hubiestubert: I am shocked that this idea might not be exactly environmentally friendly...Though, in fairness, it was good enough for Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle...
Bacontastesgood: About 1% of that cost was the fuel
Quantum Apostrophe: All you need is a new Periodic Table of the Elements, some new forces and particles, some new magical materials, sure, why not. Other than that, you realize that we are collectively on our last gasp of easy-to-get hydrocarbon fuels? What energy source, pray tell, a real, practical one that can actually be built, will power these magical carpets to the stars?And once you're in space, is it any less empty and deadly for all that?Anyways, Happy Mud Ball Holidays right here on Earth, you'll never leave this place might as well enjoy it!
BigBooper: Quantum Apostrophe: All you need is a new Periodic Table of the Elements, some new forces and particles, some new magical materials, sure, why not. Other than that, you realize that we are collectively on our last gasp of easy-to-get hydrocarbon fuels? What energy source, pray tell, a real, practical one that can actually be built, will power these magical carpets to the stars?And once you're in space, is it any less empty and deadly for all that?Anyways, Happy Mud Ball Holidays right here on Earth, you'll never leave this place might as well enjoy it!FTL travel may or may not be possible. However, our solar system is full of resources that we can use. A near endless supply of helium-3 may be as close as the moon. Imagine a world that has advanced beyond hydrocarbon energy. The only way to continue to live on this mud ball short of reverting back to pre-industrial technology may be exploiting resources off planet. I'd say that's a pretty good reason to keep working on these technologies.
Shrugging Atlas: Guild Navigators? Yes please!
Uncle Tractor: Hmm.. Scramjets + boost to reach orbit, then nukes to take genetically engineered post-humans* elsewhere ...?* immortal, able to survive freeze-drying, etc
Any Pie Left: Everybody fixates on the warp studies at Eagleworks, and nobody'spaying attention to the fact they are building Q-thrusters that will be tested at the ISS in the next year or two. The Q thruster is like an ion thruster that requires zero reaction mass, and though the thrust is weak, you gang a bunch of them together and let them run continuously, (as long as you have solar cells or a reactor powering them), you can build up a HELL of a delta-vee in time, and get to Mars in a Month. Jupiter in 100 days. That is AWESOME, if we can do it.
MaudlinMutantMollusk: and always the first thing I think of when the subject is nuclear spacecraft
maxheck: We have lots of HE3 here. It's a waste product of nuclear weapons production. The people who could do the most with it (US-DOE) have more than they can deal with. I won't say they have tons of the stuff, but they certainly have *kilograms* of the stuff, and more than enough for an experimental reactor.
Any Pie Left: DORMAMU: Got a link?Third page on this PDF:http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110023492_2011 0 24705.pdf
Milo Minderbinder: Why even bother to discuss it? The universe is 6,000 years old, Noah forgot the unicorns and Jeebus rode a dinosaur to work.
maxheck: I don't know what's meant by a polarasiable gas *yet* but I'll be looking that up, and thanks for making me look up something new... Darn you evil people who make me stretch my tiny brain!
machoprogrammer: Milo Minderbinder: Why even bother to discuss it? The universe is 6,000 years old, Noah forgot the unicorns and Jeebus rode a dinosaur to work.Why is there always some dumbfark making some retarded comment like that in every science thread?
simplicimus: Most of these seem to require chemical rockets to escape the gravity well. As for using nukes near earth, some people might object.
maxheck: Actually, solar sail *is* very useful for LEO-moon or LEO-Mars... As is ion-electric. The expensive part is lofting stuff out of Baikaunaur, Titusville or French Guiana. .....They're not going to give you significant acceleration, you wouldn't use it for carrying meat, but as far as cargo? They're ideal. Who cares how long it takes inert crap to get where it's going?
wildcardjack: I'm just tossing this one out there: Would hydrogen or helium-3 fusion produce radioactive elements? I'm just contemplating an atmosphere full of radioactive boron from magneto-constricted fusion rockets.
Argonreality: I'd personally like to see what kind of logistics would be required for a rather low-tech solution to escaping Earth's gravity well: balloons. Ones filled with hydrogen to be specific, and engineered to use only that gas instead of being made for something else and using hydrogen as a last minute substitute. Anyone know some rough numbers?
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