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Project Daedalus by BlikjeBier Project Daedalus by BlikjeBier
Project Daedalus was a study from the British planetary society in 1973 to design a plausible interstellar unmanned spacecraft. The design had to use current or near-future technology and reach its destination within a human lifespan (50-60 years), however the probe was to be unmanned.

The target then choosen was Barnards star at 6 lightyears because it was then believed that it had at least one large planet, until this day this planet has not been found while we know at least 300 other so called exo-planets. The closest star we know today that has planets is Epsilon Eridani, at 10.5 lightyears away a sure target for future exploration.

The original plan called for an orbital assembly of the spaceship, but at an whopping 55000 tons this is quite an starship, for example you would need almost 2000 Spaceshuttle launches to lift al the materials and fuel from earth, to make matters worse, the main component of the fuel would be Helium-3, something of wich we have very little on Earth. The moon has more and there is even more to be found in the atmosphere of Jupiter.

Building Daedalus
The two stages will be build in orbit around the moon, an small amount of helium-3 will be used to launch the first and the second stage towards Jupiter where an extensive mining-operation in the atmosphere of Jupiter will provide for the necessary 50.000 tons of helium-3 for the trip towards Epsilon Eridani.

About the picture:
Ooohh shudder, it has been done with Bryce, yup, Bryce is cheap and in the right hands you can still make stunning pieces of art with it.

The model in this picture has been modelled completely within Bryce, usually downloaded models don't fit right in the scene so i am better of making those myself, wich also adds to your own flavour.
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:iconvoyageintotheunknown:
Very nice. I always thought this was the most plausible of the '70s starship designs.
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:iconairman12:
Airman12 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like it. In a few years, people will leave the Solar System with this spacecraft.
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:iconqraal:
qraal Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
Hi Blikje
I'm from "Project Icarus", the sequel to "Daedalus", and your rendering is amazing. We're collecting a gallery of "Daedalus" art and we're interested in anything else you've worked on along this theme. One of the other "Icarus" team will probably contact you shortly.
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:iconcutangus:
CUTANGUS Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
It's a wonderful masterpiece of space Art!
Project Daedalus is always the reference in "plausible" interstellar spacecraft design.

(I do not know how Epsilon Eridani is rated between the exoplanets; I still hoped that we can discover planets around the nearer double/triple system of Alpha/Proxima Centauri).
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Binary, especially trinary systems are very unstable. Add to that the fact that any planet in the habitable zone would have to be very close to the binary stars, and you'll find it's nigh impossible for a planet to be there.

But... Hey. If we're capable of making that 4 LY journey, our tech will be up there to where a 12 LY journey won't be a big deal in comparison... So I hope :P

Actually, I almost wonder if we won't go into manned interstellar flight until a huge breakthrough is made, such as a hyperspace drive or something that would allow traveling huge distances in tiny amounts of time. Because, even going ~.99 c, 12 years is a long time, never mind the gargantuan engine, waste heat, mass ratio and other performance requirements for going that speed... The best conceivable engines would get you no more than ~ 0.48c, and even they produce an unholy amount of waste heat and involve thousands of tons of antimatter, which requires an unholy amount of energy to make...

But physics is pretty advanced. Whenever they make some breakthrough like this is at the roll of dice. Maybe we'll live to see the day :)
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:iconfastmax:
Fastmax Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2009
Wow!! I remember this space craft concept from the late '70's. Boy,.. is this image in the wrong area at DA, being under "Miscellaneous", -should be Vehicles/ "Futuristic".
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:iconpeebo-thulhu:
Peebo-Thulhu Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2009
Awesome art. Don't forget Orion!

That idea could lift the mass from earth surface easy. Plus, as noted on this site,

[link]

If you do it from the south pole the radiation (Note for a ground launch) would escape due to the Van Allen belts not keeping the stuff in.

