Time Travel Research Center © 1998 Cetin BAL - GSM:+90 05366063183 - Turkey / Denizli
Interstellar Flight: The Possibilities
nuclear particles with an opposite charge than normal mater. Antimatter, in
the form of anti-protons, does exist and is being created in labs for
A matter-antimatter powered rocket (such as the one sketched above, made by Robert Frisbee of JPL) works by keeping the charged antimatter in an electronic bottle and in a slow controlled fashion releasing them to hit ordinary mater. The resulting reaction releases pions (a charged nuclear particle) with a lot of energy which is propelled out the magnetic coil nozzle providing thrust. Such a rocket can provide great fuel efficiency (a specific impulse of about 10 million).
One of the drawbacks is the amount of anti-protons required. It takes a sophisticated set-up and a lot of energy to make anti-protons. In 1960 we produced about 1000 anti-protons were produced in a year. In 1998 estimates are the number has increased to 1 time 10 to the 15th power. However this is still a million times short of making 1 gram of anti-protons, and (according to Robert Frisbee) an interstellar vehicle would need about 750,000 kilograms of anti-proton material to make the journey to the next star. Clearly we need a way to make anti-protons faster and easier.
seen in the chart above, is controlling the waste energy from a matter-antimatter
reaction. Much of the energy is in gamma radiation that goes in all
directions. We will need a lot of shielding to keep instruments safe from
the radiation, and there is the possibility that the radiation will damage
the payload. Also after years of firing our engines will be highly
Waste heat will have to be allowed to leave freely, and massive cooling fins will probably be needed to avoid melting the engine.
The remaining pion mass and kinetic energy are usable to our propulsion system.
© 1998 Cetin BAL - GSM:05366063183 - Turkiye / Denizli