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Thread: Space Tripping

  1. #1
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    Red face Space Tripping

    Ya know...
    I've given this a bit of a thought, and right off the top, we will never make it very far out in space unless we develop some sort of realistic artificial gravity. Our physical make-up just can't deal with that sort of "raw space" existence for any real length of time.

    Then, they better get a move-on with that "Wave Rider" A.G.D. craft, (A Warp Drive promised to us back in the late 1980's. And no, it wasn't Star Trek ether.). As it stands, we simply can Not make anything durable enough to last a couple of years in space, (let alone support us humans), without close-by ground support, and a warehouse full of spare parts ready to ship out. So we'll need to get to where we're going, Fast!

    Moving between stars, yeah, . . . it's a nice thought, but someone needs to get moving in the Right direction soon, and it won't be with chemical rockets ether.

    I truly believe that we are far beyond belching out fire and smoke just to move. Especially after 100 or so years of repeating this worn-out stagnation phase, ya'think?

    Absalon

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absalon View Post
    I've given this a bit of a thought, and right off the top, we will never make it very far out in space unless we develop some sort of realistic artificial gravity. Our physical make-up just can't deal with that sort of "raw space" existence for any real length of time.
    Is there something you object to about the artificial gravity we have now? A big enough rotating wheel with virtually eliminate Coriolis Effects.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absalon View Post
    I truly believe that we are far beyond belching out fire and smoke just to move.
    Well, clearly we aren't. I think you meant 'we should be'?

    We've only been sending man-size things into space for 50 years. We're still in our infancy. In another century we'll be astonished at how quickly we got through our infant stage.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absalon View Post
    I truly believe that we are far beyond belching out fire and smoke just to move. Especially after 100 or so years of repeating this worn-out stagnation phase, ya'think?
    Well, the problem is that those pesky three laws seem to be valid.
    Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it.
    Force equals mass times acceleration [ $ f(t)=m\,a(t)$ ].
    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    So you can either enact an external force on it or have an equal and opposite reaction. Rockets do the latter. Space sails use the former. But it's quite hard to use either of those to accelerate to velocities sufficient to make a quick trip to the stars.
    As above, so below

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    I don't know about others on here, but I have only recently become aware of the Pulsed Nuclear Thermal Rocket concept.

    The great thing about this engine is that shifts gears, so to speak.

    You can boost out of orbit at high thrust and relatively low Isp. You then shift up the gears into pulsed nuclear mode and get very high Isp for low steady acceleration.

    Exhaust velocity up to 15,000 km/s is claimed.

    Does not quite make the grade for interstellar missions, but looks great for shifting people around our solar system.

    Here is the Wikipedia link. Unfortunately the original publications are paywalled to me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed...thermal_rocket

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    Going to the stars is a BIG step beyond living in space, by at least a few orders of magnitude. And living in space permanently is an order of magnitude beyond what we are doing right now.

    The biggest obstacle IMO is neither spin-gravity nor propulsion. It's creating a self sustaining ecology capable of supporting human life for the long term. We have lots of engineers and researchers working on spaceship and space station design. What we really need are more biologists and ecologists working on a reliable, balanced, closed cycle biosphere.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    the weightless experience can be given to anyone who is keen enough to try it. Beyond that, serious tripping into space will be by frozen sperm and eggs with a manual on making humans. OK maybe add a robot assistant. That little package might make it to another star in millenia, artificial gravity not required. But why bother? Send some bacteria instead and let evolution take its course. All we need down here for space tripping is improved 3D headsets, and that project is doable. Of course seeding other star systems has ethical considerations but so does populating the Earth with humans and we did that without thinking about it.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Before we consider other stars, we have a whole Solar System here to work with. Let's walk before we run.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Going to the stars is a BIG step beyond living in space, by at least a few orders of magnitude. And living in space permanently is an order of magnitude beyond what we are doing right now.

