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Re: starship-design: Fuel costs

At 2:40 PM 9/2/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>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.

But the power plants arn't in the starship, or to be carried with it.  They
will be at the supposed anti-mater production platform (way out in the
outer solar system).


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