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EliasDanger

5 real possibilities for interstellar travel

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Probably nothing you guys don't already know, but it's still a cool video and he mentions kerbals!

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The black hole drive was new for me :)

You can also combine them, solar sail to get up in speed and antimater to brake, the starship in avatar worked like this, yes it require that you are more than an class I civilization.

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The black hole drive was new for me :)

You can also combine them, solar sail to get up in speed and antimater to brake, the starship in avatar worked like this, yes it require that you are more than an class I civilization.

Any chance at all of doing more than a couple of .01c proves requires the power of a Type I civ within the ship itself.

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"We have to get there before the Kerbals..."

"To learn more, there's some very serious rocket science in this episode about farts."

"JAAAAAHHHHHHH"

I like this guy xD

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Did they include beamriding? I think that is probably our best hope of creating an interstellar civilization.

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Did they include beamriding? I think that is probably our best hope of creating an interstellar civilization.

You mean the laser propulsion? Like when it pushes against the surface of a moon/planet and shoots at a ship?

I've read a novel by Lem in which there was exactly that combined with interstellar hydrogen scoops (I really don't know what to call it). It's basically when the vessel is fast enough it just gathers the hydrogen from interstellar space and compresses it. The gas lights up and bam! Fusion happens and propells the vessel. Quite a cool concept if you ask me.

Edited by Veeltch

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You mean the laser propulsion? Like when it pushes against the surface of a moon/planet and shoots at a ship?

I've read a novel by Lem in which there was exactly that combined with interstellar hydrogen scoops (I really don't know what to call it). It's basically when the vessel is fast enough it just gathers the hydrogen from interstellar space and compresses it. The gas lights up and bam! Fusion happens and propells the vessel. Quite a cool concept if you ask me.

Well, the concept I was thinking of requires no drive on the starship, it is merely propelled and steered by laser/particle beam stations along its route.

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im all for riding the nukes.

we really need to get over this thing about returning home. if the ultimate goal is to back up the human race then no go backsies is the only way to do it. propagate humans to near star systems. when those colonies expand to the point where they can launch a nukeship, they do the same to their nearby systems. you can actually propagate humanity to a significant portion of the galaxy just by doing that iteratively. there will be lost voyages, but that was true when we were crossing the atlantic.

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im all for riding the nukes.

we really need to get over this thing about returning home. if the ultimate goal is to back up the human race then no go backsies is the only way to do it. propagate humans to near star systems. when those colonies expand to the point where they can launch a nukeship, they do the same to their nearby systems. you can actually propagate humanity to a significant portion of the galaxy just by doing that iteratively. there will be lost voyages, but that was true when we were crossing the atlantic.

We could build a fleet of interplanetary ones in ten years, and another ten for the orbital construction of the colony ships

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Bussard Ramjet is a great idea. If you think about it, slowing down is actually a much bigger problem than speeding up.

To speed up, you just fire a stream of tiny iron pellets at relativistic velocities from a gigantic accelerator anchored in the home star system. Ship contains a decelerator and they pass through a linear track inside the ship. Ship accelerates at several gs until it hits a 0.1 C or so.

To slow down, the same accelerator magnets get diassembled by onboard robots on the ship, and the constituent elements are used to manufacture the magnets for a ramscoop. That thing kicks in. Ironically, you might not even run a fusion engine on the hydrogen you collect, simply collecting it is enough to slow down due to conservation of momentum.

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Any chance at all of doing more than a couple of .01c proves requires the power of a Type I civ within the ship itself.

Or use a ramjet drive to get to .1c, then use antimatter to speed up. Use the ramjet (with engine off) to slowly cause enough drag, to slow down. Rinse and Repeat.

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Or use a ramjet drive to get to .1c, then use antimatter to speed up. Use the ramjet (with engine off) to slowly cause enough drag, to slow down. Rinse and Repeat.

Or just use a stream of pellets launched via superconducting quench gun. Catch em to speed up. Ramjet to slow down. Done. No antimatter needed. I hear antimatter is kind of energy intensive to make and not all that safe to have onboard a spaceship...

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So here is the thing I don't understand about black hole drive. If you already have a rapidly evaporating singularity, why not just keep feeding it ordinary matter with a particle accelerator? Shouldn't be very difficult to organize a steady matter stream. Then you don't have to worry about the singularity evaporating away, and you're not limited to the 3 year voyage time.

Yes, it bothers me a little that such a drive doesn't conserve baryon and lepton numbers, but there is nothing in nature that says that they have to be strictly conserved, a bunch of indications that they are not, and everything points to black holes just not giving the slightest for that particular conservation law. So black hole should be capable of converting matter to energy without need for antimatter, and you just can't do better than that.

Making a quantum singularity is the tricky part, of course, but that's sort of the prerequisite for a black hole drive.

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Or use a ramjet drive to get to .1c, then use antimatter to speed up. Use the ramjet (with engine off) to slowly cause enough drag, to slow down. Rinse and Repeat.

That antimatter and buzzard ramjet produce auite a lot of power. More than Earth can at the moment. When the two drives are combined.

