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Old 05-09-2012, 11:38 AM
 
5,206 posts, read 8,210,851 times
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
I just had a thought. There was the stairs problem in another string and I got to thinking whether or not tidal effects might screw up things. Then when I got here, the tidal effects from the sun could screw things up with such a big ship as it slingshots around the sun.
Depending on the kind of propulsion system a ship uses, it might not need a gravity assisted boost. If a large craft includes solar sails, that could be used for braking as well as launching out of a solar system without having the need to go near the sun or any other star. Braking and acceleration is painfully slow. One concept suggests that laser beams aimed at the sails could speed up the process without depending on the sun or star for photons.

Another possibility is if a ship could somehow use antimatter as a fuel to get around. There could be a big risks with an antimatter drive though. As I understand, unless it can be done in small bursts, you might not want to go near any planets, maybe not even enter a solar system, if it produces enormously powerful and ever growing shockwave cones of intense radiation which could blast away the atmosphere from a potentially habitable planet as you pass by, not to mention kill most, if not all life forms living on such a planet.

Same thing would apply to crafts that could travel at near light speed. Even if the ship slows down, the amount of intense radiation from high speed sub-atomic particle collisions following the ship would still be traveling at near light speed, even if the ship has shielding to protect the space travelers. A solution might be to park a mother ship well outside of a solar system and send in fleets of progressively smaller crafts deployed to travel closer in and land. An antimatter drive could be useful for deep interstellar travel though. Presumably, if such enormous interstellar crafts could be built, the risks would be understood well enough as to how best avoid or reduce such problems.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,203 posts, read 21,312,970 times
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Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
I dunno about you but if I were still here in a billion years I'd be pretty bored of this solar system and Earth...

How about this? (Larry Niven's Ringworld)



The heck with mud ball Earth....
You make a good point. There is so much we will be able to do in 1 billion years that I think its impossible for us to know what will happen to our sun.

Personally if I do live that long, and I hope to, I will defiantly leave the galaxy and explore the universe but I think I would come back as I am from here and this should always be my home. So if the time comes and the sun begins to go and I am around I would do what I could to save it and Earth.
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