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Re: New idea Laser launcher/scoop systems

to Timothy van der Linden

> >Hi,
> >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
> >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
> >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.

Well, I suppose we only really wanted the nucleous anyway...

> >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
> >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,
> >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.

Cannons?  I don't follow.

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

No, the canisters would be undergoing contiuous boost for the entire launch
track.  (Well, their might be a secound or two gap when one laser tug hand
off to the next.)

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

Sure.  They can stear durring boost, and a bit of reaction mass added to the
sides can be used for course fine tuning with some lateral thrust.