Just ideas. The dream of space still burns. :)

Cheers!
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:iconmarrekie:
Marrekie Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
Fantastisch gedaan. Prachtig resultaat. Herkende het schip direct toen ik er voorbij surfde! Het is al vele jaren terug dat ik dit ontwerp voor het eerst zag. het idee heeft me altijd gefascineerd.
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:icongeneralzadrek:
GeneralZadrek Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Noo! Why always unmanned ships?? I want to see humans in space... Well, I guess unmanned ship is better than no ship at all. I wonder how long will it take from Humankind to reach the stars, or if we ever do that.
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:iconsmpritchard:
SMPritchard Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
With all of the additional mass you need to haul to support a human in space for long periods of time, you quickly get very ugly mass ratios for your ship. Realistically, the best way to colonize other star systems is to send seed ships. These ships would be small, maybe about the size of Cassini, perhaps the size of this design here (Daedalus, and the recent follow-up study Icarus). When the probe arrives, it (after dispensing smaller science probes throughout the system) then lands probes onto the surface of the target planet (most likely a habitable Earth-like world). These landers would have autofactories in them, capable of building larger assemblers. Eventually, a large factory infrastructure is set up, built entirely by the probe with the resources around it, that builds everything the colony will need, from generators, living spaces, transportation, etc. After the initial infrastructure is built, the probe then thaws out it's cargo of frozen embryos and "grows" the first generation of colonists, who will be raised by AI guardians (more probably uploaded minds more so than AI in the traditional sense. Also, they would be able to download into physical "bio-robotic" bodies at will). After that, more of the embryos are thawed out, etc etc, until you have a fledgling civilization. It's how life has done it here; from tiny single-celled organisms coating the shoes (the first life on the surface, out of the ocean) sprung a huge ecosystem of surface life. It's repeating what nature has already done (in MUCH less time).

This method is simply cheaper, safer, and more practical. While it lacks the romanticism of fearless humans bravely flying out into the void on a massive interstellar rocket, quite frankly I don't think that's the way to go. We'll get there, but until we find a better method of space travel than rockets, we probably won't be sending living humans (well, living biological humans. And no, that's not redundant.)
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Technically that's incorrect... A larger mass doesn't mean a larger mass ratio, it just means a larger mass, proportionally. The natural logarithm comes into play when considering the ratio in-between fuel mass and vehicle mass, so if you 2x vehicle mass, you also 2x fuel mass for any given Delta-Vee. It's if you want 2x the Delta-Vee that you have to more than double the Mass Ratio, not if you double the vehicle mass.

Also, I think this kind of idea, as popular as it is, is very unrealistic... By the time that level of technology comes about, I think we'll be well past some sort of FTL travel as proposed by Froning (see comment below), something that radically changes spaceflight. That's the time to really head to the stars. But even before then, a conceivable vehicle can be built with thousands of cryonically frozen colonists, that would weigh many thousands of tons and could make the journey to Tau Ceti or Eps. Eridani in ~70 years. (Based on a mass ratio ~26 (possible for non-aerodynamic vehicle) with staging fuel tanks, Magnetically Confined Fusion rockets, achieving maximum potential with magnetic mirrors and positive energy output fusion reaction. Technology not more than 50 or 100 years distant.)

But if you don't want to wait for positive output fusion engines and the space engine tech, all you'd have to do is scale up something like Daedalus or Longshot. The tech is already there, you just have to proportionally scale the entire thing up so that the payload mass includes at least several hundred frozen colonists and the bare minimum to start an infrastructure.

IMO, this is far more appealing than sending a few embryos and computers out there to start from scratch again. Such a society would be culturally, linguistically, and ethically unidentifiable to our own, which also creates serious ethical concerns, especially having humans being raised by machines in a system we aren't capable of travelling to and back.
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:icongeneralzadrek:
GeneralZadrek Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
Yeah, well. Chemical rockets are out of the question at the very least. But who knows what we're capable of in say, 500 years? Antimatter rockets, ramscoops, ships containing evaporating black holes as propellant. There'll be plenty of ways for science to come up with stuff, even if FTL travel turns out to be REALLY impossible (like it probably will, based on our current scientific knowledge, at least).
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, and comment on antimatter rockets: The waste heat is very nasty, you'll have tremendous difficulty not vaporizing your ship, and the energy requirements to make enough antimatter are astronomical. The other ideas are quiet intruiging, though. My favorite concept for an ISV would be the Fusion Gasdynamic Mirrors, coupled with Froning's Conditioned EM radiation emitters. The craft wouldn't need to be FTL, but by rotating it's X-Tau plane (the plane it mathematically travels along) relative to the rest of space, you can get a free, massive boost to your Delta-Vee (vehicle speed ability).

