Breakthoughs Starshot launches worlds smallest satellite

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Breakthoughs Starshot launches worlds smallest satellite

Postby SANEAlex » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:18 pm

Not yet quite free flying but it looks like a 4 gram satellite is possible. I/we just need to work a bit harder on the launcher ;)

https://breakthroughinitiatives.org/News/12
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Re: Breakthoughs Starshot launches worlds smallest satellite

Postby Jay » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:52 pm

Do you know what sort of redundancy they have built into these tiny spacecraft? Twenty years of interstellar travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light will accumulate an intense dose of cosmic radiation and thousands if not millions of micrometeorite impacts. It would be a shame to go to all that effort and expense only to have the probe end up dead on arrival. Are you aware of the shielding the Breakthrough engineers intend to use? Maurice Ward's StarLite (discussed elsewhere in this forum) would seem to be appropriate if only for the name! At four grams each, I guess they could just send a swarm of these "chipsats" to Proxima Centauri in the hope that at least one will survive.

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Re: Breakthoughs Starshot launches worlds smallest satellite

Postby SANEAlex » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:09 pm

I think from odd bits i have picked up over many sites is that the idea is to use the swarm idea for redundancy and communication over long distances I have not seen any specifics on radiation shielding but i think the plan is to do research like these tests in parallel with working on the lasers. Me personally i think it would be easier to launch from lasers in space due to the problems with the atmosphere. But as the cost of launching mass into space is so expensive I think that is the reason they seem to be planning ground based lasers.
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Re: Breakthoughs Starshot launches worlds smallest satellite

Postby Jay » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:30 am

I think a space-based laser would perform better too, but it's probably safer not to orbit a nuclear-powered gigawatt laser someone could hack into and point in the wrong direction! Maybe they could put it on the far side of the moon just to be safe. Also, an array of thousands of conventional smaller lasers would work just as well as one huge laser and without the equally huge development cost.

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