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RE: RE: RE: starship-design: Deceleration scheme


> Agreed.  Thats only fast enough to get to the near by stars.  Even then only
> once in a while.  For real operations in interstellar space were going to
> need some much better tricks.

> Hey but .42 was pretty good!  ;)

Well, we can slam a Starwisp up to .9c in about three weeks with a Maser 
Sail. Perhaps we should start exploring now with Starwisps while we build 
infrastructure for larger manned sails. We could at least settle everything
within about 10 light years if we could get up to .5c. We would be sending 
out ships crewed with children to do it....of course there wouldn't be any 
chance of coming back.

What was the best figure for top velocity we came up with for RAM and RAIR?

I've been thinking about the deceleration problem. Suppose we use a hybrid 
sail, if the holes in the mesh are smaller than the wavelength of the 
microwave beam it will reflect, and if it is smaller than the wavelength of 
the laser (i.e. solid) it will reflect the laser and the maser. So let's 
construct it in such a way that we have a thin film of material deposited 
on a thicker mesh. It will strengthen the sail considerably and reflect both 
microwave and laser radiation. This way we can use both solar light and/or 
maser arrays to accelerate up to speed quicker. Deceleration would be 
completely by light pressure from the target star which would require an 
earlier turnover, but it would still be a faster mission without the need 
for complicated two-stage mirrors, etc.

And if we get really desperate, we could still eat the sail when we're done. 

Lee Parker

                                                          (o o)
There is nothing so big or so crazy that one out of a million technological
societies may not feel itself driven to do, provided it is physically 

Freeman Dyson, 1965