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Re: Re: starship-design: Pellet track

KellySt@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 8/23/97 12:37:20 AM, kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu (Isaac Kuo)

>>Actually, a fusion plant only has to compete with fission plants to
>>acheive great profit potential.  The initial and running costs for
>>motive fission plants are so great that they're now restricted to
>>aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.  The running costs for any
>>practical fusion plant would be much less than fission or conventional,
>>so that just leaves initial cost--including R&D.

>Actually the weight of the power plants reduces them to fairly large craft.

Huh?  Nuclear power plants have been operated on _aircraft_
(research into a nuclear powered bomber included actual flights
of a conventionally propelled bomber with a nuclear power plant
operated on board).  They are light and small enough to potentially
be used on smaller ships, but they are expensive.

> Legal restrictions complicated their use so the navy does use them on all
>large ships.

Mostly, however, they are expensive.  Otherwise, the USN would find
a way to go all nuclear.  Thanks to the late Admiral Rickover, at
least our submarine fleet is all nuclear.

>Besides your assuming a fusion plant would be cheaper then a fission or other
>design.  We don't know that they would be, and with current fuel gluts were
>in no pressing hurry to find out.

I state, "Actually, a fusion plant only has to compete with fission
plants to acheive great profit potential."  Nothing about any "other
design".  Our current fossil fuel glut doesn't have much bearing here.

>>>You charge the hollow sphere.  The ionized gas is repeled from
>>>it toward the center.  Which effectivly gets a oposite charge.
>>>Fusion products blast outward, out of the potential well.

>>This does not work.  The ionized gas will _not_ be repelled from
>>the surface of the sphere.  Honest.  The net force on a charged
>>particle on the inside of an evenly charged hollow sphere is 0.

>Well thats how I read the explanation in Bussards Papers and diagrams.  You
>could get copies through your university libray if you'ld like to check up on

Like I said, beware of anything you read (yes, this includes anything
I write, but please at least try to keep what I write straight).

Bussard has made mistakes before, and this sounds like another one of
them.  His original concept for microwave laser sail propulsion used a
ring of microwave emitters--but that doesn't work--so he later came
up with the fresnel lens concept.  Also, his original ramjet concept
used a _solid_ physical ramscoop which stopped (relative to the
ship) and captured interstellar (protium) hydrogen, and then fused
it to get thrust.  The number of ridiculous notions in that original
concept is left as a mental exercise for the reader.
    _____     Isaac Kuo kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu http://www.csc.lsu.edu/~kuo
/___________\ "Mari-san...  Yokatta...
\=\)-----(/=/  ...Yokatta go-buji de..." - Karigari Hiroshi