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Artificial atmosphere as an engine or floating lense solar sail?


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What about making a ship, maybe using magnetics or similar, powered possibly by some exotic nuclear fission/fusion or other battery, possibly built around the sun with resources coming from the sun to avoid legal issues that creates and atmosphere, recycles any needed oxidizer(assuming you need one.) and then uses magnets to propel a propellent for thrust.

this could reduce wear on a bell for thrust even for an ion concept and then have as much life span as possible. The only bell would be a very slow release opening, possibly extra wide to limit wear and expand life, that can last as long as possible to maintain the atmosphere to have as long a burn time to get to the speed of light to test it. Could we do this with current tech?

If the bell/ opening needs more life we can use spray concepts to recoat the bell to reduce or get rid of wear. vacuum can be used with material in a coil then with electricity through it in order to heat up and spray a material on the bell to coat. Use of magnetics could help build to reduce waste etc. Permanent or other magnets could be used if needed for extra power or back up power in case you need to functionally not use the main nuclear battery.

I'm assuming the nuclear battery could provide the propellent naturally. Or is that where the flaw in the design is. This could allow omni directional thrust and more complex thrust using magnetics and control computers to gain efficiency if it help make it viable over other designs.

This could be either very small to reduce resources and needed thrust or very big depending on where the most efficient equipment comes in. This weird design could also allow other combos to get the most efficient sized equipment if a lack of a direct thruster helps. Although it could be the opposite way.

 

The point of this would be either a really good solar system tug boat. Or to get to the speed of light to test it with relatively conventional means.

 

If a propellent is needed you could always use something that is magnetic with some sort of propellent that is less magnetic so it leaves while the oxidizer doesn't. Maybe in a way to create as close to infinite oxidizer/other for long term burning. Even if it's very low thrust.

 

If you have a nuclear battery you also have heat differentials to play with.

Also, some process could be applied to make one of the parts less magnetic as opposed to pure propulsive forces from magnets. If done right you cold control the direction. Whatever is useful or efficient. something odd could always aid in countering other collective forces. Especially if you large or long standing power sources like permanent magnets or a nuclear battery. Even if it's very low thrust.

Also, any coating methods could be done in way to produce thrust. And magnetic forces could be used to keep stuff from hitting the bell if that is what causes wear. Assuming this does not also create wear.

 

You could also shrink down the atmosphere to just behind the release area in order to limit needed material or containment. Unless having it around a ship has other uses.

Another part of such a design is the use minimal to no parts in the production to reduce mass. Although magnetic holding may act similarly. Or am I mistaken. Would magnetic couplings reduce thrust or counter thrust in any way?

Maybe light would be useful as you may have lots of power for keeping it going and little matter. Would a laser propulsion be ideal for this. You could keep an atmosphere and maximize the efficiency of the thrust with the laser and a very thin atmosphere or similar chamber. Possibly outside the ship to increase life of parts. The thin atmosphere could be used to make sure it doesn't produce thrust ineficiently if it helps. Not sure how that would work though. Either way that could all be controlled with magnetics if possible to maintain it until the light or other forces(maybe from heat?) forces the propellent. Then maybe a slow burn could be used to thrust. As long as it can be powered long enough and has enough to push off of. Or could similar be done with a physical plate instead of an atmosphere of some sort and just recoat it over and over?

since you are in space could nuclear exhaust be used as a coating to save on mass? then the propellent could be used to regen/repair the ship if needed.

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In fact what about laser against a solar sail. If you can recoat or regenerate the physical coat. If the spray of the sail is efficient you could use the physical loss of material as part of thrust. then you coat in a way that doesn't loose thrust if possible. Or use other temporary thrust to counter the coating process.

 

 

That is already being worked one, but would it help to add the other concept of atmosphere into the mix or in place? Not sure if it could be done lighter or longer. I'm almost assuming the power from this laser is not self contained and need to be in range or something, but solar sails and this could be combined potentially. Or does that not matter.

Another concept would be if you can use magnets themselves to propel against a set of plates. One side has more magnetic force than the other applied to produce thrust. This could be used in the atmosphere idea also. Could this use something as simple as magnets physical positioning to produce thrust? If permanent magnets and or a long term battery are applied in case it can run out on very long term trips. Maybe something that can get to the speed of light can be produced. maybe if the movement of the magnets is pushed in one direction by light sensitive materials and then powered on  to pull with magnets. Or with released very small atmospheric materials also propelled by light. Not sure if it would help then. It would have to be very light I would imagine. Or would it just act as a converter for something? Or a switch? I guess if it relies on a on and off release of material it could power the release. If it helps orients the thrust in an ideal position then in a less ideal position and back and release with a magnetic field or something. Assuming that is useful. Maybe it could get rid of connecting parts as it's held magnetically to reduce mass. Assuming the pull of the magnetic field does not counter the thrust.

Could an EM drive work or be explained if it' ripping off tiny amounts of material from the bell slowly? If you combined it with a coating system to replenish it you could use metal bells as propellent hypothetically. Maybe maximize this reality. Or create it on purpose to have a longer lasting propellent source. If it's not happening under current EM drive test you could potentially make it happen on purpose. Then it's just a solid propellent storage device. Made of magnetic metals. Or even other materials that can be changed from magnetic to not magnetic or other things if needed.

I also don't get the argument about em drives being impossible. We are at least in a solar system filled with giant magnets. It should be deemed impossible not to work as it should be pushing off of them. It should be a matter of time. I would imagine there are a few or will on day be some applications for this. As there could be certain probes or legions of problems scanning the system for things and propelled along natural magnetic trajectories. It could even be for measuring such a thing. If it takes 10 years to get up to speed maybe that could be acceptable for long term use. If it works it could be useful for very long probe work if we can't find anything better after a certain point. Can we presume at least some small magnetic field all over the universe. If not maybe it can hop from system to system or galaxy to galaxy for obscenely long probe work? Maybe use magnetics or similar to propel it far from the bel and then lasers to hit it for more propulsion. Or the other way around. Heat it to release the material then use magnets to propel from it. Basically and atmosphere.

If you can get the nuclear batter to last long enough why not use molten metals? Loosley held in place with a magnetic field and pushed with other forces to propel them in a very controlled manner. At that point you have a bunch of heat and a bunch of cold. What fun things could be done with controlling that carefully?

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1 hour ago, Arugela said:

In fact what about laser against a solar sail.

This has been proposed before. No reason why it wouldn't work. But it would take a big laser and you'll still have a lot of losses due to beam spreading. That being said, it's one of the known ways to have thrust without using propellant mass from the ship.

