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Enterprise could be built for $1 trillion
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Badabing
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Enterprise could be built for $1 trillion

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Whether you're a Trekkie or not, you have to admit that there's some sense of wonder toexploring the stars and trying to find life on distant planets. Of course, the U.S.S. Enterprise is a fictional ship, but have you ever put in the thought as to what it would take to actually build it, and when we could get it done if we really put in the effort? The man behind the well-researched site buildtheenterprise.org has, and he's determined that a fully functional Enterprise is only 20 years away if we put in the effort.

Created by a systems and electrical engineer with 30 years' experience, the BuildTheEnterprise site sets out a very specific timeline for the research and construction of such a massive space-related undertaking. The first nine years are dedicated to research, component testing, and drawing up a number of possible blueprints. The following 11 years are dedicated to development, where components will be manufactured and launched into space for assembly.

On year 20, the ship would be ready for a "moon fly by" with full crew and supplies. The plan may seem overly ambitious, but consider that we're already using a number of gadgets that were all but predicted by the Star Trek television series.

The estimated cost of building the Enterprise: about $50 billion a year for the next 20 years — $1 trillion in total. That sounds like a lot of money (because it is), but considering that the United States spent nearly that much on the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks in 2008, putting a trillion towards making Star Trek a reality suddenly doesn't seem as ludicrous. Yeah, it's still pretty ludicrous, but in a reallycool way.

Asides from the benefits of exploring space, the creator of BuildTheEnterprise believes that the mammoth project would have benefits here on Earth as well. "Above all else — the Enterprise will inspire us," explains the creator. "And some of those inspired by this undertaking will surely be American young people — many of whom will likely become motivated to pursue careers as scientists and engineers." You know, so long as creating a warp drive doesn't wipe out all life in the known universe, as predicted.


http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technol...-173540774.html


Seems like a fantasy, but it's nice to think about.


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Old Post May 18th, 2012 08:42 PM
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Old Post May 19th, 2012 09:20 AM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by -Pr-
As long as you're not captain...


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Old Post May 19th, 2012 05:25 PM
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Re: Enterprise could be built for $1 trillion

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Badabing

Seems like a fantasy, but it's nice to think about.


Creating faster-than-light travel in the next 20 years is a fantasy.


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Old Post May 19th, 2012 10:15 PM
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Make a functioning X-Wing first, then we can move up to making the USS Enterprise.


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Old Post May 23rd, 2012 05:44 AM
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TheGodKiller02
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Re: Enterprise could be built for $1 trillion

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Badabing
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Whether you're a Trekkie or not, you have to admit that there's some sense of wonder toexploring the stars and trying to find life on distant planets. Of course, the U.S.S. Enterprise is a fictional ship, but have you ever put in the thought as to what it would take to actually build it, and when we could get it done if we really put in the effort? The man behind the well-researched site buildtheenterprise.org has, and he's determined that a fully functional Enterprise is only 20 years away if we put in the effort.

Created by a systems and electrical engineer with 30 years' experience, the BuildTheEnterprise site sets out a very specific timeline for the research and construction of such a massive space-related undertaking. The first nine years are dedicated to research, component testing, and drawing up a number of possible blueprints. The following 11 years are dedicated to development, where components will be manufactured and launched into space for assembly.

On year 20, the ship would be ready for a "moon fly by" with full crew and supplies. The plan may seem overly ambitious, but consider that we're already using a number of gadgets that were all but predicted by the Star Trek television series.

The estimated cost of building the Enterprise: about $50 billion a year for the next 20 years — $1 trillion in total. That sounds like a lot of money (because it is), but considering that the United States spent nearly that much on the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks in 2008, putting a trillion towards making Star Trek a reality suddenly doesn't seem as ludicrous. Yeah, it's still pretty ludicrous, but in a reallycool way.

Asides from the benefits of exploring space, the creator of BuildTheEnterprise believes that the mammoth project would have benefits here on Earth as well. "Above all else — the Enterprise will inspire us," explains the creator. "And some of those inspired by this undertaking will surely be American young people — many of whom will likely become motivated to pursue careers as scientists and engineers." You know, so long as creating a warp drive doesn't wipe out all life in the known universe, as predicted.


http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technol...-173540774.html


Seems like a fantasy, but it's nice to think about.


