Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 8 Sep 2000 01:04:44 -0700


Les writes,

>just a thought.. in V gundam Minovsky drive of the V gundam2 could
>propel the Ms to fairly high sub-light speed.. prhaps in this UC
>continuatoin further reaserch has developed (depending on how well you
>can juggle the physics and your ability to suspend diselief) either an
>FTL drive or a near FTL drive capable of reaching nearby star systems
>possibly for colinization..

  True, though you could get almost the same effect with the
thermonuclear pulse engines that are already used for moving asteroids &
colonies in Gundam. These devices are highly fuel-efficient and can be
used for years at a time; their acceleration is very low, but after
months of gentle thrust you can reach tremendous speeds.

Dafydd writes,

>The colony-ship would have to be a Minovsky "closed type" cylinder, as the
>"sunflower" design of the O'Neill "open type" won't work anywhere outside the
>Earth Sphere.

  True, though even the closed colonies are dependent on solar power,
which will be hard to come by in interstellar space. Time to hoard lots
of fusion fuel!

>How fast to you intend to accelerate the colony-ship? If you plan to
boost at
>anything over a tenth of one gravity, the acceleration of the colony-ship
>along its line of trajectory will exceed the pseudo-gravity of the rotating
>cylinder.

  Absolutely no need to do that. Far better to accelerate at a tiny
fraction of a gee using a fuel-efficient engine, like the pulse thrusters
I mentioned above. In order to reach, say, half the speed of light -
after which relativistic effects start to kick in - you'd have to
accelerate at one gee for roughly a year. Accelerate at 1/50 of a gee,
and you'd hit that speed in a half-century. That gives the one-gee guy a
25-light-year head start, but after that they're both covering 50 light
years per century.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"It's your country, you can do what you want."

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