Possible Interstellar Travel: A Recopied Facebook Note

Why Little Green Men or Monsters Really May be Coming
by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:55am ·
Many people have reasons to suspect aliens may invade our solar system which have nothing to do with what we have ever done or aspired to do. However, many others believe that our behavior is the right measure for guessing at what is possible. I think that humans should not plan to sail to other stars for several centuries in manned flights. We should colonize the solar system for the next 500 years. There is a good chance we will not do that. But I want to show, if I can, that our society could already be an interstellar threat to a civilization one thousand years behind us. Although they would probably win in the end as far as our attacking force goes and it would probably serve us right. Here is my design for a human starship today if we were obssessed with interstellar travel as a species.

The Starship we could have built:

The Earth has launched two interstellar spacecrafts in the Voyager program. These will take about 80,000 year to draw near to the first stars besides the sun. Our radio and television signals have already gone past thousands of stars since Marconi’s developed wireless information transmission. Early television is the first significant transmission into space of a great deal of information about our society and that has already past a good number of other stars. Many people have believed that planets were rare no matter what but the Kepler project has been finding about ten planet candidates each day since it has been operating. As we consider the possibility of being invaded by a technological civilization we can ask whether Earth could already have built and launched an armed and colonial starship, and if not when could it do so?

I believe first that the time is not yet ripe for us to sail to the star and secondly that the threat to us is not mostly from a starship launched by a civilization similar to some state in our past. HOWEVER, it is also true that we could already have launched a starship to handle a colonial process, warlike if necessary, around another star. I mean that we could have done it technically and not that our societies could have survived the political strain. It is not safe to suppose our competitors will be as politically fragile as we are. One of the issues one has to deal with in developing this concept of interstellar travel (WHICH IS STILL A BAD IDEA FOR US) is to realize that nuclear explosive devices have the pride of place for moving huge loads from Mars to the Moon, the Moon to Mars and Mars to Earth orbit. They must never be used to lift objects into space. But once an object is out of the largest of the three gravity wells which will form the basis of our civilization we must be able to use nukes to propel them.

The nearest habitable world I know of I believe is known to science as Gliese 528d or something like that. It is about twenty lightyears away which is about one hundred and twenty trillion miles. That is 120,000,000,000,000 miles or a whole bunch of trips back and forth to your cousin Martha’s house. We could greatly transform our future by remaking much of the solar system with the skill, energy and resources we would need to make that trip. However, that is not our point here, the point is whether someone like us could attack us if we were in the position of Gliese 582d. i think they could. The starship we could already have moving forward would be an asteroid powered by a series or nuclear explosives. We have had about eighty thousand (80,000) nukes in our history. Suppose we launched a starship using a total of thirty five thousand (80,000) nukes. What speeds could we achieve?

First, let us follow and alternate timeline for the development of our space programs and civilization. Let us allow that there many points that will be hard to prove but if I get close that should be enough to carry the argument.

1960 — Our search for a suitable asteroid causes us to track and understand an asteroid known as 704 Interamnia. This asteroid was discovered in 1910 is hundreds of kilometers long and has a mass of about 37,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms or 81, 600,000,000,000,000,000. The fully loaded Saturn rockets burned afew tons of fuel per second to lift something that does not wegh almost anything compared to our asteroid ship. However, they were pushing through a heavy atmosphere and had to directly oppose a great gravitational force. Our system will consist of boost with power varying from a few tens of tousands of tons of TNT to tens of millions of tons of TNT released in less than a second. This boost will not push the ship through air but through the vaccuum of Space except for one planned collision with water ice. The route will be designed for speed and efficiency and the speed will accumulate as each boost occurs. The ship is already moving at an orbital speed around the Sun and one is adding to that base speed. I still cannot calculate the exact speed but here is the basic concept of the ship over time.

1965– We land a series robot on the asteroid which set up beacons and beging to survey the asteroid.
1967– We begin landing nuclear explosive devices, digging equipment and transmitters shielded fo space on the asteroid. 1970– We land a manned missionto assembled polished craters, bomb launch belts, sighting radar and lasers and begin underground mining and command centers.
1975 — We remove all humans and remotely fire the first nukes which increase the spin and change the orbit of the asteroid and also power enegry sinks we have created by cooling polished craters mirrors and sails.
1980– We land first permanent human crew and learn to improve asteroid and perfect nuclear explosive drive. We set up loading of nukes on to the asteroid at times when the asteroid is nearest Earth we develop gardens and use artificial gravity to farm the walls of caverns we have dug and gimballed garden in capped craters.
1985 — We land thousands of nukes and store them in the caverns we have prepared. We land seed banks and containers of human embryos, ova and sperm. The final starting compliment of about fifty men and women are prepared on Earth. The surface is largely reworked covered also with ultrathin foils that affect its qualities. A series of nukes are exploded to create a fast trajectory to pass near Saturn in such a way that it will pass near Earth. The final crew is landed as the asteroid passes Earth.
1990–The asteroid ship slams through the rings of Saturn with devices gathering the ice and shielding the equipment and settlements and a nuke is used to push it through the rings into a gravity boost trajectory. Thus a great deal of water mass is added while we do not lose any speed. The repair crat lands on the asteroid. The ship is quickly put into optimum order and the interstellar compliment of sixty people is reached.
1992 — 1995 the ship fires a nuclear explosive every fourteen days. This series of 100 nukes is carefully studied.
1996–2000 the ship fires a nuclear explosive every five days.
2001-2012 the ship fires a nuclear explosion every three days. I stop here on the timeline because this is then end of the past.

