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RE: starship-design: RE: Perihelion Maneuver

On Monday, December 08, 1997 1:08 PM, Ken Wharton 
[SMTP:wharton@physics.ucla.edu] wrote:

> Are there any ideas out there as to how to transfer raw fusion energy to
> propellent more efficiently??  One possibility would be to use the fusion
> products themselves as propellant, but for this scheme that merely
> increases
> the amount of antimatter you need by three orders of magnitude; no easy
> feat
> when it's already more than we can make.  I think someone calculated that
> the ideal propellant speed is about 0.1c.  Has anyone looked into how to
> make this type of engine, assuming fusion is possible?

There are some promising developments in magnetic nozzle design that might 
be combined with this fusion concept to at least increase the ISP another 
order of magnitude. As for the propellant, well, I didn't say the idea was 
perfect...just possible.