I thought that today I wont write anything but finally I was lucky to find page about Project Daedalus so I will explain what it is.
So Project Daedalus is project which was created between years 1973 and 1978.
It was project that should give some light on the Fermi paradox.
Unmanned spacecraft would fly towards Barnard´s star which is 5.9 light years away (The reason for not flying towards Alpha Centauri was that astronomers were much surer that there is planet around Barnard´s star.).
Ok this project had some important highlights:
1) the mission will be less than human-live long
2) we will be able to prepare it with today´s or near future technology
3) project has to be made in a way so that the spacecraft is able to go to any other close star
Ok this seems totally crazy for the year 1973, and it is. On the picture you can see for comparison the size of Daedalus and Saturn V.
Wow, this crazy thing would be constructed on the orbit of Earth.
Its fuel would be deuterium and helium-3.
Fusion rocket would be used.
This thing would have empty steady mass 1690 tons which is about 3 times the mass of largest airplane which is used for people – Airbus A380
Ok guys sorry but this was only the first stage, second one is another 980 tons. If both of these guys would be full you could add about 50,000 tons (seems like standard weighlifting).
This “spacecraft” would burn its fuel for 3 years and then through space it would fly in about 12% C (which is 36000km\s). After about 50 years it would be pretty close to Barnard´s star. We would get some data and probably found out that we dont have enough good cameras and stuff to know if there is any life.
Of course this project never started.
Also Deadalus would have 50 ton beryllium shield to protect it from incoming micro dust particles.
Now consider yourself, who is really megalomaniacal?
Dragallur (no I am not :D, not that much at least)
PS: probably next stuff I will finish about those conspiracy theories, then I will continue with another moons and planets of Solar System!
So here are other details about this project: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/D/Daedalus.html