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Space & Astronomy

Scientists propose interstellar space mission

By T.K. Randall
November 1, 2019 · Comment icon 2 comments

Voyager 1 and 2 were just the beginning. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
A space probe designed to venture into the interstellar void could launch within as little as ten years.
To date only two spacecraft have ever gone beyond the confines of our solar system - Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 - a pair of historic probes that have been traveling now for over four decades.

While these ageing machines have already taught us more than anyone could have hoped for, their functionality is now very limited and it remains unclear how long they will continue to operate.

Most spacecraft are not designed to run for decades and neither of the Voyager probes were built with long-term interstellar travel in mind - their original objective was to explore the gas giants.

But what if we could build a probe specifically designed to leave the solar system ?
During this year's International Astronautical Congress on October 25th, scientists discussed how such an adventurous undertaking could be achieved using today's technology.

To reach the necessary speeds, the spacecraft would need to perform multiple planetary flybys.

Its goal would be to study interstellar space, investigate Kuiper Belt objects beyond the orbit of Neptune and to examine our solar system as a singular entity from far, far away.

It would be mankind's first dedicated venture into the depths of interstellar space.

Source: Space.com | Comments (2)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by L.A.T.1961 5 years ago
If it starts by doing a few laps of the inner solar system then this might be a good candidate for the first solar sail mission.
Comment icon #2 Posted by TruckerNate 5 years ago
I wonder what max speed it could get up too. It would need to be faster than anything thus far. How long to reach alpha centuri?


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