Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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rocketeer with light

LASER POWERED THRUST ENGINE
 
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Concentrate solar energy on the generators of a pulse-detonation engine. The beam should be concentrated enough to levitate the spacecraft gradually. Eventually it would only use the air as fuel as it gets higher up to propell it even further. It would take a long time. But you'd get out of the damm orbit.
Derang, Apr 13 2004

Baked http://www.islandon...OBiblio/SPBI115.HTM
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Don't try this at home http://www.space.co...pulsion_000705.html
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       Solar powered rocket?
st3f, Apr 13 2004
  

       I guess you'd have to carry some reaction mass with you.   

       [aside:] I wonder if we have engines of this type efficient enough to lift their own weight?
st3f, Apr 13 2004
  

       This is incomprehensible.
ldischler, Apr 13 2004
  

       This is baked, see link for a simplified view. More recent developments aim at heating the air behind the rocket as it takes off so it doesn't even need reaction mass for the first 100km after takeoff.   

       Direct solar power won't do because you cannot reach sufficient power density.
kbecker, Apr 13 2004
  
      
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