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Re: Engineering Newsletter

ReplyTo   : Kelly
ReplyFrom : Timothy

>I agree that we are stuck without a new power source.  Kevins microwave
>system or my Externally fueled system are at best theoretical possibilities,
>with no real credible way to build them.  

>> Externally fueled did that mean scooping? I'm not sure 
>> anymore, please tell me if my assumption is right.

Not quite.  In my Exporer ship design I assumed the fusion fuel was launched
ahead of the ship with a linear accelerator.  As the ship accelerates it
contiually scoops up pre launched fuel going at nearly its speed.  So the
ship looses very little momentum scooping up the fuel packets.  That would
allow you to get up to light speed with "only" 200 times the ships mas in
fusion fuel.  However like Kevins system.  We have a serious problem stoping.
 I though using a ramscope to produce a lot of drag might do it, but never
found a good woorkup of the numbers.

By the way.  Did anyone calculate the drag on the sail structure from
interstelar debre?  If you can maintain enough of an electric charge to use
the microwave sail as a parachute that might help with stoping.