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By Dr Gregory L. Matloff (auth.)

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Extra resources for Deep-Space Probes

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The mission goal for TAU was to propel a scientific payload in the year 2000 on an extrasolar trajectory such that the spacecraft traversed 1,000AU during a 50-year flight time. The average velocity of the TAU probe relative to the Sun would be about 100 km S-I. About 10,000 years would be required for the TAU probe to reach the nearest extra solar star system, if it were moving in the appropriate direction. Many propulsive options were considered for TAU. These included direct launch from Earth; Jupiter gravity assist and powered flyby; solar and laser sailing; solarelectric and laser-electric propulsion; fusion; and antimatter.

The nebula would have experienced this stellar death in two ways. First, streamers of heavy elements produced by the supernova would have 'doped' the nebula with elements as massive as uranium. Second, the expanding gases - previously part of the supergiant's outer layers - would turbulently mix with the substance of the nebula. , 1978). Show that the cloud's radius is ~ 1013 km (about 1 light year) if it has the Sun's mass (2 x 10 30 kg). Turbulent eddies would have rotated throughout the primeval nebula, perhaps resembling slow-motion whirlpools.

The plastic substrate would be chosen to evaporate under exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation. Although innovative, we shall see that this approach may be unnecessary. 4 THE NASA INTERSTELLAR INITIATIVE In response to the interest in interstellar travel expressed by NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, a serious effort is underway at various NASA centres directed towards the achievement of an extrasolarJinterstellar robotic capability in the twenty-first century. The NASA interstellar initiative is a response to Goldin's challenge, and is described in a number of papers, including Les Johnson's and Stephanie Leifer's contributions to the NASA Interstellar Probe definition study.

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