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Maybe some version of this as a generator. Use salt water or something and then never release it. Then use this as part of a containment for an atmosphere. Endless cold space for cryogenics.

You could also literally make a gas atmosphere. And like earth have manufacturing means all over it's surface on a tiny scale or something. But, maybe, with a different end purpose. Maybe then it could get an orbit around planets or the sun in order to create initial momentum and acceleration. Then use a different mean to create extra acceleration for speeding up the trip a little.

I wonder if it would need surface oceans just like earth or similar. maybe we could put actual plants like mosses on the surface to convert stuff. then it's a terrarium powered space probe. Or at least in part. Plants could make the best manufacturing means. Way beyond human means.

The irony would be if we need to make an entire mini solar system to power it all. 8) (just like ours.oO)

How fast is our solar system moving and how fast could it be made to move?

Could you use volcanic action as a propellent. I would think it would be more useful for fixing surface features or something. At least without loosing too much material. Enough control systems and you could do that.

That is where you need a sun to add enough energy to the system potentially. But can it be made to propel the system or a single tiny planet? would it be more useful to have one planet or a whole system to try to propel the so called probe?

Hopefully then you don't need a tiny galaxy and then a tiny universe to propel it.

My math might be wrong, but we if we only need to go 1500 times our systems current speed I wonder how much faster we could get in the solar system to boost it.

Hypothetically a tiny solar system could be held by a tiny sun and then fly. Just a matter of how long. If we could ever get fusion going. You could even have it move along the axis of north and south pole of the sun with the system rotating around it and then have the planets slowly apply acceleration from their poles(unless the opposite somehow helps with planetary motions). Just enough to move but not enough to break orbit. I wonder how long that would take. You could then use a maintenance model based on planetary crusts. And then grow things on it to help. You could use the mini suns energy and the plants on the planets to convert the energy to propellent/oxydizer. Planets could have various functions and features.

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34 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

This has been proposed before. No reason why it wouldn't work. But it would take a big laser and you'll still have a lot of losses due to beam spreading. That being said, it's one of the known ways to have thrust without using propellant mass from the ship.

I believe the RU guy who wants to develop light sail pushed mini satellites toward Alpha Centauri is planning an array of lasers.  

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Honestly, its hard to understand what you are trying to propose.

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What about making a ship, maybe using magnetics or similar, powered possibly by some exotic nuclear fission/fusion or other battery, possibly built around the sun with resources coming from the sun to avoid legal issues that creates and atmosphere, recycles any needed oxidizer(assuming you need one.) and then uses magnets to propel a propellent for thrust.

I have no idea what you mean there.

But yea, light sails are a thing, and you can use lasers or light from a star if close enough

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8 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

This has been proposed before. No reason why it wouldn't work. But it would take a big laser and you'll still have a lot of losses due to beam spreading. That being said, it's one of the known ways to have thrust without using propellant mass from the ship.

Breaktrough starshot thought about bouncing the beam back and forth multiple times between the laser and the sender mirror and the probe. 
I think this would work much better with an much larger as in hundreds of kilogram and up rather than the <1 gram probes at 50.000 g to reach 0.1 c 

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This sort of makes the salt water part interesting. But I won't know how it would fit with the longevity of an actual atmosphere. I think you might need an eco system and a sun of sorts, or something else similar, to convert enerty via plants or whatnot to get enough energy for trip. Then you just need small constant acceleration.

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35 minutes ago, Arugela said:

 

This sort of makes the salt water part interesting. But I won't know how it would fit with the longevity of an actual atmosphere. I think you might need an eco system and a sun of sorts, or something else similar, to convert enerty via plants or whatnot to get enough energy for trip. Then you just need small constant acceleration.

Nuclear salt water rockets have nothing to do with salt water. It’s “nuclear salt” + “water”.

Have a read of this list and come back. Your ideas are pretty incoherent at the moment, as you seem to be taking a few select buzz words from various concepts, and then making the rest of it up as you go along.

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist.php

 

 

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Unless of course you put the salt in water in which case it is salt water. the very video shows it can be diluted into water... It's crystaline. It's a salt diluted into water potentially. So, it's salt water.

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1 hour ago, Arugela said:

 

This sort of makes the salt water part interesting. But I won't know how it would fit with the longevity of an actual atmosphere. I think you might need an eco system and a sun of sorts, or something else similar, to convert enerty via plants or whatnot to get enough energy for trip. Then you just need small constant acceleration.

If you're using the "Atmosphere" as reaction mass.....then i don't understand why you'd think anything short of a star would be capable of sustaining the type of mass flow needed.

Like what's the goal here? Because there's a good chance some miscommunication might have happened.

Are we moving an entire solar system? Individual planets? Making a massive ship with a star as it's "Core"?

These all move the sliders for the amount of material over what timescales drastically.

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I was assuming a miniature sun would help with either adding propellent or adding oxidizer as you could use the energy to produce oxygen with plants on the surface if you actually created a sufficient surface for real plants. A the possibility they are far more efficient as natural things have a potential of being. It should add to the overall fuel.

Maybe a moss or if there are also oceans some sort of microbiology in the water.

I started with a ship releasing propellent into an, "Atmosphere," in case it helped with a bel or similar parts life. Then I moved to a planetoid, then a planet, then a solar system concept. Each one might add more stuff. Although if you have a star it might propel itself at that point. I have no idea what would be needed or useful. It doesn't have to be an actual planet. It's just a generic idea to try to extend spaceships. It could take any workable shape.

I also wondered if gravity or magnetism could help keep stuff together in basically jointless parts. This could reduce weight with less parts if it doesn't mess with thrust. At which point you could technically just have parts of the ship be like little planets and revolve around each other or similar. If you use permanent magnets and limited connection strengths you could keep stuff together hands free maybe.

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2 minutes ago, Arugela said:

I was assuming a miniature sun would help with either adding propellent or adding oxidizer as you could use the energy to produce oxygen with plants on the surface if you actually created a sufficient surface for real plants. A the possibility they are far more efficient as natural things have a potential of being. It should add to the overall fuel.

Maybe a moss or if there are also oceans some sort of microbiology in the water.

What's a "Miniature Sun"?

Are we talking Red Dwarfs/Orange Dwarfs? Or using a tiny artificial black hole to ignite Jupiter?

 

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I was thinking a round fusion thingy about the size of a soccer ball. 8)

I was wondering if there was a way to make them around the sun. Or just make a fusion generator and have it magnetically hold things in space around it instead of in it with a different shaped magnetic field. Make them in space to get rid of having to take them up. Maybe with lighter materials using vacuum base construction methods to lighten the base load.

