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matter in open space

Posted by: Sinzoid - Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:43 am
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matter in open space 
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Post matter in open space   Posted on: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:43 am
Now I'm no genius like I am sure a lot of you are. I am just considering a fuel that may be easy to find, something that would be floating in a nebulae or even just inert in space. Is such a thing even possible? any suggestions/ theory/ insight would be appreciated.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:26 pm
A fuel that is floating in space? When you say floating, do you mean in a gas form, or as in asteroids?

If you have good enough fusion reactors, you can just use the Hydrogen and Helium that is present. You'd require some good Ion pumps to extract it, but if you have Fusion for energy...

The Bussard Ramjet.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:46 pm
Terraformer wrote:
The Bussard Ramjet.


Exactly.

This thing is a futuristic proposed interstellar propulsion method whereby you have a magnetic "scoop" that sucks up interstellar hydrogen for use in a fusion engine.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:37 pm
There is a book by Ulrich Walter, the known german astronaut, in which he mentions that a Bussard ramjet would have to have a diameter of 7000 km to be able to collect hydrogen atoms in te interstellar space.

So nebulae might be more proper to apply Bussard collectors. May be Walter says something about it - I will have to have a look into his book. But as far as I know even in nebulae the gas still is very thin.

More interesting regions might be the radition belts of gas giants as well as the closer surroungings of stars.

What about experiments within the mercurian orbit or in the jovian radiation belt?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:54 pm
well that's why it's futuristic. but a 7000 km diameter isn't so unreasonable when you're talking about a magnetic scoop as opposed to a physical scoop.

and you're right, nebulae are very very sparse gasses. in fact, i'm pretty sure the "gas" in the solar system is still much denser than a typical nebula.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:35 pm
I am wondering, if gasses in a nebulae are sparse, how much more sparse would they be in open space?, which is in fact the question i was inquiring about, a gas that could be easily found and able to form a power source.


sorry i need to edit, i'm not considering gas only as a power source, radiation, particles, etc are what i'm considering, any open ideas on some way we could power our space vehicles without being supplied from earth are more what I'm thinking of.

have to admit The Bussard Ramjet is by far our best idea


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:50 am
Mining comets?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:39 pm
well its a (comparatively) easy problem in statistical thermodynamics to calculate the temperature and pressure of the photon gas in the universe. i don't remember the result but you could look it up. as far as particles with mass go, i have no idea but my guess is there's something along the lines of no more than 1 hydrogen nucleus (maybe ionized maybe not) per m3, possibly less than that, in interstellar space. that being said there are probably more weird particles that are spontaneously generated and vanishing but that's above my head if so.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:14 pm
I am just this moment having the idea that shock waves from supernovae, flares from Red Dwarfs and CMEs of the sun might be sufficiently dense.

Only problems:

1. nobody can predict shock waves or flares exactly enough
2. required strength of magnetic fields to catch the particles



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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:47 pm
We could always ride the solar wind using a magnetic sail.


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