There is promising new work to pursue a deep space robotic interstellar mission.
This initiative, called Interstellar Research, could capture a unified view of our world. heliospheretowards the close interstellar space. All this sounds too lofty, ambitious, and difficult to do.
But proponents say there’s no need to wait for new technology — it’s here and NASA could be the choice of a booster for the mission. Space Launch System (SLS).
Related: A Wild ‘Interstellar Exploration’ Mission Idea Gains Momentum
Physicist Ralph McNutt Jr. says, “It’s not about where we’re going. It’s about the journey outside. And it’s a journey long overdue.” at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.
As visualized in a recent study, Interstellar Exploration will use today’s technology to take the first clear step towards interstellar exploration, and may pave the way scientifically, technically and programmatically for more ambitious future journeys – and to conquer more. -to achieve scientific goals.
Also, with a new class of super-heavy-load launch vehicles in the works—notably NASA’s SLS—a scientifically challenging Interstellar Research mission could now become a reality.
“Our team worked hard to ensure the study was as complete and detailed as possible, while also creating a ‘wide web of possibilities.’ Say,” McNutt said.
The Interstellar Probe is a decades-old mission to reach a few hundreds. astronomical units (AU) far Soil While providing new unified, measurements of conditions throughout the heliosphere and throughout the heliosheath – the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around us Sun.
It will continue the relay race that started by advancing on the Interstellar Probe. pioneer 10followed by passenger 1 and passenger 2.
We already have the technology to travel as far and as fast as possible: the cargo version of the Space Launch System Block 2 can be used to transport spacecraft as well as stage 3 and 4 rocket boosters. solar system Escape velocities of at least twice that of Voyager 1 – up to 7.2 astronomical units per year – should be possible using this system.
Launching a probe on such an adventure has been debated for almost half a century, McNutt said. With the 40-year-old Voyagers closing their operational life As power supplies continue to dwindle, further progress requires a new initiative, he said.
the furthest presence
“We the human race have been moving further and further away from the Sun since the launch of Pioneer 10 in 1972. Since then, Always It was the ‘most distant being’, moving towards regions in the solar system and beyond, McNutt told Space.com.
In the next ten years, the Voyagers will be silent. McNutt added that it’s a matter of physics, engineering, and “cold equations.”
“So the question is: Does this also herald a retreat from pushing the limits of knowledge, or at least the handing over of the stick to a different player on this planet? We make the history of future generations,” said McNutt, “and we do it by our actions every day of our lives. Who are we to deprive the next generation of the next step to the stars? Why now? Rather: Why not now?”
“I think the Interstellar Probe is an amazing concept,” said Paul Gilster, the creative driver behind the website. Centaurus Dreams (opens in new tab) – Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration. This is a mission that could take us to 1000 AU in 50 years and give us a perspective to view the heliosphere from the outside.
“In that sense, it’s both a heliophysics mission and a deep space mission with implications for future exploration. solar winda possible source of motivation for the future sailing shipand their interactions with interstellar conditions,” Gilster told Space.com.
Gilster said the Interstellar Probe needs to be seen in context.
There are currently two NASA Voyager spacecraft, and they will be joined by NASA’s spacecraft at some point. new horizons prob.
But neither these missions nor the previous NASA Pioneer spacecraft were built to study space outside our solar system, the region known as the Local Interstellar Medium. “The Interstellar Probe will be the first mission whose instrumentation has been explicitly designed with this mission in mind,” Gilster said.
Gilster said he often hears objections when talking about the Interstellar Probe: Is it just “Voyager Plus?” And who wants to wait 50 years for data? But these are false assumptions, he said.
Interstellar Probe is a completely new class of tasks designed to work far beyond the world. Kuiper Belt. The 50-year period is a target for 1000 AU and is based on optimistic ideas of how to find the necessary “delta-V” – the amount of “effort” needed to move from one orbital to another by orbital maneuvering.
“But the point is, the Interstellar Probe will do science all the way,” Gilster said. Said. “We’re going to learn a lot more about the interstellar medium, but also about long-lived electronics, deep space communications, and the nature of our Sun’s journey on Earth, than Voyagers can tell us each year that this mission is flying. galaxy with a protective heliosphere. We will also have plenty of targets for study as the Interstellar Probe moves between the outer solar system and its abundant Kuiper Belt Objects.”
deep space pioneer
Gilster envisions the Interstellar Probe as a harbinger of deeper space, because humanity will eventually want to use the technologies of the future. Oort Cloud Comets to explore this vast, largely unknown region
“It’s perfectly fitting that Voyager veteran Ralph McNutt, who has done so much for our species to explore the solar system, is the principal investigator of the first probe designed to leave that system,” Gilster said. “I wish him and his team the best of luck at APL as he navigates the approval process he must follow.”
For a detailed look at how this task can be accomplished, read the team’s post »Interstellar exploration — Destination: Universe (opens in new tab)!” in the journal Acta Astronautica.
Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or he Facebook (opens in new tab).
Leave a Comment