Considering the fact that the Alcubierre drive is still only viable in equations , its safe to say that anything even remotely close to the actual Enterprise isn't going to be made in this century :

" if certain quantum inequalities conjectured by Ford and Roman hold,[9] then the energy requirements for some warp drives may be absurdly gigantic, e.g. the energy equivalent of -10^64kg might be required(Pfenning, Michael J.; Ford, L. H. (1997). "The unphysical nature of 'Warp Drive'") to transport a small spaceship across the Milky Way galaxy. This is orders of magnitude greater than the estimated mass of the universe(around 10^53kg)"

" A bubble macroscopically large enough to enclose a ship 200 meters across would require a total amount of exotic matter equal to 10 billion times the mass of the observable universe."

Old Post May 24th, 2012 09:23 AM
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Old Post May 31st, 2012 11:08 PM
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No amount of money can build an Enterprise.


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Old Post Jun 1st, 2012 08:45 PM
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TheGodKiller02
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by the ninjak
No amount of money can build an Enterprise.


Oh , there's no reason to worry about that . All of the latest equations in physics point out to an energy requirement of the negative equivalent of all the matter-energy in the universe , for just ONE Alcubierre Drive(the closest thing theoretical physics has to the Warp Drive) to function .
When you look at it , its a GROSSLY impractical idea .


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Old Post Jun 2nd, 2012 07:55 AM
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we do not have the technology to build this startship we ae not even close. The planet cant even solve world hunger.

Old Post Jun 2nd, 2012 07:20 PM
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Badabing
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Here's a follow up to the original article.

Could We Build 'Star Trek's' Starship Enterprise?


Since its first appearance on the original "Star Trek" series in 1966, the starship Enterprise has become a symbol for space travel. Recently, an anonymous engineerclaimed that an approximation of this iconic ship could be built in the next two decades. But just how close is mankind to zipping through the stars at warp speed?

On the website BuildTheEnterprise.org, a self-proclaimed engineer who identifies himself only as "BTE-Dan" suggests that a working facsimile of the iconic ship could be built and launched over the next 20 to 30 years. The ship would require a few modifications, but would look a great deal like Captain Kirk's famous ship.

Built in space, the ship would never visit the surface of any moon or planet, and so would never need to reach the high speeds necessary to escape surface gravity. The engines would be powered by nuclear reactors onboard the ship, and use argon rather than xenon for propellant, saving a few hundred billion dollars in cost. As an added bonus, BTE-Dan notes that argon can be mined from the atmosphere of Mars.

Although such a ship would a lack a warp drive (the technology that allows the "Star Trek" version to zip between stars across the galaxy), it could reach the moon in three days and Mars in three months. BTE-Dan suggests it might function as a combination of a space station and a space port, allowing humans to orbit planets and moons within the solar system while using a "universal lander" to travel to and from their surfaces. Such a spaceship could house 1,000 people within its gravity wheel. [The Top 10 Star Trek Technologies]

The entire ship would be more than 3,000 feet (almost 1 kilometer) long, with its central disk making up nearly half its length.

According to the website, much of the technology needed to build the ship described is within our grasp, including the rotating gravity wheel, which could be suspended by electromagnets within a vacuum to eliminate mechanical wear and tear. Also easily within reach, he claims, are a 1.5 GWe (gigawatt electrical) nuclear reactor safe to carry in a spacecraft, and composite materials that would save mass, add strength and improve radiation shielding.

Design challenges

BTE-Dan describes himself as a systems and electrical engineer who has spent the past 30 years employed at a Fortune 500 company. He is presently declining interviews.

Though the prospect of a real-life Enterprise is appealing, the proposed ship is not without problems.

Adam Crowl, an engineer with Icarus Interstellar Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to interstellar exploration, pointed out that a spaceship built with a sufficiently powerful nuclear reactor would need large thermal radiators, ruining the classic Enterprise look.

