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imported_Draco
2003-Oct-05, 10:16 AM
Is it a new form of power to launch rockets or move satellites?
I've heard about it, but i don't know how it works and what it is?
Just a bit confused.

Fraser
2003-Oct-05, 03:22 PM
It's more for moving satellites. It doesn't have a lot of thrust, but it's very efficient so it can run for years, just accelerating and accelerating.

Here's a story about it:
http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/io...spacecraft.html (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/ion_drive_powered_spacecraft.html)

But do a search on the site for more stories about ion engines.

imported_Draco
2003-Oct-07, 09:54 AM
Thanks for that fraser:)

jkmccrann
2005-Oct-22, 08:30 AM
Could we use ion drives to power potential inter-stellar probes?

Ilya
2005-Oct-22, 08:26 PM
Could we use ion drives to power potential inter-stellar probes?
Not without a fusion power source at least. Even then it would be lucky to reach 1% of the speed of light.

howard2
2005-Oct-25, 12:13 AM
The only feasible way to inter-stellar travel will be space warping where we fold space-time. If and when we learn how, the problem of time dilation and the twin paradox will disappear. Finding our way home will be interesting.

The Mangler
2005-Oct-25, 12:44 AM
I read somewhere a while ago (don't know how true this is, tell me what you think) that there are two types of gravity, say, A & B. 'A' gravity is from the earth, holding us to the ground. But it is weak enough to be broken.
On the other hand 'B' gravity is what holds an electron in orbit around an atom. This gravity is very strong. The higher the atomic number of an element, the bigger this gravitational field is. Once we find/create (it said the specific atomic number, but I forget what it was) element with atomic number ???, the field will extend outside of the atom, and we will be able to harness it. Presumably we will be able to use this gravity to bend space-time, and travel anywhere instantly.
Anyone heard of this before? It could all be b.s., but who knows...

TheBlackCat
2005-Oct-25, 01:44 AM
This so-called "gravity b" is simply the electromagnetic force. That is what holds an electron in its orbit. It is much stronger than gravity, but does not curve space-time. Here is a quote from Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts:


An electron and a positron attract each other in two ways: the electromagnetic attraction of their opposite electric charges, and the gravitiational attraction of their two masses. The electromagnetic attraction is 4,2000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000 times as strong as the gravitational.

The Mangler
2005-Oct-25, 03:50 AM
Yeah, the whole thing seemed kinda iffy. I can't remember where I read that... They kinda implied that right now "gravity b" could not bend space-time, but sometime in the future it could.

Kaptain K
2005-Oct-25, 04:18 PM
The only feasible way to inter-stellar travel will be space warping where we fold space-time. If and when we learn how, the problem of time dilation and the twin paradox will disappear. Finding our way home will be interesting.
How can you call "space warping" feasible, when it depends on unknown, hypothetical physics that may or may not be discovered sometime in the future?

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Oct-25, 10:32 PM
Wishful thinking.

All that real estate out there and no way to get there, darn it! :(

GOURDHEAD
2005-Oct-26, 12:51 AM
Could we use ion drives to power potential inter-stellar probes?Yes, and we don't need fusion, just beamed energy from whichever star we are trying to leave. http://home.comcast.net/~mbmcneill7/

Planetwatcher
2005-Oct-31, 08:12 AM
Could we use ion drives to power potential inter-stellar probes?

Actually we could once a great initial acceleration occured for whatever it was we launched.

This would be something simular in principle to a multiple stage chemical rocket such as the Saturn V was, or powerful detachable boosters like the shuttles solid rocket boosters.
Such boosters would be required to escape our planets gravity, and once the maximum velocity such rockets could achieve was reached, and fuel exahusted, the boosters would detach, and the ion engines initialiated.

From that point the acceleration would increase very slowly until maximum velocity, then it could hold it potentually for over a hundred years.

So at least two types of proplusion would be used in such probes.