You could go for a light fusion battery to help with propulsion. In which case I guess it could be the probe.

You can use spray methods to construct in vacuum with very small layers. You could then build on pre built materials like puter to melt away or other forms of manipulations. There should be lots of methods to build at that point. Then basically build in space with very lightweight materials. You can take a spring of material and heat it with electricity, literally like a light bulb, and make it spray onto a surface. This coating method at minimum could make a nice way to make any design. Let alone other convenient methods of building in space.

If planets are needed they could be relatively smaller or held in with magnetic or other forces. Maybe the produce oxidizer or contain/hold cameras or other equipment you wouldn't want or couldn't put on a tiny sun. You could also use the suns light and other methods to transfer energy or similar. And in multiple ways.

Fusion in a planet could also work. Or a bell of some sort could be used with a traditional nuclear engine. The point of the original idea of an atmosphere of sorts was to reduce the fuel release to not wear out the bell for longer travel. But if you take it farther it might produce more interesting concepts.

I'm assuming if such a thing worked it would be going for long slow acceleration burns. So, lots of effective fuel.

the other idea would be to use small magenetic material. Maybe heat it or something to release it from a bel or other object and then propell with magnets. Assuming it's finer material or more efficient than gases to push off. But that might help if magnets are better to propell off of in a small unique circumstance where you don't want to push other materials.

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4 minutes ago, Arugela said:

I was thinking a round fusion thingy about the size of a soccer ball. 8)

I was wondering if there was a way to make them around the sun. Or just make a fusion generator and have it magnetically hold things in space around it instead of in it with a different magnetic field. Make them in space to get rid of having to take them up. Maybe with lighter materials using vacuum base construction methods to lighten the base load.

You could go for a light fusion battery to help with propulsion. In which case I guess it could be the probe.

You can use spray methods to construct in vacuum with very small layers. You could then build on pre built materials like puter to melt away or other forms of manipulations. There should be lots of methods to build at that point. Then basically build in space with very lightweight materials. You can take a spring of material and heat it with electricity, literally like a light bulb, and make it spray onto a surface. This coating method at minimum could make a nice way to make any design. Let alone other convenient methods in space.

If planets are needed they could be relatively smaller or held in with magnetic or other forces.

Alright, that's fine. I'm just trying to actually understand what you're conceptualizing instead of assuming.

So now here's what that made me think

You're wanting little "Bubbles" that are lit by fusion reactions, orbiting around a star and creating Oxidizer and Fuel using Plants/Microbes along with an atmosphere for the interior of the bubble? Or using said Atmosphere directly, and exhausting it out of the "Bubbles" into a giant rocket thruster?

Because that's not outside the realms of possibility at all, you'd still need something for the plants to grow on. Water or Soil, minerals for them to subsist on, which could be gathered from meteorites/comets in space (Which you'd have plenty left over from mining them for the raw metals to build this stuff in the first place, so you might not even need to actively seek it out).

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That is basically the extremity of the idea I'm thinking of.

You could also possibly develop the atmosphere around the bell so that it constantly feed oxidizer if it can increase the thrust. (or anywhere on the engine/ship.) Not sure if it can be light enough to outdo the mass needed to produce it though. That is why plants might be useful if they have a chance at being lighter or producing enough oxygen somehow.

Does a normal nuke engine add enough stuff for a plant to convert into oxygen. I don't know what that takes to do.

I assume space can help deal with the massive temperature differences.

I wonder if the engine could produce enough heat or light to get plants working. I think there are some good low light plants and other microbes that can produce in low light. Just a matter of efficiency. If you use cooling differences can you keep enough water churning in and out of water form from heat. Or does that make hauling stuff more difficult. Not sure how much you need to carry for long trips. without a big planets atmosphere where else can you get oxygen. Or is something else feasible as fuel or similar to increase thruster performance or longevity. I'm partially thinking of our atmosphere and condensation which wouldn't work unless you can make very small amounts of water turn into oxygen. Or carry a lot of it. Might be where the salt water globe idea helps. Each planet is a gas tank potentially.

Are there none earth like atmospheric materials that could be used or extracted from either the nuclear engines? can they produce oxygen/water from their internal materials somehow? Maybe burn down parts of plutonium or other materials into water or oxygen? Not sure if that is realistic(or efficient). Or if other stuff it burns could purified/converted by a, "planetoid," idea. Wether its free floating or attached to the engine directly.

Could be fun to breed plants to fit those types of conditions. Whatever those conditions may be.

Could the glow of a hot engine act like a sun? A terrarium concept could be used then to keep minimal water working. Just not sure what you could use it for to help the engines if you are conserving water.

Could you make ethenol. Assuming it has a use in a nuclear rocket?

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14 minutes ago, Arugela said:

That is basically the extremity of the idea I'm thinking of.

You could also possibly develop the atmosphere around the bell so that it constantly feed oxidizer if it can increase the thrust. (or anywhere on the engine/ship.) Not sure if it can be light enough to outdo the mass needed to produce it though. That is why plants might be useful if they have a chance at being lighter or producing enough oxygen somehow.

Does a normal nuke engine add enough stuff for a plant to convert into oxygen. I don't know what that takes to do.

I assume space can help deal with the massive temperature differences.

I wonder if the engine could produce enough heat or light to get plants working. I think there are some good low light plants and other microbes that can produce in low light. Just a matter of efficiency. If you use cooling differences can you keep enough water churning in and out of water form from heat. Or does that make hauling stuff more difficult. Not sure how much you need to carry for long trips. without a big planets atmosphere where else can you get oxygen. Or is something else feasible as fuel or similar to increase thruster performance or longevity. I'm partially thinking of our atmosphere and condensation which wouldn't work unless you can make very small amounts of water turn into oxygen. Or carry a lot of it. Might be where the salt water globe idea helps. Each planet is a gas tank potentially.

Are there none earth like atmospheric materials that could be used or extracted from either the nuclear engines? can they produce oxygen/water from their internal materials somehow? Maybe burn down parts of plutonium or other materials into water or oxygen? Not sure if that is realistic(or efficient). Or if other stuff it burns could purified/converted by a, "planetoid," idea. Wether its free floating or attached to the engine directly.

Nuke engines are basically a reactor cooled by the "Fuel", so plenty of heat but nothing but Uranium/Thorium/Plutonium in them mineral wise.

So you could try something like a heat pump, scavenging excess heat from the Nuclear Reactor into the "Bubbles". But your miniature stars would produce plenty of heat already, so i would question if that's needed.

