Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 25, 2011 - Science - 388 pages
2 Reviews
The technology of the next few decades could possibly allow us to explore with robotic probes the closest stars outside our Solar System, and maybe even observe some of the recently discovered planets circling these stars. This book looks at the reasons for exploring our stellar neighbors and at the technologies we are developing to build space probes that can traverse the enormous distances between the stars.In order to reach the nearest stars, we must first develop a propulsion technology that would take our robotic probes there in a reasonable time. Such propulsion technology has radically different requirements from conventional chemical rockets, because of the enormous distances that must be crossed. Surprisingly, many propulsion schemes for interstellar travel have been suggested and await only practical engineering solutions and the political will to make them a reality. This is a result of the tremendous advances in astrophysics that have been made in recent decades and the perseverance and imagination of tenacious theoretical physicists. This book explores these different propulsion schemes – all based on current physics – and the challenges they present to physicists, engineers, and space exploration entrepreneurs. This book will be helpful to anyone who really wants to understand the principles behind and likely future course of interstellar travel and who wants to recognizes the distinctions between pure fantasy (such as Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’) and methods that are grounded in real physics and offer practical technological solutions for exploring the stars in the decades to come.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap To Interstellar Flight (Astronomers' Universe)

User Review  - Kadri - Goodreads

Quite an interesting read, introducing different propulsion systems that are theoretically possible, and might some day enable mankind to travel to the stars. Read full review

Review: Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap To Interstellar Flight (Astronomers' Universe)

User Review  - David - Goodreads

Fun engineering! Goes into the math but not too deeply. Good balance and keeps it interesting. Read full review

Contents

Reaching for the Stars
1
The Dream of Flight and the Vision of Tomorrow
11
Fundamental Limitations to Achieving Interstellar Flight
27
Aviation The Pursuit of Speed Distance Altitude and Height
39
Astronautics The Development and Science of Rockets
49
Exploring the Solar System and Beyond
76
Exploring Other Star Systems
99
Solar System Explorers Historical Spacecraft
117
Aerospace Design Principles in Interstellar Flight
235
The Scientific Cultural and Economic Costs of Interstellar Flight
262
The Role of Speculative Science in Driving Technology
287
Realising the Technological Future and the Roadmap to the Stars
305
From Imagination to Reality
324
Epilogue
345
Appendix A
349
Appendix B
351

Electric and NuclearBased Propulsion
138
Sails and Beams
155
Nuclear Fusion Propulsion
177
External Nuclear Pulse Propulsion
207
Towards Relativistic Propulsion Antimatter and the Interstellar Ramjet
219
Appendix C
353
Appendix D
357
Index
361
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information