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Old 09-16-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,791,245 times
Reputation: 11070

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The raw materials for high-energy reactions are difficult and expensive to make, but production may be feasible in 50 years.

Nuclear fusion reactions sparked by beams of antimatter could be propelling ultra-fast spaceships on long journeys before the end of the century, researchers say.



Antimatter and Fusion Drives Could Power Future Spaceships: Scientific American

Antimatter & Fusion Engines Could Power Spaceships | Space.com

Antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reaching for the Stars - NASA Science

Antimatter Spaceships Could Make Long Flights Before End Of Century, Space Consultants Say

Antimatter Space Propulsion at Penn State University (LEPS)

http://www.engr.psu.edu/antimatter/Papers/ICAN.pdf

Former President Bill Clinton Backs Interstellar Spaceflight Effort | 100 Year Starship | Space.com

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Old 09-17-2012, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,791,245 times
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Interstellar Lecture by Kelvin Long - YouTube
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: On the edge of the universe
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Maybe we could get this for cars too? I'd love to have my own Galaxy Class by GMC!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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There is no question that anti-matter would make the perfect fuel considering it is 100% efficient when combined with equal amounts of matter. One literally cannot carry less fuel and still get to their destination, which is a very important consideration when talking about interstellar travel.

For such vast distances the efficiency of the energy released is critical. Hydrogen fusion, where two hydrogen atoms are fused together through heat and pressure to produce helium is only 0.7% efficient. Meaning only 0.007 of the hydrogen initially present actually becomes energy, the rest becomes helium, according to Einstein's E = mc^2. Far from being 100% efficient in releasing energy like anti-matter, but still better than nuclear, and FAR more efficient than chemical rockets.

It also makes a difference whether we are discussing manned spacecraft or unmanned probes. Humans, being biological, can only withstand so much acceleration before becoming incapacitated. Unmanned vehicles can obviously accelerate much faster.

Assuming a manned mission, the optimum acceleration would be a constant 1G of thrust. It would take such a spacecraft 731 days (2 years) to reach 90% the speed of light, to the outside observer. To those aboard the spacecraft it would only take 521 days (1.43 years) to reach 90% the speed of light.

An unmanned probe, accelerating at constant 12G, could reach 90% the speed of light in just six hours.
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