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Comments on Warp Speed Kills
What actually happens when a spacecraft starts to approach the speed of light in interstellar space? Read one scientist's take on the subject. (Read the complete story)

"I'm "relatively" sure that a civilization that has the capability to get to that speed would have long ago solved the minor problem of shielding."
(Dewtey 2/19/2010 5:55:33 AM)
"Yeah, I agree with Dewtey. It's not like they would be strapping a warp engine to a skateboard."
(dbonomo 2/19/2010 9:48:02 AM)
"The Enterprise travels faster than light by bending the fabric of space with its warp nacelles, so the ship remains relatively motionless within the warp bubble. Since it is not traveling in normal space, it never encounters any particles. However, this would be a problem while operating on impulse engines at sublight speeds, but at these times the forward deflector shields are automatically engaged to protect the ship. Duh!"
(Rob 2/19/2010 10:32:36 AM)
"Rob, the Enterprise isn't real, Well, I mean it IS real, but it's about 5 feet long and sits in the store at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. :P"
( 2/19/2010 11:41:17 AM)
"The article referenced in New Scientist says that the people on the Enterprise would die, so I was just pointing out that they would not. Anyway, there is no new scientific information here, we have known for a while that accelerated mass has a higher energy. New Scientist is the Weekly World News of science in my opinion. But its fun to think about these things."
(Rob 2/19/2010 12:07:22 PM)
"There is a much simpler way to sheld a space craft as it Boosts to speed. just put laser batterys i.e. a lot of lasers on the bow of the ship and sweep the space in frount of the ship with them. it should keep the ship ok but you should also put the habitat inside at least two water tanks one inside the other this should act as a good radation shield as well and you could also grow food in the inside tanks if more than one."
(Christopher Thomas 2/19/2010 2:20:06 PM)
"Unless the lasers somehow accelerated the hydrogen atoms in interstellar space to the point they'd get out of the way of the ship in time, it would do no good. IMO, the best way to shield such a craft is to accelerate some kind of separate shield, perhaps of foamed asteroid-slag, and travel in it's "wake". Of course, at 99.99999% of c, when hydrogen nuclei have the MeV of the LHC beam, interstellar dust grains would be like small atom bombs.. "
(AJ Dual 2/19/2010 9:15:09 PM)
"Is it me or did I miss something on the speed of light? My understanding of a light-year is the distance which light(going at the speed of light) will travel in one year. Therefore a 50000 light-year distance would take 50000 years if you were traveling at 100% the speed of light. How does this guy figure you can travel that far in 10 years at 99.999...% the speed of light?"
(Brandon 2/20/2010 2:34:02 PM)
"Brandon, pretty sure the Prof was referring to relative time, or time inside the starship basically passing at 1/5000th what we call "normal". "
(Dewtey 2/20/2010 3:15:48 PM)
"i did think of that but i have since come to the conclusion that what would be the best anser is a ship simular to a bussard ram jet but with a spike magnetic field at the center of the throut a sort of scram bussard but i do not think it would work well as the inter-steller meadum is thort to be quit thin in this part of the galaxy."
(Christopher Thomas 2/20/2010 8:22:48 PM)
"There's some pretty good math that a Bussard ramjet of any design might actually be a good braking system when you get into the destination star-system. Because when you do all the vector-math of the momentum of all that hydrogen, diffuse as it is, it'll actually slow the ship down more than any thrust you could get from it as fusion. "
(AJ Dual 2/20/2010 8:55:50 PM)

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