Tag Archives: Jump Route

Ross 154 and Lacialle 8760

Together with Barnard’s Star and Lacialle 8760, the Ross 154 system is an absolutely vital link for Earth: With the 7.7 light-years limit of current Jump drive technology, these three systems are Earth’s only link to the rest of the galaxy. This also means that, should it prove impossible to extend said limit, mankind will be trapped on Earth once any one of these stars moves too far away from its ‘neighbors’. While this won’t happen for at least hundreds of thousands of years, it is a long-term concern to the think-tanks that worry about such things. It is also remarkable, at least to some cosmologists and to some philosophers, that mankind developed the technology to travel to the stars during an age when a great number of solar systems are available to it.

Some SETI scientists have proposed such a potential isolation as one solution to the Fermi paradox, however if an alien civilization is truly separated from other stars by a jump drive “chasm”, we will likely never know about it.

Ross 154

Ross 154 is 5.53 light-years from Barnard’s Star. The voyage from Earth to Ross 154 is a total of 11.49 light years due to the detour via Barnard’s Star, Ross is only 9,68 light years from Earth. This nicely illustrates the “inefficiency” inherent in Jump drive technology. And at 30 days to a light-year, it took the first interstellar probe almost a year to reach Ross 154 – 345 days – of pure travel time. The probe had been launched soon after the return of “Hope” from Alpha Centauri, in February of 2173, and it returned to Terra in April 2175.

The Ross 154 system was a disappointment after the exciting planetary discoveries made previously, but nobody had expected Ross 154 to contain any habitable worlds.

  1. Desert World (0.03 AU): 6000km diameter, density 0.4, Gravity 0.2. Thin atmosphere, no water, 2 moons.
  2. Rock ball (0.07 AU): 4000km diameter, density 0.8, Gravity 0.27. Very Thin atmosphere, ice crystal deposits at the poles.
  3. Ice Ball (0.13 AU): 3000km diameter, density 0.3 Gravity 0.08. No atmosphere, 20% surface ice.
  4. Failed Core (0.21 AU): 7000km diameter, density 0.4 Gravity 0.23. Thin atmosphere, 70% surface ice, two moons.
  5. Ice Ball (0.45 AU): 1000km diameter, density 0.2 Gravity 0.02. No atmosphere, 40% surface ice. Three tiny moons.
  6. Failed Core (0.98 AU): 6000km diameter, density 0.6 Gravity 0.3. Thin atmosphere, 40% surface ice, 3 moons.
  7. Failed Core (1.97 AU): 6000km diameter, density 1.3 Gravity 0.65. Standard atmosphere, 80% surface ice.

Even though the system offers no obvious choices for a settlement, the Colonial Authority and the star-faring nations are likely to set up outposts throughout the system to service and refuel starships. Likely candidates are the Failed Core world in Orbit 7, due to its relatively high gravity which will cause fewer health problems in humans, as well as the tiny ice ball world #5 and the moons of the Failed Core in orbit #4; in the later two cases because the low gravity makes landing and take-off of spacecraft fairly low energy affairs.

Lacialle 8760

Lacialle 8760 is 7.36 from Ross 154. From this system, four other systems can be reached: Lacialle 9352, Epsilon Indi, Gliese 832, and 2MASS J18450541-6357475. While Lacialle 8760 is 12,87 light years from Earth, a ship must travel 18.85 light years to get there, 566 days of travel-time not counting any pauses. And that is only counting one way. The first probe to visit the system was launched together with the one targeting Ross 154, and indeed both probes traveled “in tandem” – one of the secondary objectives was to test synchronization of the arrival of the probes, and the Ross 154 probe recorded departure data for its sister ship as it continued its voyage to Lacialle 8760. It took the Lacialle 8760 probe until April 2176 to return to Earth.

Interestingly, all worlds orbiting Lacialle 8760 are located in the star’s “outer” zone; the habitable zone and inner zone are completely empty.

  1. Ice Ball (0.3 AU): 11000km diameter, density 0.1, Gravity 0.09. Very Thin atmosphere, 40% surface ice, 1 moon.
  2. Ice Ball (0.57 AU): 9000km diameter, density 0.1, Gravity 0.08. Very Thin atmosphere, 40% surface ice, No moons.
  3. Failed Core (0.8 AU): 14000km diameter, density 0.2, Gravity 0.23. Standard atmosphere, 10% surface ice, 2 moons.
  4. Ice Ball (1.36 AU): 6000km diameter, density 0.1, Gravity 0.05. Standard atmosphere, 30% surface ice, 1 moon.
  5. Rock (2.44 AU): 2000km diameter, density 0.7, Gravity 0.12. No atmosphere, Ice crystals, 1 tiny moon.
  6. Rock (5.13 AU): 3000km diameter, density 0.6, Gravity 0.15. No atmosphere, Ice crystals.

