How quickly could I launch something out of the solar system?
October 2, 2013 6:13 PM Subscribe
In an aside for a short story I'm writing, a vanity billionaire notices the news about Voyager leaving the solar system, and decides she wants to make her mark on the Universe by 'shotgunning' some things out into interstellar space.
posted by jjderooy to science & nature (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My vague 'spacey-wacey' idea of how this could work would be a satellite get launched into space, then a bunch of small 'pellets' get launched from there towards the sun's gravity well, to be slingshotted outwards. The pellets would only need have enough kit on board to enable people on earth to identify their locations (plus say a message from the vanity billionaire), so as to be able to inform the vanity billionaire when its done.
Can anyone thought-experiment me through a firmer explanation of how it could happen in practice, and particularly a timeframe from idea through to exiting the solar system? How could humanity start littering interstellar space if they started today?