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 Message Boards » » The Future of Manned Space Flight Page 1 ... 23 24 25 26 [27] 28, Prev Next  
eyewall41
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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/science/alpha-centauri-breakthrough-starshot-yuri-milner-stephen-hawking.html?_r=0

Can you fly an iPhone to the stars?

In an attempt to leapfrog the planets and vault into the interstellar age, a bevy of scientists and other luminaries from Silicon Valley and beyond, led by Yuri Milner, a Russian philanthropist and Internet entrepreneur, announced a plan on Tuesday to send a fleet of robot spacecraft no bigger than iPhones to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system, 4.37 light-years away.

If it all worked out — a cosmically big “if” that would occur decades and perhaps $10 billion from now — a rocket would deliver a “mother ship” carrying a thousand or so small probes to space. Once in orbit, the probes would unfold thin sails and then, propelled by powerful laser beams from Earth, set off one by one like a flock of migrating butterflies across the universe.

Within two minutes, the probes would be more than 600,000 miles from home — as far as the lasers could maintain a tight beam — and moving at a fifth of the speed of light. But it would still take 20 years for them to get to Alpha Centauri. Those that survived would zip past the star system, making measurements and beaming pictures back to Earth.

Much of this plan is probably half a lifetime away. Mr. Milner and his colleagues estimate that it could take 20 years to get the mission off the ground and into the heavens, 20 years to get to Alpha Centauri and another four years for the word from outer space to come home. And there is still the matter of attracting billions of dollars to pay for it.


If there were only a way they could beef this up to even 1/2 the speed of light Of course once you get beyond that time dilation starts to become a big problem.

[Edited on April 13, 2016 at 7:29 AM. Reason : .]

4/13/2016 7:12:13 AM

bbehe
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10 Billion dollars for a picture of Alpha Centauri? Yeah, I'll pass.

4/13/2016 8:37:11 AM

Doss2k
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It all depends on all of the additional things we learn through the process. Much like a lot of space programs the benefits aren't always the actual mission but the things we learn in the process. Figuring out a way to get spacecraft moving significantly faster than they do now is pretty important if we ever want to get out of the solar system. Also, the idea of sending a bunch of tiny ships rather than one seems like a good plan in the fact that I would imagine due to any number of reasons on a trip that far moving that fast many of them are sure to fail. It would suck to spend that much money on one craft and have it fail on the way there. The big hurdle will be getting countries to allow someone to build a laser that powerful that could in theory be used as a weapon I would imagine.

4/13/2016 8:47:05 AM

Wraith
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https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/04/msfc-aerojet-rocketdyne-eus-engines/

Some info here on the upper stage of the second launch of SLS, EM-2.

4/13/2016 10:29:03 AM

bbehe
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^^ Idk, laser based propulsion seems like kind of a dead end. You're going to need to eventually slow down, aren't you? I'd rather see 10 billion invested in a Mars Cycler, missions to explore Europa, etc

4/13/2016 10:36:48 AM

Master_Yoda
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Launch tonight at 1:26am EST (Sunday)


http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/spacex-seeks-to-continue-its-hot-streak-with-tonights-falcon-9-launch/

8/13/2016 3:49:56 PM

Doss2k
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http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/24/health/proxima-b-centauri-rocky-planet-habitable-zone-neighbor-star/index.html

Surprised no one posted this I know it has been rumored for quite a while and of course the conspiracy theories have been running rampant about why they didnt announce for so long but this seems pretty big.

8/24/2016 3:50:36 PM

Wraith
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^All we really know about it is that it is in the habitable zone for humans. Don't know if it even has an atmosphere or a magnetic field, let alone water. So it is another case of "We found a planet that has the possibility of maybe supporting life."

Bigger issue is that it is still 4.2 light years away. Which, under current technology, would take like 20000 years to get to.

Quote :
"researchers hope it provides an opportunity for possible "robotic exploration in the coming centuries."

I don't know what kind of propulsion systems these researchers think we'll be using but even traveling 20x faster than any man-made object in history, it would still take thousands of years to get there. Even then, at the very least it would take 4.2 years for any information that a robot collects to get back to earth, so there would be a 8.4 year lag on any commands or controls sent to it.

8/25/2016 10:21:26 AM

Doss2k
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Personally I plan to use a wormhole but thats just me

8/25/2016 10:24:23 AM

Smath74
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lasers pushing microprobes could get there in 50 years or so.

8/25/2016 10:39:13 AM

eyewall41
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It would be nice if we could get those microprobes to 20% of the speed of light. I guess time dilation is a not a major factor until around 99% of c.

8/25/2016 3:57:08 PM

Wraith
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^^There are a LOT of "ifs" associated with that. Yes, under ideal conditions with an incredible budget and a tremendous amount of energy that could happen but realistically... I don't know. Traveling at those speeds, even a particle of space dust that is smaller than a grain of sand would completely destroy everything. It would have to be a small fleet of things with the hopes that after 50 yrs of traveling at least one of them makes it without anything going wrong.

