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Re: Mini SD-newsletter

Subject: pre-loading the decell track
Author: Kevin Houston
Replying to Timothy

> Subject: Pre-loading the decell track
> Author : Timothy
> ReplyTo: Kelly
> >Ok, how do you get the decel fuel in the Target star systems decel track, and
> >at an acceptable speed?  To get their befor the ship it would have to be
> >going at relativistic speeds.  But if its going that fast, the ship couldn't
> >catch its decel fuel.   i.e. the ship would slow down, but the fuel wouldn't.
> Another way to get it at the target before the Asimov is to send it there
> before the Asimov is started. What I mean is that the slowest fuel-packets
> will be send from Earth many years before the Asimov starts moving to TC.
> These early packets have low speeds and thus take a long time to get to TC.
> Faster packets which will be catched up by the Asimov first will be send
> last but still before the Asimov has started. So now there is a long track
> of packets all at decreasing speeds. All these packets are moving towards TC
> and so is the Asimov, but the Asimov moves a little bit faster than the
> fastest moving packet and "near" TC it catches up with that packet. After
> catching that packet the Asimov slows down a bit, but not too much, so that
> it can catch up with the next packet which moved slower than the packet just
> catched. This process repeates many times, untill the Asimov has an
> reasonable slow velocity.
Yes, but at some point in the deceleration we will have to be moving at 
some arbitraily slow speed, let's say for the sake of argument that we 
want to see how the "Asimov" gets fuel while moving at .01 C (a speed of 
3 million meters a second)  in order to get fuel to T.C. with a speed of 
3E+06, it will have to be launched 1200 years before the ship!  Even if 
you cut off the fuel supply at a speed of .1 C (and how can you slow down 
from this insane speed without fuel?) you'd need to launch fuel 120 years 
ahead of ship launch.  The U.S. (or others by the way) political scene 
would never stay focused for that length of time.  It's preety dicey as 
to whether or not they'd leave the maser beam alone for two years (earth 
time) never mind 120!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there is _no_ way you 
could pre-load the decell track of a target like Tau Ceti.  Maybe, Just 
Maybe, You could do it for Alpha Centauri, but not Tau ceti.  and since 
the target is Tau Ceti, we need a better way.  Either beam the power, or 
figure out how to use the Interstellar Medium (ISM) as a brake.  I say 
that beaming the power is the quickest easiest solution.

To: all
From: Kevin H.
Re: Results of Vote (un official)

Having looked through the replies (before the newsletter melted), it 
seemed that the majority opinion was for a continued presence at T.C. 
While this may seem unrealistic to some (shush Kelly ;) ) I think it is 
a reasonable goal.  I don't think our job is to do an economic 
justification for the colony (or base) I think we only need to show that 
it is possible.  If someone in the future should decide to use our 
design, I'm sure there will be many changes, and this is one of the first 
no doubt.

So here is the proposal.

1) Purpose of the mission is to set up a permanent base at T.C.  in order 
to study the system in-depth and possibly set up a colony if conditions 
warrant.  Otherwise, the base is slated to be abandoned after all the 
research is done.  Expected service life of base should be 50 Solar 
years, any permanant colony must be self-sufficient.

2) Some means of sustainable (closed-cycle) life support must be found.
spare parts and supplies can be ferried (see #3 below) to T.C., but the 
daily bread must be home-grown.

3) Individual crew members must have a reasonable chance to get rotated 
back to earth and/or quit the mission at various intervals.  i.e. , there 
must be regular "shuttle bus" service, and this must be cost effective

4) "Shuttle busses" can assume loaded accel and decel tracks, or 
conversly they can assume functioning maser transmitters in both systems.

5) The "Asimov" need not be returned to Earth, it can stay at T.C. and 
become the core of the base, it can be junked, or it can be fitted for 
another trip to some other star in the local neighborhood.  if you intend 
to convert the "Asimov" to a base, please be specific in dual-use 
details.  if you intend to refit it for another journey, how will you 
build the spacedock? what target would you select, and who will crew it?
Maybe you have some other use for the "Asimov" (we could put a big sign 
on it that says "Colony ship for sale - Cheap!" if you don't get the 
joke, that just means you haven't played enough Marathon.)

I think the next vote shold be on engine type, but that should probably 
wait until we can get the Newsletter back up and running.

Kevin H.