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Re: starship-design: Fuel costs

Kelly wrote:
>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.
>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(

This is still "raw" energy, the processing costs needed for normal
electrical energy are now inside the design of the starship. I think your
comparison should include the power plants (and the maintaining of them)
inside the starship.