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Old 02-16-2019, 12:39 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default α Centauri mission--to scale!

Hello All,

The following “taped-out” and “driven-out” (from his home state!) video (see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCSIXLIzhzk ) does a great job of illustrating both the distances between—*and* the relative sizes of—the Sun, Venus, Earth, our Moon, Jupiter, Pluto (plus one of the Voyagers' distance from the Sun), Proxima Centauri, Alpha Centauri A and B (including the stellar sizes and distances *within* the α Centauri system), Sirius, and Betelgeuse, and:

He even gave the scale velocity of his scale voyage to the α Centauri system, and what the stars’ scale brightnesses would be. On his scale, the Sun was the size of a pea (which he also used to demonstrate occulting the solar disc, and how difficult and exacting direct imaging of extrasolar planets is, using that method). Also:

This video illustrates how almost unimaginably far away even our ^nearest^ stellar neighbor, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (at 4.24 light-years) is, and how distant Proxima is even from *its* closest neighbors, α Centauri A and B, which lie 4.37 light-years from our Sun. (Proxima Centauri is invisible to the naked eye from Earth, and even inhabitants--or future human colonists--of any planets orbiting α Centauri A or B would not--unless they were seeking it in the night sky--notice dim Proxima Centauri among the other stars, nor would its ^very^ slow orbital motion around α Centauri A and B be detectable without precision instruments.) Their night sky and constellations would look almost identical to ours, except for the absence of one of the two stars to the left of Crux, the Southern Cross. On the opposite side of the sky, they would see a sixth, "extra" star in the five-star, "M"-shaped Cassiopeia--our Sun. The fact that we, in 2019, are able to even seriously plan for launching interstellar probes to the α Centauri system in this century is virtually miraculous.
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Last edited by blackshire : 02-16-2019 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:47 AM
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luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
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Yep...

Years ago I did some math and made a scale model of the solar system based on a 12 inch schoolroom globe for the Earth. It's worth noting that the space shuttle, at that scale, never flew (or could fly) more than a little less than 1/2 inch away from that typical 12 inch globe. The furthest humans have ever been is 31 feet away to the Moon, which would be about a 4 inch ball... (softball, roughly). At that scale, Pluto is about 220 miles away. The Sun is only 2.2 miles away.

If we added Proxima Centauri to our model, it would be located ON THE PLANET MARS, in this same scale-- over 36 MILLION miles away...

Later! OL J R
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:52 AM
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Decades ago I built a "semi-scale" Minuteman III and a similar Soviet SS-17 nuclear missile model rocket... They had different scales, because I used tubes I had available, but they were broadly close in scale size.

For giggles I plugged in the maximum range and nuclear yields of the two missiles into my scale factor... I was rather shocked when I discovered that *IF* my model was capable of the same level of performance as the *real thing*, only in scale to the real thing, the Minuteman model rocket would be capable of delivering a warhead *almost* to San Antonio (210 miles from here) and would detonate with a scale yield of about 18 kilotons... and the SS-17 would deliver it's model warhead (which would be about the size of an incense cone for both models) just past San Antonio from here near Houston (to about Boerne) where it would detonate with a force of about 22 kilotons actual yield...

Of course our model rockets don't fly anywhere NEAR that far!

Later! OL J R
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Yep...

Years ago I did some math and made a scale model of the solar system based on a 12 inch schoolroom globe for the Earth. It's worth noting that the space shuttle, at that scale, never flew (or could fly) more than a little less than 1/2 inch away from that typical 12 inch globe. The furthest humans have ever been is 31 feet away to the Moon, which would be about a 4 inch ball... (softball, roughly). At that scale, Pluto is about 220 miles away. The Sun is only 2.2 miles away.

If we added Proxima Centauri to our model, it would be located ON THE PLANET MARS, in this same scale-- over 36 MILLION miles away...

