Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
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08-02-2013, 09:27 PM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
(08-02-2013 12:58 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  
(07-02-2013 01:09 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  Forgive my ignorance of physics, but wouldn't the sudden spike in G-forces kill the passengers?

That's why you need shock absorbers. The design in the 50s used a combination of mechanical and pneumatic shocks, two or three stories high.
This exact ship design is described in one of my favourite sci-fi novels. Footfall.

The nukes used would be small... no more than a megaton. The ship would have to be really massive, and would have allot of sheilding for the passengers. Benefit is you'd be safe from solar flares with all that radiation shielding and the ship would be big and spacious.


It wouldn't be ideal to launch this ship from earth (local area would be irradiated) but it could be done in an emergency scenario. Don't know the maths but the launch capacity of this kind of ship would surpass anything we have ever built before by many orders of magnitude.


Another prototype that was never put to use was a Nuclear thermal rocket.
wikipedia Wrote:In a nuclear thermal rocket a working fluid, usually liquid hydrogen, is heated to a high temperature in a nuclear reactor, and then expands through a rocket nozzle to create thrust. In this kind of thermal rocket, the nuclear reactor's energy replaces the chemical energy of the propellant's reactive chemicals in a chemical rocket. Due to the higher energy density of the nuclear fuel compared to chemical fuels, about 10^7 times, the resulting propellant efficiency (effective exhaust velocity) of the engine is at least twice as good as chemical engines. The overall gross lift-off mass of a nuclear rocket is about half that of a chemical rocket, and hence when used as an upper stage it roughly doubles or triples the payload carried to orbit.


That would be a great reusable setup. It would massively cut launch costs.

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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09-02-2013, 01:22 AM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
Footfall is a great novel. Thumbsup Have you read Lucifer's Hammer?

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-02-2013, 10:12 AM
Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
Sounds like it would be ideal to launch from orbit. Did it have a separate craft for surface exploration (like a "dinghy")?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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11-02-2013, 04:19 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2013 04:31 PM by DeepThought.)
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
(09-02-2013 01:22 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Footfall is a great novel. Thumbsup Have you read Lucifer's Hammer?
No, though I plan to!

Project Orion is where the idea for nuclear pulse propulsion came from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Ori...ropulsion)


wikipedia Wrote:The biggest design above is the "super" Orion design; at 8 million tonnes, it could easily be a city.[8] In interviews, the designers contemplated the large ship as a possible interstellar ark. This extreme design could be built with materials and techniques that could be obtained in 1958 or were anticipated to be available shortly after. The practical upper limit is likely to be higher with modern materials.

Most of the three thousand tonnes of each of the "super" Orion's propulsion units would be inert material such as polyethylene, or boron salts, used to transmit the force of the propulsion units detonation to the Orion's pusher plate, and absorb neutrons to minimize fallout. One design proposed by Freeman Dyson for the "Super Orion" called for the pusher plate to be composed primarily of uranium or a transuranic element so that upon reaching a nearby star system the plate could be converted to nuclear fuel.

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16-02-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
Yea I watched a documentary on this, the nuke method would be best. Yet, perhaps a combination of methods would be used. Solar sails when close enough to a sun to use them and nuke method when your not.

Arguing with a Christian is a lot like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, yet the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut away triumphantly.
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16-02-2013, 12:54 PM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
For the Super Orion pusher plate to be composed primarily of uranium or a transuranic element so that upon reaching a nearby star system the plate could be converted to nuclear fuel - that sounds quite good if you know where you are going. I guess this would be just a one way kind of thing.

Hmm... I think I don't really want a "destination" ... I'd just rather keep going... out there. Shy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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16-02-2013, 03:55 PM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
No destination in interstellar space? Strikes me as a recipe for boredom, followed by death of old age. Tongue

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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16-02-2013, 05:57 PM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
(16-02-2013 03:55 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  No destination in interstellar space? Strikes me as a recipe for boredom, followed by death of old age. Tongue

Yea. And? I just want to see a sun set and sun rise from a different perspective than I do right now; like coming around an entire planet.

I'm not all that certain life out in interstellar space would be any different than life on this spinning rock. Finding different things to do, doesn't mean feelings about ourselves will alter ... if you are bored now you'll probably be bored then no matter what kind of shit you have to do.

Never been sailing? I often think I could live my life on a ship. Consider Hmm... but maybe there should be a destination. Otherwise, what reason to look forward to the next voyage?

I guess I've read too much Moby Dick. Wink

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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19-02-2013, 10:43 PM
RE: Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
Just thought of another problem with travelling to another star system.

The faster we go, the more we should compress the light that comes from the star we are travelling towards. So the faster we travel, the more energy the light bombarding the ship has. This isn't a problem for speeds we are familiar with now, but then again speeds we are familiar with now won't get us to another star system in good time.

If we were to travel half the speed of light, or at any decent rate, we might have to account for the change in light energy from our destination star system. I can imagine humans creating a ship, then forgetting to account for the shift of light energy, light shifting to x-rays and gamma rays would tear the ship apart or at the very least would cause havoc on our cells in our bodies. We would need a shield on the front of the space craft.

2.5 billion seconds total
1.67 billion seconds conscious

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19-02-2013, 11:38 PM
Do we have the "stuff" to travel beyond our solar system?
(19-02-2013 10:43 PM)Aspchizo Wrote:  We would need a shield on the front of the space craft.

Physical or energy? Would magnetic shielding do the trick? But then, that sounds energy expensive...

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