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Exploring Other Star Systems

  • K. F. Long
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter we learn some fundamental astrophysics and consider the types of stars that exist in the universe. This is important, as the determination of a suitable destination is a fundamental prerequisite to launching any interstellar probe. Such a venture will require an enormous amount of effort, time and money; and mission planners need to be sure that they are sending the probe to the right place. When it finally reaches its destination, perhaps a century later, it will enter the orbit of another star and even of an extrasolar planet with a suitable biosphere for life. This could become a future home for pioneering humans, representing our first true expansion out into the cosmos. Alternatively, we may find life is there already and shed light on a question that has haunted our dreams since we had first looked to the heavens – are we alone in the universe?

Keywords

Solar Wind Solar System Spectral Type Terrestrial Planet Solar Mass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. F. Long
    • 1
  1. 1.Icarus Interstellar Fellow British Interplanetary SocietyBerkshireUK

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