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RE: starship-design: Antiproton Catalyzed Microfission/Fusion Engines andPathfinder class ships

Nels et al,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> [mailto:owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu]On Behalf Of Lindberg
> Sent: Sunday, February 01, 1998 7:09 AM
> To: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject: Re: starship-design: Antiproton Catalyzed Microfission/Fusion
> Engines andPathfinder class ships
> Lee,
> the info on the properties of various light-element reactions was very
> nice, thanks.  A question - how does an antiproton-catalyzed
> microfission/fusion engine work? A picture is worth a thousand words, so a
> link to a website (if it exists) explaining it would be better than a
> difficult text-only explanation via email. Also, how is the ACMF superior
> to the fusion rocket described for the "explorer" class starship on the
> site? -Nels Lindberg

Of course there is a link:
but to be brief, this isn't really a rocket, it is a much enhanced version
of the Orion concept. Instead of throwing large inefficient nuclear bombs
out the back, it sets off small, semi-contained micro-fission/fusion
reactions instead. The principle however is still the same, there is a
"thrust shell" rather than a pusher plate, but the shock absorbers, etc. are
all still there.

In answer to your question, it isn't superior to a fusion rocket, although
it does come close to providing the same Isp and thrust. However; we DON'T
know how to build a fusion rocket, we DO know how to build this, and it will
certainly suffice to get us around the solar system for a few years.
Meanwhile we will be accumulating knowledge on actual deep space performance
of "fusion" drives and the ancillary systems. One must learn to walk before
you can learn to run.

Lee Parker

                                                      (o o)

Steam ships were not created by mastering the technologies of sails and
riggings. Jet aircraft did not result from mastering piston-propeller
aircraft. Transistors were not invented by mastering vacuum tubes.
Photocopiers did not result from mastering carbon paper. And breakthrough
space drives will not be created by mastering rocket engines.

- Marc G. Millis