It would be really awesome to be on a ship emitting CEM. Your inertial instruments would tell you your mass is M, your engines are creating F force, and your acceleration is A, as per A=F/M.
However, instruments that measure your velocity relative to Earth would tell you your acceleration is greater than Force/Mass! :D
(As proportional to the tangent of the angle of X-Tau rotation.)
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Look at my comment on Robby-Robert's post. I talked a good deal about my personal favorite candidate for FTL travel :).
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:icongeneralzadrek:
GeneralZadrek Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
Impressive indeed... It'll be interesting to see what the future holds - what may seem nearly impossible today may indeed turn out to be very much possible during the next few centuries - after all, even Einstein's General Relativity theory and Quantum Theory - along with all their implications have been "known" to us for less than 100 years.
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:iconsmpritchard:
SMPritchard Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, indeed. But also by that time, we probably won't need these fleshy organic bodies. Why not download yourself into the spaceship, and build a body when you get there?
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:iconrobby-robert:
Robby-Robert Featured By Owner May 23, 2011
Because our minds are not digital information. They are comprised of incredibly complex interactions of chemicals, neural pathways, and possibly quantum effects. Our minds are not simply algorithms. The sense of self is perhaps an illusion, created from interacting subsystems, but not something that can be written down. The best you might come up with, is an AI that "thinks' it's you. We ain't gettin' there like that.
I wouldn't write off ftl so quickly. Remember that to manipulate time space is the key to warp drive, and all that takes is mass. Maybe we'll find an electromagnetic field effect that can do the same? Just blue skying here.:D
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:iconsmpritchard:
SMPritchard Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
"Because our minds are not digital information. They are comprised of incredibly complex interactions of chemicals, neural pathways, and possibly quantum effects. Our minds are not simply algorithms. The sense of self is perhaps an illusion, created from interacting subsystems, but not something that can be written down. The best you might come up with, is an AI that "thinks' it's you. We ain't gettin' there like that."

