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Slow Burn Orion Drive

"We're in a calm Bo'sun, reconfigure the solar sails"
  [vote for,

A bit out of range of the nearest star when you hit a dark matter sandbar ? no worries: reform the solar sail into a parabolic shape, fire up the gigawatt nuclear reactor and suspend a heating element at the focal point. Black-body radiation now powers your craft.
FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2011

Photon Drive http://spectech.bra..._PHOTON%20DRIVE.htm
[MisterQED, Mar 23 2011]


       Imagine a boat with a sail and a jar of compressed air mounted and pointing at the sail. That's what you have here. Turn it around so your air is venting backwards and you're much more efficient.
Voice, Mar 17 2011

       Well, yes but in this case the solar sail is the jar. You just want a smaller jar (parabola).
FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2011

       "Attention...the solar sail is a jar. Attention...the solar sail is a jar. Attention..."
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2011

       // Turn it around so your air is venting backwards //   

       He's already venting hot gases rearwards, but then he always talks that way ...
8th of 7, Mar 17 2011

       The solar sail turns the isotropic radiation from the heater into quasi-unidirectional radiation. Don't think it even begins to resemble an orion drive, but the concept is valid.
MechE, Mar 22 2011

       Slow Burn Orion Drive = Photon Drive   

       Sorry, already thought of 76 years ago (link)
MisterQED, Mar 23 2011

       I think this qualifies as a seperate idea from the photon drive. The one in the link is powered by antimatter, and the reaction would take place inside a giant, magical x-ray reflecting engine bell.   

       A mylar sail being accelerated by radiation from a nuclear reactor over thousands of years is a bit differnt.   

       Although personally I would rather ride on the antimatter ship.
DIYMatt, Mar 23 2011

       mmmmmm, slow-burnt onions...
hippo, Mar 23 2011

       mmmmm [hippo] I read the same thing....and smelled them, too!!
xandram, Mar 23 2011

       I have been reading about the Pioneer anomaly. I understand it turned out the probe was pushed slower by its own heat. So this scheme proposed by FT would work. I do not understand why this is not a " reactionless drive" - we are not spurting propellant behind the craft.
bungston, Apr 02 2017

       Yes you are. Photons have momentum.
notexactly, Apr 03 2017

       /photons have momentum/   

       Things like this reveal to me the yawning abysses of ingnorance that exist in my head. A few clicks later and I realized that I must read on "relativistic mass" to understand how a particle without Newtonian mass can have momentum.
bungston, Apr 04 2017


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