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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    Posted on: Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:46 am
Given enough finances, we could build one today, but what the hell would we do with one? It all starts with transportation technology. When we can get somewhere really interesting fast (extrasolar planets), I'm sure the capital for such a project would follow very very quickly.

I therefore have no optimistic predictions for space travel, whether it be 20 or 200 years, until the day we invent a viable way to get to other solar systems in under a generation.

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


With good reason. Such predictions are almost always wrong.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:07 pm
Not to mention the fact that if they do make a long term prediction which is wrong, they proceed to get lambasted for it. That combined with the low chance of it actually being accurate, means that only a very confident or very foolish scientist would make a long term prediction on the public record :)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:18 pm
The answers (can we build it today? What to do with it?)will differ as payload and destination differs: manned or unmanned, Alpha Centauri, Sirius, Barnard's Star, interstellar space....



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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:15 pm
Uh... we need $10 million dollars hanging in front of our nose just to get into a few peeps into the high upper atmosphere, I dont see us getting thousands of tons and hundreds of men into orbit and beyond.

As far as technology, again, we have no realistic shuttle to build somethin like this, we have no intersteller engines, no realistic interplanitary engines, and we (america that is) have no money to fund something like this.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:00 am
It is expensive to leave the earthian surface for an orbit, its a little bit less expensive to leave an orbit for the geostationary orbit and it is still a little bit less expensive to leave GEO for the interplanetary space.

But if a spaceship managed to leave the surface and the orbits no more costs to leave something are to be expected.

So your comment, mwace, doesn't be valid in interplanetary space. The next obstacle is the gravitational field of the sun - but there is sufficient time to accelerate up to sufficient velocities until the boarder of the solar system is at the horizon. This means that the costs of that acceleration are low compared to the thrust required to leave our planet.

Concerning interplanetary engines I read a german article even this morning saying that a group named AMSAT wants to prove that private interplanetary space missions are possible!

Interstellar flights will come up in the very far future when there are all required and realistic technologies, sufficient useful informations to select a Star as a destination and sufficient experiences doing manned interplanetary flights I think.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:38 am
I read a science fiction novel recently and it had introduced a interesting predictament. Mankind discovers near light speed technology and energy source. Builds ships to explorer the local group. But there is nothing much to see nearby. Large planets, gas giants, the usual. The further we go, the more difficult it gets. Einistein's paradox becomes obvious (time slowing down as we travel near speeds of light) A trip to the nearest inhabitable planet takes the crew a few months but thousands of years would have passed by then on Earth.

They did end up meeting a alien race. However, the aliens apparently came to the same conclusions that it wasn't worth it nor is it sustainable (they had the same technology) and abandoned deep space flights. The aliens had also told them that they had previously detected other intelligent life with the same technology but they also faded in time, presumbly coming to the same conclusions.

The questions this story does pose is, unless we get anything like FTL (Faster Than Light)/Warp systems and solve the time issue, near light speed systems would be effectively pointless because it is limited by the laws of physics with respect to achievable distances.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:43 am
But this doesn't mean that interstellar spaceships and flights are really useless. It means that the use itself matters. The usefulness of spaceships and flights has to measured by the use, the goal etc. For example the goal might be to find another habitable planet or system instead of something of scientific interest or new.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:53 am
I am referring to the time dilation effect of light speed travel. If that is not solved, there is no point in going anywhere.

U could built a starship that travels at that speed, make some amazing discovery but by the time you return, the world might not even know who you are. Or worse, Earth as u know it might have gone to the doors. You might have aged one year but the world would have aged by thousands!


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:22 pm
Light speed isn't required if small artificial worlds - high sophisticated enhanced space stations etc. - are installed within the interstellar space.

Another solution would be generational ships as discussed earlier.

That time man has colonized all major places in the solar system this will become interesting and technological possible.

Nowheredays only researching interstellar probes are of possible use. And there are technologies to reach 0.14c - sufficient for the first time.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:02 pm
koxinga wrote:
I am referring to the time dilation effect of light speed travel. If that is not solved, there is no point in going anywhere.

U could built a starship that travels at that speed, make some amazing discovery but by the time you return, the world might not even know who you are. Or worse, Earth as u know it might have gone to the doors. You might have aged one year but the world would have aged by thousands!


You know, time dilation may be the only thing that makes interstellar colonization possible. It is actually no different than a generational ship, meaning when the folks blast off from earth to another starsystem, on a generational ship, those folks are never going to see anyone they know on earth again. The same is true of folks riding on a near lightspeed vessel, the difference is the near light speed people won't need to spend the rest of their life on a starship.

Time dilation, could be the saving grace of intersteller colonization, at least untill we get warp speed, worm holes, or some other exotic technology, that may not ever be possible.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:16 am
Yes Rubbernecker, I am familiar with the generation ship concept and this was the description in the novel. BTW, i had a good laugh when one of the character in the novel commented on the absurdity of being tied to a two year contract for this expedition when considering time dilation, they would be gone for thousands of years.

I never liked the idea of a one way trip. Deep inside, I hope we could see the development of a dynamic intersellar community rather than to scatter humanity across without any hope of them getting to know each other or return 'home'.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:17 pm
and yet we have examples of groups of people in the past, certain Polynesians, Tasmanians, Malagassy, and at least one band of Inuit, that did settle so far beyond the realm of human habitation that as far as they knew, they were the only people in the universe. It didn't seem to affect their psyche terribly, and in the case of the Inuit and Polynesian, their extreme circumstances made them develop some pretty interesting technology.

One way trips are for people that are going for a pretty good reason. History doesn't tell us how many boats full of settler's on one way tips never made it to Point B.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:32 pm
exactly, and not only the ones mentioned, but also from "civilized" cultures that ventured to other parts of the world, all the settlers knew was when tey arrived they were promised various things from freedom, to land, to wealth, tehre are many reasons. if given a chance I am sure you can find people willing and anxious to go on such a journey, from all walks of life.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:56 pm
Starships soon ?

Yes.

But only for given values of "starships" and "soon". :wink:

You could call the Voyagers and Pioneers starships if you wanted, although I suspect that most people would want to reserve the term for a craft that carried people. I think we could probably build something capable of carrying people to a nearby star within 1 or 2 centurys - but I doubt most poeple would call that "soon" (although by some measures its quite quick).

Alun.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:58 pm
FTL technology will need a radical rewrite of our laws of physics. This is possible, but by now improbable to say the least. The only really possible FTL tech that might work are wormholes - and then only if we make the wormhole in place, and then stretch it across the distance needed (at relativistic speeds). Even this, however, is not exactly easy.

However, relativistic travel is not nearly as hard as it sounds (of course, depending on exactly what sort of travel you want). To go to, say Sirius, you'd have to move ten lightyears. Now at 0.5c this would take 20 years of travel time. If we add another 5 years of acceleration overhead, you get 25 years. It is quite possible that the young people sent out will be middle aged on arrival, and their children well under way to growing up. 0.5c is not enough to cause the really serious time dilation effects (it would be some (guessing here) 60 years, maybe, in our time frame, with their transmissions from the end point reaching us 10 years after that) - and since we know of planets in that system, they would have somewhere to land. If well enough equipped, we could easily have a human nation on a planet of the Sirius system. But they'd have to be self-sufficient from the get-go, and all hope of governing from afar are shot. ten years lag time is a bit harsh. ;)

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