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Old 07-28-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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The Vacuum to Antimatter-Rocket Interstellar Explorer System, or "VARIES" is an interesting project that seeks to create antimatter for an interstellar ship. Although still very experimental, it uses technology that is within the confines of known physics. Although the engineering would be no small feat.

Using Lasers and Antimatter to Trek to the Stars : Discovery News


VARIES project proposes antimatter starship mission


"If this phenomenon pans out, VARIES would exploit it by way of an unmanned starship with huge solar panels that would collect the sun’s rays. These would, in turn, power banks of x-ray free electron lasers to charge the vacuum and create antimatter, which would then be collected and stored aboard as fuel for the journey."
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Interesting concept, and it is indeed within the realm of physics, also known as the "Schwinger mechanism." Assuming that we had enough antimatter to make a trip to Alpha Centauri A, 4.367 light years away, while accelerating at 1G half way there, then decelerating at 1G the other half of the way there, it would take 3.584 years to get there from the perspective of those on-board the spacecraft. From the perspective of those on Earth, it would take 6.004 years to get there as a result of relativistic effects.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
Interesting concept, and it is indeed within the realm of physics, also known as the "Schwinger mechanism." Assuming that we had enough antimatter to make a trip to Alpha Centauri A, 4.367 light years away, while accelerating at 1G half way there, then decelerating at 1G the other half of the way there, it would take 3.584 years to get there from the perspective of those on-board the spacecraft. From the perspective of those on Earth, it would take 6.004 years to get there as a result of relativistic effects.
Would they be able to take advantage of the slingshot effect or would they just take off in this scenario?
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
Would they be able to take advantage of the slingshot effect or would they just take off in this scenario?
The method I used would be if the spacecraft just took off accelerating and decelerating at a constant 1G. If they were to slingshot themselves around the sun, it would take less time because they would be accelerating faster than 1G. Depending on how much faster, that may not be a fun experience for anyone living.

Communications would be interesting. From the perspective on Earth, it would be 10.371 years from the time the spacecraft launched before we received word that the spacecraft had arrived at Alpha Centauri A. If the spacecraft were to turn around immediately and head back to Earth, the crew aboard the spacecraft will have only experienced a total round-trip travel time of 7.168 years. While the perspective on Earth would be a total travel time of 12.008 years, meaning the spacecraft would have returned to Earth 1.637 years after Earth received the communication that the spacecraft had arrived at Alpha Centauri A.

Last edited by Glitch; 08-08-2012 at 12:24 PM..
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