Proposed Manned Interstellar Vehicle Assumes Supertech

Solar One is a proposed manned interstellar spaceship that needlessly combines multiple super-technologies. If the three main technologies existed then the other two technologies would not be needed.

It assumes the Navy Salvatore Pais Plasma Compression Fusion Device could exist.

Pais’ patent claims it could produce upwards of one gigawatt (one billion watts) to 1 terawatt (one trillion watts) of power from just a megawatt (one million watts) of energy input.

Pais also patents for piezoelectricity-induced room temperature superconductor, gravity wave generators and inertial mass reduction.

The Pais fusion device only measures 0.3 to 2 meters in diameter. The patent design uses conical dynamic fusors that spin at extremely high speeds to produce a sustained, concentrated magnetic flux that could in theory sustain the plasma state needed for power production. This powerful magnetic flux then compresses an isotopic hydrogen gas mixture to form a plasma core in the vacuum chamber, which can achieve temperatures high enough to achieve true fusion with breakeven energy.

The Solar One design drawing also ignores the heat radiators. 25 Terawatts of fusion reactor would need monstrous heat radiators.

Solar One would accelerate at 0.18 g and reach 30% the speed of light, arriving at the Alpha Centauri system in around 15 years.

Solar One uses 25 Terawatt-reactors that are supposed to weigh 2 tons each.

There have been many more detailed a realistic interstellar nuclear fusion rocket designs. Project Rho has several.

Icarus Interstellar has the Firefly D-D interstellar fusion-rocket. Firefly is far more reasonable than the Solar One design. Firefly does not use massive radiation shields, and instead try to let as much of the radiation escape into space. It is designed to fly at 10% of the speed of light and has 150 tons of payload.

SOURCES – Solar One – A Proposal for The First Crewed Interstellar Spacecraft, Alberto Caballero
Written By Brian Wang,

40 thoughts on “Proposed Manned Interstellar Vehicle Assumes Supertech”

  1. Laser power has been increasing at a fast rate over the last couples of decades. Extrapolating this increase indicates that laser powered fusion has a good chance of become viable.

  2. I agree with you, that would be awesome. Nuclear fusion to power the laser is suggested because less amount of fuel would be needed than if only nuclear fusion powered the spacecraft, and the same would apply to antimatter. So far we have not been able to produce more nuclear fusion or antimatter energy than the energy used to create it.

  3. My apologies, that’s the old sketch, the new sketch is in the preprint. The acceleration laser would be built in orbit and sent to some Lagrange point. Also, I have moved the light sail forward to reduce possible tensions on the overall structure.

  4. My apologies, that’s the old sketch, the new sketch is in the preprint. The acceleration laser would be built in orbit and sent to some Lagrange point. Also, I have moved the light sail forward to reduce possible tensions on the overall structure.

  5. Thanks for your comment. Nuclear fusion to power the laser is suggested because less amount of fuel would be needed than if only nuclear fusion powered the spacecraft, and the same would apply to antimatter. Only 10 milligrams of antimatter could yield power densities in the Terawatt order. To produce the antimatter needed, an engine such as the VARIES Mk 1 could generate Schwinger antiparticle pairs directly from the vacuum. Also the proposed spacecraft would have the same weight as the one of Project Icarus, that is, 150 tons.

  6. haha indeed, my apologies, that’s the old sketch, the new sketch is in the preprint. The acceleration laser would be built in orbit and sent to some Lagrange point. Also, I have moved the light sail forward to reduce possible tensions on the overall structure.

  7. I was being snarky about the apparent approach of Salvatore Pais, who has been patenting all sort of weird things.

  8. Not trying to patent it. And based on the large telescopes already built and under construction I would say there is a demand for them. All I was saying a very large telescope will get you a lot of information at a much lower price than a stellar probe.

    This will be true until you can build a probe that can go into orbit around your target star and is large enough to gather high resolution images and return the information to earth. That is not going to happen for the next hundred years.

  9. Wouldn’t the light pressure coming from the source cancel itself out when hitting the sail?

  10. 340 TW=80 kilotons per second

    Which goes to show you why Project Orion required literal nuclear bombs to propel a spacecraft as that’s the only known source of terrawatts levels of power that can, with current technology, fit in a spaceship.

  11. The point of any sort of overwhelming with bullsh1t attack is that you need to keep the opponent trying to make sense of it all. If they ever decide you’re spinning nonsense they will (outside of some sort of formal debate) just grin and get on with their lives while ignoring you.

  12. Some time ago I saw splendid move – The rainmaker(1956). The movie is about nomadic scam artist, who claims that he has the device, which can make rain. He is pretty much smooth talker, promises a lot and shows some device, which looks futuristic. He is scamming rural non technical folk in northern US. He takes takes their money and if there is no rain and could be discovered he rans away. The device seems like is some high tech stuff and he borrows terminology, which most don’t understand, since it is not their field.

    Some similarities with Andrea Rossi and his “cold fusion”, probably Lpp fusion renegade “Eric Lerner” (still at 0,25 J or so after all those capital raises) or ordinary scammer who scamms older people with some promises of miracle herbal extract and so on are merely coincidental.

