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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2017
     
    Like groping?
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2017
     
    Not really
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    Voyager 1 Just Fired Its Thrusters for the First Time in 37 Years.

    https://futurism.com/voyager-1-fired-thrusters-first-time-37-years/
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      CommentAuthoraber0der
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    Not exactly.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017 edited
     
    I've just handled an old 7-track tape that has radar surveying data from the 1976 project using Arecibo to gather data about Europa and Ganymede. Surprising what we attempted from Earth without launching a spacecraft.

    556 BPI, even parity, IBM BCDIC (think IBM 1401 codes).

    It's not even remotely the earliest tape in this set.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    I was astonished when I looked into the axial precession of Mars, (to deal with a piece of woo that my woo- addicted bro brought up). It turns out that it was measured in 2000 from Doppler tracking of the Mars Global Surveyor, plus radar altimetry from that mission (don't ask me how). The answer is that Mars' precession period is 177,000 years, presumably because its moons are so small.

    I am amazed what you can deduce from Earth, even if you allow spacecraft. How long would it have taken, say, Galileo to detect a precession period of 177,000 years.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    @Andrew

    Have you any info about DBS's (disassembling brake ships)?

    From what I remember they were large slow spacecraft that could take hundreds of years to travel to the target star and when they got close they would would start to disassemble over millions of miles leaving pieces behind.

    A lighter faster more advanced craft (with astronauts?) would scoop the bits up, mostly to lose momentum add fuel and replicate themselves.

    Being much slower and closer to the star, solar wind breaking should then suffice to get the scoop craft into appropriate orbits.

    Why don't they use the big slow spacecraft to shoot bits of a comet or asteroid or even an airless moon into outer space to help slow arriving scoop craft?
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    Basically using the Bussard ramjet parachute effect to advantage.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    I imagine a scoop craft could be accelerated by millions of starchips by picking them up from behind.

    Could be technically difficult though maybe pulses of plasma would be better?
  1.  
    Lasers are about 50% efficient for beamer purposes, I believe (feel free to correct me on that). So if instead a particle beam is used, accelerated electromagnetically for example, then this may be a more energy efficient way of imparting momentum to a craft.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
     
    Best wallplug efficiency I can find for a MOPA, including 70% diode pump wallplug efficiency and about 50% for the optical-optical amplification, is 25 to 35%.
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    Thanks Angus. Good data point.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2017
     
    I want one.

    The $10,000 quadrillion asteroid: Experts reveal how iron, nickel and gold makes 16-Psyche so valuable as NASA prepares to visit it in 2026.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5148821/The-10-000-quadrillion-asteroid-revealed.html
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
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      CommentAuthoraber0der
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
    Astronomers to check interstellar body for signs of alien technology.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/11/astronomers-to-check-interstellar-body-for-signs-of-alien-technology

    Could it be some sort of break ship???
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
    Whatever, it's not here they intend to come. They are leaving with the same energy they arrived, plus or minus whatever they got from Sol, the local gravitational slingshot. Someday maybe they will tell the people of Omicron X about the weird beings they met en route.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
    Could the strange shape have come from travelling for billions of years hitting interstellar dust and so getting somewhat streamlined??
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    No.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
     
    Isn't "strange' relative?