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Starships

Posted by: Star_Voyager - Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:06 am
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Starships 

Are Starships likely to happen soon?
Yes 19%  19%  [ 8 ]
No 81%  81%  [ 34 ]
Total votes : 42

Starships 
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Post Starships   Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:06 am
I have been wondering for a long time: Are starships likely?
If so, what kind of technological advances will we need to get there?
What speeds will we be able to reach?
What equipment will we need?
How big would the ships be?
What resources in general would be needed?
When is a likely time for such things?
How much like Star Wars and Star Trek will it be like?
Anything else?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:33 am
by starship i assume you mean interstellar ship. while the technical challenges of that are immense, thats really the lesser of the three reasons why they're not going to happen for at least 50 years. the second reason is that there's no way the current or forseeable political situation that the several trillion dollars that'd be required to build one will happen even if the other two reasons are no matter. obviously the third reason is that there's no where to go in an interstellar ship, and odds are there won't be for at least 10 more years (tpf in 2010, assume at least 5+ years to be able to select possible targets, even if it finds terrestrial planets at once).

EDIT: being at all like star wars and star trek is so ridiculously unlikely any time in the forseeable future (read 100+ years), even assuming anything on those is possible.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 7:25 am
A likely time for starships will come when

1. the solar system is researched and explored by manned spacecrafts up to a certain degree,

2. exoplanets are researched by telescopes and interferometers up to a certain degree and

3. a lot of other questions not listed are sufficiently researched and solved.

By researching the solar system and all its planets and moons all required technologies will mature. This is strictly required because the huge distance to the stars includes a huge risk of failure by today nearly unremarkable navigational errors concerning the direction of flight and the directions sensors and cameras are watching to.

Additionaly the time required for communication is a huge problem compared to distances like that of Mars for example. Concerning this problem a new technological solution seems to be in sight tending to revolutionize communication - I talked of it a few time ago under "scientists zap atom across room" in "The Spaceflight Cafe".

Researching exoplanets is requiring telescopes in the scale of distances between planets combined with advanced computer- and communication-technologies I think. At the NIAC-site there is a study concerning this topic.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:42 pm
TerraMrs wrote:
EDIT: being at all like star wars and star trek is so ridiculously unlikely any time in the forseeable future (read 100+ years), even assuming anything on those is possible.


Amen. Star Trek uses spacewarp (kinda like popping watermelon seeds between your fingers), Star Wars uses hyperspace (which, by the way, does NOT involve the stars turning into little streaks of light). While something remotely similar to Star Trek might be possible in less than 100 years (IF this Podkletnov guy in Finland is telling the truth, and IF he can figure out how to make it work on a larger scale), but hyperspace is way the hell out there.

Of course, personally, hyperspace is the only technology that should be considered for banning. Make a minor adjustment, and you've got a time machine -- and all hell breaks loose. There's a reason it's called the space-time continuum. And then there's all kinds of games you can play with causality and time -- but they all have about a fifty-fifty shot of creating a singularity.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:12 pm
or a starship could be considered an interstellar craft, such as a generational craft, or a probe such as the voyager an pioneer space craft which are being sent out of the system, so in a sense we already have "star ships"

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:02 am
Generational spacecrafts might be most realistic because of the huge distances to the stars - but technological they seem to be very much more challenging than nearly all other realistic concepts.

Reasons:

1. A complete ecology has to be established.
2. A certain number of passengers will be required that's numerous.
3. Because of the number of passengers politics within the spaceraft is to be expected...!
4. Evolution has to be given a chance.
5. What about repairs of the spacecraft?
6. ...

The spacecraft is required to be as buge as a big asteroid at least I think.

There will be a long period of unmanned research and experimental interstellar spacecrafts after a level of extended manned exploration of the solar system is reached and be kept.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:03 am
think voyager is gonna have to be the only starship we will see for a while!

No way could we have the resources to build ships to hold hundreds of people at a time.

Agree, the governments would go spare!

No technology to do it well.

Not enough £$£

Dont think we will search for planets like the movies say, we will use giant telescopes to find ones that look right for life, send loads of probes, breaking a few, then send a ship round that area perhaps to look for any green men, and they will be so old when they get back they will prob be dead!

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:48 am
Concerning Voyager you are right in principle - there are two Voyagers and two Pioneers. All leaving the solar system for interstellar travel if I'm right but there will be a communication breakdown very long before reaching a star. Communication to Pioneer 10 is terminated already.

But the communication problem is going to be solved by quantum communication I think (please refer to my post under "Scientists zap atom across room" in "The Spaceflight Cafe").

