[ExI] SpaceX launch

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Dec 10 16:44:40 UTC 2010

...On Behalf Of Eugen Leitl
Subject: Re: [ExI] SpaceX launch

On Thu, Dec 09, 2010 at 04:06:06PM -0800, Adrian Tymes wrote:

> If one can superheat the fuel anyway, one might as well simply 
> superheat it directly to plasma and don't bother reacting it.  Unless 
> one includes a short-lived fusion reactor as part of the engine, of
course. Adrian

Of course if it is heated to plasma it wouldn't react anyway in the chemical
sense.  I wrote it in a confusing way.  I shoulda said, react the chemicals
to get them hot, then superheat the exhaust to plasma.

>Eugen:  Your problem is mass. E.g. fusion-enhanced VASIMR would have to to
produce enough additionals thrust to overcome the added mass... 

The solar powered ion drives look promising to me.

>I personally think that tracked beam propulsion (in the weaker form, via
e.g. a rectenna array feeding a VASIMR unit) will win by virtue of leaving
(most of) the drive at home... Eugen

Ja, we have the tracking technology now.  We could have two reflector sats
which receive and transmit energy from the ground, one at a low MEO and one
at GEO.  The payload carrying satellite could be carried to LEO by
traditional means, lower than the MEO.  Then as it passes, the MEO reflector
sat would beam energy to the payload sat to boost the apogee on each pass,
until the apogee is out to LEO.  Then the LEO reflector sat boosts perigee
on each pass until the perigee is passes LEO.

That scheme takes a long time, but the actually energy to boost the payload
from LEO to GEO comes from the ground.



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