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Re: RE: starship-design: Interstellar mission within fifty years

> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 10/9/98 11:59:39 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:
> >> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
> >> 
> >> > As far as I know, still only on paper.
> >> > Did they produced some rocket exhaust generated by
> >> > actual fusion reaction?
> >> 
> >> No, this is an engineering study. JPL has tested the reactions 
> >> and verified the energy output. 
> >>
> >Actually maintaining a sustained fusion reaction with positive energy
> >balance? It would be quite a media event, such an experiment!
> It wasn't sustained, and didn't actually interest the media much. Pulse laser
> fusion systems with positive energy balence got only short mention on tv in
> the '80's eaither.
Exactly. It wasn't sustained, and no way was proposed to make 
it practical on realistic power levels. So it was only
a scientific experiment, not a technology proposal.
Nothing exciting for the media, nor for the starship-builders.

> >Scaling it up to tons of antimatter stored for tens of years 
> >without loss will need quite a breaktrough in storage methods
> >and technology.
> Here we agree!
Again... Who I will be able to quarrel with?  ;-))

> >That's news. As far as I know, they said that some time it will  
> >Dbe possible... id they already get proper permits to haul antimatter 
> >on U.S. highways? I doubt that.
> Well there obviously no law against it, so they wouldn't need permits. 
> I know we ship Anti from CERN to US accelerators every once in a while too.
Just because the amounts of antimatter contained and shipped is so
small that there is no real danger even when the container fails.
It will be another thing with larger amounts.
Hence my doubt if the fact of hauling the containers
on highways is a proof that we can make and transport
antimatter in bulk... 

> >Yes and no. I think it will be easier to settle a planet 
> >(in the sense of building a permanent, self-sutained habitat 
> >for a significant number of people), that building equivalent 
> >artificial colony in space, at least in a foreseable future.
> Big disagree. In space building a O'Niel is probably easier then landing 
> and building the infastructure for a similar sized city. In space your 
> not cut off from resources and free power, and transport and lift 
> costs are about nil.
Only if you assume that all resources should be transported 
to the planet base from space/asteroid mines. However, a planet 
suitable for settling by definition should have the necessary 
resources on the surface - including such hard-to-find in space 
resources like gravity, atmosphere (providing additionally 
radiation shielding), running (or subsurface) water,  
appropriate temperature, base-building materials...

-- Zenon