"Engineering physics doesn't respect our aesthetics," he told SPACE.com by email.

BTE-Dan's ship is essentially an iconic replica of the famous starship, and may not be practical.

"I would love to see 1,000 people go to Mars, but I need convincing that they need to be on the Enterprise to do so," said Crowl.

Other engineers said the similarities between BTE-Dan's ship and the Enterprise are only skin-deep.

"He wants to build something using foreseeable technology that just looks like the Enterprise," said Marc Millis, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center. "It's nowhere close to being what the Enterprise is."

Still, the site received so many visits soon after its launch that it crashed, revealing how appealing the idea is to many people.


Today's technology

Though some aspects of the Enterprise are far out of reach today, many are within our grasp, and some are part of our daily lives. Sliding doors, futuristic in the 1960s, now welcome almost every grocery store visitor, and today's flip-open cellphones resemble Star Trek's tricorders. The touch-screen devices ubiquitous today even look like those used in the 1990s episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

"If you had shown someone an iPad in the 1990s and told them it was 23rd century technology, they would have believed you," Richard Obousy, co-founder and president of Icarus Interstellar Inc., told SPACE.com.

Advances with 3D printers also provide opportunities for voyages through space, allowing the replication of parts while using materials found at the destination. Andreas Hein, an aerospace engineer also with Icarus Interstellar, suggested that it might not be long before such printers make food similar to the way meals were synthesized by replicators on the Enterprise.

Additionally, engineers working at NASA's Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory, informally known as Eagleworks, are working on a Q-thruster that bears a striking resemblance to the impulse engines on the Enterprise.

Nuclear woes

Millis suggested the next step in rocket propulsion will likely include utilizing a nuclear power source, an option that is stymied by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He acknowledged that the barriers aren't just political ones, as people are nervous about the idea of launching nuclear rockets from Earth's surface, despite the fact that it could be done safely.

Obousy agreed that nuclear rockets could provide the necessary thrust, pointing to the large, multibillion-dollar projects around the world seeking ways to unlock fusion as an energy source. Of course, such projects primarily focus on powering homes and cities on Earth, but once unlocked, fusion could be used to travel through the stars. [Gallery: Visions of Future Human Spaceflight]

"In terms of propulsion technology, fusion engines are potentially within a generation or two," Obousy said, though he added that sudden technological jumps could accelerate the process.

Visiting a planet without being seen may also be not too far out of reach.

"We're doing things with meta-materials that'll allow practical cloaking, maybe even invisibility," Crowl said.

Gravity presents one of the greatest challenges: The Enterprise of television and the movies lacks a gravity wheel, instead utilizing synthetic gravity. According to Millis, if we could find a way to master gravitational forces, such technology could also be utilized in tractor beams or the ship's propulsion.


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 05:56 PM
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continued:

Warp speed ahead

"Star Trek"-like propulsion remains a key problem. Fans are familiar with the warp drive, which accelerated the ship faster than the speed of light and allowed its crew to zip between stars. Such travel defies our present understanding of physics.

"I think this is one of the most important aspects that prevents an Enterprise-type ship in the near future," Hein said.

Obousy agreed. "One of the staples of these warp drives is that they require an exotic form of energy that we have not been able to create in the labs, dark energy being the salient example," he said.

Dark energy is the unexplained force behind the accelerated expansion of the universe. Scientists don't yet understand what it is, which makes it a challenge to use in propulsion.

A warp drive would require an enormous amount of energy. Theoretical calculations using dark energy to move a starship would require more energy than that contained within the planet Jupiter, making it uneconomical.

In the "Star Trek" universe, the warp drive relied on antimatter. When matter and antimatter annihilate one another, the energy produced is immense. Though such an energy source could conceivably power the ship, it is available only briefly.

Crowl pointed out that antimatter technology itself is developing rapidly. Ultra-high intensity lasers may soon allow it to be directly created from energy, and useful amounts may be trapped in the magnetic fields of planets like Earth and Saturn.

