# Will travel to the stars ever be possible?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by pluto2, Jan 8, 2014.

1. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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One of the links I gave, the Tau Zero Foundation, have some interesting articles re propulsion methodologies that may take us to the stars, and other relevant articles......
Here are a few

Why Warp Drives Aren’t Just Science Fiction....
Astrophysicist Eric Davis is one of the leaders in the field of faster-than-light (FTL) space travel. But for Davis, humanity's potential to explore the vastness of space at warp speed is not science fiction. Davis' latest study, "Faster-Than-Light Space Warps, Status and Next Steps" won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) 2013 Best Paper Award for Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion.

It’s Time to Tackle Insterstellar Spaceflight, Experts Say:

If humanity is serious about traveling to other star star systems in the foreseeable future, it needs to get the ball rolling now, say experts who have organized an upcoming conference on the subject. Starship Congress organizers plan to publicize the meeting in part using money raised via a campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

First Interstellar Spacecraft May Use Texas-Size Solar Sail:

The first-ever interstellar probe may cruise through space like a boat through the ocean, propelled by super-focused light beamed onto a sail the size of Texas.

Warp Speed, Scotty? Star Trek’s FTL Drive May Actually Work:

In the "Star Trek" TV shows and films, the U.S.S. Enterprise's warp engine allows the ship to move faster than light, an ability that is, as Spock would say, "highly illogical." However, there's a loophole in Einstein's general theory of relativity that could allow a ship to traverse vast distances in less time than it would take light. The trick? It's not the starship that's moving — it's the space around it. In fact, scientists at NASA are right now working on the first practical field test toward proving the possibility of warp drives and faster-than-light travel.

Time travel: Can it really be done?

Ever since H. G. Wells' trailblazing novel "The Time Machine," time travel has been a staple of science fiction. The idea of traveling through time is deeply fascinating: you get into a machine, press a few buttons, and step out not just somewhere else, but "somewhen" else. It's easy to imagine, but can it really be done?

see....

http://www.tauzero.aero/news

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3. ### queegRegistered Member

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74

Hey, you are very enthusiastic, which is good, i often wonder if we'll make some sort of break-through in propulsion and be able to travel vast distances in space with ease, but when you research what's actually required for some of the current and proposed ideas, it somewhat crushes those dreams.

Whats being attempted here is warping the path of single photons, which hasn't been successfully achieved yet. There, so far, have been no ideas drawn up as to how this could be achieved with a macro object such as a spaceship.

Scientists can say all they want, but until the country is run properly, by this i mean changing the entire political structure of the country. Theres too much profit being made by large corporations, too much money being spent on the military, although this will be temporary, if all goes well then no one will be bombing anyone in a hundred years time. The politicians that are voted in, especially in the US, have no interest in ventures like this, as it doesn't line their pockets with gold. i'd surmise that in about 50 years people will have grown so fed up with the bullshit lies that politicians tell you year in year out that the system will be forcefully changed, and by this point maybe we can have a better distribution of wealth throughout the world, and have visionaries voted in to office, as opposed to (the UK) which have 12 seats in parliament for the catholic church, 12 SEATS! what benefit is this to anyone?

To push a 100-tonne payload to a nearby star in a few thousand years, a solar sail would have to be around 100,000 kilometres across. The sail could be smaller if powered by a laser stationed near Earth, but it would need a lens about 1000 km wide to focus the light onto the sail as it grows increasingly distant.
The often mentioned Bussard Ramjet idea was thought to have the potential to travel at relativistic speeds, but alas, for it to even reach 1% lightspeed it would need a scoop about 2000km wide, and would need to fly through some dense pockets of hydrogen.

Fission/fusion is probably gonna be the means of our first attempts at any kind of long distance space travel, but a little look at the fuel required. To carry a shuttle sized rocket to the nearest star using a fission rocket would require something on the order of a quadrillion tonnes of fuel, and a fusion about 500 million tonnes. This could theoretically get us to the alpha centauri system in about 900 years. but it would be a quick flyby lol.

in short, we would need to figure out how to create and contain sizeable amounts of antimatter, but this again has as shocking amount of implications. The current rate of production of antimatter is between one-billionth to ten-billionths of a gram per year. The yield might increase by a factor of three by the year 2020. The economics of antimatter are very poor. In 2004 it cost CERN $20 million to produce several trillionths of a gram of antimatter. At that rate, producing a single gram of antimatter would cost$100 quadrillion and the antimatter factory would need to run continuously for 100 billion years!

so pessimistic i know, i want it to happen, i'm just not as optimistic as you. if we dont kill ourselves then we may get to another star someday, in a few centuries.

