Author Topic: Breakthrough Starshot  (Read 23976 times)

Offline rweede

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #140 on: 08/29/2016 08:34 AM »
Untrue.  Project Longshot, using nuclear pulse propulsion, did not rely on non-existent or impractical technologies.  And it was developed in the 1980s.

Quoting from the Wikipedia article on the subject:
Quote
Similar to Project Daedalus, Longshot was designed with existing technology in mind, although some development would have been required. For example, the Project Longshot concept assumes "a three-order-of-magnitude leap over current propulsion technology".

"Some development" is quite the understatement. We don't have inertial confinement fusion of the kind of efficiency necessary for Longshot, and we don't have ANY machine that can be expect to keep working for 100 years without any kind of human intervention, much less a 300 kw fission reactor at full blast. So I would say Project Longshot very much relied on technology that does not exist even now, 30 years later.

Regarding the technical difficulties, Breakthrough Starshot seems at least as doable ...

Offline Star One

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Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #141 on: 08/29/2016 06:44 PM »
First of Paul Gilster's reports from the recent Breakthrough Starshot meeting.

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=36265
« Last Edit: 08/29/2016 06:44 PM by Star One »

Offline as58

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #142 on: 08/29/2016 09:06 PM »
Quoting from the Wikipedia article on the subject:
Quote
Similar to Project Daedalus, Longshot was designed with existing technology in mind, although some development would have been required. For example, the Project Longshot concept assumes "a three-order-of-magnitude leap over current propulsion technology".

"Some development" is quite the understatement. We don't have inertial confinement fusion of the kind of efficiency necessary for Longshot, and we don't have ANY machine that can be expect to keep working for 100 years without any kind of human intervention, much less a 300 kw fission reactor at full blast. So I would say Project Longshot very much relied on technology that does not exist even now, 30 years later.

Regarding the technical difficulties, Breakthrough Starshot seems at least as doable ...

Sorry for being off-topic...

Was Longshot even a real project? The document that every website refers to seems to be written by a group of undergraduates at US Naval Academy for some course(s). IMO, it's not even a particularly good undergraduate research report.

Offline Star One

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #143 on: 08/30/2016 07:28 PM »
Breakthrough Starshot report 2.

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=36277

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #144 on: 08/31/2016 10:49 PM »
(Sorry haven't read the entire thread. If you know it has already been discussed just say so and I will trawl for it. If you know who by that could help locate it maybe.)

Has there been discussion of the vast range of nearer targets this could apply to? Obviously you would not just run it once and there are hundreds of known dwarf planets and a possible new ninth planet in our solar system that are still well out of practical reach. Perhaps such lasers could have duel uses also such as powering thermal or electric propulsion near earth or a probe far from the sun?

Another possible application of this array: space junk removal?

(I know RobotBeat doesn't like the beamed power idea compared to SEP but I can't remember the issue. Sorry RB.)
« Last Edit: 09/01/2016 01:44 AM by KelvinZero »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #145 on: 09/03/2016 07:14 PM »
(Sorry haven't read the entire thread. If you know it has already been discussed just say so and I will trawl for it. If you know who by that could help locate it maybe.)

Has there been discussion of the vast range of nearer targets this could apply to? Obviously you would not just run it once and there are hundreds of known dwarf planets and a possible new ninth planet in our solar system that are still well out of practical reach. Perhaps such lasers could have duel uses also such as powering thermal or electric propulsion near earth or a probe far from the sun?

Another possible application of this array: space junk removal?

(I know RobotBeat doesn't like the beamed power idea compared to SEP but I can't remember the issue. Sorry RB.)
Of course we can use it for other trips.

I dislike beamed propulsion when SEP works just as well with a free beamed fusion power source (the Sun). Now interstellar travel is another matter because SEP clearly fails.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Star One

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #146 on: 09/05/2016 04:54 PM »
Another update this time talking sails.

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=36310

Offline Star One

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Re: Breakthrough Starshot
« Reply #147 on: 01/09/2017 07:57 PM »
VLT TO SEARCH FOR PLANETS IN ALPHA CENTAURI SYSTEM

ESO Signs Agreement with Breakthrough Initiatives

ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri. Such planets could be the targets for an eventual launch of miniature space probes by the Breakthrough Starshot initiative.
ESO, represented by the Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives, represented by Pete Worden, Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives. The agreement provides funds for the VISIR (VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid-Infrared) instrument, mounted at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to be modified in order to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets around Alpha Centauri, the closest stellar system to the Earth. The agreement also provides for telescope time to allow a careful search programme to be conducted in 2019.
The discovery in 2016 of a planet, Proxima b, around Proxima Centauri, the third and faintest star of the Alpha Centauri system, adds even further impetus to this search.
Knowing where the nearest exoplanets are is of paramount interest for Breakthrough Starshot, the research and engineering programme launched in April 2016, which aims to demonstrate proof of concept for ultra-fast light-driven “nanocraft”, laying the foundation for the first launch to Alpha Centauri within a generation.
Detecting a habitable planet is an enormous challenge due to the brightness of the planetary system’s host star, which tends to overwhelm the relatively dim planets. One way to make this easier is to observe in the mid-infrared wavelength range, where the thermal glow from an orbiting planet greatly reduces the brightness gap between it and its host star. But even in the mid-infrared, the star remains millions of times brighter than the planets to be detected, which calls for a dedicated technique to reduce the blinding stellar light.
The existing mid-infrared instrument VISIR on the VLT will provide such performance if it were enhanced to greatly improve the image quality using adaptive optics, and adapted to employ a technique called coronagraphy to reduce the stellar light and thereby reveal the possible signal of potential terrestrial planets. Breakthrough Initiatives will pay for a large fraction of the necessary technologies and development costs for such an experiment, and ESO will provide the required observing capabilities and time.
The new hardware includes an instrument module contracted to Kampf Telescope Optics (KTO), Munich, which will host the wavefront sensor, and a novel detector calibration device. In addition, there are plans for a new coronagraph to be developed jointly by University of Liège (Belgium) and Uppsala University (Sweden).
Detecting and studying potentially habitable planets orbiting other stars will be one of the main scientific goals of the upcoming European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Although the increased size of the E-ELT will be essential to obtaining an image of a planet at larger distances in the Milky Way, the light collecting power of the VLT is just sufficient to image a planet around the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.
The developments for VISIR will also be beneficial for the future METIS instrument, to be mounted on the E-ELT, as the knowledge gained and proof of concept will be directly transferable. The huge size of the E-ELT should allow METIS to detect and study exoplanets the size of Mars orbiting Alpha Centauri, if they exist, as well as other potentially habitable planets around other nearby stars.
More Information

The Breakthrough Initiatives are a program of scientific and technological exploration founded in 2015 by Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner to explore the Universe, seek scientific evidence of life beyond Earth, and encourage public debate from a planetary perspective.
Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for a new technology, enabling ultra-light unmanned space flight at 20% of the speed of light, and to lay the foundations for a flyby mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.
ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.
Links

Breakthrough Initiative
Photos of the VLT
Contacts

Markus Kasper
ESO
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Tel: +49 89 3200 6359
Email: mkasper@eso.org
Breakthrough Initiatives
Email: media@breakthroughprize.org
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