But, like dark energy, antimatter may prove to be more trouble than it's worth.

"Using antimatter right now is very expensive," Millis said. "But that doesn't mean that it always will be."

When mankind finally travels to the stars, we may have to forgo warp speed for something else, such as the manipulation of space-time itself. According to Albert Einstein, nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light. But Millis points out that such limits do not necessarily apply to space-time. Theories in peer-reviewed journals explore the possibility of surrounding a craft with a bubble of space-time that expands and contracts, perhaps allowing it to exceed the speed of light.

"It's the difference between moving a pencil across a piece of paper or moving the whole paper," Millis said. [Video: Warp Drives and Worm Holes]

Beam me up, Scotty

Another potential challenge to recreating the "Star Trek" universe is the system of matter transmission. The crew often traveled to a planet by transporter, beaming from the Enterprise directly to the surface by way of machines that could scan a body, atom-by-atom, and then recreate it in another place.

Recent advances have been made in quantum teleportation, but Obousy and Millis both stressed the difference from "Star Trek"-style travel.

In quantum teleportation, "it's not the same photon you started out with, but a replica," said Obousy.

Such travel would require enormous precision.

"If you were going to recreate a human being transported from one place to another, you'd want to make sure everything's in the exact place," he said.

Millis suggested that, rather than matter transmission, scientists might one day learn how to utilize very small wormholes for travel.

"Of course, if you put mass through it, it might make the wormhole collapse," he noted.

Ultimately, the greatest challenge to replicating the Star Trek journeys may not come from the technological front.

"One of the things that I really liked about watching [the show] was the very good behavior of the crew," Millis said. "The prejudices and petty human differences that make up so much of television are pretty much absent. When I think about relative impossibilities, I think it will be easier to make technology for the starship Enterprise than to finally make humans behave that honorably."

http://news.yahoo.com/could-build-s...-145851245.html


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 05:56 PM
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TheGodKiller02
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If Crowl thinks that anitmatter technology is developing at a rapid pace , then he's a bonafide crank .
From CERN (link : http://livefromcern.web.cern.ch/liv...atter/FAQ1.html):
quote:

• How can you be so sure there is not antimatter around?
If there was antimatter here, around us, it would annihilate with matter and we would see light coming out. But we don't...

About the possibility of antimatter in space (antistars or antigalaxies), theorist have reasons to believe that the Universe is all made of matter. But we are not 100% sure, and that's way there are experiments, like AMS, which are going to look for it.

• If the only difference between a particle and its antiparticle is the charge, how do you distinguish a neutron from an antineutron ?
Neutrons are made of quarks, and antineutrons are made of antiquarks. Quarks and antiquarks have opposite charges, even though they sum up to zero in both cases.

And a very good way to recognize them is to put a neutron close to an antineutron and see how they immediately annihilate.

• What about antiphotons?
Photons have zero charge and do not contain inside objects that are charged, so a photon can not be distinguished from an antiphoton. Photon and antiphotons are the same thing, i.e. the photon is its own antiparticle.

• How do sound waves propagate in antimatter?
If there is a difference between matter and antimatter, it is very very tiny, that's why we are doing experiments here at CERN to investigate it. They are so similar that sound waves, that are vibrations of matter or antimatter, would be identical. An antimatter piano would sound exactly as a matter one.

• How does the gravitational field act on antimatter?
The gravitational force depends from the energy of an object, and since matter and antimatter have both positive energy, gravitation acts on them in the same way.

This means that an object made of matter and one made of antimatter would both stand on the floor, the latter one not flying off the sky...

• How mach antimatter can you make in one accelerator cycle?
Here at CERN we can produce 50 millions antiprotons in each cycle (about once a minute), that allows us to make a few hundred antihydrogen atoms.

The number could be 10 times higher in particular configurations of the accelerator. This sounds a lot, but expressed in grams it is a billionth of a gram in a year.

• How much does it cost to produce antimatter?
If we count on the production CERN has done over the last 10 years (about 1 billionth of a gram), it has cost a few hundred millions Swiss francs.

