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90 day mission to mars

Posted by: luke.r - Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:13 am
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90 day mission to mars 
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Post 90 day mission to mars   Posted on: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:13 am
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3755988.stm

Crikey, you'll have someones eye out with that thing. Looks like a promising idea though. But is it as realistic a proposal as the magnetic rail gun which is close to being developed by the USN?

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 22, 2004 9:11 am
If I remember right Wingley prior to this has been the author of the NIAC study to use the solar wind. This might be the result of further developments of that idea.

But is it designed to give sufficient impulse or is it designed to propell the craft during the whole journey? Sounds a little bit like the first alternative.

It will be interesting, if the the beam could be sent from the spaceship - then the equipment to generate the beam is required only once and the "stations" to be place in earthian and martian orbits are simpler. Is that impossible because of the masses and their differences?

Besides - the concept could be used to decerate spacecrafts for safe reentry keeping reusability!



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:16 am
A look into the phase II document of Wingley's concept at the NIAC sight and its comparison to Wingley's issues in the article you have provided the link to seems to mean that the further developments are going on under secrecy.

The phase II document is dating from June 2000! And the article is dating from this year.

This fits to the fact that concerning the space elevator no new documents at the NIAC site are to be found too since 2000 or 2001.

In general this might mean that there are other essential progresses too not made public yet.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:58 pm
There are a number of different ideas along these ideas, sort of "possible future methods for long range space travel". This sounds like a better than usual one, although it's potential is limited by the fact that you would have to be very careful in directing the beam, and it has a fairly limited acceleration.

I've seen similar proposals for light-based travel, both powered by lasers or the sun (the solar sail).

My personal favourite is the VASIMR engine, which is actually a type of rocket (in the loosest sense of the word), which powers itself rather than relying upon a seperate station to drive it. This means it has more versatility to go wherever you want, rather than where the beam can point you to.

But back to the topic, the main problem with the ion beam proposal is the infrastructure that is needed. You'd need a truely massive powerstation in orbit, and that isn't going to happen until long after we've been to Mars (or so I would hope).

So maybe for next centuary, but not right now.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:42 am
What about using the technology at the moon? It could help to save in situ ressources like ice in the south polar craters.

It seems to be working in the orbit only - is it because of much to few thrust?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 1:54 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What about using the technology at the moon?

I agree the Moon is the place for this. Close to Earth, no atmosphere, local resources available and no station keeping needed to oppose the orbital disruptions firing the beam would cause.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 4:07 pm
Alright - but the reason why I proposed it was that there much less in situ ressource than on Mars. And the icy water possible to be found at the south pole will be needed by people living in a station on moon's surface - if it is consumed by spacecraft it could become harder to live in the station, to maintain and to service it.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 4:24 pm
Agreed.
But in this case I think the nearness of the Moon and lack of atmosphere outweigh the lack of water.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 4:53 pm
would it need to connstantly be on or would it push a ship then stop when it got a quick speed up as no friction etc

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 20, 2004 5:11 pm
I think it would be on for long periods due to it's low thrust. This would probably require at least 2 installations on the Moon to always have one with a line of site to the spacecraft.


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