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planethollywood
2003-Jun-24, 03:42 AM
If you had your choice of existing or experimental technology (must exist in some form not just theory) to cram into your space craft (probe roughly 2metres by 4 metres by 2 metres) what would you have ?

ion Engines maybe?
full spectum dectectors?
all leather interior?
cup holder?
:wink:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-24, 03:52 AM
Solar sail.

I've always liked sailing and this is just that much cooler. :D

Dickenmeyer
2003-Jun-24, 04:02 AM
An ion engine, definitely. Many more AUs to the tank, even if it doesn't have as much acceleration as chemical rockets. And it has to have a cool logo painted on the side.

planethollywood
2003-Jun-24, 11:22 AM
i should also have added "Where would you send it and what would it do?"

let the trekking begin...

snowcelt
2003-Jun-24, 01:56 PM
Go with current technology. Just do it! In another thread someone made a good case about using three sat Vs and making it to mars now! So it is a tad pricey. Who cares. Take little s**t-heel countries like Canada (my home and native land) and, say, make us cough up some cash. With all the liberal dicks that have ran god's country for the the last 35yrs, a good kick in the arse would do us just fine. This is the age of the US hegemony, Canada, grow up and smell the yankee rose! We do not have to go to war with them: but we have to live with them. :wink:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-24, 07:10 PM
Just call it art and apply for a grant. The Liberals would cough up the funds. :D

Firefox
2003-Jun-24, 07:17 PM
And tell conservatives it has military applications. :D

Ion engine sounds good to me, and I would probably use it for some flyby missions through the outer solar system.

Can the package include jettisonable probes?


Adam

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-24, 07:20 PM
Can it be manned? I'd love to go for a ride somewhere. :wink:

planethollywood
2003-Jun-25, 03:18 AM
it can have what ever you like, so long as the technology exists in some pracitical form. Jetisonable probes, yes. Manned craft guess so, so long as the craft can suport human life.

I what to avoid the theorietical for now.

eburacum45
2003-Jun-25, 05:19 AM
Given a spacecraft to play with, I'd load it up with tethers and weights, to see what the practical difficulties are with using this technology;
if the late Robert Forward was right, they could be useful for power generation and orbit adjustments;
given a chance, I'd try lassoing a comet or small near earth object and hitch a ride.

SkyEyeGuy
2003-Jun-25, 02:21 PM
Aha!

Here goes...

1) Buld two dozen Saturn V rockets. Paint 'em bright red, and give 'em nose art and cool names. Launch those babies, ALL AT ONCE, to put the parts in orbit.

2) Assemble the Mars ship in orbit with the cargo and some of the pieces of the V's. The Mars ship will feature:

* Ion engines for the long haul.
* Good old chemical rockets for short but intense burns along the way. Use the fuel as shielding for the living quarters. Bring plenty. Burn often.
* A rotating donut-shaped section to provide gravity for crew quarters.
* Nuclear reactors for power. Yeah, baby, yeah!
* A VTOL Mars lander for poking about on the Martian surface. Think Delta Clippers. Make it two. Nose art is mandatory. Sell ad space to greedy corporations.
* Leave behind a small robotic lab on the Martian surface. Again with the corporate logos.
* The ship returns to Earth, gets a refit and a refuel, and heads out again -- Jovian moons, anybody?

Now that's a space program.

pmcolt
2003-Jun-25, 03:52 PM
Mine's an unmanned lander/rover, going to Mars. I'd like it to be manned, but I can't cram life support and supplies into the 2x2x4 m^3 volume and still have room for my cupholder.

The rover will be a big, rugged six-wheeler, nuclear powered, big enough to drive over or around most obstacles with no problem. It'll be equipped with a wide range of equipment designed to test the composition of Martian soil at various sites for future landings, and to look for signs of life.

Also, it'll be covered with the logos of corporate sponsors, and at launch there'll be a big yellow smiley face painted on the side with the words "Have a Nice Day, Anti-Nuke Activists" written underneath.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-25, 04:00 PM
I'd go with either a solar sail or an ion engine, and then just hurl it into the void. Maybe pass Pluto on the way, then start doing stellar parallax as well as local sensing observations. If it gets far enough, it can use the Sun for gravitational lensing.

And it would have a sign on the side that said (in some scientifically sound universal language):

If found, please return to ToSeek, c/o BABB.

kurtisw
2003-Jun-25, 06:44 PM
I'd use a nuclear engine and send a craft to a star known to have planets, like the Daedalus (http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/2049/DAEDALUS.HTM) probe.
Within a generation or two, we'd have Voyager-like images of extrasolar planets.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-25, 07:10 PM
16 cubic metres? Quite constrained. Plus the issue is to find a mission gap. What aren't we planning? (Actually I think ToSeek's idea is the best so far. You can't have too many parallactic missions - and no really long baseline missions of the sort have been firmly approved).

So... There are missions at various stages of planning scheduled for just about every planet in the solar system - plus the main belt asteroids (DAWN), a European multiprobe proposal to visit NEOs and maybe the Pluto mission can be extended to the Kuiper Belt. The only exceptions are Uranus and Neptune - so give me two 8 cubic metre orbiters, and let's make a clean sweep. No special technology, a couple of RTGs for power - though ion engines would actually be nice for getting a better look at moons and rings. And perhaps the Neptune craft could eventually be put into a Triton orbit.

Apart from the moons (a better look at Triton - and Miranda - would be nice), the idea is to study both planets simultaneously - they're non-identical twins, and no-one knows why they're so different.