VC10er
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Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 4:06 am

After spending my life dreaming since the 1960's when a Star Trek shuttle was powered by someting else...no fire, no exaust...all the way to today when our dreams of flying are less similar than a lawn mower and more like the flying, gravity defying Star Wars like crafts? Do we have a hunch how to do it? is it Ion power? Is it just a dream? I am confident mankind will do it, unfortunately I will be gone for a long, long time?

And naturally, what number would Boeing use!!!    
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 4:27 am

Laser propulsion has always fascinated me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_propulsion. It has been practically demonstrated in small scale.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 7:19 am

Honestly, if we're going to do crewed starflight, we're going to need a *lot* of energy and fusion is the only thing that makes sense. Second only to Star Trek's matter/antimatter drives (which are horribly dangerous and use outrageously expensive fuel that is equally horribly dangerous), fusion fuel carries more energy per unit mass than any other fuel. Bussard ramscoops could provide both fuel for the reactor and reaction mass for the drives.

Even at 1g the whole way, travel to even the nearest star will take many years. But it's a start.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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Starlionblue
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 7:56 am

As Doc says. I would add zero point energy to fusion and antimatter.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
travelavnut
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 8:23 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
zero point energy

If it is usable. What I have read about zero point energy untill now is all from the pseudo-science realm..
Live From Amsterdam!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Wed May 19, 2010 9:39 am

And I would agree!  

For an entertaining bit of fiction on the subject, read Travis S. Taylor's "Warp Speed".
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mrocktor
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2010 9:19 pm

Fossil fuel will be rendered obsolete in aviation by:

1. Synthetic hydrocarbons becoming cheaper to make than natural sources of oil are to extract and refine
2. Controllable small scale fusion

Yeah, #1 still has us burning the same stuff. And, contrary to what we hear everywhere, it will not destroy the planet.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Fri May 21, 2010 9:17 am

I agree with everybosy else here. Fusion is the only medium term feasible propulsion method that would provide enough energy for space travel, albeit not interstellar travel. If we manage to harness it and make spacecrafts capable of travelling with the solar system to harvest its mineral and gazeous resources, it'll be a good start. The technology can evolve from there once there is a commercial incentive.

Everything other form of space propulsion out there is still highly theoretical, and most of them require amounts of energy we can hardly comprehend, let alone create...
Though it would be cool to see some sort of giant energy capacitor which, once charged, would provide enough energy to locally distort space and time in such a way that it would bring you to another point in space instantly, provided it is at all possible to cohenrently manage that distortion.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Best Guess At No More Fossil Fuel?

Fri May 21, 2010 10:06 am

francoflier, ion propulsion is way more than theoretical. While thrust levels are low, specific impulse is very high, meaning it is an excellent engine for interplanetary travel.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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