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Re: Re: starship-design: Genuine STR question

> ==Thank for the backup on the relativistic mass 
> enhancement of the jet.  If this holds up, it implies that 
> every feasible star drive system must use linacs to 
> throw their jet, for every gram of reaction mass that 
> leaves the ship at less than relativistic velocity is 
> "wasted" by not going through the linac to get its 
> mass boosted. ===

One problem with this is the power limits of the fuel.  For example teh fusion
systems I was discusing used fuels that released all the energy of the
reactions into kenetic energy of the exaust products.  Thats good, because
your radiation and heat problems go away, and you just need to aim the exaust.
Since these particals are charged conversion of their momentum to electricity
is a snap too.  BUT if you convert the exaust energy to electricity and use
that electricity to accelerate a smaller mass to a higher speed, your not
geting any more efficency.  Rather your adding a more complex drive system and
dumping most of the fusino exaust.