Question Will there be deep space travel in the next half century

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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There will be problems with their limits. Only a tiny % of light speed is practicable. The main issues are fuel required to accelerate and decelerate to/from such speeds. Fuel usage increases enormously in acceleration/deceleration. Your are looking at minimum 400 years each way. If that is no problem (time wise) then look at fuel usage.

Cat :)
 
May 25, 2021
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What about the little accumulation of the little pushing effect with the ion engines ? Sure does sound good to me for very long distances. It's been used before with probes and it worked . Rocket fuel only used to slow it down. The brakes
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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"The main issues are fuel required to accelerate and decelerate to/from such speeds. Fuel usage increases enormously in acceleration/deceleration."

This applies to any propulsion system, in terms of acceleration and deceleration.

Cat :)
 
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Nov 10, 2020
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It's still only SciFi theory anyway.
First off "theory" in science doesn't mean what it has been adopted colloquially as in the public lexicon that in scientific terms is called a hypothesis for a hypothesis to become a theory it needs a mathematically rigorous framework which in addition to explaining past results makes predictions that can be tested and verified in experiments.

The reason the energy costs sky rocket comes down to Einstein's theory of special relativity which was developed to account for observations revealing that the speed of light was invariant with respect to observations around Earth's orbit i.e. there was no "aether".

We have experimentally tested Einstein's theory of special relativity, which deals with only "flat" spacetime geometry, to exquisite precision in fact the integration of special relativity into the Schrodinger equation by Paul Dirac lead to the prediction of Antimatter and allowed the understandings of what powered the Sun and other stars across the universe.

Even if Einstein's theory of general relativity is incomplete as most scientists suspect any more complete theory would still perfectly reproduce Einstein's theory of general relativity within its valid limits just as Einstein's theory of general and special relativity both simplify down to Newtonian dynamics within their valid domain.

No theory will be able to overcome the fundamental barrier of the energy needed for massive bodies to more closely approach larger and larger fractions of the speed of light to approach infinity. Theories in science do not replace their predecessors but extend them to larger and larger domains.
 
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Jun 15, 2021
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It seems to me that in the next half century we cannot travel very large, from a cosmic point of view, distances, since we simply will not have enough energy for long and long journeys.
Even if we take the success of Elon Musk with his Tesla batteries, which are capable of delivering high speed and good energy capacity, and assume the development of these batteries in the future, this is still not enough.
I think humanity needs more time than half a century to solve this problem. And what suggestions are there to solve this problem with fuel?
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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"I think humanity needs more time than half a century to solve this problem. And what suggestions are there to solve this problem with fuel?"

Send robots. No food, air, and all the rest. And don't come back!

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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Will there be deep space travel in the next half century My emphasis.

I interpreted "travel" as being travel by humans. If so, then deep space in the next 50 years is definitely not possible. I doubt humans will get to Mars even in that time.

Cat :)

P.S. I am interpreting "deep space" as way beyond the Solar System.
 
May 11, 2021
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Will there be deep space travel in the next half century My emphasis.

I interpreted "travel" as being travel by humans. If so, then deep space in the next 50 years is definitely not possible. I doubt humans will get to Mars even in that time.

Cat :)

P.S. I am interpreting "deep space" as way beyond the Solar System.
I think you are right concerning deep space travel, but unduly pessimistic concerning the exploration of Mars. I suggest that human exploration of Mars may well occur within 10-20 years if Elon Musk gets his way and he seems quite intent. Time will tell if gets a s far as a permanent settlement, flags and foot prints or if it fails to materialise at all. Why do you think that travel to Mars won't be possible?
 
Jun 14, 2021
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No, it is not possible in the next half century. Perhaps this may not be possible in the next century also. Maybe, it sounds strange, but it is true.
 
Jun 1, 2020
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It's important to recognize that the extra energy needed due to relativity is not that much until you reach a speed close to c.

For instance, only 10% more energy than normal (classic KE) is needed when traveling at 35% of c. This speed has the ship arriving at Proxima in about 11.5 years (ignoring acceleration and deceleration).

That's still a great deal of energy needed to get to 0.35c. Perhaps 25% of the mass of a spaceship 3x that of the ISS (excluding fuel) would be required just for acceleration and assuming 100% conversion of matter-antimatter.

Using futuristic advanced fusion power (i.e. 7% mass conversion), and allowing for acceleration and deceleration, perhaps something like 50 times more mass than that of the ship (w/o fuel) is required.

[For the Apollo 11 payload, the total mass to payload (not fuel) was about 32:1, assuming my math is correct.]

Correction. That should state above that the mass conversion to energy is 0.7%, not 7%. Thus, a lot more fuel (perhaps more than 10x, would be required).
 
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May 11, 2021
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It's important to recognize that the extra energy needed due to relativity is not that much until you reach a speed close to c.

For instance, only 10% more energy than normal (classic KE) is needed when traveling at 35% of c. This speed has the ship arriving at Proxima in about 11.5 years (ignoring acceleration and deceleration).

