2079: "Alpha Centauri"

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crystalmeph
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2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby crystalmeph » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:08 pm UTC

Image

Alt-text: And let's be honest, it's more like two and a half stars. Proxima is barely a star and barely bound to the system.

0.1c is no joke. Make sure you've got a lot of shielding, or just lots of different probes so that you still have some left after losing 99.9% of them.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:23 pm UTC

Anyone who's played the original Civilization knows that you don't launch until you can get transit time under about 20 years.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby svenman » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:42 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Anyone who's played the original Civilization knows that you don't launch until you can get transit time under about 20 years.

And that you can further reduce that transit time by a whole lot through equipping your spaceship with just the bare minimum of habitation/life support but the largest possible number of propulsion modules.
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:52 pm UTC

I rarely laugh out loud at XKCD, but "three stars" got me good.

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Soupspoon
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:14 pm UTC

crystalmeph wrote:0.1c is no joke. Make sure you've got a lot of shielding, or just lots of different probes so that you still have some left after losing 99.9% of them.

…to the swarms of other probes being sent the other way/cross-ways.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:25 pm UTC

Can NASA even control Voyager 1 or 2 anymore or just receive their signals?

Even if you could, do either Voyagers have any delta V left at this point?
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crystalmeph
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby crystalmeph » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:41 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:Can NASA even control Voyager 1 or 2 anymore or just receive their signals?

Even if you could, do either Voyagers have any delta V left at this point?


The attitude control thrusters are still functioning, but Voyager 1's AC thrusters are not working as well as they used to, so NASA recently verified that they can use the trajectory correction thrusters to also control attitude. They don't mention how much Delta-V is left, but I can't imagine it's anywhere near enough to target anything that's not already directly in the crosshairs, so they probably are reserving all remaining fuel for attitude control.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:09 pm UTC

crystalmeph wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:Can NASA even control Voyager 1 or 2 anymore or just receive their signals?

Even if you could, do either Voyagers have any delta V left at this point?


The attitude control thrusters are still functioning, but Voyager 1's AC thrusters are not working as well as they used to, so NASA recently verified that they can use the trajectory correction thrusters to also control attitude. They don't mention how much Delta-V is left, but I can't imagine it's anywhere near enough to target anything that's not already directly in the crosshairs, so they probably are reserving all remaining fuel for attitude control.


The only question left is "Will it be able to relay any new useful information or are we merely just waiting to announce the day that we can no longer receive any signal from Voyager 1?"
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby DavidSh » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:31 pm UTC

JPL says that they expect to have to turn off the last science instrument about 2025, because of low power levels. At the moment, they each have the Cosmic Ray Subsystem, Low Energy Charged Particles, Magnetometer, Plasma Wave Subsystem instruments functioning, and Voyager 2 also has the Plasma Science instrument functioning. Expect these to be turned off one by one as the available power drops.

It's useful data to those studying the interaction of the heliosphere with the interstellar medium.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby J%r » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:07 pm UTC

35 years? Wouldn't there be a risk of drone riots causing the probe to split up before arrival?

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby fibonacci » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:11 am UTC

Just have Chairman Yang Nerve Staple them, no more drone riots. ;)

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StClair
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby StClair » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:41 am UTC

I groaned. Good bad joke.

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Cougar Allen
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Cougar Allen » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:59 am UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:
The only question left is "Will it be able to relay any new useful information or are we merely just waiting to announce the day that we can no longer receive any signal from Voyager 1?"

Before that happens I expect it'll be good for at least a few more announcements that it's finally left the solar system. Six or eight more boundaries, maybe.... 8-)

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Himself » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:20 am UTC

It's still a lot better than our system. Only one star.
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby x7eggert » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:16 am UTC

J%r wrote:35 years? Wouldn't there be a risk of drone riots causing the probe to split up before arrival?

No, as long as they have Unimatrix 0, they are happy.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby x7eggert » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:28 am UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:Before that happens I expect it'll be good for at least a few more announcements that it's finally left the solar system. Six or eight more boundaries, maybe.... 8-)


It's not easy to tell when you finally left the wibbelly-wobbely timey-wimey ball of solar wind. It's like "I finally left the ocean - no, there is one more wave …", except with larger waves.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:04 am UTC

crystalmeph wrote:0.1c is no joke. Make sure you've got a lot of shielding, or just lots of different probes so that you still have some left after losing 99.9% of them.


Your math is off. The probe has to accelara, and possibly decelerate. Assuming constant acceleration throughout it's going to be going at like .2-.3c, at least from our perspective.


