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Old 05-04-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default Fusion: Where we Currently Stand.

The fastest Rocket ever lifted off in 2006 on a trip to the edge of the solar system. Speed 36,000 Miles per hour. It will arrive at Pluto (3 Billion miles from Earth) in 2015. Nine years in Transit...

This Rocket would take:
Jupiter: 576.6
million miles (6.2 AU) 1.8 years
Pluto: 2,961,117,446 miles 39 (AU) 9.2 years
Oort Cloud: 1 light year (50,000 AU) 14,745 years

----------------------------------------------------
Shortening the Trip: Fusion Rockets like the Botany Bay

2% Light Speed
Jupiter: 576.6 million miles (6.2 AU) 42 hours
Pluto: 2,961,117,446 miles 39 (AU) 9.1 days
Oort Cloud: 1 light year (50,000 AU)39.57 Years


(Note: to get any where near Starbase 12 gamma 400 25 ly (estimate 15 ly) Botany Bay would had to travel for 750 years. More possible at 6% light speed 250 years. )


The closes real working concept for Fusion.
On January 28, 2010, the LLNL announced tests using all 192 laser beams, although with lower laser energies, smaller hohlraumtargets, and substitutes for the fusion fuel capsules. More than one megajoule of ultraviolet energy was fired into the hohlraum, beating the previous world record by a factor of more than 30. The results gave the scientists confidence that they will be able to achieve ignition in more realistic tests scheduled to begin in the summer of 2010.
NIF researchers are currently conducting a series of "tuning" shots to determine the optimal target design and laser parameters for high-energy ignition experiments with fusion fuel in the coming months. Two firing tests were performed on October 31, 2010 and November 2, 2010.
On March 15, 2012, the NIF's array of 192 lasers fired a shaped pulse of energy that generated 411 trillion watts of peak power - 1,000 times more than whole of the United States uses at any one moment. The total energy created as the pulse was generated, was calculated to be 2.03 million joules, making the NIF the world's first 2MJ ultraviolet laser – about 100 times more powerful than any other laser in existence.
"Mike Dunne, the National Ignition Facility’s director for laser fusion energy, is expecting the giant laser system to generate fusion with energy gain, or "burn", by the end of 2012"
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:50 PM
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Some interesting facts there Saquist.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:30 AM
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A nuclear physicist who worked many years ago on a then-classified fusion-rocket project for which no prototype was actually built now sometimes mentions in his lectures that a fusion rocket would expel particles out the back with 10 million times as much energy per particle mass as with the best chemical rocket. With 1-g acceleration from Earth orbit halfway to Mars followed by 1-g deceleration, it would take only two days orbit to orbit, and the crew could enjoy 1-g artificial gravity all the way, with a short break in the middle to flip around. Doing that with a chemical rocket is, of course, out of the question. But for a fusion rocket, it is possible. Of course, fusion rockets shouldn't be used for liftoff to LEO, only for travel from LEO to orbit of a destination.

Now, if you're wondering how long it would take to get up to lightspeed accelerating at 1 g in a fusion rocket, the answer is "Just under a year by normal math, but Einstein would pull up in a shuttlecraft and transmit a speeding ticket."

1 g = 32.2 ft/s^2

t = v/a (assuming constant acceleration in a vacuum)

So 186,000 mi/s would be 186,000mi/s*5,280ft/mi.

And the equation would be:

t = 982,080,000 ft/s/32.2 ft/s^2

t = 30,499,378.88 s
= 8,472.05 hrs
= 353.00 days
= .97 yrs (approx.)
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:40 PM
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I've had a hard time understanding specific impulse numbers.
Many of the estimates or comparisons between fusion rockets and chemical rockets measure the amount of impulse or particle velocity from the nozzle which doesn't translate as actual speed or velocity because of the factors of ship size fuel and etc. but it still boggles my mind how little we've come.

What's staggering is how close we are...and in some ways how close we've always been since fission power became wide spread. They may not be as powerful but a fission Rocket could reach

We've come to expect that technology advances at a mind-boggling pace, but just how far has rocket technology advanced in say, the past three decades? Not much.~http://news.discovery.com/space/proj...on-120120.html


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Old 05-05-2012, 02:12 PM
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I have a question for Saquist, how did you determine these speeds?

