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GalacticBeatDown
2009-Jul-31, 06:19 PM
I have been doing some research recently on Project Longshot. It is basically a probe that would travel to the triple star system of Alpha Centauri A, B, and Proxima Centauri. It was supposedly made to launch around this time. It would take approximately 100 years to reach the star system and take approximately 4.32 years to relay signals. But what technology would be needed to make what was once thought of with current technology as a thousand year trip, now down too only a century long trip?

Dgennero
2009-Jul-31, 07:19 PM
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890007533_1989007533.pdf

Bynaus
2009-Aug-03, 12:49 PM
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890007533_1989007533.pdf

I always found it disturbing to see that they call the two Centauri stars "Alpha and Beta Centauri"...

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-03, 10:44 PM
Why?

Cougar
2009-Aug-04, 04:21 PM
But what technology would be needed to make what was once thought of with current technology as a thousand year trip, now down too only a century long trip?

For those who are not link-fond, Dgennero's link indicates....



A pulsed fusion microexplosion drive with 1,000,000 seconds of specific impulse is the primary enabling technology. A large, long-life fission reactor with 300 kilowatts power output is also required.

matthewota
2009-Aug-04, 05:05 PM
I think it would be difficult to fund a project with such a long transit time. The project scientists would be long gone by the time the probe got to its destination.

In addition, it is doubtful that Congress would fund such a project for the same reason.

Kullat Nunu
2009-Aug-05, 07:59 AM
Why?

Beta Centauri (aka Hadar, Agena) is totally unrelated blue giant star. The components in the Alpha Centauri system are Alpha Centauri A, B, and C (aka Proxima Centauri).

robross
2009-Aug-05, 08:11 AM
I have been doing some research recently on Project Longshot. It is basically a probe that would travel to the triple star system of Alpha Centauri A, B, and Proxima Centauri. It was supposedly made to launch around this time. It would take approximately 100 years to reach the star system and take approximately 4.32 years to relay signals. But what technology would be needed to make what was once thought of with current technology as a thousand year trip, now down too only a century long trip?

Well, sadly, they were already designing the technology in the 50's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

It was estimated to be able to reach .08 to .1 c, so being optimistic, it could reach Alpha Centauri in about 44 years.

Stupid test ban treaty. Well, except for the possibly preventing a nuclear war part. That was probably pretty good. But still, what an awesome use of nuclear technology it would have been!

Rob

timb
2009-Aug-07, 02:59 AM
Why?

I find it disturbing that NASA generates proposals that display profound astronomical ignorance.

Maybe I'm being too harsh: apparently one can be a super-dooper poster on an astronomy board and still display profound astronomical ignorance.

robross
2009-Aug-07, 04:03 AM
I find it disturbing that NASA generates proposals that display profound astronomical ignorance.

Maybe I'm being too harsh: apparently one can be a super-dooper poster on an astronomy board and still display profound astronomical ignorance.

What were you responding to? The original statement by Bynaus was "I always found it disturbing to see that they call the two Centauri stars "Alpha and Beta Centauri"... "

to which KaiYeves asked "Why?"

So I'm not clear what post you are responding to.

Rob

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-07, 08:22 PM
Beta Centauri (aka Hadar, Agena) is totally unrelated blue giant star. The components in the Alpha Centauri system are Alpha Centauri A, B, and C (aka Proxima Centauri)
Oh, okay.

I'm only in High School, there are things I don't know. So I ask questions, because I want to know.