Oxygen can be produced via CNO cycle in nuclear fusion, so if you're already at this level of mega project then you could just do that. You can also convert water to Oxygen via electrolysis, and since you'd have plenty of that via mining comets and asteroids. Along with excess power, that's the route I'd go personally before synthesizing it directly using fusion.

But now i have a much clearer picture, you basically want the planets as storehouses. And as a side bonus, they might provide a nice place to live in the meantime.

Spoiler

 

I think O'Neill Cylinders would fit your purpose much better here personally than planets/moons. You need way less mass to make each one, and you can control the environment inside completely to accomplish whatever you wanted. Be it fuel, food, or gas production. If you placed them around whatever you're trying to move, gravity would carry them with it.

Space is cold, but also isn't that helpful. Think about it, we use Vacuum in thermos to keep things warm or cold. That's because in a Vacuum the only way to remove heat is via radiation, no convection. So you'd need some way to keep all of this cool, be it radiators or using some of your Planets/Cylinders as giant heatsinks.

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On 1/16/2021 at 2:22 PM, Arugela said:

Unless of course you put the salt in water in which case it is salt water. the very video shows it can be diluted into water... It's crystaline. It's a salt diluted into water potentially. So, it's salt water.

Not edible salt, not the salt you can extract in any significant amount from sea water. The "salt" here is literally ionic metal-nonmetal compound, it just happens that the metals are radioactive. The one Robert Zubrin proposed was Uranium Bromide (whichever flavour), or "plutonium salts", not telling what was the anion.

On 1/16/2021 at 2:28 PM, Arugela said:

I was assuming a miniature sun would help with either adding propellent or adding oxidizer

So making new reaction mass out of nothing ? That'd literally break physics... (and yes, that's not how the sun and any other star works, the sun literally loses mass throughout it's lifetime, both radiatively and convectionally.)

There's even a paper pointing out that the definition of the Astronomical Unit will change over time due to this.

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I was wondering last night if a fusion/fision sun would have enough efficiency to help.

And It would probably be easier if the planets held the water as a form of machinery only used by it if it's not enough fuel. Or if it adds a little. Especially if they are to scale towards a sun(very tiny or golf ball size or smaller.). Or if it slowly feeds the sun some time of partial fuel that only needs to exist in small amounts. I have no idea what the specifics are obviously.

could you make a fusion/fision combo sun that is around the size of a soccer ball or a very large bouncy ball the size of a car?

What type of fuel amound could it have and aht type of ISP could it get if it was the major propellor. Maybe using flairs as a means of movment. Assuming you could make it light enough inside. Could you start a reaction with hydrogen and then cause a recycling fusion/fission reaction. Could it get enough force to propell itself and some small bodies if needed? Has anyone every thought about tiny artificial ones like that? It could have very small artificial structures inside if it has enough magenetics to keep it safe. Let alone if it's just starting the level of a normal reaction you would get from existing tested fusion drives. The only difference is if you want the fusion on the outside in case you want to power some external power dongles in the form of planets for communication or as some sort of sensor array.

Could hydrogen be a good means to start such a machine if sent up from earth as it might be safer then plutonium materials? Or is that not doable?

Maybe bring up lots of water(or mine it) and use the water for the planets and the hydrogen for a reaction.

https://www.scmp.com/tech/science-research/article/1840219/china-aims-get-hybrid-fission-fusion-nuclear-reactor-and

someone is trying to make similar. Just make this in an orb and stick it in space then make the fusion part on the outside and the fission part as part of the core. then you just need to make something of a structure that can take the heat or is cooled by space to make some sort of control device to RC it.

https://www.math.nyu.edu/mfdd/files/Hybrid_Fusion_Fission_Conference_A.pdf

So, build this in space with hydrogen or similar. What could you potentially get as far as ISP and range? I'm assuming it has to be very light. I'm assuming it has enough energy generation to make a very powerful containment field. I also wonder if part of the inner structure could be a lightweight permanent magnet to try to make some base safety things in case you need to shut stuff down and maintain a minimal field or other functions. Assuming the heat doesn't kill them. Maybe if it cools down it regens them and they turn on. Maybe with help from the other power sources as it cools down.

Actually, would cold plasma be useful here. Does it gain or loose ISP compared to hot plasma. Or whatever using solar flares would/could accomplish.

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2019/04/Cold_plasma_tested_on_ISS

Not for propulsion, but I wasn't aware they tested this in space yet.

https://spacenews.com/water-propulsion-technologies-picking-up-steam/

This could be useful for such a thing as you extract helium or hydrogen from space for the reactor.

I was hoping solar flairs from the artificial sun could act like a bell less ion thruster or something.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOPAZ_nuclear_reactor

Not sure if the reactor mass includes fuel. I pretended it did not.

Speed of light: 299 792 458 m / s - Speed of the solar system: 200, 000 m/s = 299 592 458

ln(736/710)*9.8*850,000,000 = 299,589,688.61698105410374387436

ln(710/674)*9.8*580,000,000 = 295,766,139.25543934198167411624

 

You would need an ISP of approximately 850 million at it's stats to get to the speed of light. Or approx. 580 million if it had the fuel inside already.

 

If you could get the weight down to half fuel you would only need 44 millions ISP:

ln(52/26)*9.8*44,104,138.2 = 299,592,458.63469057684759779607

 

And this ratio of fuel to mass if you wanted to get there with raw fuel at 12,000 ISP:

 

ln(244930000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000/1)*9.8*12000 = 299,592,458.01821329418606582095

 

Not sure how many zeros that is(2.4493e+1106), but that is a lot of fuel. I'm going to out on a limb and say ISP increases are the best for trying to get to the speed of light.

 

What is the maximum likely ratio of helium/hydrogen that could be stored in an artificial sun? Is that more helium than in the universe or are we safe on helium/hydrogen?(I'm assuming the 1 has to be at least 1 ton. Or could it be less?) Then how much ISP would you need to make such a thing accelerate to the speed of light?

 

I'm assuming that has to do with the power output and the magnetic field producible. But I have no idea what that would be.

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacecraft_propulsion

A rocket with a high exhaust velocity can achieve the same impulse with less reaction mass. However, the energy required for that impulse is proportional to the exhaust velocity, so that more mass-efficient engines require much more energy, and are typically less energy efficient. This is a problem if the engine is to provide a large amount of thrust. To generate a large amount of impulse per second, it must use a large amount of energy per second. So high-mass-efficient engines require enormous amounts of energy per second to produce high thrusts. As a result, most high-mass-efficient engine designs also provide lower thrust due to the unavailability of high amounts of energy.

