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[Fwd: Re: starship-design: Hitching a Ride on a Magnetic Bubble]
Curtis Manges writes:
> If this is what you want to do, it's all right, but I personally
> don't care much for sailcraft; I think their mission abilities are
> too limited by their means of propulsion.
I don't think even the creators of this magnetic sail idea are proposing
it as suitable for interstellar travel. However, it would be very
effective for interplanetary travel; it's potentially a very cheap way
to accelerate spacecraft to well over 100 km/s.
Sailcraft still have quite a bit of appeal for interstellar travel,
mainly because the fuel-to-payload ratio needed to achieve a speed that
is a significant fraction of c is huge. At the very least using a sail
to boost out of your home system may be far more economical than
carrying the equivalent amount of fuel.