    The biggest obstacle IMO is neither spin-gravity nor propulsion. It's creating a self sustaining ecology capable of supporting human life for the long term. We have lots of engineers and researchers working on spaceship and space station design. What we really need are more biologists and ecologists working on a reliable, balanced, closed cycle biosphere.
    I'm not sure if I would say that it is the largest, but I definitely agree that creating a self-sustaining ecology is one of the major hurdles. One thing that makes it even more difficult IMO is that our own system is not actually closed. It relies on a constant insertion of energy from the sun. So finding a source of energy to substitute for that is another hurdle as well.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    I don't know about others on here, but I have only recently become aware of the Pulsed Nuclear Thermal Rocket concept.
    I love that concept

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Before we consider other stars, we have a whole Solar System here to work with. Let's walk before we run.
    Yes, good point !
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Beyond that, serious tripping into space will be by frozen sperm and eggs with a manual on making humans. OK maybe add a robot assistant.
    What kind of human culture (assuming we had invented artificial wombs) would result from that scenario, raised by machines with no adult supervision? Lord of the Flies!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    What kind of human culture (assuming we had invented artificial wombs) would result from that scenario, raised by machines with no adult supervision?
    Modern-day kids with iPhones.

    Whoops, back on topic. The big problem in Space Tripping is not a failure of imagination or science, but a failure of anyone wishing to throw money at a super-science issue. We have lots of ideas, but carrying them out will be hideously expensive, so we take the slower paced route which still works.
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2019-May-02 at 06:05 PM.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Modern-day kids with iPhones.

    Whoops, back on topic. The big problem in Space Tripping is not a failure of imagination or science, but a failure of anyone wishing to throw money at a super-science issue. We have lots of ideas, but carrying them out will be hideously expensive, so we take the slower paced route which still works.
    That's a cultural/social/political issue. It's not a priority, so we don't budget for it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Radiation needs to be handled as well. The Mini-Magnetosphere concept has yet to be tested in space, so its effectiveness in the field is not known. It's predicted to be pretty good.

    If it isn't, then mass is our only recourse, mainly water or hydrocarbons to absorb proton particles. Fortunately some asteroids near Earth are thought to be rich in those materials. Shielding a ship this way cuts down on payload mass, though, so we'd better send up very petite astronauts...
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Re the mini-magnetosphere concept:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...94576514003798
    An exploration of the effectiveness of artificial mini-magnetospheres as a potential solar storm shelter for long term human space missions
    Electric and/or magnetic fields have been suggested as deflection shields in the past, but these treated space as an empty vacuum. In fact it is not empty. Space contains a plasma known as the solar wind; a constant flow of protons and electrons coming from the Sun.
    In this paper we explore the effectiveness of a “mini-magnetosphere” acting as a radiation protection shield. We explicitly include the plasma physics necessary to account for the solar wind and its induced effects. We show that, by capturing/containing this plasma, we enhance the effectiveness of the shield.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    the weightless experience can be given to anyone who is keen enough to try it. Beyond that, serious tripping into space will be by frozen sperm and eggs with a manual on making humans. OK maybe add a robot assistant. That little package might make it to another star in millenia, artificial gravity not required. But why bother? Send some bacteria instead and let evolution take its course. All we need down here for space tripping is improved 3D headsets, and that project is doable. Of course seeding other star systems has ethical considerations but so does populating the Earth with humans and we did that without thinking about it.
    Artificial gravity would be required for the little tykes at the end of the trip, though ... and artificial life support. And automated construction to prep this new home. And they'd need a power source long lasting enough to maintain them all of the trip. And robots capable of being parents to well adjusted humans. Etc.

    None of which we've ever accomplished. I'd say we need some first steps first, like a permanent settlement in our own neck of the woods, before we trust some of our potential kids to the Big Unknown and robot babysitters.

    As for secondhand VR "experience" of space, you can have it. Personally, I'm in it for the species, not for funsies.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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