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Re: Fwd: Brian is BACK!

Hi Brian,
Welcome back, for a while.

I sent another message with attached file of the last couples of months of
messages.  For a brief summary.

Kevin is offering to rehost LIT onto his new server (hes trying to start a
web service busness).  He's hoping to make lit self funding through on line
advertizing, but we should offer to help with some start up funds.  So far
little comment from anyone.

I'm still working to refurb the old LIT site, and hope to have everything
all dressed up and ready to upload in a months or so.  So please send what
you have of your Argosey or tradwinds system.  Which name do you prefer?

I stumbled across a NASA group also trying to speculate on possible
starship designs.

Various discusions of starship stuff.
I pretty well finished the Explorer design, Tim and others helped with some
more detailed fuel mass numbers and other tech stuff.  Given the equipment
it could get up to a 1/3rd c cruise.  More interesting I came up with a new
idea I'm calling fuel-sail.

The fusion driven Explorer was limited by the need to accelerate and
decelerate with on board fuel, or accelerate close to Sol where the fuel
launcher can refuel the ship as it consumes acceleration fuel.  The
microwave driven ships can accelerate, but not slow down.  I thought of
mixing the two.

I use Lithium as the fusion reactor fuel, but to accelerate out of sol I
spread it out into a huge microwave sail (lithium is a structural metal).
Since the vast bulk of the weight is spread out in the sail, its a more
efficent sail system.  As soon as the ship approaches cruise speed; the
sail is pulled back in, melted and cast into a heavy cylindrical fuel plug
in the frount of the ship.  As the ship approaches the starsystem it mounts
the fusion motors on the frount of the fuel and starts the deceleration
burn.  As fuel is cut out of the fuel slug and burned.  The ships hab and
system section will be shifted forward as the fuel is consumed from
underneath it.  Since it doesn't need to accelerate and decelerate as
rapidly as an Explorer class.  It can have a higher fuel ratio, and
decelerate from higher cruise speeds.  Possibly as high as 40%+ of light

Can't think of much else in detail, so on to your letter.

>>From Brian V. Mansur
>LIT Member # something or other
>Starship Design Project
>I'm back!  Yea, I can tell you're all wetting your pants with
>excitement :)  Don't worry, there won't be any more avalanches of
>e-mail for a while.  That's because I'm working out of a friend's computer
>and so the e-mail has his name, of course.  By the way, whoever gets
>this, could you please forward it to the other members of the
>discussion group and I need you current e-mail adresses again.  Also,
>if anyone has time, I'd love to be filled in on what has been going
>on in the discussion group these last few months.  Sorry for the

All the other current members are in the mailing list on this letter.
Since you've gone some have left, and we gained one or two.  You new guys
know who you are, so introduce yourself!

>Remember that Argosy design that I promised.  Still in the works.
>Right now I have 14 or so pages worth of text.  Don't let that make
>you think its really worth anything, but then you never know.  I'm
>now toying with changing the name of the paper because the paper
>describes more than just a starship.  It describes an entire
>interstellar transportation system that I think from henceforth shall
>be known as the Tradewinds.  The starship remains the Argosy-class
>and now there is an unmanned probe/seeder component called the
>Pathfinder (an overused name that I'll change if something more
>inspiring occurs to me).

Send it and I'll load it in the web site.  Rough or not its more involved
then a lot of concepts I've seen published.  We can add a large banor
listing it as in work, and help you work up the details.

>Basically, you guys are going to hate the whole set up.  I'm saying
>that because it takes about two hundred years to get the Tradewinds up and
>running from its 1996 conception date (just in time for the 23rd
>century).  The Design Overview is as follows:

This does sound strange.  Whats the point?  Microwave sail technology is
going to look pretty antiquated in a century.  By two I'ld expect something
far more exotic.  Sounds like it couldn't be implemented in time for it to
be of any value?  Then again, maybe we can figure out a way to speed up the
implementation time.  I can't see anything that would take 200 years to

>The Tradeswinds are basically two power/maser arrays set
>up at the origin and destinations of the manned starship.  For
>propulsion, the starship uses the photon pressure of the electron masers
>bouncing off of a hundreds of kilometers wide ultra-thin sail.  By the
>way, electron lasers were described in the July or August Discovery
>Magazine: read all about them.  They are still hard to make but they
>are 50% efficient or so.
>Because the Tradewinds assume a technological presence at the
>destination, the mission of exploration is secondary.  The new goal
>here is interstellar colonization.  I know that isn't what the LIT
>charter calls for.  But as I explain in the Tradewinds paper, none of
>the propulsion designs detailed in the Starflight Handbook have any hope
>of carrying a crew to another starsystem in their life-time, to say nothing
>about bringing them home.  What the designs in the Handbook can do is
>send a robotic Pathfinder seeder probe of a few thousand tons.  It will set
>an Automated Robotic Civilization (ARC) that will eventually grow into a
>maser array that can stop the manned Argosy-class starships that
>ferry colonists from Sol.  Nifty huh?  It may be a slow thing to
>establish, but it has a real chance of working.  Yea, I know you guys
>want a fast ship, fast mission, fast food starship that will get us
>to Tau Ceti and back in 22 years Earth time.  But as I explain in the
>Tradewinds paper, I really think this idea is our best hope.

I'ld agree that near lightspeed craft are unrealistic, but why 200years?
Also the reason we wern't talking much about a colonization concept, is we
couldn't think of any way to make a colony self suficent, or a realist
reason of why people would do, much less patfor, a colony.

>As said, most of what you have just read is old news.  But when you
>finally get the Tradewinds paper, it be DETAILED old news.  This  is good,
>I think if we are trying to give some basic starship designs to future
>generations that can refine them and use their spanking new technology to
>make them into something that they will fly.

Send what you can now.  Rough concepts out now, are better then polished
ideas in a year.

>By the way.  I'll only be able to answer whenever I can get back to
>my friend's terminal.  So don't expect quick answers.  I'll try to
>hurry up and finish the Tradewinds paper.  I have two more days off
>work which is a little bit of time.  Finally, I go back to school  in
>about six weeks, so that's all the time I have until Christmas.
>Sorry, but I just won't have the time for Starship Design in school.
>I didn't earlier this year when I first joined the discussion group
>but, hea, at least it was fun.
>Live long through relativistic space travel.
>In Christ,



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