Military Review

Project Longshot. Reach for the stars


The cold glow of the stars is especially beautiful in the winter sky. At this time, the brightest stars and constellations are visible: Orion, Pleiades, Big Dog with dazzling Sirius ...

A quarter of a century ago, the seven midshipmen of the Naval Academy asked themselves an unusual question: how close is modern humanity to the stars? The result of the research was a detailed report, known as the project "Longshot" ("Long shot"). The concept of an automatic interstellar spacecraft that is able to reach the nearest stars in a reasonable amount of time. No millennia of flight and "ships of generations"! The probe should reach the Alpha Centauri neighborhoods already after 100 years from the moment of its launch into space.

Hyperspace, gravity, antimatter and photonic rockets ... No! The main feature of the project was a bet on existing technologies. According to the developers, the Longshot design makes it possible to build a spaceship in the first half of the 21st century!

One hundred years of flight with existing technologies. Unheard of audacity, given the scale of space distances. Between the Sun and Alpha Centauri lies the "black abyss" width 4,36 of St.. of the year. Over 40 trillion kilometers away! The monstrous meaning of this figure becomes clear with the following example.

If you reduce the size of the Sun to the size of a tennis ball, then the entire Solar System will fit in Red Square. The size of the Earth in the chosen scale will decrease to the size of a grain of sand, while the nearest “tennis ball” - Alpha Centauri - will lie on the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

Flying to Alpha Centauri on a conventional “Shuttle” or Soyuz spacecraft would take 190000 years.

A terrible diagnosis sounds like a sentence. Are we doomed to sit on our “grain of sand”, not having the slightest chance of reaching the stars? In popular science journals, there are calculations proving that it is impossible to accelerate a starship to near-light speeds. This will require "burn" all the matter of the solar system.

And yet there is a chance! The Long Shot project proved that the stars are much closer than we can imagine.

A plate with a map of pulsars, showing the location of the Sun in the Galaxy, as well as detailed information about the inhabitants of the Earth is fixed on the Voyager case. It is expected that the aliens will someday find this "stone ax" and come to visit us. But, if we recall the features of the behavior of all technological civilizations on Earth and history America’s conquests by conquistadors, there’s no “peace-loving contact” ...

Mission of the expedition

To reach the Alpha Centauri system in a hundred years.

Unlike other “starships” (“Daedalus”), the “Longshot” project meant going into the orbit of a star system (Alpha and Beta Centauri). This markedly complicated the task and lengthened the flight time, but would allow for a detailed study of the distant stars' surroundings (unlike “Daedal”, which would have rushed past the target in 24 hours and disappeared without a trace in the depths of space).

100 years take flight. Another 4,36 of the year will be required to transfer information to Earth.

Project Longshot. Reach for the stars

Alpha Centauri system compared to Solar System

Astronomers are pinning great hopes on the project - if successful, they will have a fantastic tool for measuring parallax (distance to other stars) with the 4,36 basis of St.. of the year.

The age-old flight through the night also will not pass aimlessly: the device will study the interstellar medium and will allow us to expand our knowledge of the external borders of the solar system.

Shot to the stars

The main and only problem of space travel is colossal distances. Having solved this issue, we will solve all the others. The reduction in flight time will remove the question of the long-term energy source and high reliability of the ship's systems. The problem will be solved with the presence of a person on board. Short-term flight makes complex life support systems and huge stocks of food / water / air on board unnecessary.

But these are distant dreams. In this case it is necessary to deliver an unmanned probe to the stars within one century. We are not able to break the space-time continuum, because the only way out is to increase the ground speed of the "starship".

As shown by the calculation, for a trip to Alpha Centauri in 100 years, at least 4,5% of the speed of light is necessary. 13500 km / s.

There are no fundamental prohibitions that allow bodies in the macrocosm to move at a specified speed, however, its value is monstrously large. For comparison: the speed of the fastest of the spacecraft (probe “New Horizons”) after turning off the upper stage was “only” 16,26 km / s (58636 km / h) relative to the Earth.

Long-shot starship

How to accelerate an interstellar ship to speeds of thousands of kilometers per second? The answer is obvious: you need an engine with a large pitch and a specific impulse of at least 1000000 seconds.

The specific impulse is a measure of the efficiency of a jet engine. It depends on the molecular weight, temperature and gas pressure in the combustion chamber. The greater the pressure difference in the combustion chamber and in the external environment, the greater the flow rate of the working fluid. And, therefore, higher engine efficiency.

The best samples of modern electrojet engines (ERE) have a specific impulse 10000 s; at the outflow rate of charged particle beams - up to 100000 km / s. The consumption of the working fluid (xenon / krypton) is a few milligrams per second. The engine is quietly buzzing throughout the flight, slowly accelerating the unit.

