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starship-design: New discussion


	Since my wild-haired ideas have been thoroughly picked at, I'll
go to another subject, power for the Argosey, M.A.R.S. concepts.  It is
stated in those documents that power on the order of 10^18 watts, or
10^15 kilowatts will be required to drive a heavy sail-craft.  Here's an
idea for getting that energy.  If you note the document on carbonaceous
chondrite asteroids, you will find that those appear to have a silicate
content of some 83 %.  If we mine these and use this material to build
solar panels, LARGE panels, and place them orbiting the sun at about the
orbit of Venus, we can get approximately 1 kilowatt for 3 m^2 of panel,
assuming a final conversion rate of 10%.  Thus one square kilometer of
panel will generate approximately 3 * 10^5 kilowatts.  Placing these at
the distance of Mercury will generate some 9 * 10^5 kilowatts.  Lets
assume that efficiency improvements will allow this to approximately
double, giving some 2 * 10^6 kilowatts.  10^15 kilowatts now can be
produced with some 1,000,000,000 square kilometers of panels, orbiting at
the same distance as Mercury.  (Yep, those numbers seem to be right). 
This gives a disk some 36,000 kilometers in diameter!!!!!  Just trying to
start a dialog on this problem, as this seems the best and quickest way
to get probes out there.

Jim Clem