Re: [gundam] Civilian Space Travel
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 01:17:41 EST

In a message dated 3/31/99 9:03:27 AM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

> Two (this one I got from Jim Baen, and Robert Heinlein) basically you get a
> bunch of lasers together in a sphere shaped like a soccer ball, each facing
> of the sphere has a laser embedded into it, and one facing also has a rail
> gun in it, the rail gun launches pellets into the sphere, at the center of
> the
> sphere, the lasers converge, and all at once burn off the coating of the
> pellet.
> This is supposed to happen quickly and with explosive force, just like the
> detonated explosives in a nuclear bomb that make the core material go
> supercrititcal, you get the pellet material to go off, much less critical,
> but it
> makes a great propellant. The problem is you have to saw off part of the
> sphere, and put more lasers at the outer edge of it that will make bank
> shots
> off the pellet to make up for the rest of the sphere not being there,
> because
> your are opening up the side of a laser driven fusion reactor to get the
> wash
> of the reaction to push you... (no Heinlein never published it, Jim said he
> was
> toying with it once.)
> Paul

The Daedalus Thermonuclear Pulse Drive. It was proposed in the mid-70's by the
British Interplanetary Society as an affordable means of achieving
interplanetary travel. Their idea used Hydrogen injected into the reaction
chamber, instead of the Dihydrogen pellets Baen talked about. Combined with a
Bussard Hydrogen Ram scope, you can have an efficient means of achieving
interstellar travel.

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