Care to go 260,000 MPH?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #1
    http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/antimatter_sail_021029.html

    I think he's a bit optimistic at saying that they could build this thing in a year if they had the funding, but its a great concept. And even if they get it to work in the next couple of decades it will change space travel, even going 100,000MPH on your way to Mars would significantly reduce the time in space, reducing the resources needed by astonauts, air, food, water, etc.

    D
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #2
    that's an interesting article, we'll have to see if he gets any funding for the research. If I had $20 million to give away then I'd like to see this project get started.
     
  3. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #3
    Think of all the 'projects' Bill Gates could fund.....and then think of all the people asking him for money for their 'projects'.

    I would have to believe that someone has a list of really good ones somewhere.

    But the biggest problem is selling the idea of this tech to get money. If you look at how much antimatter they need and then how much is actually available, well, that's one reason I don't see it happening anytime soon.

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  4. macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Did any of you notice the name of the scientist?

    STEVE HOWE

    Wow. Who knew that all those years playing lead guitar for a prominent British progressive rock band were just a diversion for this cutting-edge physicist! Brilliant. A lute strumming antimatter propulsion specialist.
    Adds more credibility to the songs "Starship Trooper," "Arriving UFO" and "Astral Traveller" I guess...

    What next? "Jon Anderson: the Lyric Tenor Genetic Engineer" or "Chris Squire: Master of Time Travel Physics"?

    BTW, I pity all of the 15 year olds on this forum who have absolutely no clue what I am talking about...
     
  5. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Rower_CPU

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    #6
    It's so amazing to see science fact starting to emulate all the science fiction that has been written over the years. :eek: :D

    Once they figure out a production and containment method, they have to get people crazy enough to put themselves in a...shall we say, volatile situation.

    But 100+ kilometers per second is nothing to sneeze at... almost 0.04% of the speed of light...
     
  7. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    Well, what he's talking about are probes, not anything that would be able to take humans anywhere. But its a start, getting away from the purely chemical rockets and travelling around 30,000 mph to get anywhere.

    But there are some other things to worry about - that far away in the Oort Cloud, how long will it take to communicate and what sort of transmission power will be required? Voyager can be barely picked up now, and its not even anywhere near the distance they're talking about travelling.

    Maybe using lasers to communicate, I'm not sure.

    D
     
  8. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #8
  9. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #9
    I think I'll keep my money with the tested and prooven ion drive. It can achieve in excess of 100,000MPH. It is also very frugal on fuel.
     
  10. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #10
    I would have to agree on that one. Anti-matter drives will probably take many decades of r&d before they get wide spread usage. Ion and maybe even fusion would probably be up and running before that.

    I wonder when the first solar sail probe will be launched? The biggest problem with that is actually getting a large enough sail to provide enough surface area to get any real benefit from the solar wind. The infrastructure required to hold the sail with todays technology would far out weigh the payload.

    D
     
  11. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #11
    The great thing about ION is they have already driven a test sattelite with it. I believe it was last year. They used something like 5lbs of fuel and it was enough to drive it past Jupiter I believe. They eventually just shut it off. It just kept going like the energizer bunny. I don't know what speed it was able to achieve but it should have been traveling well in excess of 100,000MPH.
     
  12. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #12
    http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/tech/sep.html

    It was used in their DeepSpace1 probe. It didn't have much thrust, but it lasted longer, giving it an overall speed greater than a conventional rocket for the same amount of fuel.

    Ion propulsion has been used for a while on satellites as manuevering thrusters because they allow for very precise adjustments and a last very long time which is important if you want to keep a satellite in orbit for decades without refueling.

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  13. macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #13
    are we expecting to find anything past that 250 AU mark? Do we have the slightest idea of what's there?
     
  14. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #14
    Out that a way you'll find the Oort Cloud which could extend as far as 100,000 AU - now that's friggin far - about 1.5 light years!!!

    And the Kupier Belt is at around 120 AU.

    But harnessing comets as sources of water in space might one day be a very profitable enterprise, so why not go and find out what's out there?

    D
     
  15. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #15
    I remember following the daily updates on DeepSpace1. I just haven't been able to remember what it was called and all the exact details. Also I didn't think it was important enough to this thread that I take the time to research and find it at Nasa's sometimes very unorganized website.
     
  16. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #16
    What about 8 light years away. If I remember right that's how far the closest neighboring star is.
     
  17. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #17
    for searching Nasa, just go to www.nasa.gov and enter the search right on the home page - you can pretty much get anything you're looking for.

    And the nearest star is about 4.3 light years away.

    D
     

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