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RE: [Fwd: starship-design: HIGHLY OPTIMIZED TOLERANCE]
> >Rotary Rocket and LightCraft are the only ones that look to
> be ready in
> >the near future.+3 years. The other SSTO's are still several
> years away.
> Actually neiather are doing that well. Space Access is doing
> pretty well,
> and they completed the ground tests of the most critical
> parts. Namely the
> ejector ramjets. They alone are a dramatic improvement over
> Rotary or most
> of the other designs. Who's lightcraft by the way?
Rotary has yet to go any further in its testing program than DCX did. I
still think DCX was the better way to go. Lightcraft has flown nothing but
MODELS. Lightcraft's biggest problem is building sufficiently powerful
ground lasers for a full size craft - none currently exist.
BTW, any laser capable of lifting a full size cargo or passenger carrying
lightcraft to orbit makes one hell of an ABM weapon system and will likely
run into unexpected political problems as well....
> >> >I use a fusion reactor -- it is called the sun -- to make the
> >> >anti-matter.
> >> To expensive, and complex.
> >Anti-matter is real now...Boom !!! was real.
> >Fusion is not.
> We've done fusion, and can do so in larger quantity then antimater.
Sun does not make antimatter, it makes antiparticles which are not
harvestable. If you mean that you will use solar power to run a particle
accelerator whose sole purpose is to manufacture antimatter, that is a
different story. It is possible but difficult, expensive and SLOW.
Nevertheless, it is probably the only way we are going to get any
significant amount of antimatter.
Fusion as a propulsion is easier to do than fusion as power. The containment
parameters are very different and easier to achieve and the power cycle
requirements don't require continuous, sustained fusion.
The physics for antimatter propulsion are understood. That's it end of
story. There are no designs, no experiments and no research being done at
> >> >Anti-matter catalyzed fusion will probability come before straight
> >> >fusion,
Catalyzed fusion has been demonstrated in the laboratory using antimatter as
the catalyst. Muon catalyzed fusion is also being worked on, but mostly as a
power source not propulsion.
> >> Why? Regular fusion research (ignoring the DOE work) has
> shown excelent
> >> results. Its generally assumed we could get fusin in a
> decades or two
> >if we
> >> tried. Space is thought to be a "Market" that could support it.
Space has almost no need for fusion power expect for spacecraft propulsion.
Solar power is easier, freely available and far cheaper.
> Since no one has any pressing reason to build on, no one ever
> really started the 10 year program.
Bingo! As long as fossil fuel is cheap, you can forget fusion....
> >Funding is a big problem as investors always think of the
> next 6 months
> >rather than the next 6 years.
> Interstellar exploration won't interest any investors. It
> couldn't return
> anything marketable.
This has always been a big problem with interstellar exploration. Other than
scientific knowledge of limited marketable value, there is precious little
reason to go. The only thing that I can even remotely come up with is some
sort of Diaspora where some disaffected group of society decide to leave in
mass and somehow fund it by pooling their resources. There won't be any
investment return, just a new chance at life the way they want to live it.
Science fiction paints a very unrealistic picture I'm afraid.