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Project LongshotProject Longshot is an unmanned probe to our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light years away. The Centauri system is a trinary system consisting of two central stars (A and B) orbiting a barycenter, and a third (Proxima Centauri) orbiting the two. The system is a declination of -67 degrees. The goal is to reach the Centauri system in 50 years. This time space was chosen because any shorter time would be impossible of the relativistic velocities involved, and any greater time would be impossible because of the difficulty of creating a spacecraft with such a long lifetime. Therefore, the following mission profile is proposed: (1) spacecraft is assembled in Earth orbit; (2) spacecraft escapes Earth and Sun in the ecliptic with a single impulse maneuver; (3) spacecraft changed declination to point toward Centauri system; (4) spacecraft accelerates to 0.1c; (5) spacecraft coasts at 0.1c for 41 years; (6) spacecraft decelerates upon reaching Centauri system; and (7) spacecraft orbits Centauri system, conducts investigations, and relays data to Earth. The total time to reach the Centauri system, taking into consideration acceleration and deceleration, will be approximately 50 years.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
West, J. Curtis
(Naval Academy Annapolis, MD, United States)
Chamberlain, Sally A.
(Naval Academy Annapolis, MD, United States)
Stevens, Robert
(Naval Academy Annapolis, MD, United States)
Pagan, Neftali
(Naval Academy Annapolis, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Systems Analysis
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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