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Re: Engineering Newsletter

To Ric:

>Can we design a ship to take 1000, 2500 people?

Yes, ship-fuel ratio is the thing that is most important. But of course, the
weight of the ship does not influence that ratio.

>Can we insure we can have the proper and correct amounts of food and spare

That is were we are discussion about at the moment, so keep an eye on to the
newsletters for the final answer.

>Can we drive, ( stear ), the danmed thing?

Probably yes, otherwise it would mean that it would explode because of
shear-forces that were not accounted for. But you should have in mind that
you CANNOT make a turn whenever you like. If you travel at 100 million mph
you need a very long way (probably lightyears) to make a 45 degree turn.

>Can we stop it once we get it going?

Yes, but we haven't found an easy reliable method unless we are using
anti-matter or fusion (both are bad for different reasons)

>Can we get it started at all?

Same answer as before, although the options are broader: beaming and

The trouble is that ALL methods need enormous amounts of energy and to make
it worse most aren't even near efficient. So if we had an easy way to
releasu this energy and an easy way to carry it then it would not be a
problem. Oh yeah, there is still another problem, time. The period of 20 to
40 years makes all problems even much harder, things just can't be build so
fast with so few people.

>The big problem as I see it is building a drive to get us to TC and back if
>we want to. The rest we can probably do with the technology we have today or
>in the next ten years.

Don't say that, a 600 meter tube of ten metres in diameter with shielding is
quite large and then you only have a habitat. You still need the rest of the
ship and an engine (which method is used is not so important here) which
will probably weight more than the habitat ring.
Than you have to build a large array of solar-pannels and laser-arrays or
you have to accumulate 1E11 kg of hydrogen (assuming fusion).

I think that such a task is still to much in 10 years time.

>I know I know Nothing about the physics of all this that many of you are
>writing about. But I do know we are running in circles right now. How do we
>proceed? I don't have a clue. Just give me a hammer and some nail and I will
>start building the ship :-) You guys come up with the steam engin to push

You can already start building the hab-ring, by the time you are finished we
will have a design for the engine :)

>Maybe we need to concider several types of propulsion. kind of like a
>small sailboat that has sails, outboard motor and oars. Or just build the
>thing large enough to carry all the rocks we will need to toss into the
>ramscoop.  Or, maybe we just might have to set our sights closer to home.

Some long time ago we decided that it would not have an advantage to use
multiple systems. The differences between all methods are so big that one or
another will always be much more feasable.