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[Next Big Future] Carbon nanotube sheets for solar sails for 5.6% of lightspeed - Page 3

post #21 of 42
Unless I missed something completely, Solar sails, and ION engines are both very similar in their approach, you build up speed over time. Now, an Ion drive equipped ship, with a nice sail in front of it, maybe it wouldn't get you started quickly, but it would get you moving pretty well by the time it was going. The only problem there would be slowing down when you get where you're going.
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post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_47 View Post

what ever happened to the vasimr plasma rocket? surely that would be more than 5x faster than a solar sail?

No. It wouldn't be anywhere near as fast as a solar sail.

VASIMR is half way between ion engines and conventional rockets. Much higher specific impulse than a chemical rocket, but much higher thrust (and acceleration) than an ion engine.

Ion engines can have much higher specific impulse and much more energy for a given mass of exhaust, thus allowing for higher effective speeds.

Solar sails, not having to carry fuel with them, can out do both by an enormous margin, if they can be made light enough.
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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtolios View Post

Problem with nano-sails is the massive surface needed. Even @ .27mg per sq.m (which is insane already!) Remember tho, that this has to be supported: the sail will be pulling "hard" - even if it's weight is negligible, all the rigging/stays etc that will be needed to support, control it and transfer these powers back to the vessel will have to be bigger and bulkier.


Massive surface area is the main reason why solar sails will probably never take off. Too easy for micro meteorites and every other particle hanging around in space to puncture them into unusable messes.

Which is said because I dream of a Treasure Planet future. frown.gif
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post

Massive surface area is the main reason why solar sails will probably never take off. Too easy for micro meteorites and every other particle hanging around in space to puncture them into unusable messes.

This is nearly a non-issue. It would take a lot of holes to appreciably reduce the usable area of a solar sail.
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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

This is nearly a non-issue. It would take a lot of holes to appreciably reduce the usable area of a solar sail.

One hole will start the ripping process.

Though self repairing membranes would fix this issue.
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post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post

One hole will start the ripping process.

Though self repairing membranes would fix this issue.

Graphene sale with that self repairing liquid from those wires?
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyM95 View Post

It would take roughly 55 minutes to get from Earth to Mars at 5.6% the speed of light, assuming the distance between them is at the shortest point...
"None of this technology will get us anywhere" my ass.

I'd still take my time and give it a couple days...we got to slow down too. Of course there is always the trip home as well...heh I am pretty sure this only takes you away from the sun. Though sail boats on the water can be made to travel almost directly into the wind...something like 5° off of windward if I remember right (I probably am not, but I know it is close). If the same tactic works in space...well, then maybe there would actually be a little justification to all the Anime and games I've seen with space craft that looked like boats and crap.

But yeah...I want to see this in action. Mr. Soolo...make it so.

I honestly didn't expect to see speeds like this in my life time...and well...I still haven't but I am now a bit more hopeful.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 2/15/13 at 1:33pm
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

I'd still take my time and give it a couple days...we got to slow down too. Of course there is always the trip home as well...heh I am pretty sure this only takes you away from the sun. Though sail boats on the water can be made to travel almost directly into the wind...something like 5° off of windward if I remember right (I probably am not, but I know it is close). If the same tactic works in space...well, then maybe there would actually be a little justification to all the Anime and games I've seen with space craft that looked like boats and crap.

But yeah...I want to see this in action. Mr. Soolo...make it so.

I honestly didn't expect to see speeds like this in my life time...and well...I still haven't but I am now a bit more hopeful.

I'm not sure it works like that, as the reason some of the force gets transferred in the desired direction is the surface tension of the water caused by the friction of the hull. In a vacuum you wont have this.. (over simplified response but, the gist of it)
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post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

No. It wouldn't be anywhere near as fast as a solar sail.

VASIMR is half way between ion engines and conventional rockets. Much higher specific impulse than a chemical rocket, but much higher thrust (and acceleration) than an ion engine.

Ion engines can have much higher specific impulse and much more energy for a given mass of exhaust, thus allowing for higher effective speeds.

Solar sails, not having to carry fuel with them, can out do both by an enormous margin, if they can be made light enough.

the term "solar sail" just sounds so primitive. I assume using a solar sail would take FOREVER to accelerate. would need to be accompanied by a larger engine. then when the shuttle or transport reaches its optimal speed the rockets can "shut down" and solar sails can be deployed saving fuel.
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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_47 View Post

the term "solar sail" just sounds so primitive. I assume using a solar sail would take FOREVER to accelerate. would need to be accompanied by a larger engine. then when the shuttle or transport reaches its optimal speed the rockets can "shut down" and solar sails can be deployed saving fuel.

This is the much more likely scenario.
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