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alfa015

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  1. Hi everybody, I would like to share with you a crewed interstellar spacecraft which I have designed and called Solar One. It employs a combination of 3 propulsion methods: nuclear fusion, beam-powered propulsion , and photon propulsion. Basically, several compact fusion reactors power a laser system that propels a huge light sail. Physicist Robert Forward already proposed in 1983 to use a 26-TW laser system to propel a 100-km light sail, a fresnel lens to focus the beam of the laser, and decelerate the spacecraft with a secondary light sail. I propose something a bit different, which is to use to use for example a 60 TW-laser to propel a 5-km light sail that would deploy from the spacecraft after the acceleration stage, use parabolic mirrors that gradually change their orientation in order to focus the laser beam, and finally use a photon rocket to decelerate the spacecraft. In theory, it could be possible to achieve 25% the speed of light, reaching the closest potentially habitable exoplanet in less than 20 years. There are of course many challenges, like building high-energy continuous-wave lasers, reducing the weight of the nuclear fusion reactors (and of course achieving effective nuclear fusion first), and minimizing the effects of zero gravity during such a long trip. What do you guys suggest to overcome these challenges? This is my paper and a short video that summarizes all.
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