A Conversation for Travelling to the Stars
sirtoby_tw Started conversation Jan 19, 2001
Actually, what I found as a quite interesting (though thought-up) traveling method were the Kearny-Fuchida drives in Battletech.
I'll just copy some text from one of the resource books:
The heart of the JumpShip is the Kearny-Fuchide hyperspace drive. Composed of a titanium/germanium alloy suspended in a tube of liquid helium, the core of the drive acts as a huge superconductive capacitor, storing the massive amounts of energy required for a hyperspace jump.
Situated at the aft end of the JumpShip is the field initiator, the second vital component of the hyperspace drive. This device generates the hyperspace field and focuses it through the main drive core, amplifying the field to encompass the JumpShip and the DropShips it carries. Though each jump lasts only a short time, it requires a fully charged drive core. Charging the core usually take from six to eight days.
The primary means of collecting energy for the K-F drive core is the JumpShip's solar sail array [already mentioned in this article].
Hey, it is more realistic than an infinite improbability drive
Jazz Posted Jan 19, 2001
What interests me about solar sails catching the solar winds from the sun is - how the heck do you get back? Tacking into the wind would be a bit difficult with no sea to provide the necessary drag.
xyroth Posted Jan 20, 2001
Solar sailing is fairly simple. for most sorts of solar sailing, you are using the solar sail to change orbits. You use the sail to decelerate, which tightens your orbit, or to accelerate, which widens it. if you reach escape velocity (ie for earth to moon) you will typicaly time that event to happen when you are pointed at the planet you want to visit, with a gravitational capture being the end result.
for interstellar sailing, you use the light from the star you are approaching to play the same sort of tricks.
Jazz Posted Jan 21, 2001
You'd need better navigating skills than mine to do that. Thanks for the enlightenment all the same.
xyroth Posted Jan 21, 2001
Generaltak Posted Jan 2, 2005
True. But even computers can't anticipate all the variables if humans fail to anticipate them. Say be some miracle you manage to accelerate out of the solar system at about 98% of light speed. You've fed your computer a set of coordinates and information on Alpha Centauri (things like intensity, size, density etc.) and you have a really fun board game that will keep you occupied for 4 years. When you get there you deploy the sail to catch the light and begin to decelerate. After however many more months it takes you to decelerate you realize that the ton of food and water that the weight of the ship has changed (after you consume the many many tons of food you brought along and ejected the waste). now the ship decelerates too fast and you do not have a stable orbit. Depending on when you realize your mistake and thae design of your ship the situation could be very bad.
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