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5. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

It isn't going to be easy, perhaps some form of new physics, or a "Eureka"moment.
But Imaginative people far more enthusiastic than me are actually looking into various possibilities at this time.
Tau Zero Foundation, sees it within a 100 years.....I'll say 150 years at least.
A few centuries though may be closer to the mark.

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7. ### brucepValued Senior Member

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For interstellar travel my favorite is the relativistic rocket. A 'community' could reach Andromeda in ~ 79_earthyears ships proper time. Not that another galaxy would be my destination of choice. g_earth acceleration the first half of the journey and g_earth deceleration to arrival. Propulsion and fuel requirements the first huge obstacle. Designing the ship systems required to sustain important resources [such as the crews lives, lump em all together] over the course of an interstellar journey. Shielding. So it comes down to propulsion and fuel requirements as the most limiting factor. The sublightspeed warp. Huge energy requirement but electromagnetic energy.

8. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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My thoughts are that if the first attempt for manned Interstellar travel was to occur within say 150 years, it would be a generation type star ship that was built in Earth/Lunar orbit.

9. ### riverValued Senior Member

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Absolutely

Interstellar travel is not only achievable , also inevitable

The best reason , beyond just a business point of view

Is that , all the the different philosophies here on Earth , you know , all the different ways of living

Will be able to have a planet of there own in which to explore their philosophy of way of life , without any interference from the outside world

Heres your planet , explore your philosophy , in real time, depth of experience

10. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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Agreed.

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Your reasons are rather weirdly and unnecessarily complicated though.

What about simply, because it's there......or simply put, it's man's destiny to explore and go where no man has gone before...or just for adventure's sake....or because in the end, when push comes to shove, our present solar system does have a "use by date" and if we are still around, we will need to move on

11. ### queegRegistered Member

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we will probably never successfully migrate to another solar system, if ours should go awry. who says we have to have this epic destiny? i hope we do, i just don't think interstellar travel will be mastered.

12. ### riverValued Senior Member

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Anti-gravity will get us there

13. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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Well if the energy of the vacuum can be classed as anti-gravity, then it maybe a possibility.
But in the first instant, I see Generation type starships as leading the way.

14. ### riverValued Senior Member

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No , anti-gravity is not based on " energy of the vacuum "

15. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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It's certainly not based on any conspiracy you may have in mind.

16. ### riverValued Senior Member

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Anti-gravity propulsion is not conspiracy or a secrete

Here

http://www.americanantigravity.com/

17. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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And at present it doesn't exist, although JPL and Glenn Labs are researching along with other means of propulsion.

18. ### riverValued Senior Member

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Look at the site in my post #33

19. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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I wish them success.....Seriously.

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So do I

21. ### paddoboyValued Senior Member

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If they had anything now, we would know about it.

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Maybe

23. ### queegRegistered Member

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I think when term anti-gravity is ever mentioned in science it refers to the apparent suspension of gravity. such as maybe a floating magnetic car. There is no evidence to support that the actual force of gravity has an opposite, even anti-particles abide by the law of gravity.
Also, this energy of the vacuum you speak of isn't really energy we can harness, it's basically the properties of a quantum physical system, which, because it occupies a volume, must contain energy.
The generation ship idea doesn't really work, it stands to reason that if we were able to build one which could travel to another star system in a couple of lifetimes, then we will inevitably make a faster ship, and catch up to the generation ship. These generation ships you speak of are at least 1000 years away, in terms of our ability to build one. It definitely would be an option if humans had to leave earth for some reason.
The furthest man will explore in at least the next 500 years in our own solar system, and it will be a ship drivin by a fusion reactor. unless of course we figure out anti-matter engines