An Alternative method to transport Zac Manchester’s
PCB-starship to Alpha Centauri.
Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner is proposing sending a “nanocraft” (idea developed by Zac Manchester), a working space probe so small (1-2 grams) that it could be accelerated to 20% the speed of light and reach Alpha Centauri in 20 years or so.
Mr Milner has launched a $100 million effort, dubbed Breakthrough Starshot, to prove the principle of sending tiny crafts attached to light sails that are blasted from earth with laser beams for propulsion, the idea has the blessings of Dr. Stephen Hawking, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg among others, NASA is also working on Micro spacecraft.
Proposed Nanocraft light beamer array will shoot gigawatts of laser beams to the Nanocraft’s light sails.
(held by Mr Yuri Milner)
The micro spacecraft weighing little more than a sheet of paper and driven by a sail comparable in size a child’s kite fashioned from fabric only a few hundred atoms in thickness, will be accelerated by a 100 billion-watt laser-powered array reaching a velocity of 60,000km a second.
Before sending the first nanocrafts to Alpha Centauri we must wait for the lasers to be designed and constructed, but as the nanocraft’s development is fairly advanced, I propose attaching a nanocraft to a Fluid Space Drive that is simple and inexpensive (compared to a multi laser array) where it will travel with a constant acceleration of 0,2 mps reaching Alpha Centauri in 28 years (see main page).
What are the advantage of a propellantless propulsion system?
At present all spacecraft travel from earth to their destination at constant speed (they coast at constant velocity), We use enormous rockets in our space exploration programs, but almost all the push the spacecraft acquires is during the first few minutes the rockets are firing before they run out of fuel, the rest of the trip the spaceship travels at a constant velocity (no acceleration).
So if it’s Mars we want to go, at present we can produce a few minutes of acceleration versus 300 days of constant velocity (just coasting).
What the Fluid space drive does is generate a strong force in one direction from the inside, constantly pushing the spacecraft/probe resulting in it relentlessly gaining velocity to speeds never before possible.
As long as the Fluid Space Drive receives electrical power by means of solar panels or/and some Air Independent Power Source like the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator illustrated in the following illustration, the spacecraft will continue accelerating.
If we send two identical spacecraft to Mars (figs 2, 3 and 4), spacecraft A with a FSD attached and spacecraft B with no FSD, they will both start their journey at the same velocity but while spacecraft B will spend 300 days at constant velocity, as spacecraft A is constantly accelerating it will in time leave spacecraft B far behind and reach enormous velocities (Fig 4)
An early proposed application for the Fluid Space Drive was a simple method to get to Mars FAST using technologies available now, for instant a spaceship composed of a Bigelow Aerospace inflatable module towed to mars at a constant acceleration by an array of Fluid Space Drives.
If we replace the payload (Bigelow space module) with a 2 gram nanocraft, a constant acceleration of 0,2 mps is possible and Alpha Centauri will be reached in 28 years (see main page).