Quote:
Shortening the Trip: Fusion Rockets like the Botany Bay

2% Light Speed
Jupiter: 576.6 million miles (6.2 AU) 42 hours
Pluto: 2,961,117,446 miles 39 (AU) 9.1 days
Oort Cloud: 1 light year (50,000 AU)39.57 Years


(Note: to get any where near Starbase 12 gamma 400 25 ly (estimate 15 ly) Botany Bay would had to travel for 750 years. More possible at 6% light speed 250 years. )
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:56 PM
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Actually, Westinghouse and Los Alamos built and tested very powerful fission rockets around 50 years ago but never sent them into space. They were classified at the time but aren't now, since those projects were canceled decades ago. The fusion rockets only got as far as blueprints--no physical prototypes.

http://www.chris-winter.com/CATS_Quest/Nuc_Rkt.html

But if we ever get zero-point energy, then space travel can be virtually unlimited, since the fuel is everywhere, like wind for sailboats.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCARS 24 View Post
Actually, Westinghouse and Los Alamos built and tested very powerful fission rockets around 50 years ago but never sent them into space. They were classified at the time but aren't now, since those projects were canceled decades ago. The fusion rockets only got as far as blueprints--no physical prototypes.

http://www.chris-winter.com/CATS_Quest/Nuc_Rkt.html

But if we ever get zero-point energy, then space travel can be virtually unlimited, since the fuel is everywhere, like wind for sailboats.
I found those aswell.
I'm not sure if harnesting that energy is even possible but I was aware of the ability of virtual particle to pop into existance and then anhialate. But everthing on gathering such power or particles seems to require lots of mass..well beyond our means. It seems the true key is unlocking what dark matter is and the force behind the universes accelerating expansion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin View Post
I have a question for Saquist, how did you determine these speeds?
The speeds that certain Rockets could produced was based off 1) our current fastest rocket and 2) scouring the internet for realistic advanced Rocket abilities. I found a varying amount of information from twice the speed of chemical Rockets (and underwhelming speed) and to "nearly the speed of light" as well as estimates of specific impulse exhaust speeds. I'm hoping I understood the wording between relative sun to ship speed and particle exhaust speed from the engine. I got a number of estimates from 10%, 5% and such.

To quickly get the light of speed numbers I used Google search engine for "5% c" and etc. Because of the size of the numbers I used an on line Time Distance Rate of speed calculator. Confirming those numbers meant I needed a real world basis. I used Voyager 1 and it's arrival to the oort cloud one light year from the sun. which was confirmed by multiple sources at being some 14,000 year ETA.

I tried to account for the distance the probe or ship wouldn't have to travel by minus 1 AU. The difference wasn't substantial. I did this over the last 3 days. My objective was too see just how far away are we from a more viable means of propulsion. Like the Movie Deep Impact showed, we are not that far away but it's clear humans need the right motivation to follow through.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:20 AM
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Cool, I was just curious.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:27 PM
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Here's one article on turning virtual particles into photons using a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID). That's long way from from a government giving some scientists a blank check and telling them, "Now, close the door and don't come out until you can give us unlimited free energy."

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/1106....2011.346.html

Anyway, any breakthrough like polywell fusion or zero-point energy might solve the two biggest barriers to space travel: money (since cheap energy would change the world economy) and fuel. It would also rein in the problem of radiation to some extent by allowing faster travel to a destination, since continuous acceleration (as opposed to a brief burn of a rocket followed by coasting most of the way) allows great speed to build up, as I showed with some math above. And artificial gravity with 1-g acceleration then deceleration would be just icing on the cake.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:45 AM
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It's the energy source of the future but we are still a long way away from it. About fusion propulsion, I like the idea of using H-bombs (or ordinary fission bombs) to propel a ship forward which was portrayed in one of those cancelled sci-fi shows from a few years ago. Would be a nice way to get rid of our access warheads.
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