Ultimate space simulation software

 
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FastFourierTransform
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How do you think we can get to Proxima b?

15 Nov 2017 08:25

midtskogen wrote:
Source of the post  that technology wasn't made to endure decades in space.  This sounds like hand waving to me.

This is also adressed in part:
Also many of the key technologies this project relies on are currently been tested and surelly there are prototypes for many of them (lase communication, software, nanochips, small cameras, antennas, optical interferometry, solar sails etc...). Very primitive in comparison with what is required here but surelly not science ficcion nor imposible in a few decades. Maybe the bisggest problem is implementing all of them at once in the same... thing.

The circuits coul survive more than 30 years, and other components similarly. The only erosion that has in principle to be taken into account is that of dust and subatomic particles. Thin coatings are been studied for this. Remember that there are currently mission that have been functioning for longer timespans (maybe not so light and maybe not so complicated for sure). I'm much more sceptical, and by far, about SpaceX ambitions than this.

Also there's a very important thing that we are not considering. Many things can go wrong in a space mission. We usually deal with spacecrafts that have to attain huge standards in terms of risk and therefore we don't launch spacecrafts that we think are going to have a 1 in 5 chances of failure (since is a lot of money). But here we have to change our minds a lot. The project aims to make each spacecraft as cheap as an iPhone. They could launch swarms of 1000 nanosails. Even having a probability of 0.1% of success for each spacecraft you can have certain confidence that the mission still is going to be accomplished since probably one is going to reach the destination and transmit back.
 
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Mr. Missed Her
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How do you think we can get to Proxima b?

15 Nov 2017 10:12

FastFourierTransform wrote:
Many spacecrafts can be lunched (since the costs are going to be insignificant compared to current car-sized spacecrafts) with tiny differences in the angle of ejection as to make some of them arrive much more closer than 1 AU to the planet.

Nice.
I've got to ask: who's eating the probes?
Space is very spacious.
 
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FastFourierTransform
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How do you think we can get to Proxima b?

15 Nov 2017 10:15

Haha sorry.
English is not my main language and this time I wrote quickly so didn't pay attention to this.
 
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Watsisname
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How do you think we can get to Proxima b?

16 Nov 2017 02:41

FastFourierTransform wrote:
Source of the post Watsisname, WOW, amazing explanation as always. I was going to answer that but it's much more helpfull when you give an order of magnitud crunching some numbers.

Thanks, and I enjoyed your thorough post and references as well.

I, like most, was initially extremely skeptical of Project Starshot and pondered the same sorts of questions about the feasibility of it.  But the more I looked into it, the more I found that the obvious objections are solvable, that there don't appear to be any principles of physics that make it impossible or even overly impractical.  I think what really defeated my skepticism was going through a few of the calculations where I expected that something should be an insurmountable problem, but discovered that it isn't.  The calculation for the spin imparted by impact with dust grains was a new one. An interstellar dust grain is tiny, but 0.2c is very fast, so it's hard to get any intuition about the magnitude of the effect without doing the math.  It's satisfying when physics works in your favor, because as Doc and I have joked on Discord, typically the universe hates fun.

To actually do this project would be extremely difficult, and expensive, and there are some (more or less reasonable) assumptions being made regarding the continued miniaturization of key components.  I still don't really expect that this project will actually happen in my lifetime, but I'm cautiously optimistic.  It's by far the least silly idea of it's kind that I've seen, and there are really great minds working on it. :)

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