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Thread: Solar Sail to travel almost as fast as speed of light!

  1. #1
    Hubble's Avatar
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    Solar Sail to travel almost as fast as speed of light!

    https://www.mobipicker.com/nasa-alon...lpha-centauri/

    According to this article, this solar sail that they are working on will potentially be able to travel up to one-fifth the speed of light!

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    That's insane but it'll be so cool if they can manage that.
    Hopefully, it'll go smoothly, but I have a little doubt lol

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    I wonder what we will find there. Hopefully this doesn't get lost in the ideas of planning and is actually implemented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TandN
    almost as fast as speed of light!
    Quote Originally Posted by TandN View Post
    up to one-fifth the speed of light!
    I'm getting contradictory messages here.

    To be honest powering lasers powerful enought to reach outerspace to start the movement and the keep at it must be expensive as hell.

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    I_royalty_I's Avatar
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    This story has been a thing for quite awhile now. Although the concept art on that article looks quite different than the ones I have seen in that past. It's an interesting concept but there are still lots of things they would need to work out in order to make it a reality. Getting life to Mars is a more realistic project for the time being I think. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish by sending this craft to the closest star? Technology has been moving in leaps and bounds, in just the last twenty or so years. I'm sure we will have something that makes this mission entirely possible in 5-10 years time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I_royalty_I View Post
    This story has been a thing for quite awhile now. Although the concept art on that article looks quite different than the ones I have seen in that past. It's an interesting concept but there are still lots of things they would need to work out in order to make it a reality. Getting life to Mars is a more realistic project for the time being I think. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish by sending this craft to the closest star? Technology has been moving in leaps and bounds, in just the last twenty or so years. I'm sure we will have something that makes this mission entirely possible in 5-10 years time.
    I think the main purpose of making something like this is to get a jump start on the technology required to actually do it; a proof-of-concept if you will. It's successful implementation of technology that gets people to open their wallets and fund further research. If they can prove that the technology works, they'll be able to get a whole lot more than just $100M from a single investor, which means the next ship will be bigger and faster. In solving the posed problems, it also allows for development of new technologies that could be useful in a multitude of other fields, IE the self-healing silicon chips which could be used in satellites or even just Earth-bound computers, or the solar sails themselves that could potentially be adapted to the aforementioned Mars mission. After all, landing a man on the Moon was never just about landing a man on the Moon.

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    I_royalty_I (12-19-2016)

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