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Where's My Solar Yacht?

Gregory Benford, SF author and UC-Irvine professor of physics, has found a way to increase the speed of a solar sail spacecraft. Since this has always been my favorite form of space travel, I'm delighted. Let's face it, solar sails are just smoother and sexier than chemical rockets. Now, they are also potentially much much faster.

The whole thing works just as long as you have a 60 MW microwave laser lying around. And really, what evil genius doesn't? I've got two in the back yard, though one has been stripped for parts.

The top speed of 60 kps is pretty damn fast (Earth to Mars in 30 days). Also as in, 3600 kpm or 216,000 kph. Damn.

Comments

( 6 sutras — Your wisdom )
matociquala
Feb. 1st, 2005 01:58 am (UTC)
Hah!

*feels all prescient and shit*

Gregory Benford is my new best friend.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 1st, 2005 02:46 am (UTC)
Isn't it great when the universe confirms to your view of it, instead of the other way around?

Benford's just up the road from you. Maybe it's in the water.
matociquala
Feb. 1st, 2005 06:28 am (UTC)
Maybe it's in the water.

I thought that was perchlorate.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 1st, 2005 03:05 am (UTC)
Excellent
How cool is that! And just when I was trying to figure out a way for my Commie Martians to get back to Earth in a relatively short span! Thank you for solving my problem, Monkey King and SCIENCE!

j.m.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 1st, 2005 03:38 am (UTC)
Re: Excellent
All just part of the service around here. Well, here and in Irvine.

Perhaps you can even refer to it as the "Bedford sail". How cool would that be?
godeater_sw
Feb. 1st, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Excellent
Bedford has written some first-rate hard SF, too.

(I'll confess to a preference for the work of David Brin, however both are excellent authors, to be sure.)
( 6 sutras — Your wisdom )

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