How to view the Kuiper belt

Having watched a program (the comet’s tale) and the difficulty encountered in trying to see such objects, it occurred to me that we need some way of illuminating such region’s of Space.
Obviously a flare, such as that used in combat conditions, would need to be excessively large and bright, so the solution would be to use a mirror.
It wouldn’t have to be a mirror, so much as a reflective surface.
As we are looking for something with a large area rather than something with great mass, it could be something like a parachute only more tenuous.
So packed like a parachute but in order to deploy it, we’d need the guide ropes to be made of tubing and extended into a frame like that of an umbrella.
This skeleton wouldn’t have to withstand much, so quite thin tubing, inflated by a minute amount of gas, would do the trick. In fact we could steal the technique used by butterflies, when they expand their wings, by using a gas that sets the skeleton into a rigid frame.
The cost would be minimal, depending on how long we wished to wait for it to reach its intended target, because we could deploy the parachute quite close to Earth and rely on the Solar wind to accelerate it out into Space.
We would have to set a course that would enable it to avoid serious interaction with the other planets but that should be quite easy considering the distances involved. It would not even be a consideration if we wished to send it out of the Solar Plane.
As the costs would be quite low, we could send up a whole series of such reflectors, each carrying a different stabilising payload with various camera’s etc.
Such devices would of course keep accelerating under the pressure of the Solar Wind, so we could allow them to continue on out (i.e. expendable) or we could fit retro rockets to the payload and achieve an almost zero acceleration. Again these needn’t be very massive and the further out the orbit was meant to be, the less the effect of the Solar Wind.
One further thought is that the lessons learned could be used to equip the Space Yachts that others have envisaged as allowing Man to emigrate to Mars and possibly Terra-form it, using Ice and minerals from the Asteroid Belt.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: