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Author Topic: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?  (Read 3456 times)

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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             ◊Alternative space propulsion technology◊
                                     
                                      (light craft) link: http://science.howstuffworks.com/light-propulsion.htm

Lets face it, rockets are very old technology.  They are extremely expensive and not going to get humans out of the solar-system any time soon I personally think it's time to approach the issue of space travel from a different perspective. Nasa and other space agencies are thinking the same thing, and have been developing and testing "alternative means" to leave the earth and explore space.

New forms of space propulsion such as the "Ionic thruster" and "laser ship" (as well as others) are currently under development and are being tested. Though I do admit that these new forms of propulsion are still in their infancy and it will take decades before we see astronauts piloting anything other then a rocket.


I was just wondering if anybody on this forum has come up with a theoretical space craft of your own design which could possibly outdate the traditional rocket.

I don't know if you guys remember my "alternating polarization beam (APB)" idea I posted a wile back but that's my idea of a theoretical space propellant. If the beam worked then you could imagine 3 powerful APB lasers forming a triangle and in the middle all three beams would intersect and right below that area were the beams intersect would be a superconductor ship which would levitate on the beam's combined magnetic fields then all three beams would rise up at the same time taking the superconductor ship along with it all the way into space.

That's my theoretical space ship idea. Whats yours?



(link to my theoretical spaceship) http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=54521.0
« Last Edit: 18/05/2015 11:29:40 by ScientificSorcerer »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #1 on: 18/05/2015 22:57:52 »
Some interesting questions there, SS.

The ionic thruster isn't new - there was one in the London Science Museum over 50 years ago! But whilst ion thrusters and suchlike are fine for satellite positioning (virtually infinite shelf life, negligible structural mass, solar powered...) and deep space travel (since they offer extremely high terminal speeds), they don't have enough raw grunt to get off the ground.

The idea of a "beam rider", however, is potentially attractive. If you start with a really powerful laser pointing upwards, you could use it to ablate a chemically inert propellant in something that looks pretty much like a firework or solid-fuel rocket. The question is whether, given theoretically unlimited input power from the laser, you can get more thrust per unit mass than with a conventional fuel plus oxidant combination. As always, rocket science is dead easy, but rocket engineering is about as difficult as it can get!       
 

Offline jccc

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #2 on: 19/05/2015 00:50:11 »
field propulsion

work/compress/push em field around the ship
 

Offline RD

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #3 on: 19/05/2015 01:57:06 »
     

That "lightcraft" projectile had to spin like a top to be stable ...

What would be the centrifugal-force on passengers/payload on a scaled-up version ?  [xx(]
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #4 on: 19/05/2015 05:47:12 »
Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
I don't know if you guys remember my "alternating polarization beam (APB)" idea I posted a wile back but that's my idea of a theoretical space propellant. If the beam worked then you could imagine 3 powerful APB lasers forming a triangle and in the middle all three beams would intersect and right below that area were the beams intersect would be a superconductor ship which would levitate on the beam's combined magnetic fields then all three beams would rise up at the same time taking the superconductor ship along with it all the way into space.
This is news to me and sounds like it's quite wrong. Let me get back to you on this. I've never had a lot of faith in solar sails and laser driven drives. I doubt that they work. In fact an article was published on this very point 22 years ago in the American Journal of Physics. I haven't read it yet but plan on doing so. The article is

Was Marx right? or How efficient are laser driven interstellar spacecraft? by J. F. L. Simmons and C. R. McInnes, Am. J. Phys. 61, 205 (1993)
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The idea of a laser driven space vehicle capable of interstellar travel was raised 25 years ago. The original article by Marx [Nature 211, 22–23 (1966)] presented a relativistic calculation that contained conceptual and numerical errors. Here the inconsistencies of the original article are corrected. Marx’s calculations are generalized to the case where the laser is of variable power, and to the interesting case where the laser beam is recycled by means of mirrors. The obstacles to this form of interstellar travel appear insurmountable, but the calculations provide an excellent example of the application of relativistic ideas.


There are other ideas for rocket designs. One was designed by Freeman Dyson and use nuclear bombs to propel it. The advantage was that one factor that one didn't have to worry too much about was mass. In fact they jokingly said that they should bring along one of those old massive barber chairs.

Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
That's my theoretical space ship idea. Whats yours?
I don't understand why you'd expect someone to be able to come up with an idea for a new kind of rocket when even NASA is having a difficult time coming up with one. It's not a trivial thing you know. It's like asking folks here "What's your theory of everything?"

Most, if not all, workable ideas for interstellar travel are listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_travel

Robert L. Forward was a leading proponent of solar sails. His name is listed in many areas of that page.

If exotic matter was ever discovered then it might be possible to travel to the stars using things like wormholes. See

Wormholes in spacetime and their use for interstellar travel: A tool for teaching general relativity by Michael S. Morris and Kip S. Thorne, Am. J. Phys. 56, 395 (1988)
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Rapid interstellar travel by means of spacetime wormholes is described in a way that is useful for teaching elementary general relativity. The description touches base with Carl Sagan’s novel C o n t a c t, which, unlike most science fiction novels, treats such travel in a manner that accords with the best 1986 knowledge of the laws of physics. Many objections are given against the use of black holes or Schwarzschild wormholes for rapid interstellar travel. A new class of solutions of the Einstein field equations is presented, which describe wormholes that, in principle, could be traversed by human beings. It is essential in these solutions that the wormhole possess a throat at which there is no horizon; and this property, together with the Einstein field equations, places an extreme constraint on the material that generates the wormhole’s spacetime curvature: In the wormhole’s throat that material must possess a radial tension τ0 with the enormous magnitude τ0∼ (pressure at the center of the most massive of neutron stars)×(20 km)2/(circumference of throat)2. Moreover, this tension must exceed the material’s density of mass‐energy, ρ0 c 2. No known material has this τ0>ρ0 c 2property, and such material would violate all the ‘‘energy conditions’’ that underlie some deeply cherished theorems in general relativity. However, it is not possible today to rule out firmly the existence of such material; and quantum field theory gives tantalizing hints that such material might, in fact, be possible.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #5 on: 19/05/2015 09:57:02 »
People, I am not asking you to come up with some revolutionary concept and this isn't life or death here this is just an exorcise for your mind for fun.  All I'm asking is for you to think outside the box.

