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Electromagnetic space propulsion theory

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posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 11:23 AM
I have a very limited knowledge of electromagnetics and its wave field functions and characteristics, but a friend and I did have an idea based on this minute understanding.

I read an article about microwave propulsion being used to power spacecraft to possibly Mars and it rekindled a thought of a friend and mine about placing large magnets in a geostationary orbit around the Earth. Basically if we could take a large enough magnets(s) and place it in space and on the moon, we could use the magnetic capabilities to launch transport ships to and from the moon and Earth by simply fliping on and off a switch.
When you want the object to propell from Earth to the moon you simple turn the switch on earth to the magnet to propell the object away and flip the switch on the moon to atract the object (kinda like tractor beams in Star Trek). So you have a pull and push motion on the object. This idea could work on Mars if we could someday deploy a manned mission to have someone flip on and off the switch.
Good idea or a frivolous sci-fi pursuit?

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 12:37 PM
I would think the kind of magnets that u are talking about would have to be huge superconducting magnets that would guzzle a lot of energy and probably would not be powerful enough to have any effect at those distances. Another important point is that these magnets could be highly dangerous, maybe prohibitive. Think of all the thinks that it would attract aside from the space ship, it could even drag asteroids onto a collision course with earth and kill us all

The magnet would need thrusters so it would not be pulled by the space ship instead of the other way around, it could also be moved from its orbit by a larger metallic mass than itself. It may be possible in the future but not at the moment.

[edit on 21-4-2005 by ufo3]

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 12:40 PM

No, the Star Trek tractor beam is way more realistic than THAT

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 01:06 PM
Yeah, if you put magnets in orbit, they wouldn't stay in one place. They would be attracted to whatever it is supposed to propel and move. If it were strong enough to propel something it would also disrupt any nearby satellites.

Personally, I like the idea of the space elevator.

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 11:34 AM
Good brainstorming keep it up!! I doubt we could do this as the magnets would have to be exteemly more powerful than we can mustre at least with todays knowledge.

Pushing a spacecraft through space is something they are thnking about with plasma.

There is a thread about it here.

Plasma Beam Travel ATS Thread


posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 06:38 PM
hmmmf! dont you mean...repulsor beam!!!! lol just kiddin

posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 07:30 PM
wouldnt the magnet pull all metal from earth and might change the position of the earth/ moon/sun even fractionally.

you would need alot of magnets one to get to space then one to get to moon or/and one to mars plus repeaters all the way there cluttered space is a problem.

you would need alot of geostationary satalites to allow full use of the elavator. plus both magnets would need to have repel and attract so you can slow the thing down lol.

Very good idea if you can shield the magnetic field in all direction other than the direction you want it to point in

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 03:12 PM
Ther are 2 proposed methods of EM propulsion I know :
a/ to the orbit - giant EM gun/railgun able to shoot the unmanned ships and cargo to the orbit (manned cannot be used, because the people are not able to sustain so high Gs) - moon railgun is more likely, because you don't need so much power(1/6 gravity and no atmosphere) It is estimated you will need the power of 60 powerplants and at least 10km long EM accelerator to shoot the cargo from the Earth surface to the space (with todays tech).
a/ EM propelled spaceship - I have read about it in one book. It could be used to "hunt" down asteroids (for minerals) - it should be a huge ship with small mining factory and long EM accelerator. The factory extract the metal and magnetic materials from asteroid and shoots them to the space to gain speed. App half of the 100m diameter asteroid would be used to move the "rock" from asteroid field (between Jupiter and Mars) to the Earth/Moon orbit. It would be good for the month colonies, because the moon lacks some materials (nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon) which can be found on asteroids.

[edit on 24-4-2005 by longbow]

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 11:14 PM
EM theory is really something you need to take a class on to appreciate.

It's a pretty relaxing field, in my opinion. I enjoy it much more than quantum...more students fail EM than quantum, surprisingly enough.

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