anthony7812 wrote: I think if our kind discover intellegent life it won't be an accident. But hey that's just me.
The 1976 Helios 2 mission was launched to study the interplanetary medium from 0.3AU to 1AU to the Sun. At the time, Helios 1 (launched in 1974) and Helios 2 held the record for closest approach to the Sun. However, to this day, Helios 2 holds the record for fastest ever spacecraft to travel in space. Helios 2 was launched by a conventional NASA Titan/Centaur launch vehicle (the craft itself was built in Germany) and placed in a highly elliptical orbit. Due to the large eccentricity (e=0.54) of the 190 day solar orbit, at perihelion Helios 2 was able to reach a maximum velocity of over 240,000 km/hr (150,000 miles/hr). This orbital speed was attained by the gravitational pull of the Sun alone.
Gravitational assists are a very useful spaceflight technique, especially when using the Earth or massive planets for a much needed boost in velocity. The Voyager 1 probe for example used Saturn and Jupiter for gravitational slingshots to attain its current 60,000 km/hr (38,000 miles/hr) interstellar velocity. Technically, the Helios 2 perihelion velocity was not a gravitational slingshot, it was a maximum orbital velocity, but it still holds the record for being the fastest manmade object regardless.
So, if Voyager 1 was travelling in the direction of the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, how long would it take to get there? At a constant velocity of 60,000 km/hr, it would take 76,000 years (or over 2,500 generations) to travel that distance. And what if we could attain the record-breaking speed of Helios 2′s close approach of the Sun? Travelling at a constant speed of 240,000 km/hr, Helios 2 would take 19,000 years (or over 600 generations) to travel 4.3 light years.
Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/15403/how- ... z2jmch0LDk
samhill wrote:I think that everyone is assuming & or possibly hoping that if there is intelligent life out there that it is going to be in our human form with like needs for life support but is that going to be the case?
Rigar wrote:good point Richard..
...thats why part of me thinks SETI is a bit of a wasted attempt-
...if it DID receive an authentic communication...most likely it would be centuries old ?