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Re: My Two Bits Ain't Worth 1E-15 (Take 2)

>From Brian:

>>Now about reversing the direction of the maser energy without terribly
>>complicating the design.  I wonder if we would be able to build and launch 
>>massive maser starship that simply harnesses the maser energy from Sol
>>and redirects it to the side of the Asimov facing TC.

>Yes, I wonder about that too, we haven't found a really good method yet.

>>You might not to believe what I'm going to say but I'll say it anyway.  We 

>>DON'T want to use the design I just described (it took me the entire time 
>>was writing this e-mail to figure that out for myself.  Do I feel dumb or

>I think this is what is making me confused. :|

Well, if I understood Kevin's maser scheme correctly, he needed 1E7 
individual masers to make his propulsion system work.  At the time that I 
was writing about this idea of a starship to redirect the maser beams, I had 
envisioned 1E7 masers connected to a really huge maser sail and launching 
the whole mess via masers at Sol.  If each maser only weighed 1 ton, that 
would be a hefty weight to push.  I thought we could find other, more 
efficient methods of stopping the Asimov than what I was proposing.  After 
Kevin's comment about using mirrors, I think that the maser decelerator 
starship that I was proposing is unnecessary.

By the way, Kevin, I believe, was worried about the a redirecting mirror 
gaining too much speed related to the Asimov during the redirecting of the 
maser beam.  That problem can be handled by putting some sort of weight on 
the mirror.

>>By the way, I found out last night that a Kevin's MARS idea seemed to be
>>using another kind of sail to reflect microwaves.  If this statement is
>>incorrect, please correct me.  I wander in the dark here.

>I'm not sure, another kind than what?

Sorry, another kind of reflection sail like a magsail or visible light sail.

>You should keep in mind that
>microwaves reflect on different surfaces that visible light does. It may
>even be possible to use a mesh of metal. Roughly said if the mesh-holes are
>smaller than the wave-length then it will reflect the waves. For 
>that means very small holes, but anyway, it may save some weight (CD's have
>small puts too).

What CD's are you referring?  Compact Disks?

>>Thinking about this rail launcher, we might want to carry a second rail
>>launcher anyway if we want to preload a fuel track for the trip home.  Or 
>>could anchor the Asimov to an asteroid and load the acceleration track 
>>using another shuttling system to explore TC.

>Could you explain to me what makes a rail launcher different from an 

A rail launcher, to my knowledge, catapults solid, non-ionized masses.  An 
ion gun launches ionized particles.  Actually, a rail gun is made of the 
same magnets that an ion gun is (I think).  They could probably do the same 
jobs so there may be no real difference.

Peace and long life (through relativitic interstellar