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Re: <Two bits worth

On Wed, 28 Feb 1996 KellySt@aol.com wrote:

> Your Idea of an Ion decelerator is new, and may actually help.  But it would
> need a couple mods. 
> If you wanted it to travel much slower than the main ship.  It would need to
> be launched years or decades ahead of the main ship.  Which would make it
> impractical.  

I think so too.

> If you were going to send them out at about the same speed anyway.  You might
> as well launch them together, separte them at the start of decel phase, and
> start it up.  The Decelerator would boost like a bat out of hell and slow the
> main ship with its wake.  It MAY take less energy that way then just using
> the decelerators power in a on-board deceleration rocket in the main ship,
> but I'ld be surprized if it did.
> The big problem with stoping is it takes so much power, that caring the fuel
> to generate it would overwhelm the ship.  
> Hummm.  There is one way your decelerator idea could really have an edge.
>  Since the decelerator wouldn't need enough power to decelerate itself and
> all of its fuel, just the light ship.  It may have a much better power to
> weight ratio!  The ship wouldn't need to decelerate the deceleration fuel.  A
> microwave decelerator would be very compatable with kevins Microwave sail
> system.

I think this system is worth studying.  IF both parts leave Sol by maser 
sail, and separate at the halfway point.  with the decellerator keeping 
the maser sail (using it as an antenna converting the maser to elec) and 
blasting (new twist) fusion fuel right down the Explorer's throat, i 
think it might work.  

> Humm, You may have come up with a key technology for use.  Have to think
> about this.
> Of, course it also strands the people at the target star system.  So you'ld
> need to build a secoundary system like Kevins return maser.
> Hey Kev!  What do you think?

I think in order to work, it needs to combine your explorer drive with my 
maser sail.  The one big problem I see is when the decellerator's 
velocity overcomes the exhaust velocity.  the ions would then be moving 
toward TC with some residual velocity.  Provided this is small enough, 
this just might work.    Let me think on this.