  13. I really don’t know why Brian treats the Pias patents seriously. He must know them for the jokes they are.

    Maybe he just likes drawing the clicks?

  14. I would have thought this silliness wouldn’t have “made the grade” for a bonafide article. Yet, it has. And we have plenty of tongue-in-cheek responses as well!  

    18% the speed of light, eh?  Using Tsiolkovsky’s Lovely Rocket equation, we know

    ΔV = (Vre ← Isp • G₀) • ln( Mstart / Mend )
    30% c = Vre • ln( 100% ÷ 10% )
    90,000,000 m/s = Vre • 2.3
    Vre = 39,000,000 or so
    Isp = 4,000,000

    Well, there we are! Just need to expend 90% of the rest mass of the outgoing sub-luminal vehicle on reaction mass, with an average Isp of 4 million.  Easy, peasy, right?

    Using (Ek = ½mv², and v = 39,000,000 m/s), we get a MINIMUM of 762 terajoules of kinetic energy per kilogram of exhaust. This isn’t wishful or fanciful, it is physics. Each kg of exhaust generates 39 meganewton-seconds of thrust. Cool!  Accelerating at 18% of 1 G, or 18% of 9.81 m/s … 1.75 m/s², for a ‘ship’ initially weighing 100% of what … 100,000,000 kg? … requires 100,000,000 × 1.75 = 175,000,000 newtons to achieve that acceleration. So, 175,000,000 N ÷ 39×10⁶ Ns/kg = 4.5 kg/s, decreasing over time, of course as everything gets lighter and lighter. Let’s call it 0.45 kg/s, marketing the end.  

    0.45 kg/s of 90% of 100,000 tons is 222,000,000 sec. 
    7.1 years worth of acceleration.  

    Taking a minimum of 340 TW of fusion energy.  Minimum. Probably more like 5× that. Who knows! Doable? Unicorn horn wands at the ready! Zam! 

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  15. Don’t forget about the energon crystals. You can’t harness that much power without using some sort of crystals 🙂

  16. You shouldn’t need to be Einstein to realize those patents are nonsense. They’re jokes, and not particularly subtle ones.

  17. I prefer the TARDIS.
    In case there is no oxygen (or worse) on arrival, there will be some environmental protection.

  18. Well at least they have job security, right? And the wheels of bureaucracy keep on spinning.

  19. That would probably work.

    The number of manhours required to just stream-of-consciousness several pages of technobabble and then cut and paste them into a patent application is probably much, much less than the minimum required for some poor Chinese guy who is given the job of wading through it all and conclusively confirming that there is nothing in it.

    The maths is probably 10 man-hours of effort to neutralize 200 manhours x several different rivals.

    And if you had some real work that happened to share a handful of the same keywords, that would be ignored for a while because of the resulting confusion.

    Then, once they worked out that actually, some of the stuff using those terms was real, then the next time the scam was pulled the poor analysis guy would have to spend 1000 hours convincing his bosses that this time it really was a scam.

  20. Prior art by Galileo and Newton. You can’t patent that.
    If you can’t get a patent, how will you raise development funds? You seem to be missing the entire point.

  21. That laser sail position/design seems bizarre. Is it supposed to be a stack pusher? Is it trying to imply that the reactor through the sail outriggers will power a laser all the way at the back, like some rube golderberg photon drive?

  22. Or the portal gun invented by Rick Sanchez. Once they start mass producing those your quantum chair will be obsolete.

  23. The best engine would be a fusion pulse rocket. A small target of D2/T3 ignited by a set of laser beams. It would have decent thrust and high specific impulse. It would need a large radiator since most of the heat would exit the craft. I think we are always twenty years away, but we should still try. It would also be the best engine for interplanetary travel. Imagine getting to Mars in a few week and Jupiter in a few months.

  24. Well, that WOULD explain why the patent office OK’d them: It was under orders to, for national security reasons.

    Because those are some remarkably stupid patents, if you know anything at all about the subject matter.

  25. Well, it’s said that Pais patents are made to confuse world rivals about the directions US is pursuing in aerospace tech

  26. The best interstellar probe is a large space telescope. That is what we should build first. The great thing about a telescope is that it is so fast it will arrive at its target in the past.

  27. If I may choose none existent technology as well. I’d make a dimensional shift driver, its a small device using negative mass, and can be put under any kind of chair. Just enter coordinates on something existing (like an LSD touch screen), power up you electronics gadget, and press the button. Instantaneously you’re sitting on a spooky chair using using quantum mechanical effects that allows you to be everywhere at no cost instantaneously.
    Its cheaper, and as a bonus you have a chair on arrival

  28. My general impression is that none of the Pais patents make even the slightest sense, and that they were issued is an indictment of the Patent office.

  29. I love the Firefly concept! Esp since the type of fusion it uses is getting some more attention now that the experiments at the uni of washington under Uri Shumlak have been so successful in creating SFS Z-Pinch tech.

Comments are closed.