Concerning building ships there might be a change in engineering one day perhaps. Consider an asteroid of the size of Eros - it might be possible to create "caves" in the asteroid by removing the material of the inner of the asteroid. This material might be used to create other rooms etc. at the surface. It might be possible to provide sufficient engines and drives. It will take the time of let's assume a hundred years but we are talking of a generational spacecraft. so this long time will be okay.

Some of the real technological problems or challenges I already have listed.

The financial requirements will be distributed over the assumed 100 years and they will come not only from the governments but from privates too - we are talking of things taking place in more than 100 years from today.

When a manned mission to another planetary sytem will be launched, when a generational spacecraft will be launched the target planet will be researched by solar-system-scale telescopes and unmanned interstellar probes much more detailed than Mars is during the last 40 years and will e during the coming 20 years and the crew and the people of that spacecraft will stay there and try to create a growing colony. Please don't forget - there will be quantum communication then.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:29 am
While Voyager and Pioneer will lose the ability to talk to America, don't forget that they carry information disks about us so will in fact still be able to communicate, just to their new owners instead. :D

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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:40 pm
Hmm, it's an interesting question - and one that is almost impossible to answer.

Assuming you mean interstellar travel (as was mentioned earlier), we would definitely need some technologies we don't have. In fact, for the most part we would need physics we don't have.

Even using an antimatter engine, which is about as efficient as we can possible conceive now adays, to accelerate to the speed of light and deccelerate again to get into orbit around Alpha Centuari would require 37 times the mass of propellent than the amount that you are trying to propel. Eg, if you want to move a 100 tonne starship to Alpha Centuari, you need 3700 tonnes of antimatter and matter as fuel to do so.

It's possible that probes using less advanced technology, taking far longer to get there, might be built in the next 100 years or so, but that hardly classes as a "Starship".

You really need to rely upon some things we can only speculate about - wormholes are about the only thing we currently know of that doesn't openly flout the laws of physics, and how to construct one is another great challenge entirely.

But if you mean interplanetary spaceship, that is relatively easy. It would probably be done in 10 years, with enough money.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:26 pm
So we go to our destination slowly. Assuming technological advancement in other areas of science too, perhaps we'll have some way to pop our colonists into stasis or the deep freeze, ready to be revived once they reach the destination.

I think the use of a large asteroid, hollowed out, spun up, and moved into, would be a good option, but by the time we get to that technological stage, perhaps we'd be using these asteroids as huge space docks to build the first interplanetary or interstellar ships instead.

With the resources out in the solar system, an enormous ship even using existing technology is possible, just improbable. I'd like to think we'd build better rather than just bigger though.

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Post Space, ze final frontier   Posted on: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:27 pm
du de du du du du de du!
Space, ze final frontier!
DU DU!
Des are de voyages of ze ztarship Enterprise! Eets 5 year/continuing mission . . .
To explore new worlds . . .
To seek out new life and new seeveelyzations . . .
To BODLY go where no one has gone before!

:roll:

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:01 pm
First of all i think some of your 100 year Predictions are a bit off.

At the moment we are at early stages of nanotechnology. But it promises to revoloutionize nearly or all industries in the world. It will provide cheap materials and amazing things that you could only dream of right now.

I suggest you do some research in Nanotechnology, there are plenty of books about.

This is the technology that will make massive spaceships possible. They will be tough ( carbon nanotubes ) Self assembling nanotech ( build things a lot faster ) Robotics has come a long way so there wont be a need for hard labour also super computers will make an accurate and strong design.

Technologies that would Support a Space Crew are coming along but are still being researched.


Id say in the next 20 years there will be plans drawn up for such a project. In the next 30-40 years we should see major advancements in technology to enable us to build it within the first half of 21st century.

Technology is accelerating.

I could go on more about nanotechnology but there is so much to tell you. Its best if you check amazon.com for some books:

I recommend:

our Molecular future
Nanotechnology ( crandalll editor)
The spike
Age of spiritual machines.

the Science community is really conservative when it comes to long term predictions

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:20 pm
well our first starship was Pioneer 11, IIRC, (unless there really is something to the whole manhole-cover-at-the-atomic-test urban legend) but it will take some time to get wherever the hell it is going. Apart from the Voyagers I don't think we're slated to have any future starships in the forseeable future.

Although, at some point, given a breakthrough in VASIMIR or some other developing technology, it would be very interesting to send spacecraft out to the Oort Cloud and whatever they are calling (I forget) that new planetoid they found earlier this year.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:33 am
Sedna.

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