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Thread: space probe which can move with speed of light

  1. #1 space probe which can move with speed of light 
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    i once saw in discovery channel that a space probe in future can be of nano size which will move in space almost at the speed of light to hunt down the planets ...if this is possible the why dont the space agencies try to built a smaller and light space ships or probes which can move with lightning speed in the space ......


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  3. #2  
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    There are serious practical problems with your suggestion. Specifically, to get anything to go that fast requires a lot of acceleration, which requires a lot of energy. If you use chemical energy, which is the only practical means today, you need a large amount of propellant, so the system starts out very massive.


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  4. #3 Re: space probe which can move with speed of light 
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    Quote Originally Posted by siddhanth
    i once saw in discovery channel that a space probe in future can be of nano size which will move in space almost at the speed of light to hunt down the planets ...if this is possible the why dont the space agencies try to built a smaller and light space ships or probes which can move with lightning speed in the space ......
    If the probes were really nanoscale then we could probable get them to the speed of light with magnetic accelerators or something. But I doubt that you could ever make anything nano-sized that was able to function as a probe. At the very least, a probe would need some kind of sensor and a transmitter that could send data back to earth. How are you going to cram all that into something that's basically the size of a big molecule? How would you power it? You would need nearly magical technology to be able to do it.
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    I suppose that this was one of those NASA advertisement public relation type "documentaries". I agree that such a probe would be useless. I am working in a project dedicated to a soon to be launched space telescope, and I can assure you that everything is done to reduce the weight as much as possible. I really don't see how e.g. images could be transmitted or orbital manoeuvres could be done with such a tiny object.
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  6. #5  
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    Yeah. If it's too small, then the lens on its camera will have to be small, and small lenses only have the resolution to see objects fairly near them.

    Besides that, in order to transmit any distance it's going to probably need a sizable antenna and a strong enough power source to generate a signal.


    So... basically... a tiny probe could get out there, but it wouldn't be able to see with very much detail, and we'd never be able to pick up the radio signals it sent back to us. (I mean, no matter how good our receiver is, at a certain distance it might not even be getting hit by a single radio wave photon)
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