Author Topic: NASA thinks it may be able to build an engine that will get us to Mars in weeks instead of months.  (Read 2469 times)

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Offline Chieftain

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Good next step.  We need a drive that is designed to operate solely in space, as opposed to simply accelerating payloads up to orbital velocity with chemical rockets.  Eventually we need some kind of reliable cheap drive that is capable of shuttling around the inner planets all the way out to the asteroids.  We need to eventually mine the asteroid belt and process metals in vacuum and zero gravity and develop new construction methods and materials for use in the same environment.  Some day we will have to develop long term habitat and workspace far above LOE.

And if you can develop a drive that can provide 1 Gravity of acceleration for an extended period of time, you can get up to relativistic speeds at significant percentages of c in a year of constant thrust.  You cannot travel at the speed of light in Einsteinian Space, but you can get damned close.  50% of light speed gets a probe high enough above the Milky Way to image the galactic core, and finally discover what is on the other side from us, in only 50 years one way.  Build and power a probe that is designed to last a century in space so we can eventually get the data it sends....

We're just over a century past the Wright Brothers.....
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:43:37 PM by Chieftain »

Offline Dexter

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Good next step.  We need a drive that is designed to operate solely in space, as opposed to simply accelerating payloads up to orbital velocity with chemical rockets.  Eventually we need some kind of reliable cheap drive that is capable of shuttling around the inner planets all the way out to the asteroids.  We need to eventually mine the asteroid belt and process metals in vacuum and zero gravity and develop new construction methods and materials for use in the same environment.  Some day we will have to develop long term habitat and workspace far above LOE.

The part I find the most exciting is the bit about being able to reach the nearest star in 30 years or less. It is rapidly becoming more and more feasible to send probes or even humans to another star system.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:46:20 PM by Dex4974 »
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Offline EC

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Fuel costs would be horrific though.

I'm thinking the Niven approach might be better, since we don't have Bussard Rams yet. Sink a couple of fusion powered thrust tubes into Neptune's atmosphere and switch them on - same sort of principle as the Orion project, but self refueling. Take a while to get anywhere, but you certainly have the fuel and built in shielding. (Yes, I've been doing the calcs for this for a novel and it is feasible. Dangerous, but doable). Takes about 40k years to get to Barnards Star, where we know for sure there are planets, but computers don't care about time.
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Offline aligncare

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Heck, just look what we've been able to accomplish with crude 20th century technology: Thirty-seven years after it launched, Voyager 1 is still out in the vast expanse of space, periodically relaying new data back home.
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Offline Dexter

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Fuel costs would be horrific though.


That's the amazing part. This thing has no traditional fuels and is potentially self sustaining. It was supposed to be impossible, but it worked. That's how they are theorizing they will be able to create the ultra light design.
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Offline 240B

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We alredy know how to do it. It is called ION drive.
 
It starts out at 35 mph. Then it goes to 40. Then it goes to 400. Then to lightspeed  Then it goes wherever it dann well pleases
 
But, instead of all that, America dicided to elect a monkey President who does not understand and does not want what he calls the 'evil of knowledge'.
 
From his upbringing in tribal Muslim culture, space is not knowable. And shold not ever be known. That is why one of the first things he did was to close down NASA. That was always a thorn in is side.
 
He can't have Americans doing all these great things. While "his people" suffer. That is not fair. And that is why he shut down NASA on his first day of office.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 09:22:19 PM by 240B »
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Online Oceander

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almost sounds like a perpetual motion machine.
Trump does not represent the will of the people.  If we really wanted to respect the decision of "the people," then Clinton would be the president-elect, not Trump, for the simple reason that she won the popular vote.

Offline kevindavis

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I'm thinking in 10 - 15 years we will have discovered FTL whatever it would be warp speed or something else... But this drive can help the humans go to Mars in a better way. I think we need something better than chemical rockets to launch people can cargo off the planet.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline DCPatriot

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I'm thinking in 10 - 15 years we will have discovered FTL whatever it would be warp speed or something else... But this drive can help the humans go to Mars in a better way. I think we need something better than chemical rockets to launch people can cargo off the planet.

They will need to 'borrow' pieces of the Israeli "Iron Dome" technology, to evade space debris.  For example, calculating incoming objects and making the proper evasive moves, etc..