• How long will it take to have "new results" out of the AD?
The experiments took about three years to set up, and now that they are ready, it will take a year or two to understand the production of antihydrogen and how to contain it. Then the first studies can be done, where we compare atoms and antiatoms, and this will be two or three years from now.


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 08:00 PM
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From NASA (link : http://science.nasa.gov/science-new.../prop12apr99_1/) :
quote:
Reaching for the stars
Scientists examine using antimatter and fusion to propel future spacecraft
April 12, 1999: Antimatter.
It's one of the most attractive words in science fiction literature and nearly as good a topic at parties as black holes. It might also be the fuel that powers spaceships to the planets and perhaps the stars, even if it's just used as a sophisticated book of matches.
Right: Mars in 6 weeks? And back in a total of four months? That's the prediction of a design team working on antimatter rocket concepts at Pennsylvania State University. But first, you have to get the stuff - and store it. (PSU)
Antimatter and more "conventional" nuclear fusion occupied the final day of the 10th annual Advanced Propulsion Research Workshop held Tuesday-Thursday at the University of Alabama in Huntsville by NASA, Marshall, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
"Antimatter has tremendous energy density," said Dr. George Schmidt, chief of propulsion research and technology at NASA/Marshall. Matter-antimatter annihilation - the complete conversion of matter into energy - releases the most energy per unit mass of any known reaction in physics.
The popular belief is that an antimatter particle coming in contact with its matter counterpart yields energy. That's true for electrons and positrons (anti-electrons). They'll produce gamma rays at 511,000 electron volts.
But heavier particles like protons and anti-protons are somewhat messier, making gamma rays and leaving a spray of secondary particles that eventually decay into neutrinos and low-energy gamma rays.
And that is partly what Schmidt and others want in an antimatter engine. The gamma rays from a perfect reaction would escape immediately, unless the ship had thick shielding, and serve no purpose. But the charged debris from a proton/anti-proton annihilation can push a ship.
"We want to get as close as possible to the initial annihilation event," Schmidt explained. What's important is intercepting some of the pions and other charged particles that are produced and using the energy to produce thrust."
This is not your father's starship
He's not going to use it the way that the Starship Enterprise did, creating a warp field to move the vessel across space faster than the speed of light. At its most basic level, an antimatter rocket is still a Newtonian rocket moving a space probe through action and reaction.
And what a reaction. Where the Space Shuttle Main Engine has a specific impulse, a measure of efficiency, of 455 seconds, and nuclear fission could reach 10,000 seconds, fusion could provide 60,000 to 100,000 seconds, and matter/antimatter annihilation up to 100,000 to 1,000,000 seconds.
But first: Where do you get it? And how do you store the nuclear equivalent of the universal solvent?
Anti-protons, explained Dr. Gerald Smith of Pennsylvania State University, can be obtained in modest quantities from high-energy accelerators slamming particles into solid targets. The anti-protons are then collected and held in a magnetic bottle.
Left: A schematic of the heart of a Penning trap where a cloud of antiprotons (the fuzzy bluish spot) is kept cold and quiet by liquid nitrogen and helium and a stable magnetic field. (PSU)
While that's been done easily enough in small quantities, fueling a rocket will take much more.
"We're building a Penning trap," Smith said, "one that will be lightweight and robust." When completed, it will weigh about 100 kg (220 lbs), much of it liquid nitrogen and helium to keep about a trillion anti-protons - far less than a nanogram - quiescent in a zone about 1 mm (1/25th inch) across.
"How do you know that you have particles in the trap?" Smith asked. "They're odorless and colorless." However, they do have distinctive radio frequency signatures which Smith and his colleagues have been able to measure. They've also demonstrated that their trap design would hold a significant quantity for up to 5 days.
"Our aim is to get up to a microgram of antiprotons," Smith said. "There are some interesting propulsion technologies that work at that level. We think we can do it."
A trillion antiprotons is the maximum that can be stored under those conditions. More could be held if they were turned into anti-hydrogen, anti-protons plus positrons.
A lot of bang for the buck