As for all the SMAC jokes, I just have a question. So, the fungus being a neural network and all, where did that scifi concept originate? I know Avatar stole it from somewhere, but I'm sure it wasnt from SMAC.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby fibonacci » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:26 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:As for all the SMAC jokes, I just have a question. So, the fungus being a neural network and all, where did that scifi concept originate? I know Avatar stole it from somewhere, but I'm sure it wasnt from SMAC.


At a guess, it goes at least as far back as the story concept of ley lines and faerie rings and stands of talking trees growing along them. As far as citations, I'm going to venture a guess and say one would need to brush up on either Old Norse or Welsh to find one that could be called earliest.

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CorruptUser
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:10 pm UTC

I wouldn't really call the faerie rings that. I'm talking about the concept of the planet's biomass as one giant brain, not some Star Wars-esque Zen type "everything is connected by the Force" or whatever.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby DavidSh » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:47 pm UTC

The oldest version of "all of a planet's life forming a single consciousness" I can find is Isaac Asimov's Green Patches, from 1950. The method of interconnection isn't specified there, however.

fibonacci
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby fibonacci » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:01 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I wouldn't really call the faerie rings that. I'm talking about the concept of the planet's biomass as one giant brain, not some Star Wars-esque Zen type "everything is connected by the Force" or whatever.


I, on the other hand, would count them.

There's more to the fungal network in SMAC than just the blue kitty Avatar scenario. The idea of being able to walk into a hillside, or mushroom ring, or what appears to be a solid tree and traveling through a living network of beings along some paranormal current line fits the story line of SMAC to a T. Sometimes stepping out into an entirely otherworldly realm, or another location in the human realm. Don't forget that investigating a pod sometimes clones the unit, or whisks it away to another spot elsewhere on the planet's surface. And then there are the monoliths. Stories of the fair folk often include dopplegangers and changelings.

For that matter, I would likewise definitely include some of H.P. Lovecraft's writings describing an entire city that's tough to tell whether of natural or artificial construction, and very clearly shows signs of being alive.

"For I Have Tasted The Fungus (Why Prophet Cha Dawn Can't Blink)"

Also, how's circa 400 B.C. for the idea that the world is alive, has a soul, and possesses intelligence?

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CorruptUser
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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:36 am UTC

Not really, no. Anima Mundi is The Force mumbo jumbo, not the SMAC "all the plants are actually a neural network, and the mindworms are the white blood cells as envisioned by the lovechild of HR Giger and HP Lovecraft".

And that's not mumbo jumbo?

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby x7eggert » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:05 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:As for all the SMAC jokes, I just have a question. So, the fungus being a neural network and all, where did that scifi concept originate? I know Avatar stole it from somewhere, but I'm sure it wasnt from SMAC.


The fungus in our woods _does_ connect the trees, it's called "wood wide web". (un?)forunately it's over-hyped, it's mostly pr0n.

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Mikeski » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:24 am UTC

x7eggert wrote:The fungus in our woods _does_ connect the trees, it's called "wood wide web". (un?)forunately it's over-hyped, it's mostly pr0n.

That's what really happened to the entwives? They all left because the ents were just watching dryad pr0n all day?

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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Ken_g6 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:36 pm UTC

Himself wrote:It's still a lot better than our system. Only one star.

Ooh, good point! Although Jupiter is close enough to being a star that it's more like one-and-a-half stars. :mrgreen:

Maybe when we get fusion reactors going we'll be considered to have more stars? :P

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Old Bruce
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Re: 2079: Alpha Centauri

Postby Old Bruce » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:14 pm UTC

Ken_g6 wrote:
Himself wrote:It's still a lot better than our system. Only one star.

Ooh, good point! Although Jupiter is close enough to being a star that it's more like one-and-a-half stars. :mrgreen:

Maybe when we get fusion reactors going we'll be considered to have more stars? :P

What about all those H bomb tests?

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Reka
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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby Reka » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:06 pm UTC

Who or what is "SMAC"?

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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:16 pm UTC

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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby pebkac » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:16 pm UTC

Yeah, maybe only 3 stars, but one of 'm is class M, according to Wikipedia.

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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby ijuin » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:26 pm UTC

Yes, but it means a different thing for a star to be Class M than for a planet to be Class M.

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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby Sableagle » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:38 pm UTC

Means you need to plan things on your generation ship to make sure everybody on board is at least 21 years old by the time they pass its Kuiper Belt.
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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:53 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Yes, but it means a different thing for a star to be Class M than for a planet to be Class M.

Thankfully. "Not on fire" is an excellent feature for a planet to have, from my perspective.

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Re: 2079: "Alpha Centauri"

Postby ijuin » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:43 am UTC

Yes, so far we’ve found quite a lot of planets that fail the “not on fire” requirement.


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