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# [Nature] Planet found in closest neighbour system Alpha Centauri. - Page 9

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfroth

Using the most experiemental of ion drives that are in the making, and if one can theoretically reach Mars in 39 days using those engines we have a speed of...
39 days (24 hours) = 936 hours
Mars at it's closest to Earth is roughly 34 million miles (sorry I'm American), which we assume one would launch said craft at that distance.
34,000,000 / 936 hours = 36324.79 miles mph
Speed of light is 186,000 miles per SECOND
186,000 miles (60 seconds) = 11,160,000 miles per minute
11,160,000 miles (60 minutes) = 669,600,000 miles per hour
669,600,000 miles (24 hours) = 16,070,400,000 miles per day
16,070,400,000 miles (365 days) = 5,865,696,000,000 miles per year = 1 light year
5,865,696,000,000 miles per year (4.366 light years [the distance to Alpha Centauri]) = 25,609,628,736,000 miles to Alpha Centauri
25,609,628,736,000 miles / 36324.79 miles per hour (fastest expierimental ion engines) = 705,017,943.2834 hours to reach Alpha Centauri
705,017,943.2834 hours / 24 hours = 29375747.6368 days
29,375,747.6368 days / 365 days = 80,481.5004 years
With the fastest engines we currently have been able to begin to build, it will take one 80,481.5 years to get to Alpha Centauri
These propulsion systems travel at a speed of 10.09 miles per second which is 0.00005425% the speed of light just for a comparison of how close to the speed of light our technology is not.
Just to correct some bad math and assumptions I've seen in this thread so far.
Sorry 80,536.5 years to reach Alpha centauri because I didn't account for leap years.. in which this case is a alot. 55 extra years or so... My bad

The assumption made with the 39000mph is wrong u dont fly at a constant speed, u accel/deaccel and the longer u travel the faster you can go.

Ion drives are good cause they build up accelleration about long time with allmost no speed limit.

A Chemical rocket burns quick and strong to overcome the earth gravitation.

Example spaceshuttle goes at 3G while in atmosphere and throttles up to 6-7G once the airlayer gets thin enough but the engines only burn like 6 minutes to make it reach it Vmax of 17000mph.

3g= 9.81m/sek*3 29.43m/s 6g build up 58.86m/sek

But an ion drive works diffrent it has no fuel limit of 6 minutes burn time.

You start firing up and give it an accel value of 1g, wich also is nice for our astronauts cause they are not weightless then and have the same gforce for the hole travel. so u add 9.81m/sek every second the engine works and the engine can work for years.

When you are half way you turn your spacecraft and use the engine to deaccelerate again, or when travel is longer u set a vmax at wich the engine can stop working, wich in the most points would be something like 1/2 or 2/3 of light speed.

So if your engine worked 1 year with 1g output you reach a speed of 309368160m/sek wich actually is speed of light it goes ~300000km/s.

Now you wont reach this probbably cause we dont have such powerfull ion drives that build up 1g but even if it is just a fraction it´s still enough, and you have to factor in gravitaion of sun and jupiter, force created by micro meteorits, sunwind, suns halo and whatever affects the speeds.

But in theory you could accellerate 1 year fly 4 years at close to light speed and deaccelerate 1 year, you come out at something like 6 years travel time and even if u assume a weak engine the travel time would come up with 50years not 80000years.

Atm. we have very small ion engines in test they dont build up much force but i know they have one running somewhere for over 4 years now, without shutdown.
Edited by erniv2 - 10/19/12 at 2:31am
And yet speed of light is slow. It is simply not possible to reach anywhere within reasonable time at the speed of light. If it takes light four years to travel from Alpha Centauri to us how long do you think it's going to take to colonise even our closest neighbours? It will take centuries, which is why wormhole and warp theory are being worked on.

They are both possible in theory, it's application that is a problem. However Asimov was convinced that warp technology is possible.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liranan

And yet speed of light is slow. It is simply not possible to reach anywhere within reasonable time at the speed of light. If it takes light four years to travel from Alpha Centauri to us how long do you think it's going to take to colonise even our closest neighbours? It will take centuries, which is why wormhole and warp theory are being worked on.
They are both possible in theory, it's application that is a problem. However Asimov was convinced that warp technology is possible.

The application is a problem bcos these things that are possible in theory need some quite exotic stuff, like negative mass, for example. I can also cook up materials with very cool properties in my computer simulations if I don't have to be bound down by reality (damn conservation laws always getting in the way of that Nobel price). Not saying thats its impossible to have a warp drive, it's just a lot more trickier than just building the device which has been predicted by the theory.
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I understand the problems of applying theory to the physical world, which is why these things are called theories. However, other forms of transportation have to be discovered and developed, light is simply too slow and the amount of energy required to reach it is simply not within our grasp.

