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Old September 25 2008, 05:49 AM   #1
sojourner
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OT - Prototype Gravity well drive

This is part of my personal science fiction setting. The ship is the first manned test bed that has been fitted out with the new Grav-well drive. The gravwell drive works by generating a steep gradient at the front of the ship and a negative gradient at the rear of the ship. This creates a sloped region of space around the ship propelling it forward at near C velocities. Needless to say this revolutionizes travel throughout the sol system and allows for the first short distance interstellar expeditions. This is not an inertia-less drive and therefore acceleration must be limited to G forces that the human body can tolerate.

The parabolic dishes at each end of the ship are the well generators with power provided by polywell fusion reactors built into the goldfoil packed rings just inboard of the generators. There are 4 crew modules, 1 docking/airlock module and an 8 man launch fitted with powerful fusion engines to use as a lifeboat if something should go wrong. Note that the ship would use constant acceleration to generate gravity which means the decks are laid out perpendicular to the length of the ship. The modules are obviously not laid out in the best orientation to take advantage of this, then again, this is only a testbed and has probably been reused from other applications. A purpose built ship would be more efficient.

12 years after this ship validates the concept, another test bed working on refinements to the system will inadvertantly have a near catastrophic failure that will lead to the discovery of the gravwell allowing true FTL travel.....




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