One piece of space rock the size of a common screw could destroy the vehicle and the mission.



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Offline kevindavis

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They will need to 'borrow' pieces of the Israeli "Iron Dome" technology, to evade space debris.  For example, calculating incoming objects and making the proper evasive moves, etc..

One piece of space rock the size of a common screw could destroy the vehicle and the mission.


Unless we find a way to create some kind of deflector shield.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline AbaraXas

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Imagine what we could do with an infinite improbability drive.
Never delude yourself into thinking you're "influencing" or making a difference on the internet. It is an ephemeral pleasure.

Offline kevindavis

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Imagine what we could do with an infinite improbability drive.


or a Slipstream drive.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline kevindavis

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Imagine what we could do with an infinite improbability drive.


Correction a Quantum Slipstream Drive.. 
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline Dexter

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Unless we find a way to create some kind of deflector shield.

I read an article a while back about scientists discovering a way to alter the properties of photons and turn them into a physical object. I think that technology will eventually lead to something like this. It's amazing how we only seem to be limited by our imaginations.
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
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Offline kevindavis

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I read an article a while back about scientists discovering a way to alter the properties of photons and turn them into a physical object. I think that technology will eventually lead to something like this. It's amazing how we only seem to be limited by our imaginations.


The one thing I find amazing is that a certain show on a small budget and only lasted three years came up with some of these ideas first is slowly coming true.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline Dexter

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The one thing I find amazing is that a certain show on a small budget and only lasted three years came up with some of these ideas first is slowly coming true.

That's what I mean by being limited only by our imagination. We imagine the future and the wonders it might hold and then we create them in reality. It almost makes me think there are limitless possibilities to do anything in the universe, and the only thing holding us back is our lack of understanding of it. Mark my words, understanding the physics of black holes will be a key part of us exploring the universe.
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
-Socrates

Offline kevindavis

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That's what I mean by being limited only by our imagination. We imagine the future and the wonders it might hold and then we create them in reality. It almost makes me think there are limitless possibilities to do anything in the universe, and the only thing holding us back is our lack of understanding of it. Mark my words, understanding the physics of black holes will be a key part of us exploring the universe.


Also is what holding us back is the will.  I see the lack of will on both sides of the political spectrum, however it is mostly on the left.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline Dexter

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Also is what holding us back is the will.  I see the lack of will on both sides of the political spectrum, however it is mostly on the left.

I will never understand people that can look up at the night sky and not be overwhelmed by curiosity and a desire to unlock all of its mysteries. Space is the unknown frontier, the new world. There is no greater endeavor for humanity. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 12:26:59 PM by Dex4974 »
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
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Offline EC

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Also is what holding us back is the will.  I see the lack of will on both sides of the political spectrum, however it is mostly on the left.

Add waste to that. There is a lot of brainpower out there going to waste. We need a new way of teaching, one designed specifically to reach the ones who are being wasted right now.
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Offline kevindavis

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I will never understand people that can look up at the night sky and not be overwhelmed by curiosity and a desire to unlock all of its mysteries. Space is the unknown frontier, the new world. There is no greater endeavor for humanity.


Ditto.. I think it may take a war or some major catastrophe to wake people up..
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline kevindavis

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Add waste to that. There is a lot of brainpower out there going to waste. We need a new way of teaching, one designed specifically to reach the ones who are being wasted right now.


That is correct..
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline 240B

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Contemplate this. (warning: it would be best to smoke one before reading this)
 
What if humans are nothing more than a universal virus. And we are seeking every and any way to spread into a greater entity. We are currently constrained on Earth, but just like a virus, we are always looking for a way to spread ourseleves to envelope everything.
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

Offline kevindavis

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Contemplate this. (warning: it would be best to smoke one before reading this)
 
What if humans are nothing more than a universal virus. And we are seeking every and any way to spread into a greater entity. We are currently constrained on Earth, but just like a virus, we are always looking for a way to spread ourseleves to envelope everything.


Also virus tends to mutate... I have a belief if we don't find a identical planet, at least somewhat a close one, the human race can find a adapt to the planet that we settle on.
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline Dexter

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Also virus tends to mutate... I have a belief if we don't find a identical planet, at least somewhat a close one, the human race can find a adapt to the planet that we settle on.

You mean evolve?  :pondering:
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
-Socrates


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