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

In a message dated 10/18/98 9:16:16 AM, paul_virak_khuong@yahoo.com wrote:
>> >> >I must disagree. Of course funding is necessary,
>> >> >but all currents concepts how to built it I know about
>> >> >seem to me to be blind alleys - maybe possible as a laboratory
>> >> >experiment, but impractical or impossible to scale up
>> >> >into the terawatt-range needed for a starship.
>> >> 
>> >> The Bussard designs I used seemed pretty scaleable, the laser 
>> >> fusion systems looked good.  Natural since we never built 
>> >> a production copy this is questionable, but for a 50 year
>> >> it seems reasonable.  Its not like
>> >> I'm pitching zero-point energy systems or something.
>> >> 
>> >OK, but still it is only handwaving at this stage, you must admit.
>Do you really think that we'll have
>not-too-power-eating-plasma-engines in ONLY 50 years??

Sure.  The fusion part we've done (thou research pretty well died when the
fuel crises fizzeled).  Making more efficent Lasers or voltage compresion
systems certainly shouldn't take that long.  The big if is will there be any
reason to develop the plasma motors.  If so, they won't take 50 years.  If
not, they won't be done.

>Maybe with pinchers, but it'd be better to launch simple particules
>you don't have to carry, like hydrogen: ionize'em, de ionize'em at the
>end, use supraconductors, after all, it's almost 0 K outside. 

Don't follow this.  Also superconducters should probably be avoided.