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Thread: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?



    How long would it take to get to Alpha Centauri? | Space | EarthSky
    145,000 years with 10,000 engines apparently.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Tauri View Post
    How long would it take to get to Alpha Centauri? | Space | EarthSky
    145,000 years with 10,000 engines apparently.
    That is with conventional chemical engines, maximum speed w.r.t Earth is 0.01c. However ion drives could get up to 0.1-0.3 c.

    Here is some unvetted but interesting discussion.

    special relativity - Ion Drive Propulsion Top Speed - Physics

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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    That is with conventional chemical engines, maximum speed w.r.t Earth is 0.01c. However ion drives could get up to 0.1-0.3 c.

    Here is some unvetted but interesting discussion.

    special relativity - Ion Drive Propulsion Top Speed - Physics
    So then being able to achieve a speed that's 30% the speed of light puts a journey to the alpha centauri system in the 20 to 30 year range? That seems very doable to me. Well maybe "very doable" is the wrong choice of words. It certainly doesn't seem impossible. While it probably won't happen in my lifetime, I'm guessing it will be relatively soon there will be a joint venture to send a probe there.

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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    What about the psychology of future deep space explorers? Can the human mind take such long periods of isolation? Even a trip to Mars is going to take a significant period of time in a confined space, how does a crew handle things like medical emergencies, or if someone simply loses it? Generational space travel is a compelling idea. What do you when the the next generation, native to the spacecraft decides: "To heck with it, let's go back". There are many things to consider for such a bold step, would you really volunteer?
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    The 100-year/gen ship crew make-up, psychology and demographics are contemplated for long-duration, multigenerational travel durations.

    It is reasonably straightforward to consider identifying, and recruiting the necessary candidate population and crew for this kind of mission. NASA/DARPA has done some screening along these lines, even with the possibility that while in transit, without means of notification, that instantaneous travel was found to be possible - there are still numerous qualified, and vetted candidates.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    Quote Originally Posted by vpgaliet View Post
    So then being able to achieve a speed that's 30% the speed of light puts a journey to the alpha centauri system in the 20 to 30 year range? That seems very doable to me. Well maybe "very doable" is the wrong choice of words. It certainly doesn't seem impossible. While it probably won't happen in my lifetime, I'm guessing it will be relatively soon there will be a joint venture to send a probe there.

    Vince
    IMHO the main challenges to such a mission are fiscal. What will it cost? Who will pay for it? What do you expect to ind when you get there will be a question that potential funders will ask. I also think that an unmanned probe first is a very good idea: survey the system first before even considering a manned mission.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    All excellent points. I think the Russians and Soviets had some experience with long duration space flight. I understand a small bottle of Vodka and guitar went a long way comforting the Cosmonauts on Mir.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    In the old TV series The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling explored this idea:

    The Long Morrow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Humans are extremely adaptable and past colonization expeditions were often seen as one-way journeys. The grass isn't always greener (On Thursday We Leave for Home - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), but volunteers will always line up no matter the destination.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    Thanks Tim K....I missed that one. Looks good.
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    Default Re: How will we ever visit an exoplanet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim K View Post
    In the old TV series The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling explored this idea:

    The Long Morrow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Humans are extremely adaptable and past colonization expeditions were often seen as one-way journeys. The grass isn't always greener (On Thursday We Leave for Home - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), but volunteers will always line up no matter the destination.
    Interesting ideas but not cheery. Thanks for the links.
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