Questions tagged [interstellar-travel]

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

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Are there any paths in the Interplanetary Transport Network that leave the solar system?

As a (very late) follow up to this question, I wondered if there are any ITN paths that leave the solar system altogether? Articles about this seem to be concerned with low energy transfers of ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
362 views

Using today's technology, is interstellar navigation possible?

I was watching this video essay discussion about space elevators, and on a bit of a tangent, the physicist talks about difficulties with interstellar missions, specifically comments about navigation ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
5k views

How feasible would this mission to Proxima Centauri be?

This is a scenario that I have recently made up: A spacecraft is at the edge of the solar system, in orbit around Pluto, to make its journey to Alpha Centauri. The spacecraft wouldn't accelerate from ...
Daniel Shepherd's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
248 views

Will this homopolar motor self rotate in a vacuum?

Is it convenient to ask about the motor from the link: Roller Homopolar Motor When it is on the table, the motor rotates freely, together with the attached conductor. Will the upper motor in the ...
user51174's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

Closed Loop Space propulsion

While browsing for Space propulsion found this book : https://www.knygos.lt/lt/knygos/closed-loop-space-propulsion-new-faster-approach-2e4zy/ Closed Loop Space Propulsion New Faster Approach : The ...
Stoyan's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
189 views

How easy would it be for an interstellar probe to identify planets in another star system?

Would sending an interstellar probe be the only way to completely map another star system or would it be eventually possible to map it from Earth, beyond any reasonable doubt? If a probe is necessary, ...
TheWanderer's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
254 views

Could a “solar gravitational synchrotron ” use solar thermal rockets to "powerslide" spacecraft out of the solar system?

Could a “solar gravitational synchrotron ” use solar thermal steam rockets to launch spacecraft out of the solar system? Solar thermal steam rockets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_rocket have ...
Woody's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
210 views

How would we power probes or spaceships over hundered or thousands of years?

There are different optimal power sources for probes and spaceships for different kinds of missions. Solar Well suited for many missions in the inner solar system. Only limited degradation over time ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
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Interstellar travel by lightsail – what are the main factors of the trajectory uncertainties?

Lightsail (solar sail or sail accelerated by lasers) is a theorized as realistic way for interstellar travel. Breakthrough Starshot is the most prominent example. Let’s assume we have a thin enough ...
Heopps's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
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What processes create an object with an interstellar velocity?

An object like Oumuamua originates in a solar system. This object has roughly the inertia of everything else there. I can imagine stuff on the edge of the accretion zone for a star that...WANDER off......
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
191 views

Why do "Relativistic Light Sails Need to Billow"?

The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science blogpost How to Design a Sail that Won’t Tear or Melt on an Interstellar Voyage links to two new Nano Letters papers: Matthew ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
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To what percentage of the speed of light you need to accelerate to get artificial gravity at 1g?

Let's say you have a very powerful hypothetical fusion or matter/antimatter drive on a spaceship and you want to travel to a star nearby. Can you get 1g artificial gravity by accelerating? Or close to ...
jdiez's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
197 views

Could astronauts jump from a spaceship onto a spacestation and how would it be like if yes?

I saw it happen in the videogame Alien:Isolation but not sure how realistic it was. I need help understanding some orbital mechanics for a sci-fi story that I am trying to write. The scenario I ...
Richard Kutsera's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
162 views

Travelling close to speed of light

I have theoretical questions about inter-stellar travel at very high speeds (e.g. 0.9c). The inter-stellar medium is not a perfect vacuum, there are about 1 atom per cm3. This causes some friction. I ...
Icebear's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
387 views

How is delta-v calculated for an interstellar journey?

Just recently I have been learning about orbital mechanics and I came across the following article: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/why-chemical-rockets-and-interstellar-travel-...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 459
27 votes
3 answers
8k views

Can Voyager 1 reach the Andromeda Galaxy?

Right now, as of 2021, Voyager 1 has left the Solar System. If it has reached such a great distance, is it possible for it to reach the Andromeda Galaxy? Also, will we be able to still be in contact ...
Ishaan Manish's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
360 views

Could you survive very high G's if your whole body was accelerated uniformly?

Could you survive high g's if your whole body was accelerated uniformly (not just by the seat of a rocket pushing on your back)? Your body is really only affected by gravity if you are touching ...
bacon gaming's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
79 views

Standing still to move forward [closed]

If our galaxy is tracking through space at ~1.3mm, couldn’t we arrive at point B if we came to a stop at point A. i.e. decelerate to -1 g
Driestcake's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
126 views

What interstellar data rates are feasible? [closed]

Preamble: Mankind has colonized the galaxy with self replicating machines which build transceivers when they arrive at a new star system which transmit and receive uploaded human minds and AI between ...
darsie's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
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Interstellar Travel Thought Experiment

I have been going over a bit of a thought experiment in my head lately. And wondering if someone more informed on the matter can share their thoughts Let's start with the premise that rocket/ ...
VapeLord86's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
515 views

Of all propulsion devices that could reach near-C speeds, which one is closest/most practical?