Electric propulsion impresses with its relative simplicity, low cost and the potential to achieve high speeds (tens of km / s), but due to low thrust (less than one Newton), acceleration can take dozens of years.

Another thing is chemical fuel rocket engines, on which the whole of modern space exploration rests. They have a huge thrust (tens and hundreds of tons), but the maximum specific impulse of a three-component LRE (lithium / hydrogen / fluorine) is just 542 s, with a gas outflow rate slightly more than 5 km / s. This is the limit.
Liquid missiles make it possible to increase the speed of a spacecraft by a few km / s in a short time, but they are not capable of anything more. A starship will need an engine on different physical principles.

The creators of "Longshot" considered several exotic ways, including "Light sail", accelerated with a laser power 3,5 terawatts (the method is recognized as not feasible).

To date, the only realistic way to reach the stars is a pulsed nuclear (thermonuclear) engine. The principle of operation is based on laser thermonuclear fusion (LTS), which has been well studied in laboratory conditions. Concentration of a large amount of energy in small volumes of matter in a short period of time (<10 ^ -10 ... 10 ^ -9 s) with inertial plasma confinement.

In the case of Longshot, there is no stable reaction of controlled thermonuclear fusion of speech: prolonged plasma confinement is not required. To create a jet thrust obtained high-temperature clot must immediately "push" a magnetic field over the side of the ship.

The fuel is a mixture of helium-3 / deuterium. The necessary fuel for the interstellar flight will be 264 tons.

Similarly, it is planned to achieve unprecedented efficiency: the calculations show the value of the specific impulse 1,02 million seconds!

As the main source of energy for the power supply of the ship’s systems — lasers of a pulse engine, orientation systems, communications, and scientific instruments — a conventional reactor on fuel-generating uranium assemblies was chosen. The electrical capacity of the installation should be at least 300 kW (thermal power is almost an order of magnitude higher).

From the point of view of modern technology, the creation of a reactor that does not require recharging for a whole century is a difficult task, but possible in practice. Already, on combat ships, YSU is used, whose active zone has a service life comparable to that of ships (30-50 years). With power, there is also complete order - for example, the nuclear installation OK-650, installed on submarine nuclear-powered ships of the Russian Navy, has a thermal power of 190 megawatts and is capable of providing electricity to an entire city with a population of 50000 people!

Such installations are excessively powerful for space. It requires compactness and exact compliance with the specified characteristics. For example, 10 July 1987 was launched "Cosmos-1867" - the Soviet satellite with the nuclear installation "Yenisei" (satellite mass - 1,5 tons, thermal power of the reactor - 150 kW, electric - 6,6 kW, the period of operation - 11 months).

This means that the 300 kilowatt reactor used in the Longshot project is a matter for the near future. The engineers themselves considered that the mass of such a reactor would be about 6 tons.
Actually, this ends the physics and the lyrics begins.

Interstellar travel problems

To control the probe, you will need an on-board computer complex with the makings of artificial intelligence. In conditions when the signal transmission time is over 4 years, effective control of the probe from the Earth is impossible.

In the field of microelectronics and the creation of research instruments, large-scale changes have recently taken place. It is unlikely that the creators of Longshot in 1987 year guessed about the capabilities of modern computers. We can assume that this technical problem over the past quarter century has been successfully resolved.

The situation with communication systems is equally optimistic. For confident transmission of information from a distance 4,36 St. year will require a system of lasers operating on the valley of a wave of 0,532 microns and with a radiation power of 250 kW. In this case, for every square. 222 photon per second will drop the meter of the Earth's surface, which is much higher than the threshold of sensitivity of modern radio telescopes. The data transfer rate from the maximum distance will be 1 kbps. Modern radio telescopes and space communication systems can expand the data exchange channel several times.

For comparison, the transmitter power of the Voyager 1 probe, currently located at a distance of 19 billion km from the Sun (17,5 light hours), is only 23 W - like a light bulb in your refrigerator. However, this is quite enough to transmit telemetry to the Earth at a speed of several kbps.

A separate line is the issue of ship thermoregulation.

A megawatt-class nuclear reactor and a pulsed thermonuclear engine are sources of enormous amounts of thermal energy, moreover, in a vacuum, only two methods of heat removal are possible - ablation and radiation.

The output can be the installation of a developed system of radiators and radiating surfaces, as well as a thermally insulating ceramic buffer between the engine compartment and the fuel tanks of the ship.

At the initial stage of the journey, the ship will need an additional protective shield from solar radiation (similar to that used at the Skylab orbital station). In the region of the final goal — in the orbit of the star Beta Centauri — there will also be a danger of the probe overheating. Equipment insulation and a system for transferring excess heat from all important units and scientific instruments to radiating radiators are required.

