Rocket propulsion what alternatives could there ever be?

Urwumpe

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Maxwell's 4th law gives a possibility to make this.
There are no laws of Maxwell, just equations. The fourth one is about displacement currents, one of the more weird kinds of electric currents. It does not transport charge, it is a mathematical construct to describe what happens when the electric current density changes.
 

soumya-8974

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NonHumanOnboard

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The other force that moves things in space, other than explosions, is gravity. Which doesn't use any fuel. Although, for any serious effect on gravity, a large mass is required. Instead of focussing on engines and fuels, maybe one could focus on the mechanical way of generating some kind of anti-gravity, using dense materials as mass and adjusting the speed of rotation to increase or decrease the effect of the mass and simply using planets and stars for gravity assist to hop through the galaxy.

Untill that time, try some magic mushrooms, it's the only way to travel through space so far. Paul Stamets would agree. :giggle:
 

soumya-8974

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Instead of focussing on engines and fuels, maybe one could focus on the mechanical way of generating some kind of anti-gravity, using dense materials as mass and adjusting the speed of rotation to increase or decrease the effect of the mass and simply using planets and stars for gravity assist to hop through the galaxy.
It would take thousands of years to do so compared to rockets and other alts. It is very good for your SF, but not in real life.
 

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My joke and SF aside, I do consider several realistic issues, which are related and should not be ignored.

First, the word ever in the title implies... ever. Also, you can make rockets faster and fuels more efficient, but when dealing with the immensly large distances, a single trip to the nearest star would take at least a lifetime. In my opinion it's a waste of a lifespan just to see one new celestial body upclose, before succumbing to old age.
That's when radical thinking comes in. Take Tesla, instead of investing effort into generating energy, he simply harvested it from Earth's magnetic field with a simple coil while reading a book.

Second, given the knowledge we already poses for decades, like atomic energy and it's a nice one, although bares certain risks, we already might had reached more sophisticated levels. We went to the moon, but not because we could, but because we wanted to play a game with the Russians. Imagine if we really did so because we wanted to expand our conciousness and insights. We would already have commerce and industry over there. Which takes me to the third point, so please bare with me.

Science these days is politicized, biased and only enabled with funding. No money, no science. Also those who fund science, do that for their own interest, rather than everyones. Weapons always come first. I hope that Elon Musk becomes an exception, but he's still the only one.

These are the issues that have a major influence on the development of any technology, and in order to let science expand to limitless proportions, one should fix these issues first. Otherwise, considering any reasonable advancements for all to share in a lifespan equals to science fiction, if that's what you refer to with SF.

I'm not being pessimistic, just realistic with a pinch of "not taking things to seriously".

Good day.
 

Urwumpe

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Science these days is politicized, biased and only enabled with funding. No money, no science. Also those who fund science, do that for their own interest, rather than everyones. Weapons always come first. I hope that Elon Musk becomes an exception, but he's still the only one.
But let me include two important factors there, that this dark assessment ignores:

  1. You can't buy reality. You can maybe cheat humans. But you can't change the universe. No funding for cheating humans and every hard reality comes back with a vengance.
  2. Good science is way cheaper than it appears. Roger Penrose sure did not need a multi-billion company behind to prove anything that got him the Nobel Prize today. He just needed a civilization that allowed him and many thousand others to do more or less useful research, even just for finding questions that nobody asked yet.
 

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Point 2, no argument there. One thing tho, Roger Penrose provided knowledge. Any technology or practical application from this knowledge might become someone else's interest and become realisable by someone's extensive funding. Einstein is one example. It's my mistake for not clarifying, that I meant "practical" science, like building technologies out of research, and not the research itself.

Point 1, reality doesn't cost anything, indeed. Unless someone believes that one can do something solely by paying for getting payed or it. Still it doesn't changes reality, only one's interpretation or experience of it.

Also, my post was meant to clarify to soumya-8974, that it doesn't have to take a millenium to develop advanced propulsions. Knowledge, motivation and cooperation would do the trick as well. The OP's question is a hypothetical one, so I provided a hypothetical (first) answer, both parts of it.

I might have strayed off-topic with my other points. If there's any interest into those points, I could start a new thread, where we can debate and maybe improve the civilization to realize our dreams faster.
 

GLS

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Old, but probably belongs here:
 

Urwumpe

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Point 2, no argument there. One thing tho, Roger Penrose provided knowledge. Any technology or practical application from this knowledge might become someone else's interest and become realisable by someone's extensive funding. Einstein is one example. It's my mistake for not clarifying, that I meant "practical" science, like building technologies out of research, and not the research itself.
You mean engineering there. Or economics, which influences engineering a lot. Sure a point. But even that does not require a big company to achieve big things. From my work, I know quite many companies, which are world market leaders - but actually operate from a tiny factory with a small workforce from some small town you have never heard of before.

Just take Rocket Lab as example there from a spaceflight point of view. They might do things slower and smaller than the Think-Big-SpaceX, but they innovate spaceflight a lot in their own way. Still only 500 employees. Just imagine a world, where you would have more tier-1 suppliers for spaceflight components, especially engines. Right now, in most cases the OEM is also the engine manufacturer. Even the turbopumps - despite the economic possibility, that a specialized turbopump supplier might be more effective.
 

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You mean engineering there. Or economics, which influences engineering a lot. Sure a point. But even that does not require a big company to achieve big things. From my work, I know quite many companies, which are world market leaders - but actually operate from a tiny factory with a small workforce from some small town you have never heard of before.

Just take Rocket Lab as example there from a spaceflight point of view. They might do things slower and smaller than the Think-Big-SpaceX, but they innovate spaceflight a lot in their own way. Still only 500 employees. Just imagine a world, where you would have more tier-1 suppliers for spaceflight components, especially engines. Right now, in most cases the OEM is also the engine manufacturer. Even the turbopumps - despite the economic possibility, that a specialized turbopump supplier might be more effective.
No, I refered to sources of funding. An engineer doesn't fund, but builds and develops.

Let's look at it from an another perspective.
There's a lot industry behind rocket and fuel production. Where does rocket fuel begin? Oil, some other resources too. Pollution (accidental or consequential) and loss of not renewable resources, debris in space, just to name a few. I rather look at it from a bigger picture, not just a specific branch.
Afterall, it's the alternatives I too wonder about. Imagine a vessel, that doesn't need to be constructed for every launch. Like my example of a gravity-based ship, which could be used regularly and be powered by electricity, which in turn would not require any polluting resource. It could be charged by sun or other already in space existent radiation.
 

soumya-8974

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Pollution (accidental or consequential) and loss of not renewable resources, debris in space, just to name a few.
Altho space debris is hazardous, pollution caused by rocket is not so hazardous compared to an aeroplane (excluding pollution caused by manufacturing them). Aeroplanes fly every time, while rockets fly once in a blue Moon. Rockets have to be flown every time to exceed the pollution caused by aeroplane.
 

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Altho space debris is hazardous, pollution caused by rocket is not so hazardous compared to an aeroplane (excluding pollution caused by manufacturing them). Aeroplanes fly every time, while rockets fly once in a blue Moon. Rockets have to be flown every time to exceed the pollution caused by aeroplane.
I don't know the statistics about that, so you might be right. Yet, no evil is better then the lesser one.
 
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