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Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis (2005-12-28_Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28 1 Contemplating Breakthrough Spaceflight Marc G. Millis.

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Presentation on theme: "Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis (2005-12-28_Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28 1 Contemplating Breakthrough Spaceflight Marc G. Millis."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28 1 Contemplating Breakthrough Spaceflight Marc G. Millis "Space drives," "Warp drives," and "Wormholes:" these concepts may sound like science fiction, but they are being written about in reputable journals and have reawakened consideration that human voyages to other star systems might someday become possible. While such utilitarian ambitions might seem irrelevant to the lingering mysteries of cosmology, this perspective changes the way we look at the same phenomena. Curiosity-driven physics aims to find the simplest underlying laws that govern everything. Interstellar flight, on the other hand, seeks only a propulsion breakthrough - a means of moving spacecraft more efficiently across vast interstellar distances. In the first step of the scientific method where one defines the problem, the initial problem statement affects how subsequent data and hypotheses are formed. The Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the very meaning of inertial frames and spacetime take on a different meanings. With this change of perspective, additional paths toward solutions are opened. By pursuing new ways to move through the cosmos, we might very well improve our understanding of the cosmos.

3 About Cosmology Birth and fate of the whole universe Interplay of spacetime, matter, energy Physics of the very big… and the very small Wow!

4 Coupling of all fundamental forces Anomalous galactic rotations… "Dark Matter" Anomalous redshifts… "Dark Energy" Pioneer & Voyager anomalous deceleration g Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, uniformity Merging quantum mechanics and general relativity The origin of inertial frames, Mach's Principle Is there a floor under the rug of spacetime? Speed of gravity Arrow of time Lingering Mysteries Hubble on expansion: Call it "redshifts"

5 One Hypothesis

6 An Alternate Hypothesis We're just stuck.

7 Getting Unstuck review of routine methods of creativity Miller, 1987, The Creative Edge "Reframing Questions" SCAMPER –Substitute –Combine –Adapt –Magnify, minimize –Put into other applications –Eliminate –Rearrange

8 Reflections on Prior Scientific Progress Dyson 1997 Imagined Worlds Tool-Driven Kuhn 1962 Structure of Scientific Revolutions Paradigm Shift Telescope - Galileo X-ray diffraction - Watson/Crick Copernicus - Heliocentric Newton - Newton's laws Einstein - Relativity Multiple - Quantum Mechanics COBE & WMAP - Cosmic Microwaves Hubble Space Telescope Superconductivity Internet networking Nano Engineering

9 Reframing The Question Scientific Method Step 1: Define the problem How the problem is cast affects how data will be collected and interpreted. A different problem statement yields a different pathway toward solutions.

10 FROM Contemplating the fate of the whole universe Seeking The Theory of Everything TO Contemplating only the fate of humanity… providing an escape route Seeking only Breakthrough Spaceflight "and now for something completely different" Image: Monty Python

11 Cosmology via Spaceflight? Less ambitious goal Utilitarian Recasts phenomena…

12 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Under-chart source: R. Mewaldt & P. Liewer, JPL Reaching Across Space

13 Bussard Ramjet Antimatter rockets & sails Conceivable Space Propulsion Nuclear detonation propulsion: “Orion” ( USA ) & “ Daedalus” (British Interplanetary Society) Nuclear rockets & sails (fission, fusion) Light sails All images this page from NASA JPL or NASA MSFC

14 FIRST: Remedial Rocket Science Intro Balloon  Expellant

15 Interstellar Rocket Reality Check Example: Propellant required to fly mass of Shuttle Orbiter past 4.3 Light-Years

16 Some More Remedial Rocket Science: Light Sails

17 Sanity Check on Space Sails (Data from Greg Matloff, NY, Autumn 2003) Energy Cost Millennia to reach Alpha Centauri $Gazillions $Billions $100 million Solar Sails Art, NASA JPL Laser Sails

18 Plan B Undiscovered Physics

19 Science Fiction Inspirations Antigravity Space Drives Warp Drives Wormholes & Star Gates Hyperspace Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

20 The Role of Science Fiction Emme, E., ed, (1982) Science Fiction & Space Futures Past & Present, American Astronautical Society History Series 1.Science Fiction inspires pioneers 2.Science Fiction is not an accurate predictor of the future

21 An Example: Fiction to Fact Inspiration J. Verne Vision Von Braun Reality Apollo National Air & Space Museum Colliers Magazine

22 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28

23 Desired Breakthroughs 1. Mass: Discover new propulsion methods that eliminate the need for propellant or beamed energy. “Space Drives” 2. Speed: Discover how to circumvent existing limits (light-speed) to dramatically reduce transit times. “Warp Drives,” “Wormholes,” “Hyperspace” 3. Energy: Discover new energy methods to power these propulsion devices.

24 " SPACE DRIVES " Millis, "Challenge to Create the Space Drive,” AIAA Journal of Propulsion & Power, V.13, N.5, pp , (Sept.-Oct. 1997) Graphics courtesy of Popular Science Magazine, John MacNeill illustrator,

25 Fundamental Space Drive Problem: -- Find something else to push against -- Things in Space Cosmic Background Radiation Quantum Fluctuation Energy Dark Matter Dark Energy Field Perspectives Gravitational Inertial (Mach’s Principle)? Asymmetric Sails (colliding with space media) Asymmetric Induced Fields

26 Space Drive Energy Benefit Mission: 5000 kg sent 5 light-years in 50 years (non relativistic) Assessment Method (100% efficiency assumed for both) –Space Drive: Kinetic energy –Rocket: I sp = 17,200 s (highest record found) [Byers 1969] EnergyRocketSpace DriveImproved Fly-by10 91 J10 18 J≈ Rendezvous J10 18 J≈ RocketSpace Drive

27 Warp Drive Demo Moving Through SpacetimeMoving Spacetime

28 Fundamental Warp Drive Problems Magnitude of Required Energy Negative Energy Required  Spacetime expansion  Wormhole throat stability Controllability  Causal Disconnect  Throat collapse Time travel paradoxes

29 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28 28

30 Contemplating Space Drives Media CBR ZPE Fields Mach Higgs

31 Sci-Fi Space Drives Soap Boat Levitation

32 Sci-Fi FTL d=vt

33 More Fun with Faster Than Light - Intro - 5ct 4ct 3ct 2ct 1ct 0ct DISTANCE TIME FTL SHIP departs with v = 5 / 2 c Turns t=2 Returns with same v. Stops at Dock.

