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Cylindrical interior (first ark) starship to Alpha Centauri - by A. Ahad

  1. Jun 24, 2005 #1
    This gigantic thing here called the Centauri Princess, can it be built in the next few hundred years???


    That would be the greatest engineering achievement in all human history...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2005 #2
    I would doubt it, maybe 500 to 1000 years, but even that is pushing it. How far have we really come in our ability to explore space since the 60's? We have better probes.

    200 years from now, at best, we might be ready to start sending probs to close stars. Probes that would take VERY long time to reach their destination.
  4. Jun 27, 2005 #3
    nice dream

    It's cool for a sci-fi thing, but the above poster is right: we're still a long way off from this.

    So when is your novel due out/ who's publishing it?

  5. Jun 27, 2005 #4
  6. Jul 10, 2005 #5
    i dunno, the basic technology for a space arc exists today, so it could be done in the next 100-200 years i would think, depending on world veiw of space travel. All that would be needed would be vast amounts of materials, which could be found in the asteriods( water, metals, and organics) andno one every said the ark had to be fast, it could be propelled by various means that are avilable to us now or in the near future. Plus with the exponential rate at which technology is increasing, it would not be too far fetched to have at least major space travel and colonization, if not even interstellar, in the next 2 centuies.

    Nasa my justbe stagnating with probes and old shuttles but the privite space indudtry is set to break out in the next 50 years, so anything is possible.
  7. Jul 26, 2005 #6
    According to Nikolai Kardeshev it will be perhaps two to five thousand years before we are physically and mentally able to begin exploration of even a modest porstion of our galaxy

    http://www.futurehi.net/archives/000105.html read this
  8. Jul 26, 2005 #7


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    Getting to the next star in 2 centuries IS fairly swift, as I recall. Can anyone compute the amount of energy needed to do that? (And maybe report it as a multiple of the current yearly energy consumption of the entire Earth?)
  9. Jul 27, 2005 #8
    doesnt the energy required depend on what exactly we are moving there or what vehicle we are using
  10. Jul 27, 2005 #9


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    But there are estimates you can do, and stuff. For example, if you assume the ship carries its own fuel, you could compute the theoretical minimum amount of fuel required to send the (virtually massless) fuel canister 4 light-years in 200 centuries.
  11. Jul 27, 2005 #10


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    I don't think interstellar probes or ships will carry much fuel. They'll need to be sweeping up hydrogen as they go, and using that for fuel. I forget where I read about that -- either sci-fi or maybe a Sagan book. You'd want to first build probes that could sweep up hydrogen and get close to c on their trip. Send a few probes to nearby stuff a few light-years out. Sending people out just won't make sense for a long time, IMO.
  12. Jul 27, 2005 #11
    We can barely perform a mission to mars, it will be impossible for humanity to built a space ark in the next couple of centuries.
  13. Jul 27, 2005 #12
    I bet we will see some kind of solar system cruise ship built within some of our life times. It will be built totally in space and passengers will need to be ferried from the earth to the ship and then back again. It will be crude and extremely expensive, but it could be built if investors feel there is enough demand for such a venture.
  14. Jul 27, 2005 #13
    Larry Niven, for one. Read his book "A Gift From Earth". It's an interesting story, which deals with 'Robot Ramscoops' and 'slowboats'. It is one of his books on early trips to 'nearby' systems.

  15. Jul 27, 2005 #14


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    Well, it really depends on the propulsion system you use. for a chemical rocket it would take something in the order of 1 X10^700kg of fuel for every kg of payload. If we could ever develop a fusion drive, theoretically you could get it down to about 2 kg of fuel per Kg of payload.

    For now, the most efficient system we have on the drawing boards is the VASIMR and it would take something in the order of 500 million kg reaction mass per kg payload. (plus the nuclear fuel needed to run the power plant)
  16. Jul 28, 2005 #15
    Most of the analysis of when or how we can do such things center on

    But the truth is we already have the technology to colonize the moon
    and mars, and probably to build such a space Ark. (Sure, the propulsion
    would be problematic but if it's a self sufficient Ark and you don't care
    how long the trip takes, we have the technology now.)

    What we lack is the global industrial capacity.

    The construction of the Great Pyramid in Egypt probably consumed
    a large portion of the industrial capacity of that part of the world
    at the time. Today of course because of machines and a vastly
    larger population we have covered the earth with cities containing
    structures which in the aggregate are many thousands of times
    the size of the great pyramid.

    What we need to get into space in such an Ark is
    1) a much larger human population
    2) an intelligent, able and technically educated population to
    maximize the industrial output of the planet

    What will be accomplished by great advances in propulsion technology
    will be to merely to lower the cost of construction. This will make it
    happen sooner of course, but the reason we don't do it is because the
    world economy isn't up to the task.
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