Later! OL J R
I've read about and seen pictures of Solar System models designed to that scale, but not ones that brought in Proxima Centauri (those decreased the scale sizes to a large extent). At your scale, Alpha Centauri A & B would be 28,600 miles from Proxima Centauri, and Alpha Centauri A and B would be a maximum of 220 miles from each other (the minimum distance would be about that between Saturn and the Sun). Also:

It's amazing how many people don't realize that almost since the dawn of the Space Age, interstellar spaceflight has been possible. In "The Promise of Space" in 1968, Arthur C. Clarke described the 500-pound Jupiter probe study, which became Pioneers F (10), G (11), and the built-but-not-flown H (now hanging in the National Air & Space Museum, as Pioneer 10), and:

The proposal was to use Jupiter's gravity to [1] escape from the Solar System, [2] cancel out the probe's velocity so that it would fall into the Sun, and [3] travel far above or below (north or south of) the ecliptic. Pioneer 10 flew mission type [1], mission type [2] wasn't flown, and Pioneer 11 flew a modified mission type [3], passing north of the ecliptic--but not above the Sun's north pole--and then flying by Saturn as it passed back down through the ecliptic. The NASA Ames Research Center tried to fly Pioneer H (which would have become Pioneer 12, following a successful launch) on a "full" out-of-ecliptic mission, above one or both of the Sun's poles after a Jupiter flyby, but that silicon-scaled, winged monstrosity had already begun to consume much of the NASA budget, so Pioneer H is today a stand-in for Pioneer 10 at the NASM, at zero ecliptic latitude. As well:

Clarke wrote (regarding these missions): "Space is full of subtleties and surprises. It is hard to believe that the rocket that put John Glenn into orbit could also serve to send a payload to the Sun--or to Proxima Centauri." Most people will then object that the time factor is prohibitive, but it really isn't. The "time barrier" isn't based on physics or even engineering, but purely on biology, and only human biology. To beings who are immortal (and even on Earth, amoebae--and possibly certain jellyfish--are immortal), or even "just" very long-lived, the universe--and especially interstellar distances--wouldn't seem very large at all. But even all-too-mortal human beings may be able to become effectively immortal, by utilizing technology that was foreseeable in the 1960s:

In their 1966 book, "Intelligent Life in the Universe," Carl Sagan and I.S. Shklovsky described a method by which suspended animation might be achieved by starship crews. At a pressure of 3,000 atmospheres, water ice becomes Ice II, whose volume is almost exactly to that of an equal mass of *liquid* water at normal ambient Earth-surface conditions. This may enable human beings to be frozen indefinitely, thawed, and resuscitated without damage to their cellular structures. The crew's living quarters could be slowly raised to 3,000 atm. before the freezing process, and slowly lowered to 1 atm. afterward, with the partial-pressure mixture of atmospheric gases (nitrogen/oxygen, or possibly helium/oxygen) being varied as needed during the pressure changes.
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Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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Last edited by blackshire : 03-01-2019 at 10:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2019, 08:49 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Decades ago I built a "semi-scale" Minuteman III and a similar Soviet SS-17 nuclear missile model rocket... They had different scales, because I used tubes I had available, but they were broadly close in scale size.

For giggles I plugged in the maximum range and nuclear yields of the two missiles into my scale factor... I was rather shocked when I discovered that *IF* my model was capable of the same level of performance as the *real thing*, only in scale to the real thing, the Minuteman model rocket would be capable of delivering a warhead *almost* to San Antonio (210 miles from here) and would detonate with a scale yield of about 18 kilotons... and the SS-17 would deliver it's model warhead (which would be about the size of an incense cone for both models) just past San Antonio from here near Houston (to about Boerne) where it would detonate with a force of about 22 kilotons actual yield...

Of course our model rockets don't fly anywhere NEAR that far!

Later! OL J R
*That* would make a unique YouTube tutorial video! That illustrates how much "mere" *chemical* energy is concentrated in small volumes and masses (in "The Promise of Space," Arthur C. Clarke pointed out how a mass of kerosene and liquid oxygen--or even of gasoline and LOX, sufficient for complete combustion of both--contains several times as much energy as an equal mass of TNT). The scale warhead yields show, even more dramatically, how even fission reactions release, pound for pound, about a million times as much energy as chemical reactions (as well as the ^exponential^ differences in intensity between fission and fusion reactions).
__________________
Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
NAR #54895 SR
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