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Join Date: Dec 2007
03-28-2012, 10:25 AM
Originally Posted by
Another issue is one of fuel for propulsion. If you are using rocketry (since we haven't discovered subspace-distortion-based impulse drive or inertial damping), then to get up to near-light speeds, the only fuel that would work is antimatter. Fusion would not work, as the energy released would be about three hundred times less than for antimatter, which would result in needing impractically large (and heavy) fuel tanks.
Antimatter isn't necessary... and for that matter, not feasible with current technology, or our current understanding of the stuff. We haven't found a way to produce it without expending more energy than it'll release in annihilation (not to mention the fantastic expense involved), we haven't managed to store multiple particles at once, or single particles for more than a few seconds, and don't even have a viable theoretical means to do so.
Acceleration doesn't need to be done all at once. Because of the distance involved and the need to be accelerating or decelerating for most of it to attain minimum travel time, sustainability is more important than output. Ion engines exist and are ideal for this kind of use, and you wouldn't even need something as exotic as fusion to power one.