Gram-scale StarChip components | Protective coating

Mar 29, 2021 18:56 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

John, folding the sail has been considered, and may ultimately be a good solution. One issue with putting holes in the sail is that it may be necessary to use it as a dish for communications back to Earth, in which case it would need to be as intact as possible.

The mass is most important during the acceleration phase, since that will determine the speed of the craft. Discarding mass after the acceleration phase won’t help.

Prof. Zac Manchester,
Carnegie Mellon University

Jul 11, 2022 04:09 Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Gotta say it...
This is a big stretch.
As we know from Oumuamua, the Interstellar comet, the effects of interstellar space travel are probably going to be too rigorous for a lightweight sail. When we take into account that we want that sail to be moving at 20% of the speed of light, and any collisions with interstellar dust, this is probably beyond our technological reach.

Unless Vibranium, the stuff used for Captain America's shield, really exists...

Look, the speed, using lasers and sails, is possible, but not probable.

ANY propulsion we develop that will go a significant portion of the speed of light will require a ship made of indestructible material, OR a shield, probably based on a magnetic field, which would handle Interstellar dust perfectly.

Of course, that magnetic shield would require more power, increasing the mass of any ship and making a sail less probable.

Jul 11, 2022 04:22 Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

If you haven't looked at Oumuamua, the first Interstellar object humanity has collected data on, then you're not serious about Interstellar travel.

Sep 20, 2023 19:10 Dennis Coates Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

At 20% the speed of light, an impact with a speck of dust would create such energy that would penetrate any sail of any material. And at that distance, many specks of dust, and larger, a very likely. The concept sounds like an impractical fantasy. It begs the question: Not how to get there, but WHY? To say "we did it!"?

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