 

Is there anything more energy producing than a tiny fission/fusion sun generator?

 

Edit: what if the universe is the result of such a device trying to produce the speed of light.

 

So, I'm guessing if you can't get the ISP high enough the solar sail concept would be best. I wonder if it could be improved by being super sensitive and taking from increasingly wide areas of light from the one direction it's moving. If it could move from the sun then take the light from the galaxy etc as it moves out. Or is it too hard to make it be that sensitive. Off topic at this point though. You would just need a sail with sensitivity in one direction to test in one direction as a pure straight run. And a gyroscope to stabilize it without reducing thrust(assuming you can't let it follow the light). And whatever minimal tools are needed to receive data back.

 

Editx: https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/he.htm

You could use the planets to hold liquid helium or something. Not sure if it would help over the size of the suns own capacity. But it might extend fuel. can you compress it into solid helium? what is the max density you can get helium?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium

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Solid helium requires a temperature of 1–1.5 K (about −272 °C or −457 °F) at about 25 bar (2.5 MPa) of pressure. It is often hard to distinguish solid from liquid ...

I guess you would want the planets around it to store solid helium or something then. they would need to be machines using possibly the suns power to store and concentrate and them maybe deliver it to the sun over it's lifetime. Maybe using the planets movement and gravity to slowly move and transition the state of the helium slowly to the sun as it heats it up and delivers it into the sun slowly. The larger farther out ones being the bigger storage maybe? If they have to be as big as the sun I have no idea how much energy would be needed to store them. Is solid helium magnetic by chance? also could the stream of helium be a conductor for energy or to help as a coupler for the planets?

https://www.chemicool.com/elements/helium-facts.html

Looks interesting if it's also part of thorium and uranium decay. The planets could also then generate it from those and be made of it or have a shell of it. Or whatever else. I guess you might want to make the framework out of radiative materials. Then pack as much of whichever form is densest in containers. Or vice versa. can you get a safe form of the radiative materials and use a process in space to make it decay again in order to transport from earth safely. Assuming it's even practical. If either of those is magnetic you could make the entire thing out of the materials held in with magnetic forces. Maybe with backups if there is room or mass to add such a thing. You could still add atmospheres on some of the planets if it helps as you get closer to the sun to convert between forms to transfer to the sun or to use as equipment of some sort. You could use it in a bio stage of sorts and use the oxygen water permanently on that planet and when done let the helium/hydrogen simply leave the atmosphere and be drawn into the sun. Or act as a minor propellent if it's useful.

You could even form an ort cloud of sorts as a filter to catch stuff going in the wrong direction and cycle some of it back into the system. Maybe even convert materials for different purposes and make it cycle itself back into the sun or similar. And you could have a way to concentrate the most desired stuff into one direction if needed. Maybe a whole in front and back for acceleration/deceleration if it's desired. Assuming it's needed. Where ever your thrust ultimately comes from. Maybe this would be useful from needed maneuvering until you get to deep space. Or for other odd circumstances.

You also might not need mining equipment as you could use the varried temperatures to melt or freeze things and slowly collect and process via a meteor belt or via planetary collection and then forming crusts etc. We could reproduce things like gas giants and other bodies for different functional purposes.

https://www.math.nyu.edu/mfdd/files/Hybrid_Fusion_Fission_Conference_A.pdf

This mentions(on page 11.) a lack of a need for magnetic and inertial confinement methods. (I would imagine both could be used anyway if needed.)The only reason to use magnetic then would be to create a corona for an artificial sun potentially. so multi staged fusion/fission. If it's even needed as orbs using sunlight might be near enough to use the ambient light. If not maybe produce more magnetics to make another layer and possible to help with planetary containment.

https://lasers.llnl.gov/science/icf

Potential ignition source.

And maybe an ort cloud around the front of the motion of the solar system to collect heavier metals that can also act like a sail to some extent. This can recycle those commissions back into the system via melting or other process. The back could be a pure desired propellent only. If there is such a thing. You could also have a solar sail. Maybe it could do the same thing. then you don't need a propellent. You just need light! Ort cloud could be intermingled to catch and convert other resources into the system to not loose particles. If needed. Unless the sun does not give out anything not desired to be lost.

So, I've no meandered onto fusion/fision hybrid mini sun solar sail base miniature solar system. No emission need to be lost except light! So everything can be recycled in favor or pure light base transport. All planets are fuel or some sort of equipment/manufacturing plant for the long haul. No need to loose emisions as the fusion/fision hybrid is a recycler for as close to closed loop as possible with all movement based on a solar sail... 8)

So, it's the solar laser based transport but with it's own powersource. And it could have a pretty long lasing power source. If the propulsion is closed loop it could be shrunk more potentially. And the solar sail could just let it fly away as the close source only needs to be stronger than the distant sources. And you can make the rest of the system as efficient as possible as it only needs sustain the sun as long as possible as opposed to burning as much thrust as possible. So hybrid fusion/fision lazer pointer. the solar sail could also be adjusted to change directions or decrease thrust etc. It could easily go to half way around the solar system for pure forward thrust. And the sun could only burn on the front end if it helps preserve fuel. The corona/light source would potentially only need to be for propulsion. So, it could be controlled. Then only lit on the back to change directions if desired.

That could simplify the system design also as you wouldn't need artificial structures as much. Just enough to hold planets and the solar sail potentially. Maybe. You could simplify it to pure inertial containment if that is more efficient. Or a partial sun with the ability to only go foward or only forward facing items. This could be rotated from the sun itself as it could have a corona over a half disk shape that can turn. then the solar sails can go around it and hooked up into the sun. If you want to add a magnetic field. Not sure if you can mix pure inertial containment with a half disk though. I'm don't really know in any direction though. If that is like a pure solar sail concept it may be possible to get similar or better distances. I wonder what balance of burn vs potential radioactive materials would be needed. Or could you go back to pure recycled low end helium in the sun itself to get acceleration? Don't you just need as long a burning power source as possible then?

Actually, could an ort cloud between the solar sail and the light source amplify the light like a lense to increase thrust? then it could be a laser amplifier and a potential recycling method.

And if all of your material is radioactive decay or other parts of the fuel source or adds to thrust, you can get the empty weight down to basically nothing as it will eventually be fuel. This could obviously get the fuel and ISP needs down significantly. Or, hypothetically, completely.

Could this allow for smaller solar sails or overall better designs?

