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> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Now, for another drive proposal <<<<<<<<<<<
>  you are standing on ice skates on very smooth ice (not 
> completely frictionless, but then the ISM is not completely empty 
> either) several hundred of your (friends?) throw snowballs at 
> you, you catch them in a device that compresses a spring as each 
> one is caught.  Of course, as Steve teaches us, you begin to move 
> across the ice.  your friends continue to pelt you with snow balls, 
> until you are moving with the speed of a thrown snowball (let's 
> call it B).  Halfway across the ice, you realize what will happen 
> when you get all the way across the ice (and run out of ice) so you 
> begin to throw your snowballs (using the energy stored in the 
> spring) until you come to a nice stop on the far side of the ice.  --
> --
>  Now, consider the the following engine design:
>  Sol sends out a maser beam, and the "Asimov" absorbs it, turning 
> it into electricity (let's say 80% eff)  This gives the Asimov a 
> nice 1 G accel.  The energy is stored (if I knew how, I wouldn't 
> need you guys  ;) ) and later, at the halfway point, the beam from 
> Sol stops.  The "Asimov" gains some deceleration out of friction 
> with the ISM (until you get down to about .90 C) and then releases 
> the stored energy in the form of a maser beam generated by the 
> "Asimov" and directed toward TC.  Various transfer losses would 
> probably leave you with some velocity even after you expended all 
> of the stored energy.  But I think that the velocity you would have 
> left would be within the stopping range of a fusion engine.---

One alternate that was discussed prevbiously would be to throw fusion fuel
snowbals to same effect as first section.  But of course thats probably
impractical over large distences.

Your stored microwave idea is interesting, but given the huge watage flows I
can't think how to store it.  Unless Tim's power to antimatter conversion
systems would work.