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spurius

I wish they would forget about mars........

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Problem is they do not send a misson to Neptune or Uranus as a direct flight cannot get enough fuel on board. They have to slingshot off of another planet ot two. That means that these other planets Mars, Jupiter, Saturn even Venus have to be in the correct positions for it to be possible. SImply they are not. So no slingshot means no misson to anything out there.

It is not a case of no-one wants to go, just no-one can go.

James Kirk never had this problem, he used to whizz about the Universe going where no man had gone before completely ignoring gravity.

I guess we'll be going knowhere until we invent the anti gravity engine and warp drive (hope someones' working on it) :)

Dave

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Big problem with space exploration, using people at least, is the effects of radiation on the body. Extended journeys are just not feasible.

Using one of the inner planets as a stepping stone for probes isn't practical either, unless they can scavenge fuel as overcoming the gravitational pull of the 'stepping stone's needs a bit of oomph.

At present I fear we are limited to exploration using probes, unless it's to the moon. A manned base there, for research and helium mining, would be the best we can hope I think.

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

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But who really wants to go on a one way journey ?

Sent from my GT-P7510

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But who really wants to go on a one way journey ?

Sent from my GT-P7510

I would.

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To date we only have evidence of life here, on Earth. The most practical, accessible place that we have to try to detect signs of (probably past) life elsewhere is Mars. And we've barely touched the place.

I suspect if we find anything it won't be dramatically novel and won't answer the question of whether life sprung up spontaneously and independently on the two planets*. But we'd have found life somewhere other than Earth. That would be one heck of a milestone in our history. It might also be a good thing to establish before we go trampling all over the place.

*But it could.

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if your a fan of 80's action movies and arnie (total recall) then like me mars might be your favourite planet.. i love the little red blighter.

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The reason why we can't get over Mars has something to do with the possibility with life. I think that people think Mars is all the big hype because they don't pay attention to the lesser known probes such as New Horizons, Cassini-Huygens, Mariner 10, Juno. Those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head. As long as Mars is there, we won't take our minds off it. But the same goes for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Josh

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It's about time we sent a probe to another solar system, what's the nearest sun-like ? (Alpha Centauri might be unlikely to harbour life due to it being a multiple system ?)

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Big problem with space exploration, using people at least, is the effects of radiation on the body. Extended journeys are just not feasible.

I did a calculation last month to find out how long it would take to reach Mars when it's at it's closest point to Earth using a constant 1G acceleration to half way point, then rotate the space craft 180 deg and do a constant 1G deceleration. It would take just 44'ish hours to get there (in a straight line) with the added bonus of not having to cope with a prolonged zero G environment.

All we need do now is to create a powerful enough ION engine to provide that 1G constant acceleration.

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Technology wise we're as capable of putting man on Mars now as we were of putting man on the Moon 50 years ago. We just need the political desire to get it built.

Yep. As soon as there is money to be made, or votes in it then people will be getting sent up in enormous rockets again.

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It's about time we sent a probe to another solar system, what's the nearest sun-like ? (Alpha Centauri might be unlikely to harbour life due to it being a multiple system ?)

You can imagine, have you seen this. It is a few years old but good to feed the imagination a bit.

I think we do very well with all the probes, landers and various scopes that get put into space.

When you consider that practically all of these operations are funded by the USA and they willingly pass it all out to the rest of the world we ought to feel lucky that they happily share the information and knowledge with us.

A good question to ask would be how good would our knowledge of space be without what the US has done in this field. I very much doubt we would have got anywhere near the wealth of information we have about the outer planets and no other country would have given us a Hubble Space Telescope.

No other country would have come close to doing what they have done with such amazing success. We would all still probably be dreaming about putting a lander on Mars.

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A good question to ask would be how good would our knowledge of space be without what the US has done in this field.

In modern terms, I agree. But it's all a case if 'standing on the shoulders of giant's, as where would they be without early European and Arabic astronomers work.

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

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In modern terms, I agree. But it's all a case if 'standing on the shoulders of giant's, as where would they be without early European and Arabic astronomers work.

