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Re: Optimum Interstellar Rockets

At 2:06 PM 4/4/96, Kelly Starks wrote:
>Other than complexity, would adjusting the exaust vel for opt-
>imum at ships current vel (I.E. as the ships speed increases.
>Changing the exaust velocity for the optimum for that speed)
>buy us anything?

You decide.  (It would probably require a sophisticated math-
ematical technique called "the calculus of variations" to tell
us exactly how much such an optimum exhaust-velocity program
would buy us.)

Suppose we could find an exhaust-velocity profile that could
raise the kinetic-energy efficiency to 100 percent.  Would mul-
tiplying all the minimum-antimatter ratios by 0.6+ (the maximum
kinetic-energy efficiency for constant exhaust velocity) signif-
icantly change the implications of the numbers in the table?
The ratios already seem surprisingly small.

Regards, Rex