Graph of the acceleration of the ship over time

Graph showing speed change

The issue of protecting the ship from micrometeorites and particles of cosmic dust is extremely complicated. At a speed of 4,5% of light, any collision with a microscopic object can seriously damage the probe. The creators of "Longshot" offer to solve the problem by installing a powerful protective screen in front of the ship (metal? Ceramics?), Which was also a radiator of excess heat.

How reliable is this protection? And is it possible to use science fiction protection systems in the form of force / magnetic fields or “clouds” of microdispersed particles held by a magnetic field ahead of the ship's course? Let's hope that by the time the "starship" is created, the engineers will find an adequate solution.

As for the probe itself, it will traditionally have a multi-stage layout with separable tanks. The material for the manufacture of hull structures is aluminum / titanium alloys. The total mass of the assembled ship in near-earth orbit will be 396 tons, with a maximum length of 65 meters.

For comparison: the mass of the International Space Station is 417 tons with a length of 109 meters.

1) Start configuration in Earth orbit.
2) 33-th year of flight, the separation of the first pair of tanks.
3) 67-th year of flight, separation of the second pair of tanks.
4) 100-th year of flight - arrival at the target at speed 15-30 km / s.
Separation of the last stage, access to permanent orbit around Beta Centauri.

Like the ISS, the Longshot assembly can be done in a block method in low-Earth orbit. Realistic dimensions of the ship make it possible to use the existing launch vehicles in the process of assembling it (for comparison, the powerful Saturn-V can bring cargo weighing 120 tons to the NOU at a time!)

It should be noted that the launch of a pulsed thermonuclear engine in near-earth orbit is too risky and careless. The Longshot project provided for additional overclocking blocks (chemical rocket engines) for recruiting the second and third space velocity and forcing the ship out of the ecliptic plane (Alpha Centauri system is located on 61 ° above the plane of Earth's rotation around the Sun). Also, it is possible that for this purpose a maneuver in the gravitational field of Jupiter would be justified - like space probes, which managed to escape from the ecliptic plane using “free” acceleration in the vicinity of a giant planet.


All technologies and components of a hypothetical interstellar spacecraft exist in reality.

The overall dimensions of the Longshot probe correspond to the capabilities of modern astronautics.

If we begin work today, it is likely that by the middle of the XXII century, our happy great-grandchildren will see the first pictures of the Alpha Centauri system from close range.

Progress has an irreversible direction: every day life continues to amaze us with new inventions and discoveries. It is possible that through the 10-20 years all the above-described technologies will appear before us in the form of working samples made at a new technological level.

And yet the way to the stars is too far to talk about it seriously.

The attentive reader probably already drew attention to the key problem of the Longshot project. Helium-3.

Where to get a hundred tons of this substance, if the annual production of helium-3 is only 60000 liters (8 kilograms) per year at a price of up to $ 2000 per liter ?! Brave fiction pinned hopes on the extraction of helium-3 on the moon and in the atmosphere of the giant planets, but no one can give any guarantees about this.

There are doubts about the possibility of storing such a volume of fuel and its dosed supply in the form of frozen “tablets” necessary to power a pulsed thermonuclear engine. However, as the principle of operation of the engine: the fact that more or less works in laboratory conditions on Earth, is still far from use in open space.

Finally, unparalleled reliability of all probe systems. The participants of the Longshots project write about this directly: creating an engine capable of working through 100 years without stopping and overhauling will be an incredible technical breakthrough. The same applies to all other systems and mechanisms of the probe.

However, you should not despair. In the history of cosmonautics, there are examples of unprecedented reliability of spacecraft. “Pioneers-6, 7, 8, 10, 11”, as well as “Voyagers-1 and 2” - they all worked in outer space for over 30 years!

The history of hydrazine trasters (orientation system engines) of these spacecraft is indicative. Voyager 1 switched to a spare kit in 2004 year. By this time, the main set of engines worked in open space 27 for years, sustaining 353000 inclusions. It is noteworthy that the catalysts of the engines all the time were continuously heated to 300 ° C!

Today, after 37 years after launch, both Voyagers continue their insane flight. They have long since left the heliosphere, but continue to regularly transmit to the Earth data about the interstellar medium.

Any system dependent on human reliability is unreliable. However, it should be recognized: in terms of ensuring the reliability of spacecraft, we have managed to achieve some success.

All the necessary technologies for the implementation of the “star expedition” have ceased to be fantasies of scientists who abuse cannabinoids, and embodied in the form of clear patents and existing equipment. In the laboratory - but they exist!

The conceptual design of the interstellar ship "Longshot" proved: we have a chance to break out to the stars. On this thorny path to overcome a lot of difficulties. But the main thing is that the vector of development is known, and self-confidence has appeared.

More information about the Longshot project can be found here:
For the initiation of interest in this topic, I express my gratitude to the "Postman".

