Dr. Enzmann, ca. 2009
Galactic Central Chain-out Relays was considered. Essentially unmanned outward-bound ships would communicate one to another, as mankind’s explorers expand in a sphere about Mother Earth’s solar lagoon of light.
However, manned ships were also considered. What a magnificent way for ancient engineers, pilots, and such to retire. Quarters could be spacious, comfortable, even luxurious. And I add, even the suggestion inspired legions of wonderfully competent old boy volunteers. Was it Dylan Thomas who wrote: Clay lies still but bloods a rover. Breaths a ware that will not keep, up lad when the journeys over, there’ll be time enough to sleep.
Galactic Central Interstellar Stations
Immodest? Perhaps. But to date, we know of no other intelligence indicated toward interstellar travel. Galactic Central, like Topsy in Uncle Toms Cabin, will just grow. Look at the beginnings which are here now, and consider the direction they will likely take:
In Chile, Hawaii, the Antarctic, South Africa, Australia, in Earth orbital space, and other locations the World’s nations build ever-larger optical telescopes. Paralleling them are radio, millimeter infra-red, gamma, x-ray, neutrino, and other telescopes. The information is shared internationally.
In low Earth orbit, there is an international space station with more coming – international and national. We can expect in the not-too-distant future Lunar orbiting stations, Lunar bases, and similar bases on and about Mars and Mercury.
These are but baby steps. Not too distant is an international utility to protect the Earth from extraterrestrial impacts. And not far behind it unmanned starships then manned explorer starships. Visualize Earth surfaces Galactic Central as a vast library open to everyone in which data concerning all matters astronomical along with data concerning possible landfalls exists. Here we define a possible landfall as an airless body at least as hospitable as the Earth’s Moon.
Ref: 1980, 1986, 1994 editions of National Geographic Atlas of Our Universe – Roy Galant.
Pioneer Auxiliary Craft
Asteroid Landing: Pioneer asteroid landing. Not really habitable as lack of gravity causes degeneration. A wonderful source of supply, materials metals even air and water from the rubble piles. Less so on asteroids like Ceres and Vesta.
Long Term Asteroid Terraforming: Pecans, lettuce, potatoes, etc. Asteroid farming.
Pioneer Comet Landings: Where gravity is weak the Echolances can land, the Torch ships with difficulty. Extend the frame cranes as lets. A wonder source for air and water.
Pioneer Habitable Like Earth’s Moon, Mercury, or Mars: Domes are silly. Underground malls, with extensive UVWXYZ – excellent.
Fission Fusion Torch Ships
May 1983 in Science Digest by Richard Sternbach. Two Big Enzmann Starships.
Fission Fusion Drive
Orion-type nuclear pulse engines are somewhat more efficient than simple fission engines.
Hand Carts to the Stars
Freedom! If people can, somehow they will. One of many wonderful epics in people’s unending quest for freedom is the unparalleled march of the Latter-Day Saints across a continent. The culmination of faith, courage, and devotion in this writer’s view is men women, and children pushing and pulling hand carts across hundreds of miles of winter.
If people can, they will, and that includes all people.
So, if slow boats to Centaurus are the best available, brave ships companies and passengers will dare to travel even in such hand carts to the stars. Even now engineers can supply better ships.
Ref: August 1977 Astronomy by Thomas Schroeder, Slow Boat to Centauri.
Its merit is that it could have been done. And even in the face of potential disaster wit would have been done. We designed a mission to Centaurus as follows: Each ship would have four sections. Each section could in an emergency support all persons on board for the voyage. Ships would have recycled their atmospheres, water, waste, and food. At the same time, each ship was intended to carry dry cargo that would support its population for the length of the mission even with the loss of all ability to recycle.
Ships sailed in minimum groups of three. Missions were planned to last for 100 years. This was intended to provide protection against failure to be able to support the mission at the destination or in other difficulties. Missions in condition of disaster were planned with intention of no population expansion. Manned missions were planned this way because a century would be sufficient for further manned or unmanned Lifeline Packets to reach them.
Defining a true starship in a way that follows the building and evolution of submarines. Until the very end of WW II submarines, despite their successes in various navies were essentially partially submersible boats. The first real submarines being the German Electroboat and the never deployed Walter Engine powered sus which operated on hydrogen peroxide.
Starship evolution is more one of concept as no starship has yet been built. A true starship is able when reaching a landfall minimally as hospitable as the Earth’s Moon, to reproduce itself. Yes, this might take a century or more, but it is fundamental.
Nuclear fission power research moratorium. ITER International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor 57 feet height at 15 billion dollars, ignition 2018, will hold plasma five minutes or more yielding with output 10x input, for a 20-year lifetime. Opposition to such research became forceful in the United States with the shut down of Princeton’s reactor the moment it thresholded in the 1980s. In the 1990s the USA withdrew from an international effort stopping it. In 2007 the USA has withdrawn again.
Opposition centers on the fact that the walls of the reactor will be radioactive, the project’s expensive, that fusion power isn’t needed, that the people are not ready for this, and it not developing fusion power the US will set an ethical example fore the world.
RDE having worked with several accelerators is aware of the problems of turning them on and off. It’s done gradually. No, I have been aware but never really appreciated another aspect of the accelerators but should have been. If the plasma ring drifts off-center a tremendous push-up or pull-down is developed. It’s calculated at c 8,000 tones for the ITER which is built to withstand this. However, this just possibly portends revolutionary starship propulsion. What is happening, is the transformation of energy in the ring to material momentum.
Ref: Oct 2008 Discover, Charles Seife
RDE – Tesla was well aware of these effects. They were first appreciated by engineers trying to turn off cyclotrons and synchrotrons. You don’t just open a switch; the current will roar across the gar. You slowly drain out the energy. Today the effects really appreciated by the builders of ITER International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and sooner or later engineers will make use of the effect.