Space Travel

By Johny Jagannath

In the long run, Space Travel will become a necessity since our Sun isn't going to last forever, and the only way we can achieve the very long distances that are needed in order to survive when our sun blows to bits, is a continuous supply of fuel over very, very, long periods of time.

But this is going to be difficult with conventional fuel, since you need to carry all the fuel from the start, which isn't practical, or you have to make your own fuel along the way using raw materials in deep space which you may or may not find.

I therefore propose a type of propulsion that  is  based on rotational energy that will not consume conventional fuel for thrust generation. 

The central idea here is to use a rotor, that is armed with large chunks of mass on two ends. Sort of, like a barbell. But the mass can be anything. Anything like meteoroids, chunks of comet or ice in deep space.

Of course, a spaceship built on this type of propulsion would look like a flying disc. Like the one shown in the picture below where the upper part shows a rotor and the lower portion is for the people and cargo. In the picture below I have not shown the exit/entry slots for the mass to be (attached and) released.
How does this Spaceship generate thrust? Imagine that a barbell type rotor is rotating, that has identical weights on each side. The centrifugal forces generated by the two weights will be equal and in opposite direction. Therefore, there is no motion. Now imagine that, suddenly one of the bolts snaps and sends a weight flying away. What's going to happen? The rod experiences, only one weight exerting a centrifugal force, therefore it moves in that direction. And this is the crux of the propulsion that I am proposing. [See Appendix B for more information on this.]

Granted, that this movement (or acceleration) will be jerky but it can be controlled if the rotor is designed well to release small chunks of mass, instead of large ones. Also, remember that once the rotor rotates, it won't stop since it's zero gravity in space. And yes, there will be some friction owing to the rotor's rotation, but since the rotor is going to be mounted on a magnetic bearing, the generated friction will be negligible.

However, the rotation can be stopped by using it to generate electricity. This way, the generated electricity can be used to rotate the rotor again. Hopefully by then the spaceship is in the vicinity of some large chunks of comet or meteoroids, or ice, that can be attached to the spaceship's rotor to have the spaceship accelerate all over again. 

What benefits there are with this type of thrust? Virtually, any object in space with mass can be attached to the rotor to generate thrust. And since the engine for this spaceship will be an electric motor, maintenance becomes simpler and in deep space this will matter a lot.      

But the magnets on the electric motor must be re-magnetized when they eventually run out of magnetism. And note that magnets can be recycled to produce new magnets without needing to mine new raw materials, which is a big plus. 

Say, the spaceship is equipped with neodymium magnets and I hear those magnets last for years. Apparently they lose only 1% of their strength every one hundred years. 

And I can imagine a spaceship like this may achieve very high speeds in a few hundred years. And if the spaceship occupants happen to be Relativists then they will all be unaware of a phenomenon known as light-time correction that will cause their optical equipments to appear in places where they are not.

If your line of sight is perpendicular to the motion of the spaceship, then the optical devices you will be looking at are all going to be light-time corrected. [See Appendix A.]

Appendix A.

Appendix B.


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