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starship-design: RE: Perihelion Maneuver

On Saturday, December 06, 1997 10:31 AM, Isaac Kuo 
[SMTP:kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu] wrote:

> My personal favorite is a modified MagOrion, where a track of nuclear
> bombs are used to accelerate a large superconducting magsail.  The
> bombs are detonated far from the magsail so that the exposure to
> hard radiation is minimized and the push from the fraction of ions
> which "hit" the sail is spread out.
You really ought to check out Penn State's page on ICAN and the antimatter 
catalyzed fission/fusion rocket. It is basically a modified Orion concept 
that is much more refined than the original. Besides the fact that the 
hardware is already being tested, it offers a lot more in near term 
improvement potential.

The current reaction is D/T but with a few years of operation and improved 
confinement technology which seems likely, we should be able to move on to 
He3 with a second or third generation design. If you assume another ten 
years of research on the current generation (it would actually be in 
service by the end of this period), twenty years for research and 
development of second generation (same fuel, just more efficient 
confinement and improved systems), twenty years for third generation (use 
improved confinement and systems to fuse He3) then that puts us at fifty 

I haven't even used any hardware here that isn't already in existence or 
made any assumptions that are really weird. In the short run, we could use 
this in a brute force approach and simply add engines and increase the fuel 
supply to raise the cruise velocity. It has sufficient ISP for the 
"supertanker" category.


                                                      (o o)

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