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|Re: Speculation Re Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri 1
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Posted by Paolo Ballarini/">Paolo Ballarini on August 25, 1999 17:52:39 UTC
What about going there??
The technology to make that is here and is cheap and simple.
This is a very serious resarch. I asked by e-mail Dr. Winglee if the interstellar medium is dense and slow enough to use M2P2 as a brake and he answered me (WOW!).
He said: "Yes, there is potential for breaking but is depends on the power supply"
So, if M2P2 works (and Nasa thinks so), you can build an unmanned spacecraft with a small nuclear power supply (like Cassini, this is not SF). Then you'll use solar wind to accelerate. Solar Wind is fast: 400-1000 km per sec. It's possible to reach a speed about 1% of the speed of light. Then you'll use M2P2 as a brake and sail around A and B Centauri looking for something interesting. Duration of the trip: 3-400 yrs only. Ok, this is a lot, but is better than 300.000: 100 times faster! And M2P2 is cheap and simple.
Now we have the brakes and a cheap way to go 100 times faster. We need also this:
- a way to go 1000 times faster, 100 is not fast enough (see http://earthsky.com/1996/esmi961004.html). - a very smart probe that can detect planets and other interesting things, use solar sail to go around. It must do the work without radio connection.
If so, the youngest of us will see closeup pictures of the planets of Alpha Centaury (if they exists).
If the planets found are nice maybe a very far day somebody can move there..... even without Warp Speed. The trip is 10-30 years long, but I'm sure we can find somebody mad enough to do that.
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