8/25/2016 4:37:57 PM

Smath74
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well yeah. that's why a fleet of teeny tiny probes would be best. because of the power required and because of redundancy.

8/26/2016 3:17:14 AM

eyewall41
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Probably nothing of note in the end but still not ruled out:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/space/seti-investigating-signal-from-sun-like-star-95-light-years-away/

8/29/2016 7:03:16 PM

Doss2k
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Does suck that it took so long for them to take a look after first hearing it. Seems like thats something that should get pretty quick attention because who knows how long a signal might last if something isnt intentionally shooting it right at us.

8/30/2016 8:27:38 AM

Wraith
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If anyone is interested in getting an SLS branded polo or dress shirt, they are just now releasing the first official SLS merchandise to NASA and friends of NASA:

http://tcbspecialties.com/nasapromo/

8/30/2016 12:05:24 PM

bbehe
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Hey Wraith, you going to be able to give TWW any hookups when it comes time to launch this thing?

8/30/2016 2:50:30 PM

Wraith
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Depends. For Shuttle and Ares I-X launches they had car passes for employees at each center which meant I could take on to KSC as many friends/family (as long as they are US Citizens) as I could fit in a car to view from the VAB. No idea if they are doing anything like that for EM-1 since it will be a fairly monumental launch. I can get on to KSC anytime so I'll be viewing from the VAB and getting some beans and cornbread afterward regardless.

I could prob get you some stickers or something though

[Edited on August 30, 2016 at 4:23 PM. Reason : ]

8/30/2016 4:23:29 PM

Master_Yoda
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Ive heard it before but forget, whats the story with the food?

8/30/2016 6:15:39 PM

bbehe
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I really want to go see the EM-1 launch, but I want to know if their would be a decent place to watch

8/30/2016 7:11:16 PM

Wraith
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I don't really know the origins of the beans/cornbread but it has been a tradition for every successful manned launch since STS-1. They serve it right in the lobby of the Launch Control Center. I was able to partake for STS-125, it was pretty damn good.

^Just as long as you get to Cocoa Beach or Cape Canaveral early enough, you'll be able to find a decent spot. You can see the pad from beaches and random parks all around the area, and I think you can buy tickets to see the launch from the causeway, which is about 5 miles from the pad (as close as the general public is allowed).

8/31/2016 10:11:03 AM

Doss2k
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So SpaceX was chugging along nice appears their rocket just blew up on the launch pad though... hope everyone is ok.

9/1/2016 9:36:08 AM

Nighthawk
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^It was supposed to launch the first Facebook satellite into orbit on Saturday.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/01/a-spacex-falcon-9-rocket-just-exploded-at-cape-canaveral/

[Edited on September 1, 2016 at 9:49 AM. Reason : ]

9/1/2016 9:49:06 AM

Nighthawk
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umefoLYDIjw

9/1/2016 9:53:29 AM

Doss2k
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Wonder how much damage was done to the pad and if the payload was on board already. How long does something like this typically shut things down for?

9/1/2016 9:58:09 AM

Nighthawk
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Live updated Reddit feed:

https://www.reddit.com/live/xix3m9uqd06g

Per the feed, AMOS-6 and second stage was not yet mated to it. Additional early reports are nobody near the pad at the time, so hopefully no casualties.

9/1/2016 10:01:32 AM

Doss2k
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Good to hear the payload wasnt on there that should save many millions of dollars and tons of work from putting it together at least

9/1/2016 10:11:01 AM

Master_Yoda
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Wonder how much this will affect the timeline of their reused rocket. At first thought it was that, that blew up which would be really bad.

9/1/2016 10:23:16 AM

Master_Yoda
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from reddit "Reports coming in that the payload was on the vehicle at the time of explosion. Waiting for confirm. "

Update: Confirmed by spacex, loss of payload.

Ouch

[Edited on September 1, 2016 at 10:25 AM. Reason : .]

9/1/2016 10:24:30 AM

Nighthawk
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According to some Tweets this is from SpaceX, but it is not on their Twitter account itself, yet:

Quote :
"SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today's static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries."

9/1/2016 10:27:37 AM

Master_Yoda
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Quote :
"So per@SpaceX, the issue was not with the rocket itself, but a pad anomaly."


What is a pad anomaly? Like a tank or line caught fire and blew and then caught the rocket? Never heard of this before.

9/1/2016 10:41:54 AM

Doss2k
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Ouch guess payload was on board that makes this a much bigger deal now I imagine as lawsuits and all that mess will follow not to mention pissed off customers

9/1/2016 10:48:29 AM

Master_Yoda
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Speculation the 2nd stage blew up first right now. Which based on some of the other information Ive got, it was not fueled for this test. Only first stage.

9/1/2016 11:21:27 AM

Doss2k
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Due to the payload being an Israeli comm sat I already see the speculation going around about terrorism or sabotage whatever you wanna call it.