Right now, antimatter is the most expensive substance on Earth, about $62.5 trillion a gram ($1.75 quadrillion an ounce). The production is, at best, 50 percent efficient because half of what's created are regular protons, and the equipment now used was not designed to fuel rockets. Harold Gerrish of NASA/Marshall and others estimate that improvements in equipment to slow and trap the antiprotons could bring the price down to about $5,000 per microgram. A new injector at Fermilab outside Chicago will allow that facility to increase its production tenfold, from 1.5 to 15 nanograms a year.
"Right now, a lot of antiprotons are produced, but most are wasted," Gerrish said.
Dr. Steven Howe of Synergistic Technologies in Los Alamos, N.M., explained that CERN is working towards producing anti-hydrogen as part of the Athena fundamental physics program to determine if antimatter indeed is indistinguishable from matter. Using the same Ioffe-Pritchard trap being developed at CERN, he expects that large quantities of anti-hydrogen atoms could be stored safely for long periods. At low temperatures, the wavelength of the atom is several times that of the material making up the container walls, so the atoms are reflected with little effort.
"Our goal is to remove antimatter from the far-out realm of science fiction into the commercially exploitable realm for transportation and medical applications."
Beyond the Enterprise - Fusion power
A step back from antimatter is fusion, the power source of the future for the last five decades. Controlled fusion - joining two lightweight nuclei to get a slightly heavier nucleus and a lot of energy - has been challenging. In their quest to exceed Q=1, the break-even point, scientists have moved from low energy yields of Q=0.0000000000001 in the late 1950s to Q=0.3 today, and developed a large body of engineering and scientific knowledge showing that it can be made practical.
"From the NASA perspective, the challenge is to adapt fusion for space propulsion," said Dr. Francis Thio, a principal research scientist in the Propulsion Research Center at NASA/Marshall. "Magnetized Target Fusion is one of the major approaches that we are studying." NASA/Marshall is working with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory to adapt MTF for propulsion.
"MTF tries to operate in an intermediate regime between the conventional magnetic fusion, and inertial confinement using a laser," Thio explained. The problem with conventional magnetic confinement is it operates at very low density. To achieve sufficient power, the fusion reactor must be large, which translates to a high cost.
On the other hand, inertial confinement fusion uses a tiny plasma, 1,000 trillion times denser than in a magnetic confinement scheme. But that requires a driver - usually banks of intense, short-pulse lasers - that heat and compress the target in a short time. That also drives the cost up.
"MTF tries to operate at not too low or too high a density," Thio explained, "and achieve a reasonable rate of fusion activity with a density 10,000 to 100,000 times higher than magnetic confinement, and 10,000 to 100,000 times lower than laser fusion."
It's more economical and uses pulse-power drivers - powerful capacitor banks that drive electromagnetic implosion - that are available today at low cost. It does not have the implosion speed generated a laser beam, but a magnetic field confines the target plasma and insulates the inertial wall that implodes to cause the fusion.
Can I get the compact model?
Even if fusion is achieved, current methods are too cumbersome to use in rockets.
"The mass is quite prohibitive," said Professor T. Kammash of the University of Michigan. "We want to make the physics work without using very large magnets." The mirror magnets for a fusion rocket would weigh about 401 tonnes (metric tons), about 16 times a single Space Shuttle payload. The heat radiators would add 240 tonnes.
Kammash's students are experimenting with a droplet radiator design that, using liquid lithium as a coolant, could reduce the radiator mass to 57 tonnes. They recently flew a test model aboard NASA's KC-135 low-gravity aircraft to test a model radiator.
A rotating magnetic field could induce a magnetic field and electrical currents, "a clever way of fooling the plasma" into behaving as if it was in a conventional magnetic mirror system.
In turn, the mass of the spacecraft would come down from 720 to 230 tonnes, and the 44-meter (144-ft) long engine would have a specific impulse of 130,000 seconds.
"It's quite impressive," Kammash said.
One of the most intriguing possibilities raised actually dates back to the 1950s and a concept developed by Philo Farnsworth, who pioneered most of the fundamental technologies for television in the 1920s and '30s.
"This is a really neat concept, something you can literally put your hands around," said Dr. Jon Nadler of NPL Associates in Champaign, Ill. Under a Small Business Innovative Research grant from NASA/Marshall, he is working with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to develop the idea that Farnsworth had in 1950: fusion in a small bottle.


