Si requiritis futurum nostrum, spectate astra!
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable
one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore
all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
G. B. Shaw
A few days ago I’ve contacted Ralph L. McNutt Jr., MESSENGER Project Scientist, to give him knowledge about the launch and leitmotiv of BEYOND THE CRADLE.
And obviously to ask him for his help in this enterprise in what it would be possible.
Although a window remained open for a future participation, probably around the time of the 3rd Mercury flyby coming up on 29 Sep of this year, there were some gifts, having in consideration this blog’s nature, provided by Dr. McNutt.
As Nicholas Previsich latest chronicle generated some thoughts I think that this is a good occasion to publish the information Ralph McNutt e-mailed me.
The objective? To fuel the debate with different perspectives and concrete planning, which is vital the establishment of a solid ground when discussing a theme that, for its extraordinary nature, has the risk of slipping into spurious speculation.
Please read the following not as the arrival itself to an objective but as a possible path towards our future as a spacefaring species.
First – The Vision
Space travel is multitiered, but the primary challenge is propulsion. Associated costs continue to stall significant advances for both manned and unmanned missions. While there continues to be a hope that commercialization will lead to lower launch costs, markets for deep space remain elusive. Hence, initial
development beyond Earth orbit will likely remain government sponsored. Against this backdrop, we consider the linkage of scientific goals, current efforts, expectations, current technical capabilities, and requirements for the detailed exploration of the solar system and consolidation of off-Earth outposts. Over the next century, distances of 50 astronomical units could be reached by human crews, but only if resources are brought
to bear by international consortia.
Full PDF here.
Second – The Architecture
All solar system objects are, in principle, targets for human in situ exploration. ARGOSY (ARchitecture for Going to the
Outer solar SYstem) addresses anew the problem of human exploration to the outer planets. The ARGOSY architecture approach is scalable in size and power so that increasingly distant destinations—the systems of Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune—can be reached with the same crew size and time requirements.
To enable such missions, achievable technologies with appropriate margins must be used to construct a viable technical approach at the systems level. ARGOSY thus takes the step past Mars in addressing the most difficult part of the Vision for Space Exploration: To extend human presence across the solar system.
Full PDF here.
Enjoy the reading and don’t hesitate on giving us your feedback, BEYOND THE CRADLE wants you to bring your thoughts to light!
Oh…and if you were attempting to decipher the meaning of this post’s title don’t go no further…