Author Topic: Design a mission to Proxima b  (Read 27332 times)

Offline Propylox

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Re: Design a mission to Proxima b
« Reply #200 on: 09/20/2017 03:52 PM »
-snip- I've missed the rationale why 'something' has to be sent there.
Sounds like a job for new telescope technology.
Fair point - that if our telescopes are good enough, why send a mission. I'd argue that no matter how good our telescopes become, such as very lightweight designs, they'll never be better than sending a smaller version through the target system. In addition, a mission would necessarily gather radar and gravitational data and likely broad solar observations. To what end?
The pursuit of science and broadening, confirmation or contradiction to established theories. Here's my original proposal that awoke this zombie thread, with its focus on solar data or (C) two habitable systems.

Why stop at Proxima b? Consider the design requirements for any such mission;
1- A giant curtain array and a large optical telescope for observation
2- Advanced star tracking that can orient itself in interstellar space
3- Nuclear power and a layered approach to propulsion
4- The ability to identify and avoid objects as well as estimate and navigate multiple gravitational bodies. Due to the distance, whatever the last course changes Earth sends based on the information the probe gathered before that, the spacecraft will have to modify or ignore the instructions and chart itself based on updated and enhanced data. It may bend itself around smaller planets and the star, but should steer clear of large planets, their systems and the gravitational consequences avoidance maneuvers would have on trajectory.


With such capabilities just to get to Proxima b, the capability exists to fly through the system, around the star and onto another. Here's three missions, each about fifteen lightyears long.

A) to Alpha Centari= 4.365ly , to Luhman 16= 3.673ly , to WISE 0855-0714= 6.005ly ; Total = 14.057ly
Solar masses of 1.10, 0.907 and a 0.123 Red Dwarf + 0.045 and 0.040 Brown Dwarfs + a 0.0059 sub-BD

B) to Sirius= 8.583ly , to Procyon= 5.200ly , to Luyten's Star= 1.120ly ; Total = 14.903ly
Solar masses of 2.02 and a 0.978 White Dwarf + 1.50 and a 0.602 White Dwarf + a 0.26 Red Dwarf

C) to Epsilon Eridian= 10.522 , to Tau Ceti= 5.450 ; Total = 15.972ly
Solar masses of 0.82 + 0.783, both with habitable planetary systems
« Last Edit: 09/20/2017 03:54 PM by Propylox »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Design a mission to Proxima b
« Reply #201 on: 09/20/2017 03:55 PM »
I like it. 

How does one go about demonstrating the requirement for a 100+ year service life with the spacecraft and ground support facilities while maintaining the budget below 1 trillion?  Software and hardware is practically obsolete within 3 years. Maybe the idea is shoot a swarm of objects toward proxima B?
And yet somehow the Voyagers, launched in the late 1970's continued to operate for the next 40 years, despite not even being programmed in a HLL.

Real embedded systems, developed to aerospace standards, are a good deal more conservative, and a good deal more reliable, than consumer products.

This may be inconceivable to anyone who was not even born when they launched and has never known a world where you get a "download available" message once a day.  :(
« Last Edit: 09/20/2017 04:08 PM by john smith 19 »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Design a mission to Proxima b
« Reply #202 on: 09/20/2017 04:08 PM »
Budget of about a trillion dollars is to be expected for an interstellar mission.

But for beamed propulsion, these aren't one-shot missions but a stream of them.
I think how cost effective this is will depend on the mission planning. If you can point the array at other targets for set periods you can launch swarms to multiple targets. If you can even point most of the array at other targets (with a few to maintain alignment on the swarm) you can launch to other targets.

Regarding the Sci Am article. I'd say this is V 0.1 technology. It's a start, and they've proved they can get to an actual launch (some teams have struggled a lot longer to get to this stage).

I also note it seems to be there's a problem with the larger satellite some of them are attached to, not the chips themselves. So it looks like the concept of a Satellite_On_A_Chip is not quite as ridiculous as some people have thought. I think a lot of people were skeptical of this.

The real problem for this is the chip tech for good flash and lasers is so different from main stream bulk transistor tech that it's simpler to end up with a micro LTCC hybrid circuit board, which can have embedded actuators in quite easily, however that's likely to be heavier. 
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Stormbringer

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When antigravity is outlawed only outlaws will have antigravity.

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