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Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.



 
 
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Old August 24th 11, 07:27 AM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro,sci.physics,rec.arts.sf.science
Robert Clark
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Posts: 1,150
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

On Aug 23, 8:11*am, Nomen Nescio wrote:
http://www.orbitalvector.com/Deep%20...rentz%20Microp
robes/LORENTZ%20MICROPROBES.htm

I saw this yesterday on Disovery Science and hadn't heard of it
previously. The goal would be to use charged nanobots which would be
accelerated by Jupiter's magnetic field (Lorentz force) to great speed.
The charge would then be turned off after which they'd shoot away into
space. The guy who invented it said that with current technology we
could get up to a couple of percent of lightspeed and up to lightspeed
in the future.

Maybe NASA should give this a try, just to see if it's workable.


I like the idea. According to linked articles on that page, the
proposal
received a grant from NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts:

Starship on a Chip.
Big distance, tiny spacecraft.
By Tony Reichhardt
Air & Space Magazine, November 01, 2006
http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exp...-Starchip.html

Mmmm, Space Chips.
Little spacecraft could hitch a ride on Earth's magnetic field to
search for alien life.
By Gregory Mone Posted 08.06.2007 at 2:00 am
http://www.popsci.com/military-aviat...mm-space-chips

It might also receive funding through DARPA's recent request for
proposals on
interstellar flight. I gather the proposal arose in 2006. Then it's
possible the impetus
for the idea came from this discussion on sci.astro:

Newsgroups: sci.astro
From:
Date: 19 Jan 2006 06:53:39 -0800
Subject: My crazy idea for an interstellar probe with near-present
technology
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.a...363c965de65193

That it might have been inspired by this discussion from 2006 is also
suggested by
the fact it proposes using a version of Robert Zubrin's magnetic sail
idea for the
propulsion, also mentioned in the sci.astro discussion. What's
different is that it is much
more currently feasible in that it recommends using centimeter scale
probes rather than
ones at the micro/nano scale and it would use the Earth's or Jupiter's
magnetic fields to
propel the probes rather than Earth-bound high energy accelerators.
Also, in the description of this proposal the many separate probes
would not have to link
up, since it's possible now to carry real microsensors and
microcircuits on the centimeter
scale probes. Even for the probes many kilometers apart they could
still form an effective
radio telescope by being linked by radio signals. A problem though is
that far apart they
could not act as a single optical telescope since we still can't do
optical astronomy with
separate scopes that widely separated. So the separate probes could
only form separate
images from centimeter scale apertures.
For this reason It would be a good idea to see how these centimeter-
scale probes could be
made to link up. That may give us insight into how the micro/nano
scale probes could be
made to link up.

Bob Clark
 




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