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Input on best space travel methods for a...
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You are currently reading a thread in /sci/ - Science & Math

Thread replies: 18
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Pic entirely unrelated.

Hey /sci/, since you guys seem to be the most intolerant dogmatic and completely correct assholes I've heard of about science I suppose I'll ask you before anybody else. I'm an "aspiring" sci-fi writer and my story needs a method of propulsion to get the protags to another planet that is somewhat nearby in astronomical terms (maybe 15ly max, yes I know how huge of a distance that is). While this might seem a bit basic I'm trying to go for a semi-hard sci on top of the fi. Sub-light etc is fine as long as it's something that could actually have a decent chance of working.

A few other things:
- In this universe humanity managed to finally try to make a warp bubble drive and it "worked" but ended up half-cooking the small unmanned probe inside of it with radiation and the exit blast (which was to be at Ceres) ended up screwing up the orbits of a bunch of objects in the asteroid belt. This really shitty scenario for earth's continued not-asteroided-to-death status is the motivating factor for the space mission.

- Cryogenics/Suspended animation is a thing. It's not exactly the same thing as stopping aging entirely but let's just say it's enough for any sublight space mission to nearby stars.

- The ship can make a magnetic field to protect itself from charged particles and other associated space hazards.

- Fusion power is also a thing, enabling large amounts of stable power to be generated in space.

- There's a space elevator, so getting big shit into space isn't as much of a problem.

Feel free to call me a moron but I really think you guys are probably my best bet to get something non-stupid.
A nuclear salt water rocket.

Either that, or read the High Frontier by Dr. Gerard O'Neill and go nuts.
> go into extreemly exentric and high altitude orbit from the sun

> produce exit blast at a point far away enough for any orbital perturbances so not be an issue

> the majority of the journey is spent getting far enough away from the sun to do a successful and non dangerous jump

> somehow fix the radiation problem????

> profit
That's actually the plan if there's a sequel it's just that according to real scientists any warp bubble would probably produce so much Hawking radiation inside of it that it would destroy the shit out of most solid matter. In the story the bubble only lasted for a few seconds and the probe was nearly destroyed to the point that it was pure luck that it didn't completely fail and disengage early or overshoot by a huge margin. Also the exit blast's strength would increase greatly the further you went.
generation ship coasting through space at a constant velocity. Necessitating the ship be an enclosed and spinning oneil cylinder type colony. built inside a hollowed out asteroid.
This is about the only non-option since the plot somewhat hinges on the people arriving being born on Earth. That's the only reason I'm even allowing cryogenics, since it seems pretty implausible IRL.
cryogenics is possible if we can gene engineer already born people. There is that frog that can be frozen solid and will be alive when thawed. All sorts of Mammals hibernate. If you could give either of those abilities to already grown people. Then you could put them in cold sleep for a long period.
Well, I do plan to have gene alterations also be a thing, since it's about the only way I can see long-term space travel not utterly destroying the human body. I wasn't thinking of using it like that, but it's actually a good idea.
NUCLEAR PULSE PROPULSION will always be the optimal drive
some combination of a solar sail and an alteration of the 'magnetic field', similar to a bussard ramjet
>produce sequential warp bubbles with exit points a distance behind the sails
>each exit blast pushes the main shuttle forward progressively over several months in an acceleration phase, eventually reaching a 'reasonable' % of c (dependent on the required timeline/distance for the novel, additionally allow for time dilation on the craft)
>a deceleration phase again for several months where the exit point location is moved in front of the craft

influenced by Tau Zero by Poul Anderson while utilising existing plot devices in your universe.
Orion Drive isn't fast enough to get you to Alpha Centarui in a human lifetime.

You need to go to fusion rockets or anti matter.
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Go to http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/index.php and read.

15ly is a hell of a distance, in order to cross that in a reasonable time you'd need a big ass spaceship (kilometers length) with a lot of propellant. http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/slowerlight.php#id--Go_Fast--Starships has some examples, I'll use the ISV Venture Star from Avatar here since it has a cryogenic system and seems roughly on par with your tech level (it has antimatter, impossible lasers at the Earth end and relies on fictional material so its probably a bit ahead). More info here http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Interstellar_Vehicle_Venture_Star

Venture Star goes to Alpha Centauri, 4.73ly away, and takes 6.75 objective/5.73 subjective years to get there with a maximum velocity of ~0.7c which is absolutely absurd. The only way it can reach that velocity is with the aforementioned impossible laser, it uses a giant sail pushed by that laser. That laser is impossible because its got an output of something like >200 petawatts over 6 months. That's more than the entire amount of power received on Earth from the Sun, the entire power consumption of the human race is about 20 terawatts. Petawatt lasers have been made, but they last for tiny fractions of a second, not 6 months.

The benefit of that crazy ass laser means the Venture Star only needs to carry enough propellant to slow down at it's destination, and it does that with fusion/antimatter hybrid engines that use the unobtanium to function. Without the unobtanium, the vessel would be 4 times as massive. Without that crazy laser working on one end, those engines would need to burn at both ends, which requires more propellant for the outbound burn.

If the ISV were to hop between things 15ly away with all it's crazy laser and it's fusion/antimatter engines made of unobtanium, it would take over twenty years to get there. Without those things you can't go as fast, so you'll maybe be looking at 0.1c, so you're looking at a 140 year journey for those 15ly.

You need to decide on a tech level (particularly for engines) and build your bigass rocket around that. If you've got antimatter that will help improve efficiency of engines, leading to higher velocities and shorter trip times.
hi op try this video for some ideas

even though this particular videos is a numbered-list category clickbait, pbs space time's videos generally explain things in a way that tries not to be pop-sci, generally

most of their videos are pretty good at explaining the depth of complexity of physics stuff

hope you enjoyed it i'm going to go take a home-brewed blend of jeweler's cyanide and morphine and go kill myself now
good luck with your novel
If I recall correctly it can be if you use antimatter bombs.

A "fusion rocket" or "antimatter rocket" would be superior as an external pulse as well.
It is always superior to have the "explosion" going on outside the vehicle.

Barring some sort of revolutionary leaps in material science.
Magnetic nozzles nigga
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