That ship would have added speed with each blast and would not lose any speed. The nukes would have been made bigger and more controllable than our 85,000 or so historic nukes have been. They would be boost nukes. The acceleration to be survived would not vary so much and would not increase as the speed increased but only as the biggest hydrogen bombs were used. The energy provided by the blast to the cooling systems would power the ship in the darkeness of interstellar space. Now the ship would be underway and would fire anuclear device only when its energy resources were running low and each time would add to its speed. The ship need never reach escape velocity to get to the other star because it is supplied with numerous boosts. However, while I will be cowardly and lazy enough to hide my guess-timations and doubtlessly flawed math I believe that this crude starship will achieve an average speed of about a million miles an hour as it travels to Gliese 582d. Let us pretend that this will work out as though the ship was traveling at the speed the whole way instead of starting much slower and going much faster at the end. That means the ship could zip over to Gliese 528d in a mere 1,500 years unless I messed up on my calculator let us say it makes 15,000 years. That tenfold difference is called an order of magnitude and is the range used for very far out calculations. If the ship is designed right it should arrive as a tiny working world with a thousand or so people and a few nukes left no matter what year it arrives. The results are more likely to be good if it it is 1,500 years but not impossible at 15,000 years.

My point is that just because we cannot even summon up the interest to mine the moon does not mean our neighbors will not invade us. We just don’t know. We cannot know. That is a real reason to colonize the Moon and Mars. To be prepared for company to the degree possible.

I beg you to believe the two contradictory ideas that I am serious and I am not serious. I seriously believe somebody else may have done this and may be on their way here. I do not seiously believe we could have done it ourselves.

Back in the days of the old Facebook I would have had more elegant ways to share this than tagging those of you I have tagged but as we move backwards so must I…

MIRROR BOWL technology for nuke boost: rmember there is no convecting curving atmosphere. It is a hard problem but a simple one.
MIRROR BOWL on the aft or stern of a ship with WHIRLIGIG. This ship will use a complex system of spin and rleative dimensional exchange to spread the fatal acceleration of a boost over enough time so that the acceleration will be distributed over along enough period so that fatal gravitational forces are never achieved…
Oversimplified crude sketch of the process of launching asteroid starships according to this model…
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Dan Sutton Interesting… the nukes thing is definitely one way to do it — you’d have to be pretty careful with the inhabitants of the asteroid, though: it could get quite hot in there if you weren’t careful. That’s a lot of irradiation…

I choose …See More
Yesterday at 1:03pm · Like

Dan Sutton Maybe it’s just a question of learning to perceive it. Got any acid, anyone?
Yesterday at 1:04pm · Like · 1
Frank Wynerth Summers III In terms of using a smaller ship I have designed two devices to make a nuclear explosive propulsion possible. They both involve being careful. They would involve more and less difficulty for the asteroid ship. But I will attempt to edit the document and attach these crude drawings as of now. See how that goes.
Yesterday at 2:03pm · Like
Frank Wynerth Summers III ‎@Dan as with the Gun and Driver club and unlike the elevator group I am all for knocking inter-dimensional planners and would join you in doing so, but I do believe in exotic physics as well . By the way, I will tag you in one of a series …See More
Yesterday at 2:15pm · Like

Dan Sutton ‎”They both involve being careful” — I love it! The mirror idea is definitely required; I wonder how big those shocks would have to be… we’re talking about devices which can obliterate a city… These are very cool ideas.
23 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Dan Sutton The most interesting observation in the other note is #11: I believe there’s a link between the “special matter” concept and the exotic dimensions I mentioned above. I must think further!
23 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Jim Davidson My father designed a nuclear propulsion system about 60 years ago. I have the detailed design drawings. Meh. War in outer space will only happen when it profits the war mongers.
19 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Frank Wynerth Summers III That is pretty cool. I imagine quite a few workable systems can be made to function in space…
19 hours ago · Like

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