Jump to content
Nod2003

Interplanetary/Interstellar Travel

Recommended Posts

How significant are the effects of micrometeoroid impacts on interplanetary and interstellar travel?  The ISS does have some issues with these, but would the space in between planets have them at the same rate?  

Additionally, would a generational ship traveling to a star say 50 ly from here with current propulsion technology actually be able to remain intact without some kind of ablative armor or shielding, or would micrometeoroids eventually erode the hull til it breeches?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A mission starting now would depend of our technological ability to evade any object in our path. Shielding tech is still Star Trek stuff.

That being said, we still have no cryo tech to keep our crew alive for 1 light year, which would take approx. 200.000 years to complete with current max speed.

50 LY would take a million years. Give or take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, QuantumT said:

A mission starting now would depend of our technological ability to evade any object in our path. Shielding tech is still Star Trek stuff.

Um, no. The shielding tech portrayed in Star Trek is fictional, but that doesn’t represent all (or even most) of the options. A steel plate is shielding tech. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking more along the lines of a Hyper-Velocity Whipple Shield than fighting Klingons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, swansont said:

Um, no. The shielding tech portrayed in Star Trek is fictional, but that doesn’t represent all (or even most) of the options. A steel plate is shielding tech. 

Evading would be preferable either way. Who'd like their life to depend on a hull?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Nod2003 said:

How significant are the effects of micrometeoroid impacts on interplanetary and interstellar travel?  The ISS does have some issues with these, but would the space in between planets have them at the same rate?  

Additionally, would a generational ship traveling to a star say 50 ly from here with current propulsion technology actually be able to remain intact without some kind of ablative armor or shielding, or would micrometeoroids eventually erode the hull til it breeches?

I remember a story by A.C. Clarke in which the interstellar craft used water as the reaction mass, which they carried as ice in front of the ship and this acted as their shielding during the acceleration phase of the trip.   During the deceleration phase the ship has exhaust spewing out ahead of it offering protection (If you are going to reach any respectable fraction of c with any reason able ship to fuel mass ratio, your exhaust velocity is going to be a good fraction of c itself.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

18 minutes ago, QuantumT said:

Evading would be preferable either way. Who'd like their life to depend on a hull?

Of course, though detecting and evading a grain of sand while traveling at 50km/sec seems a bit beyond our capabilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, QuantumT said:

Evading would be preferable either way. Who'd like their life to depend on a hull?

Consider the logistics of evasion. The ability to detect particles has an angular size limit, and you need to track for a period of time to get a trajectory. Some particles will be unavoidable. You may also not be able to avoid everything if multiple particles are in play. The kicker here is maneuvering will likely be a fuel hog.

(or refer to Nod’s more succinct response)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, swansont said:

Consider the logistics of evasion. The ability to detect particles has an angular size limit, and you need to track for a period of time to get a trajectory. Some particles will be unavoidable. You may also not be able to avoid everything if multiple particles are in play. The kicker here is maneuvering will likely be a fuel hog.

Honesty, deep space travel sounds like a fools errand.

Maybe in a thousand years, when we got tech we can barely fathom now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input QuantumT, but so far you really haven’t posted a single thing that relates to the actual question on the frequency of micrometeoroid impacts in interplanetary/interstellar space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sending detectors/drones ahead of the spaceship would give more warning and more opportunity to either evade or divert debri along the ship's course. Not that I think interstellar trips are likely to ever be within our technological capabilities; more feasible would be slow, uni-directional "colonisations" of deep space objects - presuming true self sufficiency, without loss or degradation of initial technological capabilities is possible under such circumstances. Each stop allows supplies to be refreshed and each new target is never beyond the support of the previous colonies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, of course, have a different take on interstellar travel based on the Winnebago! Large O'Neill cylinders or torus type space habitats will eventually travel to other stars by hoping from one small icy body to another, slowly spreading out like a new animal in a deserted habitat. Controlled fusion would be the key and we all know it's only 10 years away... Rendezvousing with icy bodies would mean the travelers would take thousands of years to get to another star but each icy body rendezvous would be a chance to top up on volatile elements and if the icy body was big enough use it to build more habitats.  Using this method we could occupy the entire galaxy in a few million to tens of millions of years and never even visit a planet. Planets would not be needed anymore than a Winnebago needs cities...   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.