Would an ice lense against the back of the sail help or add too much mass. It could keep the sail in the correct orientation or help with cooling.

https://www.colorado.edu/faculty/kantha/sites/default/files/attached-files/reiber_solar_sailing.pdf

with a close constant source of light how small could the sail be? Or how efficient could be made to if not expecting a distant source?

The other basically identical design is a giant flashlight with a solar sail on the end.

Editagain: Am I wrong in that it would only take 37 days for a solar sail at 0.058mm/s^2 accelleration to get to the speed of light with constant even acceleration. I have to be missing something. That seems too doable.

300000000/0.000058

= 5172413793103.44827586206896551724


5172413793103.44827586206896551724/3200000*2

= 3232758.6206896551724137931


3200000/60

= 53333.33333333333333333333


ans/60

= 888.88888888888888888889


ans/24

= 37.03703703703703703704

 

If the numbers are correct, I imagine the hard a part is getting the acceleration. How much would it take an artificial source to get that. Let alone if it's partially using the sun.

 

If that is not hard all you would have to do is make a giant flashlight. Hydrogen powered with fusion/fission hybrid with some sort of light source and a lens if needed to amplify. I was presuming you could use a magnetic held fusion hydrogen/helium plasma source if it's efficient as a light source. Or maybe because it's efficient mass wise. You could also possibly hold a gas lens to save on mass if that is possible as you already have the material. Or a water based lens, if it's powerful enough, as it's minimal potential extra mass in the form of oxygen(I assume it will take a lot of oxygen though(here in lies the atmosphere concept again to save on storage tank weight) or other material. This could be made with the fusion reaction if it can be controlled and stuck between the light and sail. And with a smaller sail you could make similar very light lenses going near the sail if needed. I'm sure I'm missing lots of stuff here. This looks too easy.

 

And as mentioned earlier water could be frozen into ideal forms. Including as a form to keep the sail physically in the correct position/curvature for ideal light contact. Unless that risks ripping or something. with enough lenses even a weaker light source could be made strong enough. This could also mean a lighter reactor/battery in the flashlight.

 

If the sails are optimal with other light an atmosphere could be between the lens(es) to filter light with the lenses. Not sure if you would want to carry the water or convert the oxygen into water. I assume you could limit the storage means though. Especially if the lights are in place at all times. Could you keep the light low enough, or additives to the water to keep it's melting point high enough to avoid the light melting it? Salt might help. Or would we then have some nice radioactive material to stop melting?

 

https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/25123/how-to-raise-the-melting-point-of-water

If there was a way to increase pressure maybe you could increase the melting temp so you can get more light. You could also increase it and use water in other layers. This could also go with compacting the gas in the first place to have enough to combine with the hydrogen for making water with oxygen if needed. this could allow stronger amplification of the light if needed potentially. You could aim for a smaller lense/gas area to save on mass projected out to the sail.

I guess the sail could be right on the end of a cone with the water/ice/gas inside it. Then the hottest gas might be near the end to hold it taught. If you add enough lensing you could have ice at the start then water then gas/air at the end near the sail if you have the correct heat at each layer.

You could also do multiple sails going out from the cone if you have multipe light sources. If it's a magnetic contained plasma source you just need to get the fuel to it and keep it from touching or overheating the walls and previous sails. Then you could make a longer cone with more sails in it. depending on how much room you need between each sail. Each sale could then be bigger than the previous.(unless you use a straight tube) This could also give varried acceleration in new ways if you can turn them on and off. plus redundancy if you get a rip. Especially if you have a means for repair or replacement.

I'm calling this a fusion/fission hydrogen/helium hybrid solar sail/flashlight/laser pointer.

I've literally just designed a ship the opposite of my ciggarette ion ship in ksp... Long tube with stuff.

 I guess if this works it would be ideal to add to a laser pointer solar sail.

Also, contained solar sails could be placed front and back inside a tube as many times as you can fit or is efficient. And, if you have a solar sail tube, you can put it on a surface instead of free floating to make it ideally shaped. This might allow more means to maximize pressure on the sail.

This would also allow you to potentially open one end of the tube to melt ice if there are ice asteroids and mine water in space. If you can open them all you could make a real giant laser pointer and the collect the results instead of shipping the water up. The innitial ship could be minimally fuelled with hydrogen/helium/water if that can't be mined also. Or use the nuclear fusion reactor to get to the mining source. The hybrid reactor might be good for initial transport around the system to gather materials until it can get to full power with a fully closed loop solar sail ship.

And if you could simply rotate the solar sails by rotating a surface they are held to you could also decelerate easily in a tube/cone ship. Especially if there is no permanent equipment between lenses and the light source. although if you need equipment to contain a magnetic light source without wasting mass you might have slower deceleration from positioning. Unless being really close is that efficient. Then you don't need the lenses potentially. Or as much of them.

Another possibility is one light source and sails that aren't fully solid. Then you use several of them one behind the other that pick up the slack as light goes through them. I'll assume this is only good if the overall design is lighter or the light is not straight enough and it catches more light. Then you have sails that are like a crochet blanket instead of a solid one. It might also work if each is designed to catch only certain light frequencies. Especially if they are clear accept for the frequency it's supposed to catch and don't block other light somehow.

If the sails are plastic and solid/stiff maybe they could act as lenses for the next light frequency(or if the sails each have multiple frequencies on each sail patched together) you could then get rid of the need for gas/water to save mass potentially. Each lense coudl be a flat surface or similar with a bunch of curved/bubbled color lenses to react to the different colors. Each then amplifying the remaining light into a different color behind until you exhaust the light source.

https://weldtalk.hobartwelders.com/forum/equipment-talk/general-welding-questions/47721-helium-versus-argon

If you need to repair stuff you could use magnetics and basically a plasma are welder concept to patch up holes in the ship if something happens. Depending on materials. either way you could create an arc welder. Maybe if you stick to just gas and recycle the gases throughout the closed loop tube with a fusion/fission hybrid reactor you could make a real arc bolt for a brighter light source. No idea which is more efficient. I'd assume the arc generator.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation

Could this help with solar sails? Could it be produced with helium/hydrogen?

Would that be useful as an end stage light source when the reactor starts to die?

This could be interesting if you have small amounts of it and especially if you can make it with the fusion/fission process from existing materials. It might act as a separation layer or other odd things. I wonder if it reflects better than normal water. Or as a filter agent to recycle materials.

