A lot of movies model star ships after terrestrial airplanes, however, given the fact that there is no air in space, that seems sort of silly. This Popular Mechanic article give us a more pragmatic view of starship design. Also featured is Adrian Mann’s artwork, who’s done much work for Icarus Interstellar. I’ve always been a big fan of his work.
Paul Gilster goes over some of the challenges of designing and sustaining a worldship. The very idea of traveling for hundreds of years across space with city sized populations is mind-boggling to say the least. Project Persephone hopes to address some of the difficulties.
This came out of last week’s 100 year starship symposium in Houston. Incredible.
But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.
Planetary Resources is a company with aspirations to be the world’s first asteroid-miners. Launched Tuesday in Seattle, they have the financial backing of Microsoft and Google billionaires, James Cameron (yes, that James Cameron) and Ross Perot Jr.
Russia has announced an advanced nuclear powered interplanetary propulsion system that should be ready by 2017 and will power a ship capable of long-haul missions by 2025.
Io9 has a fantastic gallery of some concept art that includes detailed futuristic cities, amazing airships, and haunting landscapes. (more…)
The Sand Flea is an 11 pound wheeled robot that looks like a toy RC car at first glance, but can propel itself into the air up to 30 feet in order to jump tall building (and other obstacles) in a single bound. (more…)
NASA has started up a laboratory called Eagleworks which is studying advanced propulsion and using the quantum vacuum to power it. The proposed schedule is pretty ambition for solar system exploration: in 50 years time. (more…)
Watch 4.5 Billion Years of the Moon’s Evolution in 2.5 Minutes.
YouTube: “From year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn’t always look like this. Thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we now have a better look at some of the moon’s history. Learn more in this video!” (more…)
Universe Today has an interesting article about a bad side effect to Alcubierre’s warp drive idea. The problem is the drive would generate very energetic particles in it’s wake that would be released when the ship slows to superluminal speeds. A valid concern, but let me explain why I think this is a non-issue to some degree.
The article touched on this, but the obvious solution is to make your approach outside the system and/or off the system’s plain. Space is very very empty, even within star systems, when it comes to bodies such as planets, moons and other assorted rocks. The released energies would be blast into the interstellar void between stars, dissipating it’s energy well before it ever reaches another system, if it even would ever reach another system.If you approached the system at a vector that was more perpendicular to the galactic plain, it would direct the energies out into the galactic void. You would need two jumps, however, one to get you away from the galactic plain and another shorter one to reach the system at the perpendicular vector.
Unless I’m missing something here, IANAP. Otherwise, we would also have an ultimate weapon of mass destruction. I’m not sure I like that prospect. Actually, I’m sure I don’t like that prospect.
Not so much “interstellar” but a start. Here are 2 quick links I’d like to bring to your attention about Icarus’ efforts to send us beyond where any humans or robots have yet to go.
Icarus Interstellar Inc. is teaming up with General Propulsion Sciences, a small propulsion research company based in D.C., to pursue the development of NTRs and other fission-based space technologies. At the center of it is a project Bifrost, a ship that uses a nuclear fission rocket based on NERVA technology to get us to interplanetary destinations much quicker than we can achieve now.
NTR technology promises to deliver specific impulse twice of what current chemical rockets can provide, making it ideally suitable for Earth-Mars missions. Faster transits mean less time in the deleterious effects of space on human flesh.
Project Bifrost: NTR rocket to the stars [Link - Discovery News]
Project Icarus: Contemplating Starship Design [Link - Centauri Dreams]