With even the most efficient chemical fuel we have to reach Alpha Centauri(closest star system to our own) in a human lifetime, you would need a fuel tank millions of lightyears across. So we need to ...
Gregory's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
651 views

Which star could Starship reach soonest?

We've been mocking Starship because it's not going to fly to another star, but according to this solar system delta v map it only takes 5.63 km/s from a Moon transfer orbit to Sun escape velocity. A ...
darsie's user avatar
  • 421
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How serious is the problem of interstellar dust for interstellar space travel?

Proxima Centauri b seems to be the closest exoplanet in its habitable zone. At a distance of $4.2$ lightyears, travel to this planet within a human lifetime is not impossible prima facie, however ...
ComptonScattering's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

If a spacecraft travels at 10% c will it be destroyed by interstellar dust and particles?

If a spacecraft travels at 10% the speed of light will it be destroyed by collisions with interstellar dust and particles? The spacecraft will be traveling to nearby stars, not going through a nebula.
sno's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
617 views

Estimating thrust and kg fuel for a generation ship's journey to Alpha Centauri

Premise: A generation spaceship leaves Earth around the year 2060 on a journey to colonize Alpha Centauri A (ACA). In this fiction, fusion power is achieved in 2040, improved over 20 years, and used ...
Koon W's user avatar
  • 263
6 votes
1 answer
204 views

Time to reach interstellar space

From my understanding, both voyager 1 and voyager 2 used a gravity assisted slingshot method to leave the solar system. Question(s): Since the planetary alignment used won't happen again for a while, ...
und3niable's user avatar
-6 votes
1 answer
213 views

How exactly are we ranging distances of objects in space? Are we doing it for real or is it just a hoax? [closed]

I have been wondering, maybe some one could enlighten me as to the answer I have been looking for. I have googled, but I am after a more direct answer to this question. If light takes X time to travel ...
Maize's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
289 views

When does a specific equipment at a certain temperature start to freeze in interstellar space?

This is my first post here. I'm working on a project which involves a number of problems and some parts of that are related to empty space and space exploration. I try to be focused and reflect one of ...
Space Explorer's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
433 views

How do you "make" a soliton? (recent peer-reviewed theoretical work in FTL travel)

I've just read an Article on the new approach on Warp Drives Dr. Erik Lentz describes. Instead of creating a bubble with negative energy density, he describes a Soliton in spacetime, which he ...
Mat NX's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
10k views

Where is Voyager 1 now (2021)?

I remember seeing that Voyager 1 is currently in interstellar space and will continue to move indefinitely. I however could not find the reference of where (in the vicinity) Voyager 1 is now. Is it ...
GENIVI-LEARNER's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to move in space with just solar panels or without them?

What are the technologies known to humankind, to do propulsion in space, with a spacecraft having solar panels, when: It is under ample solar flux? It is interstellar under negligible solar flux? ...
6nagi9's user avatar
  • 403
-1 votes
2 answers
254 views

What timezone would be used for interstellar travel?

The ISS crew celebrated Thanksgiving today. Apparently the ISS uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time. What timezone would people use for interstellar travel?...
CodingMatters's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
61 views

What is the required laser intensity to ionize interstellar gas in front of a Bussard ramjet?

In a Bussard ramjet interstellar gas is collected using a large magnetic field to be fused and used as reaction mass. While a number of papers have explored the constraints on the magnetic field, what ...
Anders Sandberg's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
633 views

How efficient and fast would seven Caplan thrusters be at pushing the Sun and would it be worth building more than one?

I was thinking about stellar engines. One type of stellar engine is the Caplan thruster, which concentrates the star's light onto the star's surface to create beams of solar wind, which are collected ...
Human of Facts's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I view the Voyager golden record images?

As a human, I'm mildly interested in seeing for myself what message we have sent to some hypothetical aliens. This NASA page displays 48 of them: https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/images-on-the-...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
269 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 ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,899
-2 votes
1 answer
281 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 ...
Warp's user avatar
  • 19
3 votes
1 answer
176 views

Are there any modern studies for how to colonize an exoplanet 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 ...
AlphaCentauri's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
226 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 ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 337
2 votes
0 answers
39 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?
fibonatic's user avatar
  • 707
-3 votes
1 answer
281 views

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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
442 views

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 ...
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 932
6 votes
2 answers
154 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 ...
Alexei's user avatar
  • 205
6 votes
1 answer
301 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 ...
Coldblackice's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
403 views

Looking for figures for contemporary interstellar engine options

So I have already done... a lot of reading on this subject lately. A lot. You wouldn't believe. My maths is... functional, probably far above 'average', but when it gets into the realms of the 'rocket ...
nirurin's user avatar
  • 459
4 votes
0 answers
127 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 ...
John Faurbo's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
631 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 182
2 votes
1 answer
122 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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
96 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?
Anthony's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
13k views

Time at 1 g acceleration to travel 100 000 light years

How long would it take to go 100,000 light years at a constant 1 g acceleration?
Roger P Jones's user avatar