To: Red Badger
This is interesting because Tau Ceti is close enough that an Orion drive probe could reach there in around four hundred years. Still not a fast run but when talking about interstellar travel this is about as far as you can go and still have any hope that the probe will still be functional when you get there. Dyson actually worked out the design for a ship that could get up to .033C using existing (1960s) technology.
I don't think there is any chance we would actually build or send send such a probe. First it would cost close to the US GNP to build the thing. Second the fuel for the engine would be several hundred thousand nuclear bombs. Finally a 400,000 ton Orion drive starship plays hell with the launch facilities.
posted on 12/19/2012 7:20:54 AM PST
(There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
To conquer interstellar space, first you must conquer time............
posted on 12/19/2012 7:30:34 AM PST
by Red Badger
(Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
I don’t know how the nuclear explosion thing would work in space without air or medium to get super heated to “push” the ship up to speed. The orion drive uses sequential explosions of Nukes to ‘push’ the ship but with nothing to heat up in space to create a shock wave to further propel the ship, how dose such a drive work? Is it the quick flashes of light and radiation from the nuke fireballs pushing against the shieded drive plate over a period of years even decades, that they expect to provide the momentum?
Drive lasers and concentrated beams of charged particles operating continuously over months might be a better bet as while the initial accelation forces are small, overtime the craft will attain enormous velocities at “c” or close to it since acceleration, while tiny in force is continous until the whole craft is traveling as fast as the photons leaving the drive engines.
posted on 12/19/2012 9:14:05 AM PST
("Barry" Xmas to all and have a rapaciously taxable New Year!)
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