34 (t=0) (My apologies to George Lucas and ILM for this rather sloppy use of their images)

35 (t=1)

36 (t=2)

37 (t=3)

38 (t=4) Poof! The Ship has arrived!

39 (t=5)

40 (t=6) New image of arriving ship appears, but seen in reverse time. There are 3 ship images, but only 1 real ship.

41 Poof! The departing and reverse-arriving images vanish upon meeting. (t=7)

42 (t=8) All that remains is the real ship.

43 Fun with Faster Than Light Now Showing Light Lines 5ct 4ct 3ct 2ct 1ct 0ct DISTANCE TIME Red rays are from ship’s departure Blue rays are from ship’s arrival Note: 3 images of ship exist! (1 parked at dock + 2 in motion)

44 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec-28 43

45 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project GOAL: Exceed the fundamental limits of existing propulsion by further advancing physics to discover the breakthroughs that could revolutionize spaceflight and enable interstellar voyages. Programmatic Conduct visionary research in a credible manner. Technical Target the greatest challenges of deep- spaceflight.

46 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec The Higher-Risk, Higher-Payoff Plan: Seek Breakthrough From Physics Characteristics of space - in situ reaction mass or energy? Coupling of the fundamental forces (Gravity, Electromagnetism, etc). Fundamentals of moving matter & energy through spacetime. Manipulating spacetime to circumvent light-speed. “Warp Drives” “Wormholes” Energy-exchange and force-producing effects. Other unfinished physics.

47 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Are Breakthroughs Imminent? Millis's Subjective Assessment –No breakthroughs imminent, and might remain impossible –Collective status is “Defining the Problem” (give or take) Findings Compiled (NASA/TM ) –6 dismissed –4 unresolved or debated –4 open for continued investigation –Relevant works continue to emerge in peer-reviewed journals Hype Warning: “antigravity” and “free energy” claims

48 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Progress Toward Breakthroughs NASA Project Accomplishments Assessed 8 research approaches ($1.55M spread over ) – 3 determined to be not viable – 3 remain unresolved – 2 found open for continued study Produced 14 journal publications Produced award-winning public education website; “Warp Drive, When?” Tasks Sponsored By Others Sponsors: Earmark to WV, NASA-HQ, NASA-MSFC, ESA-ESTEC, NRL, & private Assessed 8 research approaches – 2 determined to be not viable – 4 remain unresolved – 2 found open for continued study

49 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Overall Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Null Research Findings Mechanical “Antigravity” Gyroscopes, Sticktion oscillators Hooper “antigravity” coils (NASA TM ) Schlicher thrusting antenna Podkletnov gravity shield Coronal blowers (NASA CR ) “Biefeld-Brown,” “Electrogravitcs,” “Lifters,” “ACTs” Quantum tunneling as FTL venue

50 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Unresolved Research Approaches Woodward’s inertial oscillation theory & experiments If genuine, assess propulsive implications Abraham vs. Minkowski electromagnetic momentum (1909) If Minkowski correct, assess propulsive implications Inertia & gravity interpreted as quantum vacuum effects If viable, assess propulsive implications Podkletnov latest claim: “force-beam” Superconductors as a new generic exploration tool Overall Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

51 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec Open Research Approaches Space Drives Seek reaction mass from space (revisit cosmological anomalies) Revisit Mach’s Principle (inertial frame physics) Seek Asymmetric Coupling of the Fundamental Forces Quantum Vacuum Energy Experiments As a window to studying fundamental space properties Asses magnitude of tangible forces or energy Note: Although propulsion possible in principle, still too feeble Provocative Questions Resolve anomalous spacecraft trajectories Look for violations of Equivalence Principle in free-fall Faster-Than-Light Inquiries Average null energy conditions Quantum fluctuations in topology Causality questions Overall Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

52 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec How to Pick Research Targets 1.Zero Propellant 2.Faster-Than-Light 3.Onboard Energy Vacuum Battery ? Grand Challenges Concepts & Devices Curious Effects, Unknowns, & Issues Space Drives Warp Drives & Wormholes Quantum Fluctuations General Relativity Conservation Laws Quantum Mechanics Cosmology Anomalous Rotation Rates (“Dark Matter”) Anomalous Red-shifts (“Dark Energy”) m p v p = m r v r Foundational Physics Compare Emerging Physics to Visions

53 Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Marc G. Millis ( _Interstellar_Dr.ppt) 2005-Dec What’s Next? Seeking Other Earths (JPL “Planet Quest”) Advanced Propulsion Technology –NASA research now focused on Moon and Mars missions –Universities and private organizations also research various options Planetary Society: “Cosmos I” solar sail mission attempt Hbar Technologies LLC: Antimatter (Antiprotons) Positronics Research LLC: Antimatter (Positronium) Others… Advanced Propulsion Physics –NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project not funded, but minor support remains for discretionary research –Individual pioneers continue to research and publish –Private organizations now taking on this challenge


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