I would not like to be in cryosleep for decades, while my ship moved to some remote location only to discover, on awakening, that people managed to achieve a faster way of getting to my destination. I would seriously emorage.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liranan

I understand the problems of applying theory to the physical world, which is why these things are called theories. However, other forms of transportation have to be discovered and developed, light is simply too slow and the amount of energy required to reach it is simply not within our grasp.
I would not like to be in cryosleep for decades, while my ship moved to some remote location only to discover, on awakening, that people managed to achieve a faster way of getting to my destination. I would seriously emorage.

While it would be cool to have a warp drive which is capable of moving humans I highly doubt that such device will be available before we, as humans, manage to wipe ourselves out. The problem with moving humans is, in addition to the complexity of the "warp drive" that humans are very fragile compared to the machines. If the machine would be built which is capable of faster than light travel it would, most likely involve such forces and field densities that would burn organic matter into nice crisp clump during the jumps that anything organic would not be practical. The secondary problem is that humans need damn lot of resources (need right temperature, pressure, food / liquids, atmospheric processing, etc) all of which are not needed to be held in as tight range when you are using machines.

If the technology keeps progressing in an accelerating manner then we will hit technological singularity within a century, at longest. To be honest I'm not entirely convinced there will be room for humans in the world after that singularity when evolution switches from organic to a cybernetic and puts the pedal to the metal. Ofc there is always possibility that the AI we develop will be well meaning towards humans, kills off just the unsustainable part of the human population and we will live happily ever after.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex

While it would be cool to have a warp drive which is capable of moving humans I highly doubt that such device will be available before we, as humans, manage to wipe ourselves out. The problem with moving humans is, in addition to the complexity of the "warp drive" that humans are very fragile compared to the machines. If the machine would be built which is capable of faster than light travel it would, most likely involve such forces and field densities that would burn organic matter into nice crisp clump during the jumps that anything organic would not be practical. The secondary problem is that humans need damn lot of resources (need right temperature, pressure, food / liquids, atmospheric processing, etc) all of which are not needed to be held in as tight range when you are using machines.
If the technology keeps progressing in an accelerating manner then we will hit technological singularity within a century, at longest. To be honest I'm not entirely convinced there will be room for humans in the world after that singularity when evolution switches from organic to a cybernetic and puts the pedal to the metal. Ofc there is always possibility that the AI we develop will be well meaning towards humans, kills off just the unsustainable part of the human population and we will live happily ever after.

Everything is speculation of course. Nothing is known about the bending of gravity and the fabric of the universe with immense force to guess what will happen. We know that black holes devour everything but we also know that certain particles escape, so how does that work?

If we do develop the terminator I would rather it didn't annihilate the human race, which is currently unsustainable with its consumerism.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liranan

Everything is speculation of course. Nothing is known about the bending of gravity and the fabric of the universe with immense force to guess what will happen. We know that black holes devour everything but we also know that certain particles escape, so how does that work?
If we do develop the terminator I would rather it didn't annihilate the human race, which is currently unsustainable with its consumerism.

Indeed, but its interesting speculation.

As far as some particles escaping black holes go, if I remember correct its called Hawking radiation and they don't "really" escape from the black hole, in a nutshell, you spawn two particles and a bit extra stuff, one "real" particle and one antiparticle which should annihilate very fast thereafter and consume also the extra stuff so alltogehter result is again nothing, however, due to the proximity of a spinning black hole one of the particles is spawned behind the event horizon and is consumed into the hole while another is free to escape taking some energy with it.

Anyway as far as interstellar travel goes. I think that it will never be something routine, energies needed for such kind of undertaking are just far too great for it. When it happens, eventually, assuming we don't wipe outselves out and have scouted out nearby systems with robotic probes it will be strictly one way trip for the travellers and the prupose would be to colonize that other starsystem. So you put sufficient amount of humans into a can and send em over. Before that happens, however, we should have been able to colonize our own starsystem at least for some centuries to gain the know-how and figure out all the crap that can go wrong before you get on a journey that even under the best cirumastances will, most likely, last longer than few millenia. Engine tech, as it stands is not really that huge issue, Ion engines, at that scale, can be use to accelerate for very long times with minor reactant mass, you can always just strap a fusion reactor under your seat and leave one wall off, for example, solar sails can also provide good hunk of initial acceleration and later on can be used for breaking when getting near the other system etc. Only good reason why to send humans to space, though, is a colonization nowadays. It's no longer 60'es where automation was so feeble that you had to have human dealing with stuff, nowadays machines are already quite capable of reacting to the immediate changes in the enviroment while the mission control back on earth can figure out more complex situations - as the time passes then the situations that machine cant handle on its own cet fewer and fewer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex

