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Anti-matter drive possible?

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  • Anti-matter drive possible?

    A trip to Mars on 10 mg of fuel?

    With the cost of positron production and the radiation output coming are down, so it may be time for yet another Star Trek tech spinoff to come into the real world;

    Dr. Mordrid
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 17 April 2006, 19:58.
    Dr. Mordrid
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  • #2
    More of a Anti-matter reactor/energy souce than an actual drive. But still thats a nice upgrade to what thay have now.


    • #3
      Not likely IMHO (OTOH I don't have time to read the original article now) - CERN has a nice page explaining why using antimatter as an energy storage is unpractical (yes, storage, not source - producing it requires tremendous amounts of energy, orders of magnitutude more that it stores). Not only our production rates are actually keep any meaningfull amount of antimatter wastes much of energy/mass of spacecraft also.
      I'd say that, for the time beeing, NASA/etc. will aim for fusion in long term, and perhaps "traditional" reactions in short term. Still plenty of energy, and less trouble compared to antimatter.


      • #4
        I guess the NASA guys have been reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.

        I know that the CERN (which was a good client of my company in the past) is heavily into antimatter research and production, which was why Brown used it as one of the major backdrops in his novel. They are, by far, the world's biggest producer. However, their vision is to tame it for pollution-free power generation rather than for shooting anyone into space. It is, however, rather doubtful, at our present state of knowledge, whether it will be possible to extract more energy from it than is required to produce and store the stuff. The annual production of antimatter by the CERN is said to give sufficient energy to light a 100 W bulb for 15 minutes.

        In any case, the notion of storing electrons and positrons as discrete particles is far-fetched. Antimatter can be stored as antihydrogen which can be annihilated in a reactor with hydrogen.

        Have a look at which is CERN's easy guide to antimatter.
        Brian (the devil incarnate)


        • #5
          I prefer continuum field distortion propulsion myself.