That's still a great deal of energy needed to get to 0.35c. Perhaps 25% of the mass of a spaceship 3x that of the ISS (excluding fuel) would be required just for acceleration and assuming 100% conversion of matter-antimatter.

Using futuristic advanced fusion power (i.e. 7% mass conversion), and allowing for acceleration and deceleration, perhaps something like 50 times more mass than that of the ship (w/o fuel) is required.

[For the Apollo 11 payload, the total mass to payload (not fuel) was about 32:1, assuming my math is correct.]
It is true that relativistic mass increases are not appreciable until a significant fraction of the speed of light is reached, however that is not the main issue. I think you summed it up quite well by saying "assuming 100% conversion of matter - antimatter" and on a scale approaching that of the International Space Station. We can currently only produce antimatter a few atoms at a time and with a very short storage period. The capability of producing hundreds of tons of anti matter is unlikely to be available any time soon and possibly never.
 
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I figure we will eventually get to Mars and set up a pioneer colony.

No other real destination for humanity exists in our solar system.
No one will want to stay on moons that are -200c or more and tiny gravity problems also.

Never say never about interstellar travel.
We might be just ignorant about ways to travel in space/time/nothing.
All have potentials to travel other than using brute force.

If brute force is really the only way i doubt we would tackle it as humans with short life spans.
We send robots that have all the plants, animal, fungal dna codes.
The robots start a colony multiply themselves and move to the next closest star/s.
In 50k - 150k years all of the galaxy's safe planets are colonized.
We might also want to have robots work on terraforming any planet that is sort of close since many times close but no cigar will be the norm.
 
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Jun 1, 2020
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It is true that relativistic mass increases are not appreciable until a significant fraction of the speed of light is reached, however that is not the main issue. I think you summed it up quite well by saying "assuming 100% conversion of matter - antimatter" and on a scale approaching that of the International Space Station. We can currently only produce antimatter a few atoms at a time and with a very short storage period. The capability of producing hundreds of tons of anti matter is unlikely to be available any time soon and possibly never.
Agreed, which is why I used "futuristic". I'm sure I would not want to spend a dozen or more years traveling next to a huge pile of anti-matter. :)

Fusion might be the ideal energy producing process. Perhaps there could be ways hydrogen (protons) could be sent out in a stream at a speed not that much slower than the ship's planned speed to allow a scooping action to cut-down on the ship's overall mass.
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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Slarty
"I suggest that human exploration of Mars may well occur within 10-20 years" My emphasis.

What, exactly, does that mean? Skulking in a small colony, totally dependent on Earth, or walking around in sandstorms?

Cat :) :) :)
 
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What I mean here is, Human Interstellar Travel. Also we need a lot of time for interplanetary travel also.
 
Slarty
"I suggest that human exploration of Mars may well occur within 10-20 years" My emphasis.

What, exactly, does that mean? Skulking in a small colony, totally dependent on Earth, or walking around in sandstorms?

Cat :) :) :)
I figure about the same for Mars to begin.
Then when the first Martian realizes he/she can form a new world apart from Earth then a new reality for Mars.
Going to be a tough go for sure.
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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Helio,
"Using futuristic advanced fusion power (i.e. 7% mass conversion), and allowing for acceleration and deceleration, perhaps something like 50 times more mass than that of the ship (w/o fuel) is required.
[For the Apollo 11 payload, the total mass to payload (not fuel) was about 32:1, assuming my math is correct.]
Correction. That should state above that the mass conversion to energy is 0.7%, not 7%. Thus, a lot more fuel (perhaps more than 10x, would be required). ."
My emphasis.

Just a couple of points. That correction looks pretty meaningful. Does it come close to invalidating the whole project?

Especially in the light of this, did your accel/decel allowance cover just the outgoing trip, or did it include a return. All this seems fairly important in view of fuel requirement/mass.
Also, in your calculations, what allowance did you make for mass of radiation shielding.

Cat :) :) :)
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Just a couple of points. That correction looks pretty meaningful. Does it come close to invalidating the whole project?
Even at 0.7% conversion of hydrogen mass to energy is far more powerful than any chemical process. I think fusion is something over 500x more efficient at conversion vs. fission, IIRC.

Especially in the light of this, did your accel/decel allowance cover just the outgoing trip, or did it include a return. All this seems fairly important in view of fuel requirement/mass.
Also, in your calculations, what allowance did you make for mass of radiation shielding.
Yeah, all critical issues in finding the most effective way to travel incredible distances. But chemical burning fuel that must be carried along in huge quantities seems less effective. I haven't dug into this much as we have such a long way to go to get me excited. :)

The idea of using rail guns to accelerate protons (hydrogen ions) into a high speed stream that could be scooped-up by a subsequent spaceship to minimize wasting fuel on fuel, so to speak, makes some sense.
 
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Jun 14, 2021
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Unless we have some tech leap or new understanding of how to travel and bypass space/time then the only way to travel is as DNA.
100s 1000s of year trips even with a pretty good leap of tech.
JMO

Thank You for your feedback. However, it is not possible to 'bypass space/time' !
 

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