Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nuts and Bolts

Hi everyone,

There's a very interesting ABC radio interview available online titled The future of Interstellar Travel worth a listen. Various issues are talked about including getting Helium-3 for future fusion reactors and the challenges involved for interstellar travel.

Interesting post on Centauri Dreams regarding Icarus Interstellar. Impressive list of projects they got going. Myself I think it is 100 years too early to start designing starships in 2013 especially since we currently don't have a working industry grade fusion power plant let alone a flight ready version to put on a starship. However the two projects they have listed ie Project Bifrost and X-Physics Propulsion & Power Project  are worth pursuing now. I stopped looking at warp drives and wormholes last year. Although the field equations in General Relativity do have solutions that allow these spacetime curvatures, GR doesn't take into account the properties of the quantum vacuum and isn't a unified model of Physics. The solutions are not realistic in nature and are purely interesting exercises in GR. As for extracting energy out of the quantum vacuum, there are currently no mechanisms to do this.

Another interesting SBS article: Space: the mining frontier. Seems like space mining is making more headlines these days. Interesting issues raised include who owns the Moon, Mars, Asteroids etc and their minerals? Free for all who can afford to develop the space mining infrastructure? No doubt the UN needs to start developing some kind of legal framework as the private space sector is catching on. I wouldn't hold your breath though, one should remember that the International Space Station cost $150bn to build and this is in low earth orbit.


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