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Re: starship-design: scoops and sails and something to push against.

	I agree with you on this point. Many of the missions call for
accelerations of 10 m/ss. Assuming the ship has a small (say 1 to 5)
numberof engines, designing engine mounts and superstructure that can take
the strain of accelerating tons of spacecraft is quite a challenge.  Of
course, keeping things light is a challenge as well.  Prehaps we should
think about a ship around a "black box" engine with a constant thrust of
so many newtons, so much mass, etc. Nels

On Thu, 8 Oct 1998, Kevin Houston wrote:

> perhaps we could just mandate a drive with given parameters, and 
> content ourselves with design of the ship and living quarters, 
> life support etc.
> perhaps we could do that for several different drive types (FTL 
> vs multi-generational vs near relativistic.
> that way, if any of the breakthruoghs happen, we will have the 
> start of a design.
> David Levine wrote:
> > Or, do we think that there is simply technically no way we could launch
> > an interstellar mission within fifty years?  I suppose we have to define
> > "interstellar mission" - after all, the Voyager spacecraft are already
> > on such a mission.  So, let's say the definition is simple: a manned
> > mission that travels to the very closest star system, Proxima Centauri,
> > within the working lifetime of the crew (i.e. they are physically
> > capable crew when the mission starts and when the mission arrives).  I
> > don't even care about the return trip just yet (we can get to that
> > next).  Will it be possible or not?
> > 
> > My gut instinct tells me "yes", but at a dramatic cost.  What does
> > everyone else think?
> > ------------------------------------------------------
> > David Levine                        david@playlink.com
> > Director of Development       http://www.playlink.com/
> > PlayLink                                (212) 387-8200
> > Professional Driver.  Closed Track.  Do not attempt.
> -- 
> Kevin Houston http://www.lpmn.org/candidates/
> Libertarian candidate for Congress - District 5