Archive for the ‘Interstellar Challenge Matrix’ tag

OK, why do we need a different technology to achieve commercial viability (as in mass space tourism) for either interplanetary or interstellar travel?

In many of my previous posts I had shown that all the currently proposed technologies or technologies to be, are either phenomenally expensive (on the order of several multiples of World GDP), bordering on the impossible or just plain conjecture. This is very unfortunate, as I was hoping that some of the proposals would at least appear realistic, but no joy. I feel very sorry for those who are funding these projects. For a refresher I have posted an updated version of the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) here which documents 5 of the 11 inconsistencies in modern physics. I give permission to my readers to use this material for non-commercial or academic uses.

I recently completed the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravity modification published under the title An Introduction to Gravity Modification, 2nd Edition. For the very first time we now have a scientific definition for gravity modification:

Gravity modification is defined as the modification of the strength and/or direction of the gravitational acceleration without the use of mass as the primary source of this modification, in local space time. It consists of field modulation and field vectoring. Field modulation is the ability to attenuate or amplify a force field. Field vectoring is the ability to change the direction of this force field.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In a previous post on Technological Feasibility I had stated that a quick and dirty model shows that we could achieve velocity of light c by 2151 or the late 2150s. See table below.

 Year Velocity (m/s) % of c 2200 8,419,759,324 2808.5% 2152 314,296,410 104.8% 2150 274,057,112 91.4% 2125 49,443,793 16.5% 2118 30,610,299 10.2% 2111 18,950,618 6.3% 2100 8,920,362 3.0% 2075 1,609,360 0.5% 2050 290,351 0.1% 2025 52,384 0.0%

That is, at the current rate of technological innovation we could as a civilization reach light speed in about 140 years. More importantly we could not even reach anywhere near that within the next 100 years. Our capability would be 6.3% of c.

The Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation informs us light speed would require an infinite amount of energy (i.e. more than there is in the Universe!), thereby highlighting the weaknesses in these types of technological forecasting methods. But these models still serve a purpose. They provide some guidance as to what is possible and when. The operative word is guidance.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationship, & Technological Feasibility.

In this post I have updated the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

 Propulsion Mechanism Relatively Safe? Theoretical-Empirical Relationship? Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes, but susceptible to human error. Known. Theoretical foundations are based on Engineering Feasible Theories, and have been evolving since Robert Goddard invented the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926. Antimatter Propulsion: No. Extensive gamma ray production (Carl Sagan). Issue is how does one protect the Earth? Capable of an End of Humanity (EOH) event. Dependent on Millennium Theories. John Eades states in no uncertain terms that antimatter is impossible to handle and create. Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: No, because (Project Orion) one needs to be able to manage between 300,000 and 30,000,000 atomic bombs per trip. Known and based on Engineering Feasible Theories. Time Travel: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. No experimental evidence to show that Nature allows for a breakdown in causality. String / Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. String theories have not been experimentally verified. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. Existence of Quantum Foam now suspect (Robert Nemiroff). Small Black Hole Propulsion: No. Capable of an End Of Humanity (EOH) event Don’t know if small black holes really do exist in Nature. Their theoretical basis should be considered a Millennium Theory.

It is quite obvious that the major impediments to interstellar travel are the Millennium Theories. Let us review. Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize 1965) & Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel Prize 1979) have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales, but other theoretical physicists (Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. The Wikipedia article String Theory gives a good overview, and notes other critics and criticisms of string theories. In What is String Theory? Alberto Güijosa explains why string theories have come to dominate theoretical physics. It is about forces, and especially about unifying gravity with the other three forces.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

 Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US\$1.19E+14 Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US\$1.25E+20 and US\$6.25E+21 Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between \$2.6E12 and \$25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!! Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US\$1.25E+20 Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US\$1.25E+20 Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US\$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US\$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of \$2.6E12 to \$25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.