[FoRK] BEAMING ENERGY FOR INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL
sdw at lig.net
Fri Oct 5 19:38:45 PDT 2012
Why spend all that money building beam stations on Earth? Except
perhaps for an asteroid deflector shield.
Create giant heliostats that concentrate sunlight, either colimnating it
into a laser-like beam or using it to power a microwave beam. Use
sunlight that would be wasted on interstellar space anyway to create
beams for pushing spacecraft.
Seems like a good job for outposts on Mercury, although a freely
orbiting heliostat would interesting. The problem with heliostat
beamers or even using an asteroid is that the beam will cause exert an
equal force. Perhaps for asteroids, that might be a bonus: steer the
asteroid into a closer path for mining. For a heliostat, it could be
used to push it into orbit or it could just be sped up and slowed down.
Even better, power two crafts / asteroids / ground station power
receivers in opposite directions at the same time.
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