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Re: RE: starship-design: Bussard design

In a message dated 9/9/97 6:38:16 PM, lparker@cacaphony.net (L. Parker)

>All fusion research money in the US is currently being focused on toroidial
>designs that originate from the Russian Tokamak design. Even though there
>SEVERAL other designs that promise better LONG TERM returns, the lure of the
>near term success of Tokamak designs created by a 20 year head start results

>in an institutional resistance on the part of the federal government to fund
>any other research.
>The problem with the other ideas is that they would take twenty years of 
>research to get to the point that toroidal is today. The powers that be view

>that as unacceptable.

Not nessisarily true.    Comercial laser fusion research in the '80s
progressed much farther in a couple years then Tocamak designs ever got, the
government did review the bussard design and thought it far more promising
then Toc, and Bussards company got investment for other non-Tok projects.
 The bad news is comercial investment dried up when they realized the energy
crises wasn't there, and without it their was little market.  And the gov
said they didn't want to fund a new concept until they made Toc work, even
thou their current designs are considered useless even if they did work.
 (good money after bad anyone?)