Questions tagged [interstellar-travel]

Questions regarding travel on a cosmic scale, from one star to another.

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1answer
157 views

Why isn't “cylindrical alien derelict spacecraft” more common in theories of Oumuamua as an alien probe?

When the mysterious extrasolar object, named Oumuamua, was detected and characterized, the leading analysis of its signal strongly suggested that it was a long, cylindrical or cigar-shaped object. And ...
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622 views

Cyclotron engines as a means of thrust for interplanetary travel?

How feasible is it to use a cyclotron in this manner for space propulsion? Inject small amounts (aliquots) of ionized matter into cyclotron at some high integer multiple n of the cyclotron frequency $...
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1answer
131 views

How much time would it take to go to Alpha Centauri through a wormhole? [closed]

After reading a question about going to Alpha Centauri through an Alcubierre Warp I just became curious about going through a wormhole. I think it would happen instantly as far as I know about ...
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If the Alcubierre Warp Drive was used to travel to Alpha Centauri, how much time would pass on Earth?

If the Alcubierre Warp Drive was used to travel to Alpha Centauri, how much time would pass on Earth? Per this article, it would take merely days to travel there. Say a ship travels there, spends a ...
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Are exoplanets in the habitable zone suitable for human colonization?

If they found the those planets in the habitable zone, are they planning ahead for human settlement of them?
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65 views

Are there any modern studies for how to colonize an exoplant involving interstellar travel?

As in the title, are there any modern studies for how to colonize an exoplanet involving manned interstellar travel? By this I mean an academic peer reviewed study. However, it doesn't have to be ...
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3answers
155 views

Prior to putting spacecraft on a trajectory going a significant fraction of the speed of light, would some things need to be tested on Earth?

Except for particle accelerators, I don't think we have made any macro object go anywhere near the speeds planned for spacecraft like the one planned in Project Orion. But would there be something ...
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2answers
287 views

Interstellar probe travel problems?

As probes that we build travel farther, won't more problems occur? For example, as the nuclear energy thing (RTG) it goes on gets weaker over time. Or, solar panels will receive less light. Or even, ...
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28 views

Detecting light leakage from starshot-like probe

Would we be able to detect the light "leaking" around a light sail, from a startshot like probe, which is launched from a nearby star system towards Earth?
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1answer
134 views

What are the chances a space probe will make it to another star without hitting a bit of space dust?

tl;dr: What is the density of "space dust" or micrometeorites in interstellar space, and how likely is it that a tiny interstellar craft could avoid hitting any? In a future time we will likely ...
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1answer
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What does it take to send a probe into a primordial black hole near the Oort cloud?

Since Sept 2019 there's been some speculation1 whether the hypothetical planet far beyond the Kuiper belt is actually a primordial black hole. It would be the closest black hole to the Earth (500 au ...
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Do we have the technology to colonize the nearest habitable planet by sending hundreds of people with spacecraft?

Somewhere I read that the nearest earth-like planet is 19 light years away. If this is true, and there are no closer earth-like planets, do we have the knowledge, technology and resources to colonize ...
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2answers
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At what speed does it seem like you are going lightspeed due to time dilation?

Due to relativity, if you are onboard a ship going at 99.999% the speed of light, it seems to you that you travel multiple light years per year, even though from an outside perspective you take just ...
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2answers
203 views

Speculation on the concept of in-space magnetic ring/rail launcher for a spaceship?

This is in reference to the question If human space travel is limited by the G force vulnerability, is there a way to counter G forces? Which, by my limited understanding, seems to point at the ...
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3answers
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Can we use interstellar hydrogen as a fuel for interstellar travel?

From my understanding, space is not entirely empty. Infact, between the voids of space are molecules or maybe individual atoms of hydrogen just floating around. I understand that gathering massive ...
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2k views

Is antimatter feasable?

I've seen the company Positron Dynamics claim they have a potential solution to interstellar travel through their proposed antimatter propulsion system. More often then not these advanced propulsion ...
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Could black holes be used for swing-by?

Due to gravity and movement an object can be accelerated (positive/negative) and slingshot into another direction. This has been used various times, but as far as I know with orbital objects like a ...
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174 views

concentrating starlight with mirrors for photovoltaics in deep space

would it be feasible to use mirrors to concentrate starlight in order to produce efficient solar panels in interstellar space? could we produce enough electricity to provide ongoing propulsion?
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2answers
100 views

Were there any noticeable immune system changes observed for people staying for long in space?

I have read this article about how difficult is to send ships to another possible habitable world. One aspect deals with the human bacterial companions which might be greatly affected by prolonged ...
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2answers
721 views

Could unexpectedly high levels of interstellar space debris be the Great Filter?

I've heard (though I can't find the source) that sufficiently large interstellar space debris has the potential to destroy spacecraft, and that there is considerable uncertainty about how much of a ...
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4answers
4k views

Is warp drive a legitimate avenue of scientific investigation?

I've been reading a number of online "pop-sci" articles on the subject of "warp drive" - derived from work done initially by Alcubierre. Some of the most recent articles say that there are ...
6
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1answer
200 views

What would the Voyager probes look like today?

In the 40+ years since their launching, after traveling through the solar system and now beyond, what would the Voyager probes look like today if we could see them up close? Would they look noticeably ...
6
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1answer
247 views

Does prolonged space flight have any effect on the physical traits of the human body?

Can a variable of physical traits like height, weight, complexion be changed in outer space? Maybe by gravity or by something else that determines these traits (like the UV rays of the sun that ...
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4answers
681 views
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How will Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking's nanobots decelerate and transmit data upon arrival at Alpha Centauri?

