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The future of Propulsion..

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posted on May, 7 2004 @ 09:38 AM
What do you think will be the next realistic propulsion system to enable long-term space travel?

I myself am going for anti-matter... It would only take about 1/10 of a gram to replace the space shuttle rockets. Well, of course it costs around $60 million for a gram of it. The most expensive substance on earth. Think if they could give a satellite a poung of anti-matter... it could increase propulsion every few seconds for years, we could get to the edge of the galaxy in no time. But, i would have to be the one directing its flight.... too fast eh?

So, where you you think the future is?

posted on May, 7 2004 @ 09:46 AM
and how do you supposed they contain the antimatter? and how could it be used for propulsion?

i see the nuclear engines NASA is working on as the next realistic propulsion system. or perhaps more breakthroughs in ion propulsion.

posted on May, 7 2004 @ 09:58 AM
Actually, it's not quite so difficult to store anti-matter. You can confine it with a magnetic field. And it was an ideea a few years ago to make a probe using anti-matter (I guess when the CERN (I guess??) announced the first anti-matter atom - the anti-hydrogen), but they didn't need to carry all the anti-matter. In fact, there are some unstable elements that emit anti-protons wich can be used after that to propel de probe.
About the edge of the galaxy?? Maybe the probe will travers it in a short time (relative to its refrence system), but for us, back on Earth, it will take much, much more, 100 000 years (the diameter of our galaxy is 100 000 light years, or so, and this means that a if you would travel with the speed of light it will take you back on Earth 100 000 years)

posted on May, 7 2004 @ 10:48 AM
You heard it here first, NASA:

it's not quite so difficult to store anti-matter

Seriously, would you want to take a ride in a starship that was powered by antimatter, knowing that a picosecond flux in the magnetic containment would mean that you became interstellar dust?

Re: the edge of the galaxy. Sublight travel is never going to be practical for long distances - the only way the human race could expand beyond the Sol system would be vast arkships, carrying enough people to maintain a viable society for the generations-long trip, or in cryogenic stasis. Interstellar probes will never be a reasonable investment.

Realistically, therefore, the only way we are going to be able explore our galaxy is through FTL technology - and that, unfortunately, is where it all falls apart. Negative energy could stretch the wormholes present in the quantum foam (theoretically), but it would be a random trip... which leaves us with stretching spacetime (warp drive), or travel via othe dimensions (hyperspace). Star Trek or Star Wars, take your pick and place yours bets...

In the medium future, I would suggest fusion drives as the next big thing - ion drives, from what I understand, are incapable of producing enough thrust to propel worthwhile loads at worthwhile accelerations. Fusion, however - using deuterium and He3, from memory - is clean, reasonably cheap and highly efficient.


posted on May, 7 2004 @ 10:59 AM
Has anyone ever thought about a shield, aka a force field that is created that cant get punched through by anything other than light?

Or how about disappearing into another dimension, and reappearing back in our dimension much farthur than you started....

We know that white gold powder is able to disappear into another dimension when it reaches something like 1300 degree celcius.

And no i cant show u were i got that from.
you can take my word for it or u cant. i dont give a damn. i read it in a nexus, or new dawn i vouch my word on those mags ;P

posted on May, 7 2004 @ 11:13 AM

Originally posted by Apass
Actually, it's not quite so difficult to store anti-matter. You can confine it with a magnetic field.

i know that, but think of the astounding amounts of enerry just to create the magnetic field... especially in the amount that is needed. that's all i was thinking of.

posted on May, 7 2004 @ 06:56 PM
Ok, I know the I said the galazy, I meant the solar system, I guess that is what I get from thinking about this at 2am..

Here is an article on the white gold....
Now if I could only make it... oooh the possibilities..

Well, I would have to be the one around if the magnetic field holding the anti-matter broke down...ouch.. Ok, maybea bit too unstable.

I have not ready too much about fusion myself, how would it work.. The Kindergarten answer will work for me.. ha ha Also, would you need large amounts?

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 02:32 AM
Forgive the curtness of the reply, but I'm a little short of time this morning:

Check out:
UK Atomic Energy Authority - Fusion
Fusion in history and the lab
Legacy of Apollo 11 - He3 on the Moon

Enjoy, and I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts!

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 02:59 AM
Although you wouldn't be moving fast to start, you would double your speed every second......

Doesn't sound fast enough? Remember the old double your salary every day for a month game where you wok the first day for a penny?

Apply that principle to solar centimeter, two, four, more? 8, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640 centimeters after about 11 seconds.....keep doubling every second for an hour, a day, two, three....

Either that or political hot air. America has a vast reserve in that department. I'm thinking 50/50 political hot air/bovine flatulance would help achieve escape velocity wiht no problem.......



posted on May, 8 2004 @ 03:43 AM

Originally posted by garyo1954
Although you wouldn't be moving fast to start, you would double your speed every second......

No you wouldn't, where did you get that idea from?

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 03:55 AM
The issue with antimatter right now is not in the confinement, but in the creation - you need a huge accelerator like at Fermi or CERN to make it. So far, the total amount of antimatter made is on the order of micrograms. It is estimated that in a few decades, with several billion dollars in technology development, we can make enough for practical interplanetary travel.

For a great list of every known type of space propulsion, past, present, and future, go here. This site was created by a bunch of engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so they know their stuff.

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 04:00 AM
I firmly believe that Helium-3 will be a big fuel of the future.

It's on the moon in a huge abundance, and is waiting for us. It's almost too perfect that our low-gravity satellite has this huge supply of an extremely powerful fuel.

I also think it will be cheaper to mine than it will be to create and harness the power of anti-matter.

I also think it's the perfect fuel to be used here on Earth.

[Edited on 8-5-2004 by Zzub]

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 06:04 AM
well some propellant is working differantly under current energy use.. currently the ion system for example uses solar panels.. but what happens when the xenon gasses are getting a boost of nuclear energy which is much higher in voltage so the gas might react different...
also for magnetic buble system with the solar panels the effects are to low for use but with nuclear power it can be much more effective and can be used as a propulsion system.. ect

[Edited on 8-5-2004 by MarkLuitzen]

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 06:33 AM
Sorry, I wasn't clear. The idea has been around for a number of years...

The key component is a space sail, much like a sailboat would carry only many times larger.......

As you see, the heat of the sun is the source....and in space once the initial thrust is in motion you can never slow down (excepting retros to gradually halt the forward motion).

It may not be around the corner, but evenutally we have to harness something like free (don't make me sound so Tesla) energy for free people.

Hope this helps clarify.

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 10:07 AM
The HE3 seems very much viable, also the location is wonderful as well. The moon in my opinion would be a wonderful jumping point to the solar system. If we could only mine in and set up a launch facility from there, i think it would be a smarter idea. Less gravity and no real atmosphere to break out of, so the ship design could be radically changed and no need to transport feul as it is already there....

posted on May, 8 2004 @ 01:50 PM
Exactly, JCMinJapan.

Which is not to say that we can be up there a week on Thursday and be to Mars by the end of the month - there are still challenges to our materials technology and construction techniques, but I think it's not unrealistic to predict that we *could* begin to explore the solar system within the next couple of decades.

The main problem, as ever, is one of political and financial will.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 09:10 AM
Here is a link to some propulsion breakthroughs on the horizon.

Sadyly the VASMIR is in funding LIMBO as it could probably be flying in 5 years if funded and would seriously change our ability to explore our solar system.

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