posted on May, 13 2013 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by iforget
It's not just about velocity, it's about acceleration. In order to maintain similar gravity conditions as on earth, the acceleration should be 1g or
roughly 33 ft/sec/sec. That will allow travelers to retain bone mass and have normal digestive/circulatory functions. One would accelerate at 1g to a
midway point, reverse the ship and decelerate the remaining distance at 1g.
There is a small (2hp/1500w) multiphase inertial engine design that would accommodate a reasonable 3g acceleration rate, however, this obviously has
to be scaled up for a larger ship and payload mass. I worked out the energy requirements back in 1997 for a university and it appeared we could get 3g
in a two ton vehicle with a small reactor producing less than 100kw and travel time to mars was about 2 weeks using an acceleration/deceleration
cycle. I used to love doing this work and the modelling of the physics and building the prototypes.
However, the greatest problem when traveling at the velocities produced by a constant 1g acceleration is that particles become like missiles. If you
are traveling at 400kps (or any high velocity) and you contact dust and small particles in space, they will be hitting your vehicle at probably the
speed you are traveling or greater. It would be like sandpaper in space for the smaller bits and bullets for the rest of the larger bits.
So to summarize, acceleration is not the problem and neither is velocity, it's all about the debris in our path on the way to where we are going. It
wouldn't help at all if you got halfway there only to have crew or reactor or some other important part like the a hull breach, taken out by a
micro-meteor traveling at 250,000 feet per second. If someone were to come up with a way to move particles out of the way at nearly the speed of
light, I think you would see realistic space travel in six months to a year as the technology exists and is not that expensive apart from the
Cheers - Dave
edit on 5/13.2013 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)