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Re: Re: Summary

On Wed, 14 Feb 1996 KellySt@aol.com wrote:

> Tim wrote:

> > 
> > >> Could we really trust such a big machinery to keep on working for
> > >> several months (if not a year)?
> > >
> > >Sure, we have a lot of big mechanical systems experience and the launcher
> is
> > >very simple and has very few moving parts.  The complex part would be the
> > >minning and construction parts, and the crews will be around to supervise
> > >that.
> > 
> > It may have few moving parts, but so does a rocket engine. How many rocket
> > engines will be able to work continously for half a year?
> Rockets have to be light and high powered.  For this system the pumps would
> be closer to city water pumps than rocket turbo pumps.  The accelerator would
> provide the high speed boost, but none of it would move.

so one of the questions we have to answer, is whether we should leave the 
launcher in the target system, or take it with us and add the complexity 
of an maser array.  if we take it with us, we can keep it maintained, if 
we leave it behind,  we might save some energy.

> > I imagine such a launcher as an electromagnetic pipeline say 100 km in
> > length and 10 cm in diameter. This is about 10 times as long as the
> > accelerator at CERN. It's diameter is probably many times more. I think we
> > won't reach much more than .5c because at CERN it takes several 1000 turns
> > to get the particles to move that fast. I'm not sure if we need a vacuum
> > assuming we use something like our moon to build the launcher on. But if we
> > do, it means a lot of moving objects (I'm not sure though how high-vacuum
> > pumps do work).
> > On the other hand there is a lot of electronics involved to control al the
> > machinery. Can we be sure that there won't be a fuse that burns through? (I
> > assume there won't be any fuses, since they aren't allowed to burn through
> > anyway)
> I'm not clear on the requirment for the launcher.  Hopefully it won't need to
> be that long.  I don't think we'ld need speed that high because then the ship
> would get to far away from the launcher before it got that fast.  I think
> beam presision is the main limitation, but I haven't work on it.

Tim, why not have a torroidal accelerator with a straight aiming track?  
The particles could go around the track many times before being thrown 
out into space.  That would make it a smaller device

> > Do you have a better idea, that I don't know of... :)
> Unles we come up with matter conversion or warp drives, I think thats about
> it.

Okay, So i see three  semi-respectable drive systems.  each of which 
needs some more work to be productive, each of which requires some 
technology that we don't have yet, or we can't agree when we might have.

1) The fusion RAIR: 

Pros: we are closer to fusion than to the next two ideas.  Fairly low energy.
would have military applications (i.e. the government would fund it) 
moderate heat load/low rad loaad depending on fuel cycle

Cons (basic to the design, for which no reasonable tech solution exits)
Slower.  even if it gets up to .75 C, will add many years to a flight. 
and the design only calls for .5 C.  requires many hundred tons of 
relatively rare atoms ( i.e. Li, He, Be,) Or a better Fusion pathway that 
uses Hydrogen.  

Tech Limitations:  a "Fuel Launcher" (whatever that is) capable of 
keeping a tight beam of fusion fuel pellets (or gas) on course for .5 to 
1 Light-years.  Must be re-built in target sytem. Must be automated.

2) the MARS: (SOL > {maser sail} > mid-way point > {Lineac drive} > TC)
                                               Build maser array
             (SOL < {maser sail} < mid-way point < { Maser Sail } < TC)

Pros: Allows for continuous thrust. a Faster trip. uses no RM to return.
maser sail needed for return is easier to repair than fuel launcher.
ship will be much lighter during return trip.  No Rad load from engine
some military applications

Cons: (inherent in the design)
Gulps and gobbles energy.  Has high heat load.  The maser array will be 
much harder to build than a fuel laucher.  Due to higher speeds, more 
shielding will be needed (esp on return trip)

Tech limitations:  a "maser array" (whatever that is) capable of keeping 
a tight beam of microwaves on course for 12 light-years.  Must be re-built 
in target system.  Must be automated.  (N.B. the return maser array can 
be smaller / only aim to 6 light-years beacuse the Sol transmitter 
provides braking force allowing ship to dispense with all RM tanks and 
lineac core)
Requires self-reproducing robots.  Capable of making solar panels.

3) Anti-matter.
Excellent energy storage.  May allow 1 G thrust missions.  has military 

Cons. (inherent in the design) 
Excellent energy storage.  May explode.  Has high Rad load.

Tech limitations: Manufacturing and storage of anit-matter is 
still counted in atoms.  

Okay, did I miss anything?

Here's my suggestion: since each design has some technical limitation on 
it, let's assume we can solve that problem.

Kelly gets a fuel launcher, he only has to tell us how far/fast/much it 
needs to shoot in order to provide the thrust to his rocket.  he does not 
need to prove it works, or justify it's abilities as reasonable.  
provided the energy costs etc are accounted for.

Kelly also gets to use the fusion cycle and reactor of his choice 

Kevin gets a maser array capable of aiming +/- 1000 Km / 12 L.Y.
      (really, could be anything, but I think this is reasonable)
Kevin also gets self-reproducing robots until he can figure out how to do 
without them.  Reproduction rate/intelligence level will be discussed later.

Tim gets the ability to manufacture and store whatever amount of 
anti-matter is required.  If anti-matter is manufactured in target 
system, 50% effeiciency is assumed  (make 1 Kg matter for every Kg 
Antimatter)  E=mC^2.  

These items then become the minimum tech basis for our designs.  They 
cannot be built until these problems are solved.  Since we cannot 
possibly solve these particular problems here in this forum, let's just 
assume them for now, and see where this takes us.  I will start working 
on a MARS addition to my home page. Let's try to refine the design of 
each of these propulsion systems.

Kevin Houston
Fuck the CDA