Mark Simmons (
Mon, 13 Nov 2000 09:21:29 -0800

Dafydd writes,

>If the M-I reactor was the first practical fusion system, they'd've had
to have
>built the first three Sides, established at least one Lunar colony, moved a
>major asteroid to the Earth Sphere, and emigrated at least five and
perhaps as
>many as seven billion people, all without any form of fusion power. Solar
>energy would be cheap and abundant, but thrusters would've been
chemical, ionic,
>mass driver, fissionable or fission/fusion impulse devices, not the
>thermonuclear rocket that's become standard by UC 0079.

  Hm... okay, that's a valid point. But it could be possible to move
large objects like asteroids using "dirty" fusion impulse thrusters. Also
note that, in the original TV series, the engineers have to wear
radiation suits while working on the White Base's engines. This suggests
to me that even the Federation's newest ship uses fission or "dirty"
fusion, rather than the "clean" helium 3-deuterium reaction.

  Perhaps the answer is that the Minovsky-Ionesco reactor, perfected some
time after the great colonization rush, was the first _clean_ fusion
reactor, replacing the bulky and dangerous ones used previously. Surely
there has to be _some_ new feature provided by the Minovsky-Ionesco
reactor, and if helium 3-deuterium reactions had been widely used
beforehand, the Minovsky particle would likely have been detected a lot
earlier. In this case, the early creation of the Jupiter fleet remains a
nagging anachronism.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / /
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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