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  1. Combitor
    Combitor 29 January 2014 09: 22
    A very interesting article and inspiring hope.
    1. Canep
      Canep 29 January 2014 09: 40
      No one will give money for this. The results of this expedition will go to the next generations, and so far politicians never thought, they need a result during their lifetime in order to satisfy their vanity.
      1. baltika-18
        baltika-18 29 January 2014 10: 00
        Quote: Canep
        No one will give money for this

        It seems to me that money is not the main thing here. Even with current technologies it is a utopia. For a start, there needs to be some leap, a breakthrough in science, in particular in ways of generating energy.
        1. Canep
          Canep 29 January 2014 10: 54
          Quote: baltika-18
          Need to start some kind of leap

          A breakthrough must occur in the brains of people! Why seek your fortune on the Moon, Mars, Jupiter's moons, or Alpha Centauri. 70% of the planet's territory - the ocean is not explored and half, today there were fewer people on the ocean floor than on the moon. Eastern Siberia is not inhabited at all. Greening deserts is an excellent long-term money investment. Our affairs on earth are not measured. Space is needed, but the expedition to the alpha centauri seems to me to be money down the drain. What we learn there, in a hundred years, we can use probably in a thousand years.
          1. DEMENTIY
            DEMENTIY 29 January 2014 21: 29
            Quote: Canep
            A breakthrough must happen in people's brains!

            That's it!

            As Tsiolkovsky said: "The earth is the cradle of humanity. But you can't stay in the cradle forever."
            1. abdrah
              abdrah 29 January 2014 22: 34
              DEMENTIY- As Tsiolkovsky said: "The Earth is the cradle of humanity. But you can't stay in the cradle forever."

              A little off topic, but still say, in my hometown on one of the main avenues was shown Y. Gagarin, a stylized rocket and these words of Tsiolkovsky below. Gagarin’s image and rockets were removed a very long time ago, in the mid-90s, now there instead, a billboard with women's underpants. Until then, until they change the picture the other way around (on the state scale), I regretfully do not believe that someone except a few enthusiastic beserebererenniki is interesting at all ...
        2. Evgeniy.
          Evgeniy. 3 February 2014 15: 00
          It was always interesting whether a ship would fly, say with people (in suspended animation or generations) on an alpha centaur. While it flies, technologies can change a lot, and when it flies, the first McDonald's will be built there.
          How it will be insulting to pilots
      2. Blackmokona
        Blackmokona 29 January 2014 19: 47
        The start of such a spaceship is not a strong PR move?
        Plus, all sorts of steps that can be submitted with pomp? Like starting a project, bookmark starship, etc.
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 29 January 2014 11: 16
      Quote: Kombitor
      A very interesting article and inspiring hope.

      The article is interesting, but not very hopeful :) One hundred years is hopelessness. In a hundred years, not only those who lived at the start of the device will remain, but also perhaps the very place where the device was designed.
    3. vladkavkaz
      vladkavkaz 29 January 2014 13: 23
      It’s interesting if speed is achievable, which allows us to fly to the star in 100 years already using our technologies, which prevents us from increasing the capacity of the same reactor and, accordingly, speed, and not 100 years, but 50?
      The only but-CAPITALISM horseradish with a lion will go to such a project, there is NO PROFIT.
      So if this is created, it is likely that only another system, Socialism, China itself can create.
      In general, we are all in 90, weighed the birthright, exchanging Stars for lentil soup.
      1. Blackmokona
        Blackmokona 29 January 2014 19: 50
        The system in China is capitalism.
        Today's China is showing impressive growth rates in real GDP — above 10% over the past two to three years (20–9,5% over the past 9,7 years). In this regard, China can be called a modern record holder: today there is no state that in 20-30 years has reached a weighted average rate of real growth of more than 10%.

        If we compare China at the turn of the 70-80s of the last century with modern China, we will see a significant difference. Thirty years ago, almost the entire economy was concentrated in the hands of the state. Approximately 85-90% of industrial, agricultural, and service facilities were controlled by the government. Today there are still a lot of state-owned enterprises in the country, but their share is no more than a third of the total. The rest is either privatized enterprises with a share of private ownership or a private economy that has been booming over the last time.

        Almost all light industry and agriculture is in the hands of private entrepreneurs or foreigners. The same situation is in the field of small services. The state controls a significant part of heavy industry.

        Distribution of profits is left to the enterprises; the state only collects taxes. The government also has pricing in the energy sector (gas, oil, electricity, local urban services). Everything else is driven by the market. China is as open as possible to foreign investment.

        On the other hand, China has very few subsidies per se. That is, if the company is unprofitable - it is immediately closed and sold. Thus, from 1996 to 2001, the government closed tens of thousands of enterprises and left about 30 million people unemployed. The state subsidizes only agriculture, helping farmers and the energy industry.

