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View Full Version : After Titan ? Euros and USA should build Exo-planet probe



Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jan-15, 10:56 AM
The folks at NASA and the ESA have done a wonderful job on this one and I look forward to seeing the readings, images and reports on data over the next few days. So what next after Titan ?

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-19/1105684263261640.xml



The quest for life in outer space has gained momentum. Scientists announced last year that there was once water on Mars. Recently, they also found evidence of the largest liquid-water ocean in the solar system under the icy surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa, and of worlds orbiting distant suns. Closer to home, researchers have round a wide range of organisms living in extreme earthbound environments such as ocean-floor volcanic vents once thought to be uninhabitable.



thespacesite




The mission was started to be planned about 25 years ago and it got me thinking, this joint NASA ESA mission has more or less spanned two generations..and the info still took 1 hour plus 7 mins to return to Earth



Maybe the Americans with NASA and Europeans with ESA should now think about the design of a sub-light speed craft, using perhaps Fusion or looking at other engines and going for sending a probe to travel at a fraction the Speed of light perhaps 7% of lightspeed
and visit some place like Procyon or Alpha Centauri... if a joint mission like this can do so good, then why not think bigger and in the near future go for designs and projects which work on exo planet probes to examine these extra solar worlds ?


red nova




Jupiter-sized extra-solar planet being discovered,

one being about 15 light years away orbiting around the star Gliese 876.


Project Daedalus was a 1973-77 study project to send an robotic, nuclear-powered spacecraft to Barnard's Star, The draft for the mission of Daedalus was a plan during the early 70s to send a robotic nuke powered spacecraft to Barnard's Star and check for life, accelerating to 13 percent of light speed using a deuterium/helium-3 nuclear fusion there was also Project Orion, there were other plans such as Matter-AntiMatter rocket for interstellar missions, probes with ion engines and space sails which would use the solar winds energy to give power to a Ship destined to search our nearest stars like Alpha Centauri. Some have said if went ahead with these projects and we had launched these types of craft we would might already be at Alpha Centauri by now. Would some of our close stars like Wolf359 or 61CygniA have alien worlds?
Barnard's star a very dim red dwarf that may contain two Jupiter-class planets. Accelerating to 12-13 percent of
light speed using a deuterium/helium-3 nuclear fusion reaction to provide thrust, Daedalus was designed to put a sensor platform in orbit around Barnard's and return data and images just 56 years after its departure from Earth.

Is any of this possible in the near future, or is to too far beyond our future technologies ? Or should we keep trying maybe with new designs for Europa and returning to Titan

EDIT

oops this should be in BABBling or Against the Mainstream

Launch window
2005-Jan-15, 11:19 AM
be at least 100 years before we can have something travel at a fraction the speed of light :cry:

Crazieman
2005-Jan-15, 11:25 AM
be at least 100 years before we can have something travel at a fraction the speed of light :cry:

No, I won't say definitively we don't have the tech NOW, I've seen designs for nuke powered craft.

It is definitely within our grasp within a decade or two if we actually put effort into it.

Cugel
2005-Jan-15, 12:02 PM
If you want to know how to do interstellar spaceflight just google the internet on: starwisp robert forward
This guy has kind of figured out every sort of technology for doing interstellar travels, ranging from existing technology to highly speculative ones.

However, must we consider an interstellar flight when we haven't even visited all the planets/big moons of our own system?

ArtWorker
2005-Jan-17, 09:47 PM
If you want to know how to do interstellar spaceflight just google the internet on: starwisp robert forward
This guy has kind of figured out every sort of technology for doing interstellar travels, ranging from existing technology to highly speculative ones.

However, must we consider an interstellar flight when we haven't even visited all the planets/big moons of our own system?

I thinkwe ought to get Forward into a conference room with Burt Rutan and let them hash something out. 8)

Seriously, there's no point marshaling the resources for an exoplanet mission unless we actually ID something Earthlike. Otherwise there'd be too much objection against funding it. Look how quickly the Titan mission dropped off the front pages... most people are either uninterested, or actively hostile to the idea of spaceflight. *sigh* Whereas if we find your basic "type M planet" the fundamentalists would fall all over themselves sending missionaries out there.

Cugel
2005-Jan-18, 12:26 AM
I thinkwe ought to get Forward into a conference room with Burt Rutan and let them hash something out. 8)
Unfortunately, Robert Forward died a few years ago. He has left us some great books though, like 'INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC'.

BTW, maybe you're right. Maybe our interest in spaceflight and astronomy is mainly driven by the desire to find another Earth. And other liveforms. Or could it be that we're looking for ourselves?

synthomus
2005-Jan-19, 07:38 PM
While it's always fun to daydream, let's get real: we the space enthusiasts can play our part in shaping the future of space exploration. Our main tool to do so is the internet, it's no cyber nirvana, it matters. It took less than two days that our massive appropriation of the Huygens images became so critical that it was reported by mainstream media. Already on monday morning ESA had to give up their policy of retaining the Huygens' images. A lesson they won't forget soon, finally they realized that the days of alchemists crouching in dark dungeons around bubbling enigmas are over.

Otherwise there's still way too much bad astronomy going on at the highest ranks of space agencies, especially at NASA. No wonder that they show so much children's programs on NASA TV: they're used to treat everyone as a foolish kid with their pathetic aimless manned spaceflight hocus pocus. At this point in history where we have for the first time (robotic) means to scientifically explore the habitability of the universe, the revived emphasis on manned spaceflight is in large parts a waste of resources. Let's concentrate on manned spaceflight when it becomes the best option available, but as for today let us, the enthusiasts, back the scientific minded inside NASA and elsewhere by supporting their astrobiology-driven agenda. I suggest we should call for:

1. Robotic exploration of the solar system
1.1. Mars: at least a doubling of the current robotic exploration budget
1.2. Titan: we have just glimpsed with awe how much complexity there is to discover. As we won't like to get stuck in mud on Titan we definitly have to develop a blimp for Titan NOW. And let's send two of them for redundancy.
1.3. Europa: we should scout and measure the ice crust and keep the difficult long term goal of diving down below in mind. However we can now start to conceive and build an Europa surface ice sample return mission. It's not unlikely that traces of possible organic ocean material have become trapped in that ice after temporarily melting caused by impact events etc.

2. Robotic exploration of extrasolar systems
2.1. A significant increase in the budgets for finding and analyzing spectra of Earth-like planets via spacecraft telescope flotillas like Darwin (http://www.esa.int/esaSC/120382_index_0_m.html) or Terrestrial Planet Finder (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_index.html).
2.2. Begin of development of future generations of even bigger spacecraft telescope flotillas for finding and analyzing Earth-like planets.

I invite every reasonable person to join me in this task. I invite every troll to make up his mind and use his energy for worthy purposes.

twinstead
2005-Jan-19, 07:47 PM
I'll vote for Europa and a big drill

Kebsis
2005-Jan-19, 08:41 PM
I would say it could be possible within a few decades, just far, far too expensive.