Simply stop for a moment and relax, you could maybe go outside and look into the night sky at the moon or stars and think... how can I get there without a rocket?  Look back on all that you know about science, magnetism and electricity, chemistry and physics. Use everything you know to your advantage use your imagination and your intellect together to create something completely original.  You can do it if you try. just give it a shot.  ;)

don't worry about being perfect, my idea certainly isn't but at least I gave it a good try.

I also noticed that nobody came up with a system yet, some good concepts are flying around though, you might try to incorporate these ideas into your original design.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #6 on: 19/05/2015 15:09:38 »
Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
People, I am not asking you to come up with some revolutionary concept and this isn't life or death here this is just an exorcise for your mind for fun.  All I'm asking is for you to think outside the box.
If someone is a physics enthusiasts then they've been doing this since they learned what interstellar travel is and what its current limitations are. I believe that you're merely asking these people to share the ideas that they've already come up with in the past.

You should keep in mind that physics enthusiasts are always thinking about physics and various ways to overcome what has otherwise believed to be impossible. It's the nature of a physics enthusiast to do this.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #7 on: 20/05/2015 14:54:57 »
Partly I am asking people to share ideas of what others have come up with, and partly I'm asking you guys to come up with such ideas yourself.  Take for example the light craft concept in my opinion that idea is fairly original.  Sometimes physics enthusiasts tend to regurgitate old  ideas and don't contribute ideas of their own.

Lots of people know science but very few make new science and it is those few who go down in history.

still nobody has posted an idea of their own or even one based on someone else's idea.  I expected to see a flood of original  concepts yet I found posts which avoid the challenge.

I challenge you to create!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #8 on: 20/05/2015 17:08:32 »

still nobody has posted an idea of their own or even one based on someone else's idea. 

You clearly haven't read the third paragraph of reply #1.
 

Offline Acolide

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #9 on: 28/07/2016 02:05:23 »
Well i had an idea based on a show i saw about the universe and the crazy things that happens in it. Now im not by any means a scholar or have been to college for that matter but i guess great things come from small places like my mind. Anyway, I saw the show and began to think of ways to reach further into space using virtually no fuel.

The idea of using a force that we as humans have not yet reached technologically.

Now i saw somewhere that scientists have created and controlled their own black hole. As cool as that sounds it is actually a bigger deal than it was made out to be. Not only can we study what happens with Black Holes but we can study how to use it. Thus brings in my idea of Quasars.

If you are not familiar with Quasars they are essentially what happens when a Black Hole eats to much. It throws it up in a fiery jet from both ends of the hole.

Now obviously sustaining such an event would backfire pretty fast considering Quasars can burn about 100,000 times brighter than the Sun. To use such a power in short bursts to get from point A to point B in half the time could be a possibility in my mind. Yes, I am considering using the power of a Quasar to power a hyper drive.

Now of course it is just an idea and to those who have a better grasp of science may push this off as fiction. Those people would be correct in doing so. 

Just imagine it for a moment. Watching from a window this black dot in an engine room being fed matter like a cow being prepared for a feast. Then in an instant 2 bright beams of energy being blasted into 2 separate channels that are fed to the back of your ship. Your ship is now one of the brightest objects in the night sky as those beams of energy shine bright propelling your ship faster and faster. perhaps faster than light.

It leaves much to the imagination. How would it be contained and managed? What if the ship explodes from such a force? Why do we have a Black Hole in my ship?

Now for a main propulsion system, I am at a loss. The closest i can get would be a magnetic system using either more magnetic fields or radiation.

Would love to hear back on the idea. Again I am only a wee lad in the world of science.
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #10 on: 28/07/2016 05:00:09 »
For what it's worth;

The prsent challenge is not to build some sort of warp drive for getting to the stars but to build space based industries to exploit the vast amount of resources out there which can be mined and processed where doing it will not produce any pollution and will use the free energy of the sun to melt metals.

If we build some sort of small robot ship which can attach it's self to a near earth object it can stop it spinning and then it, or other, units could begin to process the material of the captured rock into useful components.

I'm thinking steel cylinder or some such. A base hull for a simple vessel to provide the habitat space and general fuel store etc for a crew to allow the capture of a larger object with water on it.

Once you have a dirty snowball you can make fuel. With a nice big cylinder you can make a basic low gee, rather than none, habitat and thus begin to live out there.

The materials you can extract from asteroids and the rest will be very valuable down here. The rare earth magnets and expensive stuff to make batteries are often abundant in space.

The first decently sized captured and mined asteriod in near earth orbit will create the biggest single leap in human wealth ever.
 

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Re: What are your Ideas for new kinds of space ships?
« Reply #10 on: 28/07/2016 05:00:09 »

 

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