Indeed, but its interesting speculation.
As far as some particles escaping black holes go, if I remember correct its called Hawking radiation and they don't "really" escape from the black hole, in a nutshell, you spawn two particles and a bit extra stuff, one "real" particle and one antiparticle which should annihilate very fast thereafter and consume also the extra stuff so alltogehter result is again nothing, however, due to the proximity of a spinning black hole one of the particles is spawned behind the event horizon and is consumed into the hole while another is free to escape taking some energy with it.
Anyway as far as interstellar travel goes. I think that it will never be something routine, energies needed for such kind of undertaking are just far too great for it. When it happens, eventually, assuming we don't wipe outselves out and have scouted out nearby systems with robotic probes it will be strictly one way trip for the travellers and the prupose would be to colonize that other starsystem. So you put sufficient amount of humans into a can and send em over. Before that happens, however, we should have been able to colonize our own starsystem at least for some centuries to gain the know-how and figure out all the crap that can go wrong before you get on a journey that even under the best cirumastances will, most likely, last longer than few millenia. Engine tech, as it stands is not really that huge issue, Ion engines, at that scale, can be use to accelerate for very long times with minor reactant mass, you can always just strap a fusion reactor under your seat and leave one wall off, for example, solar sails can also provide good hunk of initial acceleration and later on can be used for breaking when getting near the other system etc. Only good reason why to send humans to space, though, is a colonization nowadays. It's no longer 60'es where automation was so feeble that you had to have human dealing with stuff, nowadays machines are already quite capable of reacting to the immediate changes in the enviroment while the mission control back on earth can figure out more complex situations - as the time passes then the situations that machine cant handle on its own cet fewer and fewer.

Yea in the near future it´s one way ticket, even if you go to mars it will be, there is a space agency formed in netherland that wants to go to mars, and they only sell one way tickets and still have people willing to go.

But with all the tech available today, you could build a probe ship and it would reach Alpha Centauri in about 15-30 years, when you pack all the ideas around in one ship, with solar sails ion engines that ship would get realy quick, you could also do a sun swing by to give it another kick then unfold the solar sails and off you go + ion engine to give it even more kick you would get good speed, and have results in a lifetime.

Main factor stopping us from doing it is Money, people willing to spend for it. But hey as said people spend money on oneway mars tickets, so there may be a market for that aswell.

The coolest thing about this discovery is just even our closest neighbouring star system has planets allready so it´s very well worth going there and looking whats up with that, once data gets back it could aswell show more planets, also we need to build a probeship to leave our solar system to see whats behind suns halo and if we can pass it anyway.

Dont have to send humans.

Also regarding that future Singularity doesn´t mean we get annihilated by robots it means we become one with em, we start enhancing our own body with memory upgrades and more cpu powers, better vision and whatever you can think of, and also create ai lifeforms but they don´t have to destroy us they could aswell life symbotic with us in a matrix style we power em and they enhance us, there are many possibilities.
Edited by erniv2 - 10/19/12 at 9:02am
Hehe. Wonder if it would be possible to rise enough funds to send a probe to Alpha Centauri through kickstarter It would be probably a bit far fetched considering one would need to spend billions over relatively long time interval. It would be so worth it though. Even on its way out from the sloar system it could potentially provide us ton of new information and once it hits the Oort Cloud the real fun would start, even Voyager, which is still sort of functional has been able to provide really interesting results from that area although it really was not meant for that long operation and its batteries have been almost flat like for the past decade. Now imagine if you put current top of the line tech on it and put a proper reactor in it capable of providing sufficent energy for a millenia or so in combination of good strong ion engines - perhaps add there couple hundred mini probes that can be shot at stuff for closer inspection (sort of like the cubesat program) and it would be scientific goldmine for the next several human generations.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex

Hehe. Wonder if it would be possible to rise enough funds to send a probe to Alpha Centauri through kickstarter It would be probably a bit far fetched considering one would need to spend billions over relatively long time interval. It would be so worth it though. Even on its way out from the sloar system it could potentially provide us ton of new information and once it hits the Oort Cloud the real fun would start, even Voyager, which is still sort of functional has been able to provide really interesting results from that area although it really was not meant for that long operation and its batteries have been almost flat like for the past decade. Now imagine if you put current top of the line tech on it and put a proper reactor in it capable of providing sufficent energy for a millenia or so in combination of good strong ion engines - perhaps add there couple hundred mini probes that can be shot at stuff for closer inspection (sort of like the cubesat program) and it would be scientific goldmine for the next several human generations.

Getting to AC would still be the largest issue.

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• [Nature] Planet found in closest neighbour system Alpha Centauri.
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