    4. Juborg
      Juborg 28 May 2015 14: 14
      Zin, and hde money ???
  2. Stiletto
    Stiletto 29 January 2014 09: 27
    It’s a pity that my childhood dream will no longer come true. Unfortunately, I personally will never see how humanity reaches out to the stars. recourse
    1. Evgeniy.
      Evgeniy. 3 February 2014 15: 02
      If under 50 - do not despair, you can see
  3. Alex_on
    Alex_on 29 January 2014 09: 37
    100 years of reliability ....
    except for the Egyptian pyramids there are no precedents.
    1. I think so
      I think so 29 January 2014 15: 50
      Use cases in bulk, offhand and in memory:
      The same 1912 Ford car now drives perfectly and there are no questions.
      In the museum of weapons a lot of all sorts of pieces working and now released and more than a hundred years ago.
      The first steam engine in England still pumps water. For more than a hundred years.
    2. postman
      postman 29 January 2014 17: 44
      Quote: Alex_on
      except for the Egyptian pyramids there are no precedents.

      1.Castle "KERBEROS" (known to all the former Barrier)

      The warranty period - 100 years is confirmed by the "Lock Testing Protocol"tested for 250 opening and closing cycles.
      During the warranty period, the lock can be replaced by a working lock bNo extra charge.
      MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF GOST 5089-2003 and GOST 538-2001 corresponds to the fourth class.
      And this is "just" LLC "KERBEROS" (SAINT-PETERSBURG)
      2. Reliability parameters according to EN ISO 13849-1.
      Service life (guaranteed) safety system CES-AR -100 years
  4. user
    user 29 January 2014 11: 32
    Canep SU Today, 09: 40 ↑ New

    No one will give money for this.

    I think this is not about money. The level of technology is still very low, for example, for comparison, to make it clear: how to fly around the world on a PO-2 or TU-160. It seems that the task is the same, only the meaning of the task and the result of flights are completely different. Those. the meaning of such a flight at our level of technology development is in great doubt.
  5. shelva
    shelva 29 January 2014 11: 37
    One effort in this direction can lead to a scientific and technical breakthrough in more "earthly" technologies.
    1. user
      user 30 January 2014 09: 54
      shelva SU Yesterday, 11:37 New

      One effort in this direction can lead to a scientific and technical breakthrough in more "earthly" technologies.

      Perhaps you are right, only there are closer and more pressing goals that promise broader prospects. Well, for example, what happens and most importantly, both in the sun, on the surface and inside (not imagined, but real). This alone will help get rid of energy dependence on Earth. In general, the listing of breakthrough directions has a long list.
  6. Setrac
    Setrac 29 January 2014 12: 20
    Trying to jump through several steps. Flying for the sake of flying is meaningless.
    1. postman
      postman 29 January 2014 17: 26
      Quote: Setrac
      Trying to jump through several steps. Flying for the sake of flying is meaningless.


      One of the important consequences of the LongShot mission would be the ability to measure the parallactic displacements of stars with a base of 4.4 light years, while today such a base is equal to the diameter of the earth's orbit (2 AE = 300 million km). In other words, astronomers will be able to measure the angles of directions to stars from two points, one of which is located on Earth, and the other on the LongShot probe. The sine theorem allows you to find the distance to a distant object, if the measurement base and two angles between it and the directions to the object are known. This would make it possible to move from an accurate measurement of stellar parallaxes within 20 parsecs from the Sun, which are available today, to parallactic measurement distances of up to 1.2 million parsecs. As a result, it will be possible to determine the exact distances to hundreds of trillions of stars located not only in our galaxy, but also in the Andromeda nebula!
      This alone is the "self-sufficiency" of the project
      And how much will the flight itself in interstellar space give?
      Voyager - the baggage of acquired knowledge is invaluable and not yet processed, and the mission continues: the edge of the solar system is found
      1. baltika-18
        baltika-18 29 January 2014 19: 49
        Quote: Postman
        Voyager - the baggage of acquired knowledge is invaluable and not yet processed, and the mission continues: the edge of the solar system is found

        But it just can’t go beyond the limits of the solar system.
        1. postman
          postman 29 January 2014 20: 09
          Quote: baltika-18
          But it just can’t go beyond the limits of the solar system.

          ?????????? "can not"

          what to take for the concept of "solar system limit"?
          Back in 2003, the probe "reported" that the speed of solar wind particles around it dropped below the speed of sound. And in just a few days in 2012, the "braking" wind practically died down. In this case, the number of charged particles coming from the side of the Sun decreased by three orders of magnitude, so it almost stopped being detected by detectors. But the flux of cosmic radiation increased by 9,3 percent.

          According to Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology, it wasn't until August 2013 that Voyager's detectors recorded plasma is clearly not solar origin. But it’s too early to talk about going beyond the heliosphere: the apparatus has only reached its border.

