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starship-design: Re: Perihelion Maneuver

On Thursday, December 04, 1997 5:42 PM, Isaac Kuo 
[SMTP:kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu] wrote:
> Umm...it's only an order of magnitude from a manned design, yes.  That
> means it's not inconceivable to have manned solar sail designs in the
> next decades.  I'd perfectly expect it if we put our minds to it.
> However, it's _not_ only an order of magnitude from an interstellar
> laser sail design.  The unmanned solar sail can deal with microgee
> forces from sunlight.  For interstellar travel, at _least_ 1 gee
> should be designed for.  Also, the laser sail needs to be big.  Even
> in the puniest of sail proposals, it's 1km big--far bigger than any
> nonrigid moving vehicle we've ever built.
> Second, the laser sail isn't even the toughest part.  The toughest
> part is the lens.  Even in the puniest of interstellar proposals,
> it's 1000km in diameter.
> There are plenty of individual aspects which are many orders of
> magnitude from what we can deal with with today's technology.

That's better. Your analogy was confusing. I would agree, that the 
combination of several technologies, some of which HAVEN'T been invented 
yet would push it to at least three or four orders of magnitude. In 
addition, the fact that some of these technologies are not yet around would 
indicate a "qualitative" difference which would have to count for more than 
just one order of magnitude.

I would venture that ANY concept we currently have going is more than a few 
orders of magnitude from being interstellar capable. As you said in an 
earlier post (regarding solar sails in particular), they are capable on 
intersystem use only.


                                                      (o o)

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