edited version of the page I saw.

Link to website.




AIAA-2001-3654, Jim Corum

Corum presented an experimental paper on the use of the Heaviside force in conjunction with a Slepian Antenna as a form of space drive using nothing more than the classical Maxwell stress tensor. Slepian proposed the same thing in 1949, but came to the conclusion that it would not be useful, since the time average of the resultant AC force would be zero. Corum's contribution has thus far been two-fold: (1) In conjunction with Dr. Alan Barnes of WVU he has experimentally shown that the AC version of the Slepian Resonating Antenna does produce a force, and has measured it to within 3.6%, and (2) has designed a way for Hartley's variable capacitor rectification to be used with the Slepian resonator such that the rectification results in a DC force component. The first experiment has already been achieved, the second experiment is the logical next step. If successful, the result would be quite revolutionary: a true space drive. RESULTS: Experimental - POSITIVE (so far)


I think they got the idea working and then the military got involved. Can't let the Russkies and the Chinese have a working Star Trek impulse engine now could they?
edit on 10-12-2012 by ntech because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by ntech
 


Wow thanks Ntech that is a staggering amount of info I will chew through it however.
It is good to see that things are still being researched they probably just don't keep us up to speed as much as they used to I suppose.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 


I'd guess that funders want to see projects and space missions that have a visible near-term pay-off.

Long-range space? We don't even seem to have theoretical propulsion systems, except perhaps the warp drive, that could launch, and see mission actuation within anyone's life-time.
No one wants to spend millions, and then potentially billions more on an actual mission that might get forgotten over generations by the time the mission ever got to where it was aimed at.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


Do you think that there will be a new space race by private corperations who will set their sights on the asteroid belt and the mineral wealth therein ,although to be honest I am not too keen on them roping one of the bigger ones and towing it back to earth and putting it in orbit ,we have enough clutter up there as it is ,and if the thing is big enough would it have a gravitational effect?



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 

NASA is a public front designed to keep the dumb masses thinking we still have a space program. We do but its not NASA and its 75 years ahead of NASA technologically too maybe more. they have FTL Anti-Gravity. Pretty much U.S made ufos.

However this technology belongs to the elite. So to me its not surprising NASA hasent shown much of an interest in that area. There not allowed to lol



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 


I'm wondering how many billions of $ in space junk we've put in orbit ourselves is floating around, waiting for an enterprising high-tech garbage collector to cash in on all that historical technology, possibly even breathing new life into it.

Additionally, there's the Earth's Lagrange and/or Trojan points that may potentially have some interesting stuff floating around in them like lint in Earth's navel.

Beyond that would come mining on the Moon, which is still a very far dangerous distance away such that USA is still the only nation on the planet to have landed a person on it, regardless of how hard Russia was attempting to do the same.

These are "cheaper" immediate ventures, much closer than way out in the belt, which is a long and lonely distance past Mars where we seem to lose over half if not more of what we send out that way.

.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by cookiemonster32
 


I'm wondering how many billions of $ in space junk we've put in orbit ourselves is floating around, waiting for an enterprising high-tech garbage collector to cash in on all that historical technology, possibly even breathing new life into it.

Additionally, there's the Earth's Lagrange and/or Trojan points that may potentially have some interesting stuff floating around in them like lint in Earth's navel.

Beyond that would come mining on the Moon, which is still a very far dangerous distance away such that USA is still the only nation on the planet to have landed a person on it, regardless of how hard Russia was attempting to do the same.

These are "cheaper" immediate ventures, much closer than way out in the belt, which is a long and lonely distance past Mars where we seem to lose over half if not more of what we send out that way.


I'll bet the galaxy can't wait to be introduced to capitalism.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by NthOther
 


Wherever there is money, there's poverty.
Unfortunately, this planet is addicted to it, and owned by it, so, such is sadly the way of things.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by cookiemonster32
 

This probably sums it up in a nutshell:

ASSESSING POTENTIAL PROPULSION BREAKTHROUGHS

Assessing research options is challenging when the goals are beyond known physics....

Summary of Research Findings:
The majority of open research paths involve further study of the fundamental properties of spacetime and inertial frames, looking for candidate sources of reaction mass and the means to interact with it. As much as these are basic areas of investigation for general physics, their investigation in the context of breakthrough spaceflight introduces additional perspectives from which to contemplate these lingering unknowns. This alternative perspective might just provide the insight that would otherwise be overlooked.
The wall they are running up against is fundamental physics. Of course there are projects like CERN's LHC which are advancing that science, but what did the LHC cost to build, 8 billion? The amount NASA was spending in a year would barely cover the electric bill at CERN for a month (maybe it wouldn't).

So it's not a lack of interest, they realize what they are up against: basic physics. Advanced interstellar propulsion will not be something developed on a shoestring budget, because it's not anything like building a better mousetrap.

But if you want to read more about what the project looked at when it was active, and what the outcome was, that link is a good place to start.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:18 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


Yes what you are saying makes a lot of sense,I can only imagine the amount of gold and other precious metals floating in a cloud of old electronics surrounding us not to mention radioactive garbage as well ,I envisage a fleet of little scavenger robots harvesting components and taking them back to a supply point to await pick up ,and mining the moon I hope they don't take too much of it away,would they reduce its mass with any significance to affect it's gravitational force it would take a long time I suppose,and the other thing I thought of is if they disturb the regolith and churn up the darker stuff wouldn't that mess with the moons luminosity at some point.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Thanks for the info I will have to make a cuppa and sit down and have a lookee,I am still pretty positive that science will catch up to science fiction,I mean it has to happen it is in human nature to test the limits and strive for the seemingly impossible.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:23 AM
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If you're interested in this sort of thing, you might want to check out Icarus Interstellar. It is a non-profit organization of primarily theoretical physicists, cosmologists, and engineers. They do research on propulsion, including a small project dedicated to "exotic propulsion".

A fusion engine might be practical within the next 30 years, which could get probes to the nearby stars within 30-50 years.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by Diablos
 


Thanks for this guess I'm gonna need more coffee






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