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Thread: Death By Bussard Ramjet

  1. #1
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    Death By Bussard Ramjet

    I don't have "Death From The Skies" so I can't confirm that it's not in there, but it occurred to me that another source of the possible demise of our species could be getting in the way of a relativistic Bussard Ramjet.



    http://www.bautforum.com/small-media...ml#post1389329

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't worry about them too much; if they are set up the way Bussard described, they would create more drag than thrust, so they are unlikely to reach the blinding speeds described in Tau Zero
    http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussar...of_feasibility
    Last edited by eburacum45; 2011-Dec-19 at 02:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Larry Niven has used drive systems as weapons in his books for decades, too...

  4. #4
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    I think one of Niven's laws is that a reaction drive's effectiveness as a reaction drive is proportional to its effectiveness as a weapon.

  5. #5
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    Nice drawings here
    http://www.bisbos.com/rocketscience/...t/bussard.html

    They seem to be based on Sternbach's artwork for Cosmos

    More here
    http://www.bisbos.com/rocketscience/spacecraft.html

    Here is something rather like a Bussard collector--but only for atmo-harvesting
    http://www.bisbos.com/rocketscience/...ac/profac.html

  6. #6
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    Bussards may not be much good for relativistic speeds, but what about in-solar system use?
    Wow, if the challenges could be met, and we got over our phobia of nuclear energy, and treated it as a potentially dangerous, but potentially useful, source of energy, then PROFAC, is amazing looking.
    Last edited by ravens_cry; 2009-Feb-27 at 06:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    I have often wondered what it would take to terraform Venus--and I am wondering about such atmo-harvesting.

    But here is another idea.

    What if we make Venus even hotter?

    We have been wracking our brains about how to cool it off. But if we were to orbit this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel...ng_solar_power but bigger in order to super-heat Venus atmo--we might be able to blow a good bit of it off.

    Then you hit a switch and have the structure be an occulter disk. Spinning the planet up and depositing volitiles--thats another matter...

    I have been wondering about super-engineering projects, so if this is thread hi-jacking, forgive me.

    If I were to have a cosmic superstring between two black holes, would they approach each other like the two dogs eating spagetti in Lady and the tramp?

    And if two black holes were to approach each other and be rotating in such a way as to resemble the two wheels needed to accelerate tennis balls, could the frame dragging have the same effect? I was wondering if that might be the only way to do a warp jump of some kind...OT

    I wonder if Fields released by a Bussard might be useful in any of the above project. Not for propulsion--but for other purposes...

  8. #8
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    New space books and more.

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Your...5432329&sr=1-1
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    from http://www.history.army.mil/catalog/pubs/40/40.html

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    II wonder if Fields released by a Bussard might be useful in any of the above project. Not for propulsion--but for other purposes...
    Here's an idea I had a few years ago to use Bussard Ramscoop-type technology to create an artificial magnetosphere for Mars-like worlds
    http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=...=4851d85e0791b
    Note that it would only really have to operate at full strength during a solar storm; most of the rest of the time Mars' new atmosphere would be good enough protection.
    Last edited by eburacum45; 2011-Dec-19 at 02:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    The idea is considered by Donald Moffitt in Second Genesis - but was discounted because it would have required many passes with lots of delta-V. Possible for the crew in the book as they were immortal, plus there was the minor detail that they were a particularly moral people.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMcc View Post
    The idea is considered by Donald Moffitt in Second Genesis - but was discounted because it would have required many passes with lots of delta-V. Possible for the crew in the book as they were immortal, plus there was the minor detail that they were a particularly moral people.
    Not to mention that they knew their enemies were on the verge of a galactic extinction event, therefore all they had to do was get away and wait for nature to take its course.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  12. #12
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    So if a craft were to use a Bussard scoop--how fast would it slow--and how much hydrogen would it scoop up--say--per light year?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravens_cry View Post
    Bussards may not be much good for relativistic speeds, but what about in-solar system use?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_sail
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  14. #14
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    I've seen it suggested that a variant of the Bussard Ramjet could work-- some by using electrostatic charges instead of magnetic field scoops, some by carrying fusion fuel or antimatter and just using the interstellar medium as reaction mass.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. Gregory Benford

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  15. #15
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    A fearful respect for nuclear power is no phobia. It's good sense. A thousand boxes of tissues in your penthouse appartment is a phobia.

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