Does anyone know what exactly is their plan, once they get there? How is that nano-thing going to slow down / take images / send data back to us? I couldn't find any information on this.
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Can we not get outside the Local Galactic group?

Can we not escape the expansion of space to get outside the local group? I was doing some math, and the closest Group to us besides the Local Group is the M81 Group which is 11.4 Million light years ...
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0answers
110 views

Help: Specific Quote for Interstellar Spaceship

I know that this quote exists, i just don't know who said it or the specific language. The quote goes something like this: If we ever decided to send a manned spaceship (generational ship) to ...
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2answers
475 views

About non-FTL travel and realitivistic effect for a hard sci fi novel

I’m planning a hard science fiction novel, thus there is no Faster-Than-Light travel, but I do present the existence of a means of transportation that is close to the speed of light. For example, it ...
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2answers
2k views

Maximum velocity achieved by solar sail

What is the maximum (theoretical) velocity that can be achieved by solar-sail technology? Can we get close to the speed of light with that?
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4answers
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Is there any way to find and track Pioneer 10, 11, and Voyager 1, 2?

The space probes Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, and Voyager 2 are the first man-made devices to have escaped from our solar system. The main problem they face is the lack of power source in them. ...
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1answer
102 views

Does a warped galaxy have any realistic implications for modern space travel?

A recent BBC news article with the title "Milky Way galaxy is warped and twisted, not flat" caught my attention. It goes on to say: Our results show that the Milky Way Galaxy is not flat. It is ...
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1answer
87 views

Can a planet closer to the edge of the observable Universe see what's on the other side? [closed]

I get that the reason we can't see outside the observable Universe because the light will never reach us. But does the light reach a planet closer to the edge of it?
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Could Von Neumann probes be forbidden by technological limitations?

The famous Fermi paradox asks an important question: if space-faring civilizations exist and are not extremely rare, why are they not already here? Von Neumann proposed a probe, that flies to nearest ...
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1answer
364 views

Project Starshot acceleration

A recent question about Project Starshot's communication asks about one of the seemingly insurmountable problems with this project. There is however another problem that has bugged me ever since I ...
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56 views

If humans move to different solar systems will they eventually evolve into different species? [closed]

I once read an argument against space settlement in a newspaper that said that if humans move to different systems eventually they will evolve into different species, or their cultures and beliefs ...
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7answers
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Do things get dirty in space?

I'm writing a computer game involving space exploration, where the player will come across space ships/stations that are hundreds/thousands/tens of thousands of years old. I'm also trying to make it ...
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2answers
152 views

Tacking a solar sail to increase duration of acceleration

Because the utility of a solar sail diminishes the further it travels away from the sun (max. distance ~50 AU), the longer it can stay in closer proximity to the sun the longer it can accelerate. Is ...
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1answer
424 views

During interstellar travel, does time dilation make the trip shorter?

If it is 4.2 light years to the Alpha Centauri system, does the trip there take less time the closer you get to the speed of light? When considering time dilation, if we traveled at the speed of ...
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0answers
65 views

Why interstellar space travellers would need to decelerate their ship? [duplicate]

In many sci-fi novels I have read, the interstellar travelers had their ship half the way accelerate, then half the way decelerate. I wonder why this is the chosen approach? Would not it be better to ...
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3answers
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What is the most fuel efficient way out of the Solar System?

I understand with current technology we can't just fly a straight line out of the solar system but which way out would need the least fuel? Currently to navigate the solar system it is a dance ...
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2answers
2k views

Speed to maneuver with flaps and ailerons in interstellar dust

I know the interstellar space is not empty. It has (among micrometeorites and gas clouds) interstellar dust. And the effect of the dust is more noticeable if the speed of the starship increases (we ...
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1answer
544 views

Could electric fans lift a rocket strait up like a multi propeller drone? [closed]

Could electric fans like the ones below lift a rocket? What is the amount of electricity needed to lift a interplanetary rocket? Could a nuclear power plant provide enough electricity? https://en....
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3answers
236 views

Delta-V to accelerate to/decelerate from .5c

I have a reasonably good understanding of delta-V (from playing KSP). However, I don't have a great understanding of how it works once you start running into the limitations of physics. I know that ...
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2answers
2k views

Can you use magnets to travel through space?

My thought process is that there is very little friction in space minus gravitational pull. Which could be a good thing if you wanted to go faster or slow down. The question is, is it possible to ...
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1answer
441 views

Can centrifugal force actually overcome the health problems of microgravity?

Microgravity has a negative health effect which exercises cannot completely remedy. Rotation of spacecraft and the resulting centrifugal force have been suggested as a source of pseudo-gravity. But ...
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2answers
2k views

Travel Speed in Space

I have read several questions and answers here concerning achieving speeds beyond the typical deep-space exploration missions. While speed increases near the Sun for example, that can't be applied to ...
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2answers
587 views

Outgassing as a viable explanation of Oumuamua acceleration excess

A recent paper on Oumuamua claims the following: 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1) is the first object of interstellar origin observed in the Solar system. Recently, Micheli et al. (2018) reported that '...
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1answer
279 views

If Oumuamua was alien space-junk, what would it look like, and would we be able tell?

I'm interested in our recent interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua. Whilst I'm happy to accept the official explanation of what it is, I'm curious about what state it would be in if it was actually alien ...
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1answer
392 views

What precisely was the character of the non-gravitational acceleration of Oumuamua?

When exactly did Oumuamua accelerate, when did it begin, when did it end, was it uniform across that period, and at what vector did it occur? I've seen some vague references to it lasting 100 days, ...