Ex-News Junkie
Torus Habitat - Relativistic Centrifuge combination
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12am

It would be safe to assume that there are no habitable planets besides Earth orbiting any other star. Therefore, any interstellar voyage should take a habitable world with them. Living in space forever after would be assumed. One of many wheel or cylinder designs which incorporate spin for artificial gravity includes the Stanford Torus, O'Neill Cylinder, and the McKendree Cylinder. These could house thousands of people in an open-ended Archimedes Spiral of housing units, and also be stackable along the axis of rotation. Additional zero-g farms like sausage packs, illuminated by light pipes & mirrors, could be attached at the axis.

The main propulsion system should be designed for long-term stability, using solid or liquid fuel that is non-volatile over very long periods of thousands of years. It would be designed to push to at least escape velocity or higher, perhaps as high as 1 percent of light speed, completing an interstellar voyage in several centuries or thousands of years. It would also be designed to slow down at the end of the voyage. Not only would there have to be sufficient fuel for deceleration & orbital insertion, but there could be no possibility for failure after thousands of years.

Integral to the habitat might be a relativistic centrifuge operating with a rim speed of (c-1) m/s, while diamagnetically suspending living things for the duration of the voyage to protect against the trillions of gees of the centrifuge. If the entire ship were moving at one percent of light speed for the 400-year trip to Alpha Centauri, then the time dilation of the relativistic centrifuge would reduce it to just 12 days for the passengers. Indeed, it would seem like they made the trip in less time than light would take - faster than light.

Any part of the ship that was not inside the centrifuge would have to be designed to last for the 400 year journey, either "packed away" or with minimal automated maintenance. Passengers could emerge from the centrifuge prior to deceleration to inspect the ship, and refurbish any parts that deteriorated.

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    • Torus Habitat - Relativistic Centrifuge combination — Ex-News Junkie, Sat Oct 21 8:12am
      • Radius = 100 meters Tangential velocity = c-1 = 299792457 m/s Vt/c = 0.99999999666 Lorentz Factor = 12243 As before the centrifuge is spinning with a rim speed of c-1 m/s, that is just 1 m/s slower... more
        • Massaging the numbers a bitEx-News Junkie, Sat Oct 28 11:34am
          Relativistic Centrifuge with Magnetic Levitation RPM = 28628071 RPS = 477135 Radius = 100 meters Rim speed = c-1 = 299792457 m/s Lorentz Factor = 12243 Centripetal acceleration = 898,755,172,740,968... more
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            • Making things a bit more difficultEx-News Junkie, Sun Oct 29 8:07am
              Time dilation would vary along the radius of the centrifuge. The design calls for a rim speed of c-1 m/s to give a Lorentz factor of 12243. However, objects stored in the centrifuge are not... more
              • CorrectionEx-News Junkie, Sun Oct 29 8:24am
                200,000 km is 2.3-times the diameter of a geosynchronous orbit around Earth, and nowhere near the size of the Moon's orbit. My bad! This size starship is actually in about the same ball park as many... more
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