I understand that. It's impossible to download a mind into a computer, because the mind is not digital information, as you pointed out. What mind uploading refers to (and here I realize that I should use a different term, as the uploading part is rather misleading), is simulating the same kinds of complex chemical reactions and inter-neural communication that occurs naturally in the brain on a computer. With accurate enough scans, one could conceivably build up an ever-more detailed model of the human brain. If consciousness is the emergent property of a complex system such as the brain, wouldn't something similar arise in an extremely high-fidelity simulation of a human brain? That hypothesis, of course, relies on a lot of assumptions, mainly about the nature of consciousnesses and mind, of which we know very little about. But, should those types of simulations prove possible, and should they act in ways we can call self-aware, then for all intents and purposes they are an artificial intelligence. And as long as adequate hardware and software exists for them to run on, there should be no issues with installing them aboard a ship (except possible ethical ones). Believe me, I know uploading in the classical sense is impossible.
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:iconrobby-robert:
Robby-Robert Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
I would agree with the Idea that an extremely complex set of electronic systems would be capable of simulating some of the human brain's systems. But without the physical aspect of the human brain, you would be left trying to recreate what the pathways etc. do, with an algorithm. That's where the whole idea comes crashing down for me. I believe that is where AI usually comes up with the phrase "simulation" of a mind. The idea that a simulation of the brain could have the same qualities or properties of a brain seems to ignore physics. How can a simulation recreate the physical effects without a similarly complex algorithm when we simply can't know what those effects are, down to the quantum level?
It doesn't seem to me, that it will ever truly be alive, as we are.
However, my initial argument as quoted above, was never to rule out AI in some form, but to suggest "We" would never get to Alpha Centuri, or anywhere outside our solar system, as imbedded consciousnesses.
I think this whole discussion is almost as philosophical as physical, until we know a LOT more about the nature of consciousness.
Fun, though!
Robert.
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:iconsmpritchard:
SMPritchard Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, indeed. The people that get to Alpha Centauri won't be entirely like us though. They'd most likely be augmented in some fashion by then. But AI is a very dubious topic, as you said, being almost equal parts physics and philosophy until such time we know much more about the brain and consciousness. I think we will succeed, eventually, in creating something that can be called AI, that can at least act self-aware and "alive", even if we can't empirically prove it (which is the other flaw with AI; how can you determine if something is really conscious? Do you just take it's word? It can act like us in every way, but would that truly make it conscious?). In retrospect, imprisoning any such "mind" in a space probe and flinging it tens of light-years into interstellar space seems tantamount to a crime against humanity. Or at least cruel and unusual punishment. Unless it really wanted to go, of course. :P
But personally, I've always been even more suspicious about any kind of FTL. Granted, I'm no theoretical physicist (although I plan on majoring in astrophysics, or maybe astrobiology. I haven't decided yet. It'l depend on how comfortable I feel with the math), but until someone shows a proof the undeniably demonstrates the moment of matter or transmission of information at FTL speeds (apparent or real), I'll stick with rel ativistic rockets, and maybe, just maybe, wormholes (which would be apparent FTL). Granted, relativistic rockets are centuries away at best, and would probably require large amounts of antimatter no matter which way you slice it, which opens up several other cans of worms.
It's nice to have someone to debate things like this with, though! :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wohoo! Tell'em!
I was about to write that! :D
What I'm particularly interested in in terms of FTL is Froning's idea on a hyperspace drive. Thank goodness I downloaded it, but the paper now seems to be impossible to get to from google :( . Maybe you can find it at a college or some other source.

Essentially, it's a physically possible way to travel FTL. It rotates the mathematical plane you travel along (X-Tau plane) relative to the plane of the rest of space, you do this by emitting specially conditioned EM radiation that is coupled to the force behind gravity and inertia, which "polarizes" the vacuum around your spacecraft. While you don't break c in a local sense, you can break c relative to the rest of the cosmos.


The cool thing is, by "polarizing the vacuum around the spacecraft", you reduce the vehicle's inertia in a frame relative to the rest of the cosmos. So your Delta-Vee may only be .01c, but if your X-Tau plane rotation is 89.94*, giving a tangent of ~1,000, then your velocity relative to the rest of the cosmos will be 10c instead of your local velocity, 0.01c. (Your ship vanishes when it reaches c relative to other observers, which keeps paradoxes and other problems from happening)

Paradox-Free FTL travel by higher dimensional rotation. Searching "Froning FTL" is usually enough :)
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:iconrobby-robert:
Robby-Robert Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Awesome! I have never heard of Froning, only the Alcubierre theory. Which, on the face of it, isn't impossible, only incredibly improbable.
However, I think the greatest impairment in getting "out there" is the human mind's limitations. We WILL do it, in spite of the mundanes!
That's a conceit of mine. And do the other things, like stop killing mother Earth.
Without finding anything about Froning myself, what method does he suggest using to "polarize" the vacuum?
Robert.
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't confess to fully understand it, but from what I recall it is by emitting a type of specially conditioned electromagnetic radiation that is "coupled with the forces behind gravity and inertia", so it's not exactly like something we can do today, but physics is sure to make progress. I just hope he's correct; it would not only make my WIP sci-fi novel more realistic, but possible, too! :D
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:icongeneralzadrek:
GeneralZadrek Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
True, true.
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:iconblikjebier:
BlikjeBier Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008
Oh cool, de eerste die commentaartje levert is niemand minder dan Miku.

Whoa, Renderosity all over again, de allereerste die daar commentaar gaf was Rochr (Rudolf Herczog).
[link]
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:iconpopgrafix:
Popgrafix Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Wreed heftige shit. Meer?
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