          True (!), Some consider the dwarf planet Sedna (about 150 billion kilometers removed) to be part of the solar system ...

          and others, the Oort cloud, from where comets come to us.

          The farthest object of the Oort cloud is the asteroid 2009 FW54, located 330 billion from the Sun.

          (But it seems to me that this is the squeal of envious people who, from a technical point of view, have done nothing of the kind)
      2. uhu189
        uhu189 30 January 2014 00: 48
        Quote: Postman
        Voyager - the baggage of acquired knowledge is invaluable and not yet processed, and the mission continues: the edge of the solar system is found

        It has not been found yet, and until the end of the system it will fly for several millennia. So far, he has reached the heliopause, and this is far from the end of the solar system
        1. postman
          postman 30 January 2014 14: 00
          Quote: uhu189
          Not found yet, and until the end of system e

          So this is the "baggage of knowledge"
  7. Meriamon
    Meriamon 29 January 2014 12: 20
    The stars are certainly cool. But it seems to me that it would be nice to study the oceans, the deep sea. The same cosmos - but more accessible and no less mysterious.
  8. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 29 January 2014 12: 40
    The author has not indicated yet another problem. Where to get research instruments and what they should be to get unique information. For reference: the technology of a segmented adaptive mirror, used at the observatory in Hawaii, allows you to build a mirror in space of almost any size and astronomers claim that they can observe planets from nearby stars. What new will say the starship in 100 years?
    1. I think so
      I think so 29 January 2014 15: 59
      Well, it’s written to you in black and white that astronomers have not yet had the opportunity to name a basis for measuring distances equal to 4 light years. All current measurements of distances in space are CONDITIONAL and UNCERTAIN. A reliable measurement can be ONLY angular measurements from different points in space ... well, if you do not take into account the geometry and curvature of space. A simple check of the curvature of space will give humanity immeasurably more information than all the costs of such an experiment. Next, check the theory of relativity ... Measurement of the REAL speed of light and radio waves - only at such distances can you see the differences. Such an experiment would bring much more benefit than senseless landings on the Moon or Mars, and even more so plunging to the bottom of the ocean.
    2. postman
      postman 29 January 2014 17: 04
      Quote: Jurkovs
      Where to get research instruments and what they should be to get unique information

      1. They (devices and technologies already exist)
      2. Having installed a 3D printer on the ship and a stock of necessary materials, the devices can be sculpted "" directly on the ship, during a 100-year flight, as science and technology develop,
      information (assembly drawing) will catch up with a ship at a speed of 300 km / s

      Quote: Jurkovs
      What new will say the starship in 100 years?

      1. During ALL 100 years of flight
      2. The most difficult thing in space is not to fly at all. The hardest thing is
      to navigate.
      Even in low Earth orbit, this is very responsible.
      procedure, what to say about interstellar space.
      1. Evgeniy.
        Evgeniy. 3 February 2014 15: 08
        2. Having installed a 3D printer on the ship and a stock of necessary materials, the devices can be sculpted "" directly on the ship, during a 100-year flight, as science and technology develop,
        we only until this age 100-150 develop technology
  9. dmb
    dmb 29 January 2014 13: 28
    The good science fiction writer Gurevich has a story called "Shorin's Function". Its meaning is that for a flight to the stars, as in any good business, not only discoveries and inventions are important, but also a dream and a desire to make it a reality. Flying to the stars is not for those who are looking for bags of diamonds, and whose meaning of life is a wheelbarrow cooler than that of a neighbor.
  10. DAGESTAN333
    DAGESTAN333 29 January 2014 13: 42
    I hope Allah will take pity on hopeless dreamers like me, and at least in the future, a person will be able to walk on the stars ...

    Attempts in this area, in any case, will give an additional impetus to the development of science.
    1. postman
      postman 29 January 2014 20: 13
      Quote: DAGESTANETS333
      I hope Allah take pity

      A Muslim does not have to doubt the existence of other worlds. He is sure that they are. And if there are worlds that we cannot comprehend, even while being in close proximity with them, then why not exist in the same distance? However, the presence of this opportunity does not affect the life of a Muslim, does not affect the level of his faith in the omnipotence of the Creator, but is of exclusively scientific and academic interest.