9/1/2016 11:25:14 AM

Wraith
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Quote :
"What is a pad anomaly? "


There are potentially hundreds of things that could go wrong with a pad that would result in catastrophic destruction and loss of vehicle.

9/1/2016 11:36:13 AM

darkone
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Quote :
"Ouch guess payload was on board that makes this a much bigger deal now I imagine as lawsuits and all that mess will follow not to mention pissed off customers"


I'm pretty sure they insure these things. It's not like rockets blowing up is a rare event.

9/1/2016 11:46:39 AM

Doss2k
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Yes of course they insure this sort of thing... if they didnt I am more interested to see how this is handled now that its a private company rather than govt. Obviously this isnt the first explosion they have had but as far as I know this is the first that involved someone elses money, time, and equipment but correct me if I am wrong. How this all gets handled I imagine will have a lot to do with how private space exploration does going forward.

9/1/2016 11:53:02 AM

darkone
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http://spacenews.com/falcon-9-explosion-could-have-ripple-effects-across-space-industry/

9/1/2016 11:55:27 AM

Doss2k
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Yeah thats a lot of launches coming up hence why I was wondering what kinda delays in timetables this sort of thing causes. Obviously they need to figure out what happened first though

9/1/2016 12:12:45 PM

Master_Yoda
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Musk just posted that stage 2 possible LOx leak was the cause. If so thats 2 now, which is very bad.

9/1/2016 1:24:23 PM

Doss2k
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BgJEXQkjNQ#t=87

Damn definitely upper stage and no warning the thing just blows the fuck up

I am no expert but LOX leak seems reasonable as if you watch in slow motion its pretty obvious the explosion comes from something physically connected to the rocket. I dont know enough to know if its a fuel hose or just the arms holding it to the launch pad but that seems to be where the thing started.

[Edited on September 1, 2016 at 1:35 PM. Reason : .]

9/1/2016 1:26:18 PM

Wraith
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I'd expect no more flights on a Falcon 9 for at least a few months, possibly until 2017. This kind of thing has to be examined meticulously and once the issue has been discovered, the design of the launch vehicle itself has to be modified and implemented. Given they work really crazy hours at SpaceX it isn't impossible, but this isn't the kind of thing you want to rush.

9/1/2016 1:43:47 PM

Doss2k
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Yeah they have to know if they have another one, especially the same type, people are gonna lose confidence that they arent taking the proper precautions. Most people understand this is part of such a crazy and risky business but they also expect mistakes to be identified and fixed going forward.

9/1/2016 1:56:32 PM

Master_Yoda
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just had a chance to watch the vid. Couple observations:

*Almost looks like a line caught fire during/immediately after the first explosion,as the fire quickly runs down the rocket, just before the main stage explodes
*Multiple secondary explosions well after can be assumed the rocket has fallen over
*Big explosion several minutes later (I think this is seen in pictures elsewhere that had lots of us speculating what it was). Would still be interesting to see what caused it. time 3.40 on the vid.
*The way some of the general burn continues, they didnt get fuel lines cut off for several minutes. Notice this also how the burn goes back/away from the tower over time.

9/1/2016 2:04:03 PM

Doss2k
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Musk saying that because it didnt happen during an actual launch payload is not covered under launch insurance... I assume some other insurance is in place but if not things could get ugly.

9/1/2016 2:45:58 PM

Master_Yoda
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Theres a big discussion on reddit about insurance. Its mostly about the payload. Its covered under a secondary insurance for its transit to the launch site its been said as well. Theres a main insurance covering launch and post launch (satellite breaks after orbit upto a year)

9/1/2016 3:25:59 PM

Mr. Joshua
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Somebody post something about this.

9/27/2016 6:09:08 PM

Wraith
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lol

42 engines on that behemoth.

There are so many things wrong with the plan and the timeline is laughably unrealistic. I will give it to him though, at least he's got a set mission with a set plan and even when he doesn't meet the timeline he can adjust the mission as necessary.

9/28/2016 9:25:20 AM

bbehe
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I don't why his plan uses so many Earth bases launches? 5 refueling flights per every launch? Wouldn't it just be easier to build up infrastructure (space elevator + H3 mining) on the moon and send the ships to refuel there?

9/28/2016 10:06:32 AM

Wraith
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^Easier in concept yes, but nothing like that has ever been done before. The announcement from yesterday is essentially the same things we've done before just x1000 in size. Space elevators require a lot more development in multiple fields before they are a reality and we haven't been to the moon in 40 yrs so that is an entirely different can of worms. Musk wants to get to Mars ASAP.

Bigger question though -- why reuse the exact same booster stage to send both crew and fuel? The concept video had it landing at the launch pad, a crane putting a new upper stage on, and it launching again. Why not just have the fuel stage prepped and ready to go on a different pad and have it launch shortly after the crew? That's just one of many strange things about this concept that I've observed.

9/28/2016 10:15:08 AM

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