View Full Version : Interstellar Transportation

2003-Sep-25, 02:53 AM
Doable interstellar transportation, planetary exploration and colonization, sundry benefits and my favorite space ship design are described here (http://home.comcast.net/~mbmcneill7/).

A 100 year plan must begin in the near future

2003-Oct-15, 06:44 PM
All you need is a ton of money, and the will to spend it.

Actually, that's easier than it sounds. What's neat about money is that you can get it anywhere. Start a successful restaurant, and devote some of the profits to colonizing space. In this case, people are eating to advance mankind!

You have a talent. Use it to make lots of money. Hire people to do this project. Easy.

PS. I'm not a hypocrite here. I've invested in real estate projects (using money I've gotten by working various jobs). I'm now using the profits to fund my Ph.D. studies in life-extension.

2003-Oct-22, 07:35 PM
Let's all dream our dreams of human interstellar space flight. Sorry to put a scientific reality check here, but, ask any good priest of what a human life is comprised. We are comprised of three elements, the divine spark of life, the flesh and friends, we are also comprised of TIME. And, when our time is up, then we die.

Now, if we are to travel faster than light speeds in order to reach our destination in a good amount of reasonable time, then the minute we go faster than the speed of light, then, that good old fashioned TIME element, of which we are all comprised, is just going to do one thing friends, DISSIPATE at the control panel. Death. Now, if we can overcome humanitie's virtual essence, that being the time factor, then will we be like GODS, or will we be able to travel at faster than light speeds? Consider the reality here folks.

We are simply not going to go anywhere very fast. And, in order to attain great speeds, this humanity had better come up with a metallurgy that will know how to get us out there while retaining it's essential integrity. Interstellar space travel is filled with microbes, dust and radiation that could annihilate the ship in itself.

Also, let's just say we found a good planet to colonize. Do we have squatting rights on someone else's homeworld? And, let's say it was a place not inhabited, which is most likely a fairy tale. Let's say this place was not a carbon copy of Earth, but, could sustain our form of life. Okay, what if we planted down. Now, once we are there, in time, that is if our physical makeup could handle the physical assimilation process, we would eventually loose our Earth born birthrite. We would become assimilated into the other planet's bio, eco, geophysical system, and we would not look at all like we did once the journey to colonize began.

Give this all some honest thought. I am all for engaging in interstellar space travel, but, at this point in the juncture, taking into consideration the essential truths mentioned above, seems like this venture is just pretty far from reality.

2003-Oct-28, 07:23 PM
Have to agree, partially.

Intersteller travel is more or less impossible right now, even if you did have nearly unlimitied funds. Solar Sails are about the only thing capable of making the journey, because you need a propellant-less system, or the ability to collect your propellant from space itself. And micrometeorites will turn any sails into swiss cheese long before you get to your destination.

What's needed, is a way to tap zero-point energy, or something like it. The only thing I see that's possible of making the trip, is a bussard ramjet, and use it to collect hydrogen as you go. But there are still several problems with this idea.

Instead, we should focus on exploring our own solar system first. Perhaps in time, something like the Alcubierre Warp Drive will become a reality, and we can go in FTL style.

2003-Oct-28, 09:04 PM
You could also send a series of "fuel depots" ahead of the colony ship, couldn't you? The math would be tough, but basically high-school physics.

If we had manufacturing facilities on Jupiter, we'd be able to 'punt out' boats full of hydrogen. They'd use some of their mass for acceleration, and then coast. Then, the colony ship could overtake them, one at a time, to get the reaction mass necessary.

Still would take a LONG time though :o

2003-Oct-29, 11:01 PM
Probably not worth it. Too expensive and complex, and what happens when a depot or two becomes damaged and leaks all it's fuel into space before the ship gets there? Remember KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid! The Shuttle has problems because it's too complex.

No. We need a propellantless propulsion system, or collect what energy we need as we travel (hydrogen partifcles, starlight, zero point, etc.)

2003-Oct-31, 09:17 PM
Note that the system depends on the collimated power beam generated within a few hundredths of an AU (to get the 10^18 watts) from the trip initiating star. The sail force from this beam can not be avoided and indeed is very helpful while the ship is being accelerated. The challenge is to stop at the destination system which means the ratio of the ion propulsion force must always exceed that from the sail force. The BENEFITS section describes travel within the solar system, terraforming, and colonization. Faster than light speed travel is not assumed because I'm convinced it's not feasible theoretically much less practically. One- way trips of 5 light years distance can be achieved in from 10 to 40 years with current technology employing maximum speeds of approximately 0.9 that of light. These folks should not plan to ever again see the earth up close. Maybe their descendants can if they so desire.

My view is that the crew will consist of 10 or less humans, mostly female. It will take about 100 years to build the system while enjoying immense economical benefits and stronger social relationships across all nations. By 2110 we should have learned how to keep fertilized mammalian eggs, including human ones, in a dormant but viable state for indefinite periods of time as well as artificial wombs within which gestation periods can be completed; hence the human colonization of the Milky Way galaxy will have been initiated as well as the process that will eventually lead to intergalactic travel.

It is worth it!!

Shall our dreaming limit our vision of progress to having our descendants do less than engineer the expansion of the universe...with appropriate deference to the will and grace of God of course?

2003-Nov-01, 12:44 AM
We could use an antimatter engine, if such a thing is buildable. Use up 75% of the fuel then open up your solar sails, and keep on travelling until you get near to your distination. Close the solar sails, turn on the antimatter engine and coast to destination. Not hard at all. :blink:

2003-Nov-01, 01:13 AM
Antimatter engines capable of the required safe power levels are probably 200 years away. Preliminary design and development of the system as described can be initiated immediately. The sooner we have such a system in place; the sooner we'll be able to protect earth from asteroids and comets. Also heavy duty soil and rock movers can be transported to Mars and other sites with the beam powered vehicle thus making terraforming somewhat more easily accomplished.

I think that zero point vacuum energy harnessing, wormhole exploiting, and antimatter processes are too far away and require much research and development. If we get lucky from a breakthrough in any one of these, we can always shift to the better solution. Meanwhile, let's proceed with a system for which the technology is available. Let the sun and each successive star propel us on our way. :unsure:

2003-Nov-01, 01:42 AM
We cannot look into the future. We are discovering more faster. The more we discover the faster we discover more. All it takes is for someone to come up with an idea. Einstein came up with E=MC^2, why can't someone else come up with something as revolutionary with antimatter?

2003-Nov-03, 12:30 AM
You could also send a series of "fuel depots" ahead of the colony ship, couldn't you? The math would be tough, but basically high-school physics.

I'm with you QC Jones, any move in to space has to deal with micro meteors, but the pony express is the solution till you have matured to your concord or great ocean liner. I have also wondered about a magnetic conveyer belt, a series of magnetic gates that reverse there feild attracting a craft then reversing propelling the craft. I only mention it because a certain group of individuals think they can build a space tether, of which I am a sceptic of. :)