The Colonial Authority and various nations are also planning to set up bases in the Lacialle 8760 system. Prime candidate is world #4, because it possesses ice and a low surface gravity.

Interstellar Probe “Vision” returns from Barnard’s Star

Houston, Republic of Texas — June 15th 2173. The third of mankind’s interstellar probes has returned today. “Vision”, the third of the initial trio of interstellar probes, has been exploring the Barnard’s Star since its departure in 2172.

Barnard’s Star is a flare star, and as such scientists did not expect it to be orbited by worlds harboring life. In addition, due to the star’s small size and low temperature, no worlds capable of human life were expected there either. The discoveries made at Barnard’s were not much of a surprise, therefore, and on the surface the “hostile” system may even seem like a disappointment after the rich discoveries in the Alpha Centauri system. However, this is not quite the case.

“Without any garden worlds, a result we expected, Barnard’s Star is still of vital strategic importance. It is within jump distance of Alpha Centauri A/B, Proxima Centauri, and Sol on the one hand, and Ross 154 on the other. “The star’s system will always be the ugly duckling,” one Colonial Authority scientist commented, “but all traffic going to and from Terra and the new colonies at the three Centauri stars is going to pass through Barnard’s, Ross 154 and Lacialle 8760.

“Only after Lacialle 8760 do we find multiple stars within Jump range again.”

In other words, unless a method is found to increase the range of jump drives – something theoretical science makes as impossible as traveling faster than light in our own space-time continuum – all ships that set out to explore, colonize and trade with the galaxy have to pass through those three systems, and with that traffic and the support that ships need, comes money.

And there is another aspect too. Any hostile fleet heading for Earth would have to take the same route.

“Barnard’s Star may well be our last line of defense before any aggressor hits Earth,” the official concluded. He declined to speculate about who those potential aggressor could be.

The planets of Barnard’s Star are:

  1. Glacier (0.05 AU): 10000km diameter, density 1, Gravity 0.83. Dense atmosphere, 70% ice sheets, 3 moons.
  2. Failed Core (0.11 AU): 7000km diameter, density 0.3, Gravity 0.18. Thin atmosphere, 50% ice sheets, no moons.
  3. Failed Core (0.3 AU): 7000 km diameter, density 0.3, gravity 0.18. Thin atmosphere, 70% ice sheets. 1 moon.
  4. Failed Core (0.6 AU): 14000 km diameter, density 0.2, gravity 0.23. Standard atmosphere, 90% ice sheets. no moons.
  5. Ice Ball (1.3 AU): 3000 km diameter, density 0.3, gravity 0.08. Vacuum, 100% ice sheets, no moons.

Out of the five planets, the innermost seems the most interesting for future bases. Its three moons, although smaller than Luna, lend themselves for orbital defense and spaceport facilities, while the relatively high gravity of the planet makes it easy for humans to adapt to life there.


Interstellar Probe “Dream” discovers Terrestrial Worlds – and Life!

Houston, Republic of Texas — February 21st 2173. The second of mankind’s interstellar probes has returned from Alpha Centauri, where it made a spectacular discovery: the existence of not only one, but two human-inhabitable planets in that system.

The probe emerged from Hyperspace almost exactly on target and entered a parking orbit around Mars while transmitting data back to mission control. “The data we did get back immediately showed us that our wildest dreams had been eclipsed,” Mission managers and representatives of the Colonial Authority said in a joint press conference today.

The Alpha Centauri system, of which Proxima Centauri is a distant companion, consists of two stars: Alpha Centauri A, an almost identical two to our sun, and Alpha Centauri B, which is more orange in color. Both stars possess individual star systems, with a total of 16 systems. Both of the earthlike “Garden” worlds orbit around Alpha Centauri A. Both of them, initial data suggests, support life, but in neither case has it evolved very far.

“There’s plentiful plant life on the inner of two garden worlds, and probably early land-dwelling animals. Ohe second garden world has even more primitive life; it hasn’t conquered land now.”

In addition to the large distance of the world to its sun – at 1.71 it orbits at the outer edge of the Habitable Zone – Planetologists pointed at the absence of moons orbitting the further Garden world as a likely cause: “Without large moons, conditions on Earthlike planets are more chaotic, and we suspect this may have a negative impact on the evolution of higher species.”

