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Old 12-06-2016, 05:10 AM #1
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Default What's up with Proxima Centauri b

Let's talk about Proxima Centauri b. I've been hearing talk lately about sending microprobes to this newly found planet using lasers. Supposedly several people including Stephen Hawking have decided to spend $100 million dollars developing these probes that will travel at 134 million miles per hour which is one fifth the speed of light in a vacuum. They plan to shoot a laser at a sail that's going to be one to three meters wide and a few atoms thick.This will immediately accelerate it. Current problems include slowing down once reaching the planet and star system, colliding with interstellar dust particles, and actually aiming the devices at the star and planets. I read that the technology might only be 20 years away and will take the craft 25 years to cross the 1.3 parsecs. Add on that 4.2 years for the already weak signal to get back and you have about 50 years from now possibly blurred images of a craft speeding past a star and planet at break neck speeds.

Do you think this is all possible?

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/04/...-space-probes/

edit: sorry, development budget right now is 100 million but projected cost is 10-24 billion. At least I heard that on youtube. We're talking trumps wall prices.


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Old 12-06-2016, 05:14 AM #2
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Default Re: What's up with Proxima Centauri b

I've read about this as well. I think it's possible. Possible for 100 million dollars though? I don't think so!

-Alex
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:26 AM #3
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Default Re: What's up with Proxima Centauri b

We have the technology to do all sorts of crazy stuff nowadays, but it seems like people dont want to spend the money to do those amazing things anymore.

PS: its sad that i had to log into my account on LPF again... i really should be on here more.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:00 AM #4
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Default Re: What's up with Proxima Centauri b

I don't know about all this theory but I tell you what, Alpha and Beta Centauri are beautiful to look at through my telescope !!
They look like 'Headlights' of an on-coming car approaching.

So cool.

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Old 12-06-2016, 08:16 AM #5
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Default Re: What's up with Proxima Centauri b

This is definitely possible for us to do. But based on what Alex and Micheal said, money is what gets them there in the end, not technology.
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:51 AM #6
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Default Re: What's up with Proxima Centauri b

The question would be what the point of such a mission would be.

It essentially comes down to speeding up a thing comparable to a gopro camera to 20% of light speed, trying to take a few shots of this planet as it whizzes by (no way to brake, so it's going to do a 0.2 c flyby) that then takes 4 years to make the data back to earth.

I'm sure it could be done given enough money thrown at it, but who would want to? It's likely to be a non-hospitable planet to begin with. IF you could actually land on it this may still be interesting, but you cannot do that using this technology, unless you consider ramming something at 60.000 km/sec "landing".
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