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

Yes you are right. I was only thinking along the lines of space machines and technology..:)

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I think its excellent that we are exploring mars (I have a 6x6ft poster of curiosty on my wall, the self portrait), what if they found evidence of life there.

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I think there is still stuff let to do on Mars, atleast until we can get an ice drill to Europa :D

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It's about time we sent a probe to another solar system, what's the nearest sun-like ? (Alpha Centauri might be unlikely to harbour life due to it being a multiple system ?)

I understand humanity's frustration and sometimes fatiguing interest in our position in the universe, but the issue is its just too big. I can't remember the article i read on this so don't quote me or take it as fact but under current ion propulsion technology a trip to even Alpha Centauri would take something like 2,000 years (someone correct me if i'm wrong). And assuming it even gets there, and nothing goes wrong in that time, and it doesn't collide with one of countless particles of interstellar dust, whatever it finds or sees it would take further years for that signal to come back to us. Then further years for us to send a signal back at it. There's also the issue of terminal mass when it comes to propulsion, where there's a limit of the mass of fuel against how far the fuel will power it (again, a scientist is going to have to come and correct me here and explain that better ;) ).

We'd end up in a technology loop where by the time a probe has made 1% of its journey we'd have developed a better propulsion method which is faster, thus we'll send a new probe to overtake the first one, then once thats 5% on its journey we'll have something faster, so will send that one which will over take it. (you get where i'm going with this).

Until someone can solve that 'Light speed' thing we're not looking good with going anywhere outside our solar system. I envy the generations down the line in thousands of years when this kind of thing might actually happen before them, but unless a green man pops up tomorrow and gives us the gift of light speed, i don't hold any hope of interstellar and most certainly intergalactic exploration any time soon :(

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There's also the issue of terminal mass when it comes to propulsion, where there's a limit of the mass of fuel against how far the fuel will power it (again, a scientist is going to have to come and correct me here and explain that better ;) ).

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There's also the issue of terminal mass when it comes to propulsion, where there's a limit of the mass of fuel against how far the fuel will power it (again, a scientist is going to have to come and correct me here and explain that better ;) ).

IanL!!! He's rescued so many topics from becoming pure fiction!

I watched a video about light speed the other day and it had a very good way of putting the famous E=mc^2 equation to work. I'll post it later since I can't do all that copy and paste magic on my iPod.

Josh

Edited by Josh Wilson

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I'd not actually be surprised if the fossil remains of some long gone primitive life form were found on Mars. I'm actually half expecting it. Maybe that's why further robotic exploration of Mars fails to excite me.

What I want is to be still alive to see the discovery of actual life. Living life!!

Not too much to ask is it?? :)

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Found it:

This channel (minutephysics) has many more amazing videos to help explain just about anything to do with physics. I always thought that someone would figure out how to break the speed of light but after watching this, it makes much more sense as to why it is impossible. I'll add that light can go the speed it can because photons don't have mass.

Josh

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I'm not so sure we should be dictating what is and what isn't possible in the universe any more, the more we learn the stranger it gets. I think a much better way to put it would be to say with current understanding of the universe this or that is or isn't possible.

We have an awful lot of learning to do, we've really only just begun, I don't think we are in any kind of position to be putting absolute limits on anything/everything as we currently understand it, I don't think it's good science and stifles many lines of thought, a good scientist needs a good imagination and open mindedness to overcome what others keep telling them is impossible or not so.

Indeed our current theories do tell us some things are just not possible, but that is just based on our current level of observation and point of view.

A dream, within a dream.

Edited by Cath

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Found it:

This channel (minutephysics) has many more amazing videos to help explain just about anything to do with physics. I always thought that someone would figure out how to break the speed of light but after watching this, it makes much more sense as to why it is impossible. I'll add that light can go the speed it can because photons don't have mass.

Josh

The main problem with that is, assuming that E=mc2 is correct means that light, or photons, don't have any energy, which is incorrect (otherwise the Sun wouldn't be able to heat the Earth etc.), and if photons do not have mass, then black holes wouldn't be able to trap them.

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