In detail, the composition of the Alpha Centauri A system is:

  1. Hothouse World (0.2 AU): 11000km diameter, density 0.8, Gravity 0.73. Massive atmosphere, no water, 1 moon.
  2. Desert World (0.3 AU): 4000km diameter, density 0.9, Gravity 0.3. Thin atmosphere, no water.
  3. Rock (0.42 AU): 2000 km diamteer, density 1.3, gravity 0.22. Vacuum, minor ice deposits,3 moons.
  4. Hothouse World (0.67 AU): 15000 km diameter, density 0.6, gravity 0.75. Dense atmosphere, no water, 3 moons.
  5. Garden world (1.01 AU): 11000 km diameter, density 0.8, gravity 0.73. Dense atmosphere, 60% oceans. 1 moon.
  6. Garden world (1.71 AU): 12000 km diameter, density 0.9, gravity 0.9. Dense atmosphere, 80% ice sheets.
  7. Failed Core (2.4 AU): 8000 km diameter, density 0.3, gravity 0.2. Thin atmosphere, 80% ice sheets. 1 moon.
  8. Failed Core (3.6 AU): 24000 km diameter, density 0.2, gravity 0.4. Dense atmosphere, 60% ice sheets. 2 moons.

Alpha Centauri B’s system is less promising. There are two Mars-like desert worlds in its habitable zone, both lifeless, and one hothouse slightly larger than earth. All three could be terraformed but lack significant water reserves.

  1. Rock (0.3 AU): 1000 km diameter, density 1.2, Gravity 0.1. Vacuum, minor ice deposits.
  2. Hothouse (0.48 AU): 14000 km diameter, density 0.9, gravity 1.05. Dense atmosphere, no water.
  3. Desert world (0.62 AU): 4000 km diameter, density 0.9, gravity 0.3. Thin atmosphere, minor ice deposits, 1 moon.
  4. Desert world (1 AU): 10000 km diameter, density 0.4, gravity 0.33. Standard atmosphere, minor ice deposits.
  5. Ice Ball (1.3 AU): 4000 km diameter, density 0.3, gravity 0.1. Vacuum. 60% ice sheets. 1 moon.
  6. Ice Ball (2.07 AU): 2000 km diameter, density 0.5, gravity 0.08. Vacuum. 50% ice sheets. 2 moons.

Unless Barnard’s Star holds any surprises, the discovery of two habitable planets at Alpha Centauri make the binary system the destination for mankind’s first manned interstellar expedition, which is currently bein prepared by an international team under the coordination of the Colonial Authority.

The United States, China, Europe, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia immediately announced that they intend to set up colonies on the as-yet unnamed worlds, and other nations are expected to follow soon.

Interstellar Probe “Hope” Returns From Proxima Centauri!

Houston, Republic of Texas — January 17th 2173. One of mankind’s first three interstellar probes has emerged from hyperspace, mission control specialists have reported. The probe emerged just outside the orbit of Mars – it was off target by several thousand kilometers but in good shape. The probe immediately attempted to contact the Advanced Deep Space Network to broadcast its data.

While specialists pour through the data, we can already report on the makeup of Earth’s closest extra-solar star system. It contains eight planets:

  1. Desert World (0.02 AU): 6000km diameter, density 0.6, Gravity 0.3. Thin atmosphere, no water.
  2. Rock (0.034 AU): 2000km diameter, density 0.5, Gravity 0.08. No atmosphere, no ice or water.
  3. Failed Core (0.065 AU): 8000km diameter, density 0.4, Gravity 0.27. Thin atmosphere. Surface covered by ice sheets: 80%.
  4. Failed Core (0.13 AU): 9000km diameter, density 0.2, Gravity 0.15. Thin atmosphere. Surface covered by ice sheets: 70%.
  5. Icy Ball (0.19 AU): 5000km diameter, density 0.3, Gravity 0.13. No atmosphere. Surface covered by frozen oceans: 60%. One Moon.
  6. Failed Core (0.33 AU): 5000km diameter, density 1.3, Gravity 0.54. Standard atmosphere. Surface covered by ice sheets: 80%. Two Moons.
  7. Failed Core (0.43 AU): 8000km diameter, density 0.6, Gravity 0.4. Standard atmosphere. Surface covered by ice sheets: 30%.
  8. Rock (0.6 AU): 3000km diameter, density 1.3, Gravity 0.33. Very thin atmosphere. No water

It had not been anticipated to discover any Earthlike worlds at Proxima Centauri, or at Alpha Centauri, so the discovery of the Mars-like desert world was seen as being “as good as we could hope for”. A Federated Nations spokesman stated that the Colonial Authority would be soliciting proposals for colonization within the next six months.

The other two interstellar probes, “Dream” and “Vision”, are due to return in February and June from Alpha Centauri A/B and Barnard’s Star.