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At 3:48 PM 3/4/96, Brian Mansur wrote:
>>From Brian At 3:45 CT 3/4/96
>>At 3:00 PM 3/4/96, Brian Mansur wrote:
>>>From Brian,
>>Brian Says:
>>>     The Asimov enters the Tau Ceti star system's Kupier Belt.  At this
>>>point it disassembles its sail and starts scouting for a low gravity,
>>>rich Kupier body that is not too far from the maser beam path.  Once such
>>>body is located, the seed robots are deployed to begin a robot community.
>>> Since the Kupier body will be too far away from Tau Ceti for solar energy
>>>collection, it is assumed that the robots will be powered by fusion
>>>that must be brought along (in addition to the fuel).  Depending on the
>>>automation technology at the time of launch, these robots will at least be
>>>responsible for construction of a mirror platform needed for
>>>to Sol.
>>Kelly Says:
>>>Why so far out?  That doesn't sound like and area we'ld want to do most of
>>>our exploring at.  So why make the base there?
>>>You could fuel the fusion reactors with fuel avalible were you set up the
>>Brian Says:
>>The reason for putting the base so far out is because whatever Kupier body
>>we find near the maser beam is going to be orbiting TC very slowly.  It
>>give us time to set up our reflector and get it into position with the
>>amount of effort.  It just occured to me that if you find an object further
>>inside the system whose orbit would be just right at certain times to let
>>you do the same thing.  Of course that also depends upon the orbital plane
>>of TC.
>>Kelly Says:
>>Object that far out areactually moving faster than orbits closer in.  They
>>just have farther to go.  You also have to remember that if the beam is
>>powerfull enough to push the ship at 10m/s, it will push the lighter mirror
>Brian Says: I'm sick of writing says.  From now on its just the name of the
>Doh!  Oh well.  Guess that just means that we'll have to use an extra
>100,000 tons of fuel to slow the array down to keep it inside the beam.  You
>know, when I joined LIT I really never thought that getting to another star
>system would be so hard.  Back then I thought  you could just say "engage"
>and the engines would start up and "whosh."  You'd be there after the
>commercial break.  Ugh!

Yeah, reality sucks some times.  MOst of LIT thought we'ld have the drive
systems ironed out in a couple of months.  That was nearly 2 years ago.

>[Much discusion deleted]
>>I'll go ahead and put a few ideas I had for mirror and ship course
>>corrections here.  We could have the Asimov detach its ion drive and cable
>>connect it to an edge of the wire mesh sail and the hab section.  The drive
>>could then gently pull the whole set up back onto the beam path.   We could
>>also, perhaps have the maser array at Sol periodically decrease power to
>>allow this tug to do its job without being microwave fried.  We would have
>>to do something about shielding the tug, of course.
>>Perhaps the tug could be a pair light rockets hanging onto opposite sides
>> 1000km+ wide sail.  They could have their own shielding and would be in
>>excellent positions to do their jobs.
>>You have to remember these tugs would have to pump out thousands, to
>>hundreds of thousands of tons of thrust.  That's too much to just hang off
>>the sail.
>Okay, new twist.  Leave the blasted maser beam on full and use power from
>the masers to convert to electricity and let the tug boat ion accelerator
>eat cake (the kind made up of one ion variety of course).   You can tell I'm
>getting frustrated here.

Many sore head ponding on this wall.  We certainly didn't come up with this
crazy interstellar microwave beam sail trick because it sounded easy!



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)