      From the Holy Quran, we learn that we are not alone in the universe. In addition to the world of people, there are other worlds - angels and genies.
  11. Firebox
    Firebox 29 January 2014 16: 12
    I think for 100 years we ourselves will fly there faster than the device, and look what yes how
    1. saturn.mmm
      saturn.mmm 29 January 2014 20: 29
      Quote: FireBox
      I think for 100 years we ourselves will fly there faster than the device, and look what yes how

      For 50 years of space exploration, in a manned version, we have not advanced beyond the moon.
      Nevertheless, in the confrontation of the two systems (socialism, capitalism), space exploration proceeded more intensively, now there is no spirit of competition.
      Technologically, one could try some of the elements described in the article, but in the world there is a crisis, and in the next decade it is unlikely that anyone will start a similar project.
      Thank you for the article, young people would have to inspire more about this, but unfortunately on the telly about something else.
      1. Evgeniy.
        Evgeniy. 3 February 2014 15: 10
        just because there is no goal.
  12. Enot-poloskun
    Enot-poloskun 29 January 2014 17: 07
    Humanity needs to spend energy not on an arms race and not on caviar for the “golden billion”, but on projects like Longshot.

    And all will be well!
  13. postman
    postman 29 January 2014 17: 21
    1. There is little poetics, a little bit of so to speak (didn’t Kapova write a literary man?), Where?

    Do these people believe in the stellar future of humanity? Do they need it
    wrapped in transport problems and interruptions in the warmth of apartments,
    planned outages and high cost products? What gave
    space for them - besides fear of alien worlds and tortured pride for
    planet Earth, for its spaceships - the fastest in the Galaxy ...

    Interstellar flights, alien civilizations have become a reality. And nothing - nothing has changed! The same
    broken-down highways along which KAMAZs and Zhigulis crawl, the same soap operas on television, leaking plumbing and snotty noses in the spring.
    The future touched the present, indulgently patted on the shoulder, and lay down to rest.

    - Tell me ... - the granny looked around again, and reassured by the absence
    police continued: - You were _tam_ ..
    Tell me, is there something ahead of us - at least something? I do not care anymore... --
    smile, condescending, like autumn rain ... - but I have
    great-grandson ... and grandson, although I myself sometimes doubt it.

    2. Little technical information (no reason to argue) it's still a "Long throw", well, or "adventure"
    -inertial synthesis of deuterium with helium-3
    -heater - liquid potassium at T = 1 365 K (in a closed cycle).
    - braking at the place of arrival with subsequent exit into an elliptical orbit around the star Alpha Centauri B, with a distance of 1 to 2.5 AE and a orbital period of 2.5 years.
    -100 years, the absolute value of the acceleration of the apparatus increases from 0.004 to a little more than 0.02 m / sec. (negative acceleration) upon arrival.
    -selecting a goal?
    Alpha Centauri - 4.4 light years,
    Lalande 21185 - 8.3 light years,
    Sirius - 8.6 light years,
    Epsilon Eridana - 10.5 light years,
    Tau Ceti - 11.9 light-years.

    Planet in the Tau-Cet system, artist David Hardy[center] [/ center]

    Despite the thoughtfulness of the LongShot project in many details, it is not feasible because of one thing: igniting fusion of deuterium with helium-3 using electron beams or lasers will fail
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 29 January 2014 19: 46
      On October 08.10.2013, XNUMX, a fusion reaction was ignited at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), during which for the first time in the world the energy released during the reaction exceeded the energy absorbed by the target.

      Actually, you only need to increase the efficiency of the process and reduce the mass and dimensions of the installation.
      1. postman
        postman 29 January 2014 20: 21
        Quote: BlackMokona
        Really, you just need

        In reality, you just need to stop rattling your arms and divide Zemlyu (and there are no full-fledged people), join forces: Russia, the USA, the EEC, China and try to reach the stars.

        Quote: BlackMokona
        National Ignition Facility (NIF)

        There DT 100 times compressed plasma, the same principle as
        Wendelstein 7-x

        and in this project "neutron-free" reactions: deuterium + helium-3, such as:

        1. Blackmokona
          Blackmokona 30 January 2014 08: 04
          1. This is unrealistic, it’s strange to hear this on this forum. After reading the surrounding topics, people massively rattle their weapons and aspirate for a nuclear apocalypse.
          Standard phrases are pleasing. Unknowns staged an explosion in Volgograd and immediately a demand for the massive use of nuclear weapons against a number of countries.
          2. Is it not easier to get a reaction with helium? Plus I remember there is still such news.

          1. postman
            postman 30 January 2014 10: 45
            Quote: BlackMokona
            1. This is unrealistic, it’s strange to hear this on this forum.

