Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Hubble, probes to the planets etc

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Brian
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Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by Brian »

Micro-probes could be propelled by Earth-based 100 gigawatt laser acting on "sails" to reach alpha Centauri in flight time of 20 years:


http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... es-really/
Brian
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David Frydman
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by David Frydman »

They reckon 20% speed of light in minutes, yesterdays papers, and same laser propelling them will receive back photos.
Will it work?
Probably not.

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Brian
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by Brian »

Interesting thought that our galaxy might be buzzing with micro-probes launched by other civilisations, calling home by laser. Maybe that's why SETI has found nothing on the broader wavelengths :D
Brian
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David Frydman
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by David Frydman »

That must be what is buzzing in my ears. :D

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brian livesey
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by brian livesey »

So that's why there's a shortage of bumblebees, they've gone back to the Alpha Centauri system.
Seriously though, why at this point in time does Stephen Hawking regard interstellar travel as an urgent matter? Surely, along with other prominent people in the scientific community, he should be urging an end to the fouling of the nest. The first priority is to treat our planet with respect.
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Brian
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by Brian »

Point taken, Brian :)

Still, it is likely any such technology will take 200 years to get up and running, not 20. This assumes that mankind has that long (see your comment above). Perhaps it is time to start thinking about it on paper anyway?

regards,
Brian
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brian livesey
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by brian livesey »

Agreed. Interstellar travel is a long way away and needn't concern us. Surely, an effective way to explore stellar systems close up in our times would be to have more and bigger space telescopes. Used in combination with advances in imaging techniques, they might show details on the surfaces of exoplanets, including signs of extraterrestrial life such as: "Eat At Joe's". :wink:
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Re: Fast micro-probes to alpha Centauri ?

Post by Mogget »

Seriously though, why at this point in time does Stephen Hawking regard interstellar travel as an urgent matter? Surely, along with other prominent people in the scientific community, he should be urging an end to the fouling of the nest. The first priority is to treat our planet with respect.
Maybe he thinks that the latter is impossible?

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