Breakthrough Propulsion

The Felber ‘Antigravity’ Thesis and Cosmology

February 16, 2006

Those interested in reading the controversial paper by Franklin Felber recently presented at the STAIF meeting in Albuquerque can find it here. The summary is concise: “The Schwarzschild solution is used to find the exact relativistic motion of a payload in the gravitational field of a mass moving with constant velocity. At radial approach or […]

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On Travel Close to Lightspeed

February 13, 2006

In a paper to be delivered tomorrow at the Space Technology & Applications International Forum (STAIF) in Albuquerque, Franklin Felber of Starmark Inc. (San Diego) will present research on the gravitational field of a mass moving close to the speed of light. Without seeing Felber’s work, Centauri Dreams is reluctant to comment on his assertion […]

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Marc Millis on Hyperspace Propulsion

January 10, 2006

Centauri Dreams asked Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, for his thoughts on so-called hyperspace propulsion, as recently published in an article called “Take a Leap into Hyperspace” (New Scientist, 5 January 2006). The article has received wide coverage because of its sensational implication that we may be much closer to […]

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Hyperspace in Science Fiction

January 7, 2006

With hyperspace suddenly in the news, here are some thoughts on how taking a shortcut to reach the stars has appeared in science fiction. They’re from The Science in Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls (London: Book Club Associates, 1982), p. 72: “Hyperspace is the science fictional name for the ‘other space’ used in such […]

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Hyperdrive to Epsilon Eridani?

January 6, 2006

A story in The Scotsman discussing how a hyperspace drive might work is in wide circulation, and today I read the feature in New Scientist that it’s based on (thanks to Ian Brown for the tip). Under discussion is the possibility of building what is being called a ‘hyperspace engine,’ one that could get us […]

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Lawrence Krauss on Cosmic Strings

December 31, 2005

Centauri Dreams recently examined wormholes and their possible survival from the early universe through the mechanism of a negative mass cosmic string. But what exactly is a cosmic string? Here’s Lawrence Krauss on the subject: “During a phase transition in materials — as when water boils, say, or freezes, the configuration of the material’s constituent […]

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The Art of the Wormhole

December 28, 2005

Last week Centauri Dreams discussed the possible signature of a wormhole in astronomical data, as worked out in a 1994 paper titled “Natural Wormholes as Gravitational Lenses.” A wormhole moving between Earth and another star would show an odd but identifiable form of lensing — two spikes of light with a dip in the middle. […]

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How to Find a Wormhole

December 22, 2005

Wormholes make for great science fiction because they get us around the speed-of-light conundrum. Taking a shortcut through spacetime, they connect one part of the universe to another, though where and when you would come out if you went in a wormhole would be an interesting experiment, and not one for the faint of heart. […]

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Interstellar Spaceflight Realities

December 9, 2005

In an article on interstellar propulsion options at Physorg.com, writer Chuck Rahls focuses on three technologies that have been proposed to make a trip to Alpha Centauri possible. Of the three, laser-pushed lightsails are indeed in the running, and have been since Robert Forward realized the implication of the laser while working at Hughes Aircraft. […]

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Nuclear Pulse Propulsion Re-Examined

November 24, 2005

Consider two hypothetical spacecraft. The Orion vehicle would have worked by setting off low-yield nuclear devices behind a massive pusher plate, driving forward a payload attached at a safe distance from the pusher (and protected by mind-boggling shock absorbers). Even if we had the nuclear devices at our disposal, agreed to use them for such […]

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