It's a longshot...

2006-08-26

While I wait for GTK to compile, I've been reading about Project Longshot, a mission developed in the late '80s to send a manned craft to Beta Centauri. It reads just like something out of science fiction: a nuclear ship setting off on a century long voyage for a group of planets that may or may not be habitable. The most interesting part of this report is the fact that they engineered solutions for every problem using existing technology in 1986. While some of the systems would need to be further developed and tested (eg. propulsion) the numbers do add up. This mission still isn't feasible yet. We need a large, manned space station or base in a low gravity environment to assemble the various pieces of the craft. If you've got some time to kill, this paper is worth a read for nothing more than a laugh at the expectations of future technology (artificial intelligence is still a few decades off).

Next post - Summer of Code 2006 - Final Report