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K^2 : Yeah. It depends on unknowns about black holes to know if a baby one can actually eat or not. That certainly is the ultimate engine. Ramscoop + black hole is the kind of combo that actually would resemble a ship from science fiction. Probably 1/10 G indefinitely, it might never run out of propellant, at least on intergalactic missions, you'd be able to reach 0.9 C eventually, it would take just a few weeks to get around our solar system, as your engine burns a few kilograms of matter a second.

I wonder if you could devise a way to refuel such a monster vehicle from gas giants or a star without shutting down. Eh, you'd probably just drop off smaller shuttles near a gas giant. You'd beam energy to engines on the shuttles (they wouldn't have significant thrust without a laser or microwave beam from the mothership). They'd collect gas on a high atmosphere flight and return. Any old matter would work.

And your ship has to be positively massive. Million ton +. More than enough room for an onboard factory able produce from raw elements any component of the ship and a ....ton of weapons and armor. Maybe even a human crew, though I'm not sure what you do about the gamma rays. I think tentatively you have to expect the crew to be cyborgs, possibly former human beings who have been upgraded to be non biological and resistant to radiation.

You could pack one of those 1 AU range gamma ray lasers mentioned in another thread. It would be one massive weapon, but it could fire pulses that would put craters in stuff from an AU out. You'd never be able to stop something like this without comparable technology.

If space aliens ever showed up on a mission to conquer us, this is what they would have.

So, if you wanna speculate about what new physics might find...well...what if you could create the conditions for a really tiny black hole right there in the engine chamber? The black hole would evaporate in microseconds, but you would keep doing it. A "pulsed singularity thruster" or something. That might be a little more practical, and it has the advantage of not requiring you to feed the black hole or move it with your ship, which is really hard to do. (you'd have to electrically charge the black hole by putting it on an imbalanced diet, then move it with magnets or electric fields so it stays in your engine chamber as your ship accelerates)

Edited by SomeGuy12

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Bussard Ramjet is a great idea. If you think about it, slowing down is actually a much bigger problem than speeding up.

To speed up, you just fire a stream of tiny iron pellets at relativistic velocities from a gigantic accelerator anchored in the home star system. Ship contains a decelerator and they pass through a linear track inside the ship. Ship accelerates at several gs until it hits a 0.1 C or so.

To slow down, the same accelerator magnets get diassembled by onboard robots on the ship, and the constituent elements are used to manufacture the magnets for a ramscoop. That thing kicks in. Ironically, you might not even run a fusion engine on the hydrogen you collect, simply collecting it is enough to slow down due to conservation of momentum.

The bussard ramjet field can be used to brake against the interstellar gas, much simpler as you don't need to collect it just redirect it.

Yes it will still cost energy but its an reactionles drive as you brake against something.

Now if you use an laser pumped solar sail and add the system to generate an magnetic field to the sail you could use this structure to get an large field to redirect more protons, the brake would work better who faster you travel.

- - - Updated - - -

K^2 : Yeah. It depends on unknowns about black holes to know if a baby one can actually eat or not. That certainly is the ultimate engine. Ramscoop + black hole is the kind of combo that actually would resemble a ship from science fiction. Probably 1/10 G indefinitely, it might never run out of propellant, at least on intergalactic missions, you'd be able to reach 0.9 C eventually, it would take just a few weeks to get around our solar system, as your engine burns a few kilograms of matter a second.

I wonder if you could devise a way to refuel such a monster vehicle from gas giants or a star without shutting down. Eh, you'd probably just drop off smaller shuttles near a gas giant. You'd beam energy to engines on the shuttles (they wouldn't have significant thrust without a laser or microwave beam from the mothership). They'd collect gas on a high atmosphere flight and return. Any old matter would work.

And your ship has to be positively massive. Million ton +. More than enough room for an onboard factory able produce from raw elements any component of the ship and a ....ton of weapons and armor. Maybe even a human crew, though I'm not sure what you do about the gamma rays. I think tentatively you have to expect the crew to be cyborgs, possibly former human beings who have been upgraded to be non biological and resistant to radiation.

You could pack one of those 1 AU range gamma ray lasers mentioned in another thread. It would be one massive weapon, but it could fire pulses that would put craters in stuff from an AU out. You'd never be able to stop something like this without comparable technology.

If space aliens ever showed up on a mission to conquer us, this is what they would have.

So, if you wanna speculate about what new physics might find...well...what if you could create the conditions for a really tiny black hole right there in the engine chamber? The black hole would evaporate in microseconds, but you would keep doing it. A "pulsed singularity thruster" or something. That might be a little more practical, and it has the advantage of not requiring you to feed the black hole or move it with your ship, which is really hard to do. (you'd have to electrically charge the black hole by putting it on an imbalanced diet, then move it with magnets or electric fields so it stays in your engine chamber as your ship accelerates)

One option is to have the drive in an drive module who can separate from the rest of the ship. Think tug in KSP but one the size of Gilly this is something you could take into the outer atmosphere of an gas giant to garter raw material, or just stop at an comet or asteroid.

During flight you use an ram-scope, this beauty can run on anything.

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