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Mission To Sedna, space mission to sedna
ugordan
post Jan 14 2008, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jan 14 2008, 11:14 PM) *
There are some more details (and numbers for Ulysses) here:
http://www.niac.usra.edu/files/library/mee...0/393McNutt.pdf

A 15.4 km/s burn within 15 minutes. Well, that's optimistic to say the least. Currently, you could have either 15 km/s or a 15 minute short burn, but not both. The only thing I can think of right now is a massive (and we're really talking about a MASSIVE) ion engine powered by god knows what. Massive solar arrays lofted all the way to Jupiter to be able to provide enough juice for the 15 minutes of hellish perihelion passage at 4 solar radii?

We'll be seeing nuclear reactors in space probes sooner than this, IMHO.


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JRehling
post Jan 14 2008, 10:45 PM
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At least solar radiation would not be in short supply at 4 solar radii. I think that, if anywhere, is where the energy would come from.
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ugordan
post Jan 14 2008, 11:01 PM
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True, but one has to think about how hot the semiconductors in the solar panels can get before dying on you. A quick, back of the envelope calculation gives 64 megawatts of solar radiation per square meter at 4 solar radii. That's running a tad hot.


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