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Aurora - a critique by Stephen Baxter and others
[Image: 41D-5sUSy3L._SX277_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg]Kim Stanley Robinson has written an intriguing novel about interstellar colonisation, which some of you might be already familiar with.

Now Centauri Dreams has published an important analysis and critique of the science by
Stephen Baxter, James Benford and Joseph Miller

Quote:The Ship is accelerated to the cruise speed of 0.1c by means of electromagnetic ‘scissors’ slingshot at Titan, imposing a brief’ acceleration of about 10g, and then a laser impulse for 60 years.
The Ship decelerates at the Tau Ceti system using its on-board fusion propulsion system. The technology, like that used by Daedalus, is known as ‘inertial confinement fusion’ (ICF), in which pellets of fuel are compressed, perhaps with laser or electron beams, until they undergo fusion; the high-speed products provide a rocket exhaust. For twenty years the Ship is decelerated by the detonation of fusion pellets at a rate of two per second. The fusion fuel is a mix of D and He3, as was the case for Daedalus (Chapter 1).

Some interesting ideas there, not all of them plausible; the eventual deceleration by Oberth Manouevre is analysed and dismissed as unworkable.

Robinson suggests that planets with life are likely to be too dangerous or problematic to colonise, something I largely agree with; however the 'prion-like' pathogen he describes is probably not realistic by itself.

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Aurora - a critique by Stephen Baxter and others - by stevebowers - 08-16-2015, 08:27 PM

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