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NASA's Dawn spacecraft begins its approach to Ceres

 
 
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2015 08:20 pm
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/nasas-dawn-spacecraft-begins-approach-ceres/
Orbiting both Vesta and Ceres would be truly impossible with conventional propulsion. Thanks to ion propulsion, we’re about to make history as the first spaceship ever to orbit two unexplored alien worlds,” said Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 4,524 • Replies: 56
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FBM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2015 08:25 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm really looking forward to the upcoming images...
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 05:11 am
I'm glad they're doing it, and I'm curious about what they'll see. Now, if they can only do something with manned spaceflight beyond orbit (now, not in 2020 or whatever).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2015 05:23 am
I am gratified that this mission has employed an ion drive. The development of such a system will be very important down the road--in my never humble opinion.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2015 10:31 am
@Setanta,
tiny little steps

The next step will be fusion drive in which we can reach about 0.10"c".That will mean that the three closest stars (the Centauri sisters) can be reached in about 35 years .
Then (Im following JPL's predictions) comes FUSION DRIVE with which we will reach abou 0.5"c"

Finally will come matter/anti matter propulsion (the largest sources o which is Jupiter and Saturn). We can produce small amounts in the HAdron but we need a tankful. They say that, with Matter/ anti matter, we will attain 0.90"c"

The last step in reaching , ay ANDROMEDA in a few generations, would be WARPING, which needs all sorts of gamma burst technology and the concept of generational "Mother SHips"

I hate when someone does these predictions in which I shall never be a part
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2015 06:32 pm
The problem you have is coming up with a crew who will be willing and able to carry out their duties after 35 years on board their ship. The biggest problem, however, with interstellar flight will be to convince those who will be staying home to make the huge sacrifices necessary for such a venture which will have no probability of ever doing anything for them. One of the most hilarious absurdities of the so-called Fermi paradox was his assumption that governments will just ordain interstellar missions, and the people will meekly accept them.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2015 08:56 pm
@Setanta,
Yet we see how there is never any problem to choose recruits for astronaut training from a boatload of volunteers.
Every space mission weve had in the first years could have been a one way ticket, and the astronauts knew it. Added to that ongoing space risk is the one of generational time.
There was a program on the SCience Channel several years ago about how thinking about some type of suspended animation for half the crew for years at a time would be almost a necessity, and ditto for mixed sex crews. When were travelling at ONLY 0.1 "c", the ships are gonna have to be large enough to basically contain all kinds of fulfillments of many kinds of needs. And then, after many centuries of learning how uch long duration flights actually work, the concept of the huge mother ship large enough to be an actual ecosystem (with enough shielding from the gamma radiation) ould be a whole industry probably carried out in near earth orbit.

In Sky and Telescope their concept of a mother ship was a lrge "cigar shaped" ship here, in cross section, it would be tens of hectares . (That's gonna consume lots of natural resources just to construct. (SO, chances are, were probably gonna have to be advanced enough to be mining Fe/Ti/Ni asteroids just for the metal .

Well also need to be mining Jupiter for H3 . I can see the solar system becoming a busy neighborhood.

Another thing that the Fermi Paradox bears some fact is that, if a sufficiently advanced civilization were to exist that is able to accomplish interstellar travel. IT would leave an immense energy "track" that we could easily detect with our present instrumentsAND, we don't see anything yet.




As far as the crew and it keeping from going bat-****, I always liked the "holodeck" concept that they used on Star Trek.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 04:46 am
I think that something on the order of the now-so-called dwarf planet Ceres would be best for an attempt at interstellar travel. But you have completely side-stepped the problem of getting the taxpayers to fund it.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 05:03 am
@Setanta,
Things like a fusion drive, anti-matter drive etc, will be developed here on earth as a standard evolution of our technology. Using it in a series of tests will not bust the banks. However, when we finally decied to take the steps out there, we will have to do it as a body of nations and our resolve is something I cant predict.Some big economy like China may decide to do it on its own for the resources out there. They nvr eek any kind of consensus. ,

Small steps taking several thousand years or more.

As far as using an asteroid as a spaceship, I really ve never given it any semi-serious thought because of the structural unknowns. Itd take a significant investment to make sure that its mass can be easily handled. Im sure that the concept of an "In situ" vessel will be compared to one that can be designed and assembled like a Lego structure.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 05:35 am
@farmerman,
I wasn't suggesting that we use an asteroid, i was just saying that we'd need something that size. The evidence seems to suggest that many of them have a lot of water in them, and would not be structurally stable. China might be able to afford space missions to exploit the asteroid belt, but i don't see any single nation doing any serious interstellar program all alone. Several thousand years is right, though. We need to send probes out there looking for plausible candidate planets, and it will take centuries to get our data back and collated. For example, it would not be a good idea to attempt to colonize a relatively "new" star system which is in a planetesimal phase of formation. Nor would one want to go to a star system which is aging and won't be around for very much longer.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 06:11 pm
@Setanta,
NYT this AM had an article about all these new "Goldilocks Zone" planets weve been seeing lately. An astronomer from MIT made the comment that we can keep finding plnets all we want but e wont know anything until e can hit their atmospheres with some spectralanalyses , So the very next generation of planet finding telescopes will have coronographs built in where they can block the stars lights by occulting it and then scan the atmosphere of the planets to see what makes it up. Then, the next steps will be more complex than that.
e are living in the dullest piod of any deep space exploration. Too early to do anything but propose what may be...

I hate that.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 03:45 pm
Yes, that's all very important. I was referring to age and "health" of the star, though.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 03:47 pm
I, too, hate being at the doorstep of really interesting space exploration, but without a house key. My experience of history tells me that no amount of imagination will actually match what will happen down the road.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 04:07 pm
@Setanta,
They were doing a TV special series about sci fi writers who "called it" .Verne, Dick,Clark, etc all had some really great calls about technology and the future (although in each case the future wasn't really that far)
I wonder how someone like Newton would feel about cell phones, computers, autos, GPS and bars of soap? Even th best of us isn't shrp enough to see several thousand years out.
As the man said

"ANY REASONBLY advanced technology is indistinguishable from MAgic"
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 05:20 pm
@farmerman,
Bars of soap . . . the future is not just about stunning technological advances. My grandmother, who raised me, was born in 1899. She saw it all, including the space program and the moon landing. I once asked what was the most important advance as it affected her. Without hesitation, she said: "cake mixes."
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 06:14 pm
@Setanta,
HA, You remember what the 2000 year old man was most impressed at
"SARAN WRAP" say that in Mel Brooks Voice and its hilrious
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 10:55 am
@farmerman,
Saw a program about the conceptual development of 3D printers designed to operate in zero gravity so that 3d printing technology (depositional construction) can be geared up to mine asteroids for future space exploration.
It was also a discussion that only with the privatization of space exploration will it take off as a sustained part of human endeavors.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 01:49 pm
I would say the Chinese current adventure on the moon shows that asteroid mining can be a next step. They are getting set to mine the moon.
http://able2know.org/topic/264816-1
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 02:29 pm
@edgarblythe,
Rocket power

ion propulsion

fusion rockets

anti matter drive

and if energy is possible (via fusion or higher)--WARP DRIVEs

I think this schedule will show that the next phase(ion drive) will be doable now and fusion maybe in another20 years (BUT WEVE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR LIKE 60 YEARS ALREADY)
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2015 05:02 am
I've not see a thread on this, and it's probably not as big a news item over there as it is here. Having said that, this seems as suitable a place as any.

Quote:
The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags - but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact.

The new pictures, acquired by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, give the lie to that notion, and hint at what really happened to the European mission.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30784886
 

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