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RE: starship-design: FTL and Special Relativity

> -----Original Message-----
> From: STAR1SHIP@aol.com [mailto:STAR1SHIP@aol.com]
> Sent: 20 January 2000 03:18
> To: chithree@boo.net
> Cc: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject: Re: starship-design: FTL and Special Relativity
> http://members.aol.com/tjac780754/indexb.htm
> See above link to faster than light engine that can be built 
> today and  requires no future discovery or future technology, I know 
> because I (man of many letters after name) invented it.

Hi Thomas,

I've read the page and have a few questions and comments - I'd be grateful
if you could answer them please.

(1) "...the operating temperatures of the plasma contained range from below
the melting point of the radioactive metals used to the temperatures of a
blue white star"

What material do you intend to use to contain the fuel at "blue white star"

(2) "A means of manufacturing fuel disks 5 from high grade radioactive metal
found extra-terrestrially can be obtained by the following means..."

Do you know how much extra-terrestrial high grade radioactive material there
is freely available to find? Also the method you outline will either require
a human presence, or a very complex piece of machinery (if it's an unmanned

(3) "A means to protect the rocket and pay load from projectile collisions
with dust and matter it may encounter may be obtained by reducing the cross
section of the craft..."

Even reducing the cross-section, if you travel at high sublight speeds
you're going to get a *lot* of matter hitting the front of your ship. (I
appreciate this is just one part of the solution though).

(4) "By anticipating the collision of solid matter using conventional
technology (such as radar or metal detectors)..."

This gets harder as you approach light speed, given that the reaction time
available to you will decrease. Also, how effective will radar be if your
spacecraft exceeds 'c' (as you claim it might)?

(5) "...a heating electric current may be generated through the shape memory
effect metal to resist the original penetration at the time of impact by the
force of the spring back effect plus the thickness of the metal, thereby,
creating an electric armor of my own invention." 

Not quite sure what you're getting at here. Are you saying that you would
heat the shape memory alloy so that it changes shape just at the time of
impact? How many impacts per second do you expect the shield will receive
high sublight velocities - too many for the SMA shield system to cope with?

(6) "It is more cost efficient, more reliable, safer and faster than any
previous invention chemical or atomic."

Well, it involves potentially large quantities of radioactive material, so
to say that it is safer than any previous chemical or atomic invention is
not strictly true - I believe that ion propulsion is safer than your atomic
proulsion method. 

Think of the political problems as well if you want to launch a spacecraft
powered by this propulsion system from Earth - look at the fuss that was
kicked up about the Cassini probe.

If I've misunderstood any of the above, I'm sure you'll let me know ;)