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Re: New idea Laser launcher/scoop systems

>A couple days back, Tim ran threw the numbers to show what acceleration a
>'fuel packet' would need to get it up to 1/3rd light speed.  Assuming a 100
>meter long launcher, the numbers came out at E14 m/s^2  I.E. 10 trillions
>G's.  I was obviously upset to hear this.  However that information and a
>flip comment I made about the size of a fuel packet ("it could be as big as
>a freight car if you wanted") combined.

I did some extra calculations, it seems that electrons have a centrifugal
accleration of about 1E10 m/s/s when rotating about an atom-core. If we are
going to accelerate things so fast, atoms are going to be ionized. This
means no ordinairy matter could be used.

>So, if you station a laser tug every 100,000 miles or so.  They can take
>turns boosting a string of canisters.  Given orbital mechanics.  They will
>have to be continuously boosting themselves around to stay acceptably close
>to the 'Launcher' track.  (No stable orbits.)  Note that the exact
>possition of the tugs isn't important, but they must know exactly where
>they and the canisters are.  Given this system the launcher can be as long
>as you need at the moment.  If you space them out every 60,000 miles for
>100,000,000 kilometers (about a 1,000 tugs spaced from here to Mars.)  The
>average G load on a canister exiting at a speed of 1/3rd C, is E5 m/s^2, or
>about 100,000 gs.  Which seems reasonably possible for a solid block of
>reinforced metal and whatever.

So in short, you use a accelerator build up from several loose cannons in a
path spaced through our Solar system.

Changing the distances between accelerations may decrease the mean
acceleration but not the instant acceleration. I think it is the latter that
we need to be concerned about.

Your idea sounds good, but can the lasers correct the direction of the 100
ton packets?