Light Sails in Spaceships & Vehicles
derek_holland Sep 6 2018, 18:03 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation Quote Post

A technical look at the use of light pressure and potential speeds in the near future (it mentions 20% c in a few decades using lasers).
Orc Sep 7 2018, 08:14 Group: Heroes, Level 20 Quote Post
Hi all and Derek in particular,

I'm really disappointed that 20%C is the best we can expect out of laser pumped light sails (they stop being solar sails when you start pumping them with lasers).

Magsails are promising. See: . Particle beams have a much higher energy density than lasers. I've read of theoretical top speeds of 50% C to 65% C. Of cause the faster you go the harder it is to slow down at the other end if you don't have a particle beam generator network at your destination. But going to Alpha Centauri doesn't really present that problems. The solar wind from the main star is intense, and you have three major gravity wells to play around with to do velocity reducing fly bys.

The question really is why would anyone want to visit AC. The solar system is hideously hostile, radiation wise. Its a big freaking star burning through its fuel real fast. Almost every other star in the <10 LY is friendly. Visiting AC is only worthwhile as a brief visit by a extremely rad-hardened probe. Us frail organics dare not take the trip.

derek_holland Sep 7 2018, 17:51 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation Quote Post
Easy- the Centauri system is far more famous than Barnard's Star, even though the latter is only a bit farther away and much less violent (the flare* being an exception).

* Apparently it had a big burp that was detected back in the late 90's:

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