20 August 2012

New Research

The high specific impulse drive I'd fallen in love with is likely to be technically impossible with the drive masses I wanted.

So I've scaled my expectations back tad.

Lots of coasting from now on instead of thrusting and at lower accelerations while thrusting.

Back to using the straight GURPS Vehicles 2nd Edition numbers...

Good news for my needs is noticing I'd bought the two expansion books for Veh 2e.

High capacity antimatter storage makes the antimatter thermal rocket a tenable choice.

One of the better realistic drives is the fusion pulse drive, but the nuclear fuel pellets are needed in volume and not readily made in the field.  Since this is an exploration ship needing a fuel depot seems a bad idea.

The normal fusion rocket and antimatter thermal engines use water for reaction mass, and that stuff is just about everywhere.

Optimized fusion and antimatter-pion drives use hydrogen for reaction mass, which is also everywhere, but the delta-v and thrust available to the optimized fusion drive mean it's not going to dive a gas giant for it.

My practical choices are the fusion or antimatter thermal drives.  The exploration profile would be to boost out of system with half the reaction mass, jump into the Oort cloud of the new system and harvest some water from a comet.  Charge the jump drive and then jump deeper into the system.

I am becoming more satisfied with my design the more I play with it.

Next thing to make is some message torps so we can send messages back home.

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