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starship-design: Mini-Magnetosphere and Star-Travel


The system seems to have a lot of potential within this system but as an
interstellar drive it's pretty pitiful except for missions to the solar
focus at 550 AU or so. It's maximum velocity is limited to the speed of the
solar wind which is only 500-1000 km/s, so it'd be a long time between stars
unless you had a secondary drive or a working ramscoop. A better system
would be a magneto-sail pushed up to interstellar speeds by a massive
particle beam. Powered by fusion it'd push the costs of probe launches way
down since it'd only take a few hours at a time to accelerate probes up to ~
0.3c or so. I think all this has been discussed before and the basic design
settled on involves a lithium-fusor launched via a beam/laser to 0.3c [?],
boosted to 0.4c by fusors and deccelerated by a mag-sail.

Still the mini-magnetosphere will make possible some cheap and fast
non-nuclear OutPlanet missions, so more power to them!!!