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Re: starship-design: Fusion Cone Scoop

bugzapper writes:
 > In-System Scoops?

Ramscoops are pretty much pointless for in-system use.  A few tons of
hydrogen fuel and a fusion reactor would be capable of propelling a
large ship on continuous-acceleration trajectories within the solar
system.  You probably couldn't even get the ship up to a speed where the
ramscoop would be effective within the solar system, and you'd have to
carry all the extra weight of the ramscoop equipment.  You probably also
wouldn't want to sweep a ramscoop field through a planetary atmosphere
accidentally, and a usable ramscoop field would be the size of a

There are already people doing research into spacecraft that we could
build with current technology that would use electromagnetic interaction
with the solar wind to propel spacecraft.  That would pretty much only
be useful for propulsion away from the Sun, but it would get spacecraft
up into the hundreds of km/s, which would be very useful for sending
probes to the outer solar system.