Simple stupid version:

What about bioluminescense or something natural with a very strong lens. You could make a very small device potentially with a strong lens in a container amplified against an inner wall with a tiny solar sail material on it. Or similarly a flash light design with a solar sail outside. could you make a natural tiny self powered solar sail to get to the speed of light? The point would be potentially the lower long lasting light amplified by the very strong lensing to produce thrust. Then you have a simple to make non radioactive miniature probe. And 38 days later possibly a test of the speed of light. That or a test of what really pushes solar sails. Especially, if it's within parameters and self contained so it doesn't use the suns light.

https://keepsnap.com/blog/post/most-powerful-lens-in-the-world

Put this in space with a light bulb and a solar sail?!

Probably strip it down to bare minimum parts and make a giant space flashlight to power a solar sail. If you only nee a month or two to try to get to the speed of light(potential mass increase aside) you probably don't need too much power to power the light source. BTW, how strong of a light would you need to power a solar sail with this level of lens power? And who much would that weigh if it has less casing?

This would have much simpler designs to it outside of the potential of power density.

https://petapixel.com/2010/01/06/ginormous-5200mm-canon-lens-on-ebay/

This says if you add something to it it's effectively 8320mm.

Quote

What’s even more interesting, is that if used with a DSLR with a crop factor (i.e. Canon 50D), the lens is effectively a 8320mm lens. Wowzers.

What would this do if just pointed at the sun and into a solar sail attached to the lens system. Could it get acceleration without a laser pointed at it. Or what could it do with a small lightbulb and some double A batteries attached.

You are looking at a solar sail and enough power to move at minimum possibly 500 lbs of weight. Whatever that mass is.

Weighs 100kb (220 lbs) without the casing.

I guess at this point you could go Newtonian or similar.

You could either send the light forward and refract onto the sail. Or reverse it and bounce it off another bigger but very thin mirror back onto the sail. Hopefully not countering the effect. I wonder if a lens big enough to refract or a very thing coated surface would be lighter or better. Would one help even the light better? Or could one work with different sail sizes to change the design.

Either way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_sail

Quote

The total force exerted on an 800 by 800 metre solar sail, for example, is about 5 newtons (1.1 lbf) at Earth's distance from the Sun, making it a low-thrust propulsion system, similar to spacecraft propelled by electric engines, but as it uses no propellant, that force is exerted almost constantly and the collective ...

At a total of 200kg you could get half of the stated force I think. 0.025m/s or mm/s?

5 newtons / ( 1880LEO) = 0.00265957446808510638 starting.

 

How much light pressure could you get from an artificial light source if any?

Edited by Arugela
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Yeah, I have no idea what the OP is trying to ask, even. Unless if they're planning to break physics - let alone physics, just the association of what your "spaceship" is. The ISS only includes all the stuff that's currently attached to it, it doesn't include the LVs and the used-up supply vehicles and their manufacturing plant here down on the surface of the Earth. the Earth only includes the physical body and (potentially) the objects where it falls into the immediate surrounding, possibly also the Moon if we're talking "Earth planet system", but it doesn't include the Sun. The Sun only covers all the plasma that's on it, and probably all the planets and other bodies that orbits around it if we're talking "solar system", but it doesn't include other stars (ie. Proxima Centauri).

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On 1/14/2021 at 6:55 PM, Arugela said:

What about making a ship, maybe using magnetics or similar, powered possibly by some exotic nuclear fission/fusion or other battery, possibly built around the sun with resources coming from the sun to avoid legal issues that creates and atmosphere, recycles any needed oxidizer(assuming you need one.) and then uses magnets to propel a propellent for thrust.

What?

Aside from space lawyers, there are quite a few problems with this proposal. I'll just stick to this first post, this first paragraph even, just to avoid reading several thousand words on the subject. This will be a response to the first paragraph, not the current theory however it stands.

Quote

powered possibly by some exotic nuclear fission/fusion or other battery, 

So as I understand this, the fission/fusion reactor and battery refers to power generation for ship systems and possibly propulsion.

Quote

possibly built around the sun with resources coming from the sun

So... resources extracted from the sun? The sun is 99.5%  Hydrogen and Helium, both utterly useless as building materials, and most of the rest is Oxygen or Carbon. You might be able to get away with Carbon, but IIRC much of it is buried far deeper than possibly accessible.

Quote

that creates and atmosphere

Why does it need an atmosphere? Where are you getting an atmosphere? If for crew support, atmosphere is probably the wrong word, it would be more like a "pressurized, breathable environment".

Quote

recycles any needed oxidizer(assuming you need one.)

We've gone over this before, but recycling oxidizer (or any other reaction mass) is inefficient and quite detrimental to the performance of the spacecraft because you are removing your 3rd law recoil from sending the reaction mass out the back of your ship. Not to mention the extreme difficulties of recapturing only a specific part of the exhaust, since in an ideal chemical engine and any chemical engine that doesn't blow itself up due to a hard start or combustion instability, the propellants will be mixed quite well in the exhaust gases. In fact, there should also probably be a chemical reaction between them that takes place during combustion, such as H2+1/2O2= H20 (Space Shuttle Main Engines, RL-10, J-2, Vulcain, RD-0120).

There won't be an oxidizer in an ion drive, nuclear thermal propulsion, or any kind of fusion. I assume you mean an ion drive or some sort of MPDT, since you mentioned magnets.

Quote

and then uses magnets to propel a propellent for thrust.

So you do mean an electromagnetic propulsion system of some kind. How exactly are you going to get the propellant? Is the propellant the atmosphere? Oh no I think that's what OP means.

Atmosphere doesn't just magically regenerate, of course. And although Oxygen and Nitrogen are usable as ion drive propellants (see: my man Manley), they have much lower densities than the primary propellants used such as Xenon and Argon (and Radon if you are brave/have a death wish), which means much more tankage used, which means our friend the rocket equation will not smile upon the situation.

 

I'm not going to specifically answer a lot of which is in this thread, except for a few major themes:

1.  No, shining a laser on your ship at a solar sail would neutralize your velocity.

2. "Could this use something as simple as magnets physical positioning to produce thrust?" No. Many people much smarter than those who frequent the KSP forums have looked into this, and have seen nothing. I do not count the EM drive as something, as the scant evidence that it works is in no way enough to adjust my priors. #bayesianforlife

3.  Sustaining hydrogen-hydrogen fusion in a basketball-sized reactor is either physically impossible or merely impossible with any conceivable technology.

4. The sun loses mass as it fuses Hydrogen, as has been said.

5. The energy required to reach lightspeed increases exponentially as you grow closer to it, so your velocity will grow logarithmically with more energy you add to the system.

