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*To*: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu*Subject*: starship-design: Fuel costs*From*: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com (Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39)*Date*: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 16:35:04 -0500*Reply-To*: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com (Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39)*Sender*: owner-starship-design

Hi all, I was runing through some numbers, and it looks like if you have matter conversion the "fuel mass" needed to get to half of lightspeed is .42 (42%) of the the ships unfueled mass. (That doesn't include the deceleration fuel!). Then I started to run some cost numbers. A kilogram of mass converts to 25 E9 kilowatt hours worth of power. e=mc^2 e (in joules) = M(in kilos) C^2 = 9e16 joules per kg. 1 joule = 10^-6 Mw-sec = 3,600,000 kilowatt hours Electricity costs about 4-10 cents per kilowatt hour. If you could convert the energy directly into antimatter. Antimater would (at $0.05 a KwHour) cost $1.25 E9 per kilogram. Thats one and a quarter billion dollars a kilo! Given that an Explorer class ship has a mass of 500,000 tons. That comes to a fuel mass of 210,000 tons. Half of which is anti-matter. Thats 105,000,000 kg of anti-matter for a cost of roughly $130 E15 or about 130 thousand trillion dollars, or a bit under 100,000 times the federal budget. 8( For comparison a Li-6 fueled fusion craft would take 4,570 times its dry weight in fuel to get to half light speed. For an Explorer class thats 2.23 E9 tons of lithium-6. (Which is about 8% of the mass of a given mass of mined Lithium. Maybe we can seel back the other isotopes of lithium after we remove the isotope we want?) At current comercial rates ( priced at about $300/lb. Or $660/Kg) for Lithium (ignoring procesing fees) that tonage would cost about $1,470 Trillion dollars, or 1 thousand times the federal budget. Nearly a hundred fold improvement. 8( To get to 1/3rd C thou an Explorer Class only needs 25,000,000 tons or about 16.5 trillion dollars worth. A meer dozen federal budget years! ~~~~8( Then again, we should be able to get a substantial bulk discount. Kelly ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Kelly Starks Phone: (219) 429-7066 Fax: (219) 429-6859 Sr. Systems Engineer Mail Stop: 10-39 Hughes defense Communications 1010 Production Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46808-4106 Email: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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