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 08:03 PM
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Contd...(NASA)
quote:

Right: Peering into the heart of a star. What looks like a 1950s model of an atom is a hollow cathode with a tiny plasma cloud contained inside an IEC fusion chamber small enough to sit atop a lab bench. (UIUC)
"You can use the power [it would generate] to power electric propulsion, or use the plasma for thrust," Nadler explained.
A star in a bottle
The technique is called inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC), a technique that avoids the use of massive magnets and laser systems used in other fusion-power techniques. Instead, the IEC device uses a hollow cathode, and the natural charges of electrons and ions, to form virtual electrodes that confine ions in a spherical region at the center of the 61 cm (2 ft) diameter IEC vacuum chamber.


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 08:03 PM
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Contd..(NASA)
quote:

"The SBIR funding has allowed us to make some historic advances," Nadler told the audience. Using a pulsed megawatt power supply, the IEC achieved its highest pulsed current yet - 17 amps at 40,000 volts. The IEC has also gone from producing one neutron (released by deuterium-deuterium fusion) in every 10 cycles to more than 100 neutrons per cycle.
"I'm happy to report that everything is looking good for increased reactivity," he said. "And we haven't even stressed anything out yet."

IEC fusion would work best with a couple of unusual fusion cycles. One uses deuterium (heavy hydrogen), easily refined from water on Earth, and helium 3 (helium lacking one neutron), quite rare here but possibly abundant in lunar soil exposed to 4 billion years of solar wind. The other fires protons into boron 11.
Left: A schematic of the energy well in the middle of a conventional magnetic field, and in the IEC chamber where fusion is induced. (UIUC)
While true antimatter and true fusion propulsion will remain the "rockets of the future" for some time, a hybrid of the two might work in the near term.
"It's a good short cut," Schmidt said of antimatter-catalyzed fusion. In this approach, a small quantity of antiprotons is beamed into a fusion target. The resulting matter-antimatter annihilation heats a target enough to cause thermonuclear fusion.
Because of the energies and expense involved in producing antimatter, this method is not practical for power production on Earth. Overall, it is a net energy loser. Like all other forms of rocket propulsion, it's a sort of battery in which energy is expended to provide a large quantity in a tiny space, available on demand.
But, it could yield a rocket with a specific impulse of 13,500 to 67,000 seconds (30-147 times better than the Shuttle Main Engine), depending on the scheme used.
"Fusion missions would need just micrograms to reach the Oort cloud," the deep freeze of comets beyond the orbit of Pluto, Gerrish said. The antimatter load would cost about $60 million. Reaching the stars would require metric tons.


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Old Post Jul 7th, 2012 08:04 PM
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So according to NASA , a single gram of antihydrogen(which is in fact one of the lightest antimatter types) would cost 62.5 TRILLION USD to produce . This was in 1999 .

From CERN(which has constructed some of the most well-refined particle accelerators of modern times , the type of technology which is most suitable for antimatter creation) , it would take MILLIONS of swiss francs to prooduce just a nanogram of antimatter . Considering how 1 SF is roughly equivalent to a USD on the currency exchange rate , it would essentially cost a QUADRILLION USD's perg ram of antimatter for production costs .

Based on all this , antimatter technology is DEFINITELY NOT progressing at a rapid rate .


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quote: (post)
Originally posted by steverules_2
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You just made the list!


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Old Post Sep 20th, 2012 03:03 AM
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Obamacare costs nearly 1 trillion, so the Enterprise can't cost that much. A whole lot more


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Old Post Nov 13th, 2012 08:19 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by -Pr-
As long as you're not captain...


Lmao he had such a well thought out post and then u came in eith that awesome line lol

Old Post Feb 21st, 2013 01:39 AM
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