            Topvar forum-not all the people ...
            sitting on a chair and knocking on the keyboard it is easy to demand the use of WMD against a number of countries

            Quote: BlackMokona
            2.Different reaction with helium

            -eee .. I do not read the tape (s) ru:

            Drunk Estonian pedestrian "hit" a car
            MTS egg father left the company for family reasons
            Zoologists of Peru gave the name of a colleague to an alpine bristled rat
            Bird flu epidemic begins in Indonesia
            Chinese weavers go on strike in Romania
            Arithmetic saves children from the corrupting influence of television

            1. This reaction requires heat plasma to a temperature of ~ 500 million degrees that five times higherthan required for the lowest threshold reaction 2H + 3H
            2. 3He necessary for this reaction is catastrophically small and expensive
            A kilogram of helium will cost $ 10 million, that is, it will cost about 107 times more than a liter of gasoline. In terms of the price of energy, helium will be approximately equivalent in price to gasoline, but only under two obviously unrealistic conditions:
            - that the efficiency of a fusion installation will be 100%, and it will cost at the level of a thermal power plant, and
            - that on the moon someone will get for free and store liquefied 3He

            3.Sections and rates of the main reactions

            1. Simple
              Simple 30 January 2014 12: 22
              For such long trips you will need a crew of robots that can save the mission in unforeseen circumstances (banal scheduled or unscheduled repair of the ship).
              1. postman
                postman 30 January 2014 13: 29
                Quote: Simple
                On such long trips you will need

                But what prevents this?
                Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the first M-Block robots-cubes that can independently assemble into any structure.
                The use of M-Blocks is theoretically extensive. For example, they can be embedded in a modular furniture case, so that assembly is carried out almost without human intervention.


                3. stock of necessary materials + 3D printer: what is required (remix will print), if the need arises - on the ground they will develop new software for the manufacture of the product and transmit it to the spacecraft at a speed of 300 km / s, print a 000-D printer, the repair robot will install and will replace
                1. Simple
                  Simple 30 January 2014 14: 05
                  Yes. According to the principle of DNA molecules (There is such a formulation: "If you don't know how, look at nature")
                  By the way, such robots will not need premises - in principle, in each specific case, such a robot can take any form - for example, to repair parts by email. the board will not need to pull it out of "x ... knows where" wink

                  And to exit such a robot into space there will be no need for exit hatches (familiar in our understanding)
                  1. Simple
                    Simple 30 January 2014 14: 38
                    According to the principle of DNA molecules

                    The point is to create a suitable material for them (see the pair Gafit-Almaz. Steam-Water-Ice) and methods of recording, storing, transferring and reproducing the "DNA code".
                  2. The comment was deleted.
                2. Setrac
                  Setrac 30 January 2014 22: 02
                  Quote: Postman
                  Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the first M-Block robots-cubes that can independently assemble into any structure.

                  angry Replicators?
            2. Blackmokona
              Blackmokona 30 January 2014 16: 39
              1. However, they express the opinion of a significant part of the population.
              2. 5 times not an order of magnitude, solved.
              And the price, so a spaceship, by definition, is expensive.
    2. Santa Fe
      30 January 2014 03: 42
      Quote: Postman
      1. There is little poetics, a little bit of so to speak (didn’t Kapova write a literary man?), Where?


  14. saag
    saag 29 January 2014 20: 00
    Quote: Meriamon
    it would be nice to study the oceans, the deep sea

    Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his son have been doing this for a long time
  15. The comment was deleted.
  16. uhu189
    uhu189 30 January 2014 00: 45
    Of course, I wildly apologize for possibly spoiling the overall picture of enthusiasm, but the authors of the concept do not take into account one very significant fact - interstellar radiation and high-energy radiation in an interstellar medium. Voyager only a year ago entered the heliopause zone, while he had just begun to overcome the Oort cloud, and he was still very far from leaving the solar system. No one on Earth so far represents the level of cosmic radiation and radiation in interstellar space, where there is no protection of the solar magnetosphere and the Centaurus triple system. There is not that on-board electronics - the case may not sustain and crumble. I don’t even want to comment on other assumptions, especially about thermonuclear engines which do not exist in nature, even in laboratory conditions, only as theoretical calculations and calculations. Maybe, all the same, it is worthwhile to start developing near-Earth space, and then, after bringing the level of society and the technologies corresponding to it to the required level, we will go to the stars?
    1. Viator
      Viator 4 February 2014 03: 19
      The authors of the concept do not take into account many factors, because, unfortunately, we still know too little about many factors, or even nothing at all. On the other hand, the project does not provide for the successful completion of the mission "right now" - it is only about the possibility of building a ship for an attempt that has at least some chances to be completed successfully. Considering that the project is one of the first attempts at real engineering estimates on this topic, the answer came out by no means trivial, but at the same time it did not say about the spaceship "here and now" - this is already in print the conclusions (traditionally) acquired a more emotional color. And nevertheless, the very attempt to develop an interstellar ship is already useful at least in that it directs us towards the right questions. Now it's up to the answers - I hope they won't keep you waiting too long.
  17. Simonov
    Simonov 30 January 2014 12: 28
    "A quarter of a century ago, seven warrant officers of the Naval Academy asked an unusual question ...."

    What a warrant officer (warrant officer) does not dream of interstellar flights! And then there are seven. Doesn't it remind:
    "In a galaxy far, far away ..."
    The first adaptation of Star Wars took place in 1977.