 

 

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The atmosphere idea is basically just trying to find a way to get rid of weight and containers. Or get rid of pipes or wear on a thruster bell. (or make a bell less thruster. Do you really need the bell once in space?)

In space can you use anything odd like electrostatic forces to hold gas against the hull. This could get rid of pipes and save some weight(maybe some hull as you could make indents). If you can make a bigger atmosphere you could have it slowly send it into the thrust as an oxidizer or additive to make it burn harder. It's just a general idea.

Plus if you did this enough you could use a different form of trust with no bell. Maybe just directed lasers or similar things with hopefully better ISP. Siphen the atmosphere in a way to create better efficiency. If it's not good for testing the speed of light it might be good for localized stuff.

It has nothing to do with people breathing. It's just an alternative way of holding fuel. Containerless fuel basically.

If you were doing a more conventional launch. Could you store gas in the lower stages, Have a no bell final or transit stage, have the lower stages release gasses to the surface of the newer stage, then save weight with a belless thrust mechanism/method? Could you use a massive concave to help hold the gas. Assuming it doesn't outweigh the container and old hull. Would any shapes naturally aid in this and still be less material than traditional designs? Would anything make lighter or different materials available?

I'm assuming anything not strong enough to try to test the speed of light is still good for other shorter term things. It's just a potential method for making more efficient or new craft types. Which is how it naturally works.

My other assumption was that it was possibly working with a nuclear or other engine that might only need a very small amount of gas added to increase the thrust or efficiency. Technically if it only worked for a single burn it could save overall mass on the upper stages even if working with normal rockets.

https://sciences.ucf.edu/news/solving-static-electricity-space/

Case in point. If you have an abundant resource. Use it. Can anything like this be used to do something else and save on craft mass or similar?

Instead of fighting it, maximize it and use it!

In this case maybe use it in the atmosphere too collect gases for the upper stage so you don't have to carry it the entire way up in the lower stage. Then burn what you collect as far as possible.

https://www.britannica.com/technology/electrostatic-precipitator

Could you sit in a LEO and slowly build up fuel? Could you use the energy/forces from doing so to stay suspended until the gas fills up sufficiently?

What about micro grooves on the surface made to help do this and make stuff flow where you want. This could all reduce surface mass of the upper stage. Maybe even as extreme as making the flight rip the grooves into the hull as you go. Could you put dents so you know it will make a line between them and make grooves as you fly from the forces?

If not could you deliver gas to a ship in orbit(any orbit), hold it around the ship in an atmosphere, then use it as fuel using the hull to deliver it to the engine(any type of engine) or similar. Or just have it reach around the engine and burn naturally in it. This could be for something like a mars transit burn. Then if any pipes exist it might minimally be just before the bell for the main thrusters if needed. It could control the mixing at the exhaust or burn point just before use. Maybe with a similar logic getting rid of a bell and mixing and burning fuel.

If you can do this enough maybe start mixing gases in the atmosphere in a more complex way to hold more fuel. More interesting things might be doable with this.

If this is a physically simple enough design and you have enough ability to aim it. Make it float after final separation to mars or another destination, capture it, then recycle or use the materials. Then part of the staging is a second delivery method. Maybe it can reenter leo or get more gases and then fly to mars by itself as a second free payload. Or a reusable orbital payload launcher. Maybe it's good for return trips if it can scoop mars.

I'm assuming the downside is you can't compress gasses. But if you can make a big fluffy atmosphere and use it all maybe it's useful. Or if it can collect gases from a planet. It might be good as a portable launcher and gas collector for space stations.

It might also work as a way of getting extra fuel on an already packed space craft as you could use the outside of the hull.

Maybe it would work best to enhance ion drives:

https://beyondnerva.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/electric-propulsion-part-2-electrostatic-propulsion/

BTW, adding the ability to enhance and fix ion drives via recoating in 0 gravity might be nice. I like the cold plasma idea because it extends bell life. But you can coat in zero gravity potentially to readd to a surface for very long term stuff. At least hypothetically.

Wait, why not make a ship designed to use electro static convert it to light and then power a solar sail? Maybe a really tiny probe. How long can you collect this in space? Heck could you also do this to power a laser in orbit to proptell it. You could combine everything to get maximum flight. Maybe use the sun a laser around earth or other places in orbit and then fly it.

Or better yet, put these around the solar system, and instead of flying straight, fly in an orbit to see how close you can get to the speed of light. If you are staying at a certain distance you just need stationed lasers to keep it going on it's path. then you can ditch any need for a light on the ship potentially. Although maybe you can also get rid of the downsides of having one and do both. This could get sun, laser, onboard power all working together. If not just sun and lasers. Or just sun if it's possible. A preliminary test could be done with a tiny solar sail with just enough to have optimal weight to speed for the equipment it needs and fly in an orbit to get as fast as possible.

Maybe in the long run ships could get to near or faster than the speed of light, if possible, going around the sun, the shooting off to their destination having used the sun to get up to speed.

I would think this could be good for mars also. If you take a longer trajectory but use more speed could you slowly get to mars, avoiding the asteroid belt, and then capture it in a more or less spiral pattern?

The other possibly options would be to recycle thrust and try to collect some of the oxidizer or a smaller fuel additive to make it run through the burn to get to use some of it a second time. If you are dealing with enough fuel a small efficiency could get more life out of something potentially. You have lot so heat and other elements to play with. Maybe you can make the engine recycle some things to extend tank size effectively.

Editx: In atmosphere on lower stages could you use the heat and other forces/pressures to force oxygen into the bell as an oxidizer. Why store it for the parts you are already swimming in it for. You could potentially extend the fuel.

Hypotheically, you could add some forms under the current engines and even use gimballing/positioning to help collect or even mechanically push fuel in a way to aid flight. If you pool it in this form and in areas inside the engine you might be able to get it into the thrust. And if you add some solid or foamy materials that can mix with the collection you could make that turn into a liquid and drip and mix with the thrusters of existing rockets.

If anything maybe it can even out gimballing burns and if anything is left help with small end stage burns. Maybe even after it separates. Uses would probably depend on how much can be collected and what types of fuel or additives can be made. Even if it's a small amount it might be useful for something. Like small deorbit burns or something.

This cold follow the logic of taking a weakness and turning it into a strength. Anything you have to deal with by definition means you have more information collected on it from doing so. This could lead to better things to adapt to utilize as you may find solutions more quickly or more correctly. So take all resources you normally deal with and utilize them. Whatever causes the biggest problems you technically know how to generate and could hypothetically find a source of fuel or something else. It's also potentially what exists around you in the most abundance to utilize.

Edited by Arugela
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