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Old March 31st, 2021, 05:59 PM
Werner Werner is offline
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Ion drives powered by nuclear fission reactors...
plasma drives powered by nuclear reactors...
solar sails
solar sails powered by beamed laser stations...

Once you have industry off Earth to make the nuclear power plants so no one has to worry about a nuclear powered launch from Earth.
The PC class spaceships are land-able, they can land on the Moon, Mars, and Earth, and after refueling they can blast off from the Moon and Mars as a single stage to orbit vehicle, on Earth and also from Venus they need help to get back to orbit, they need a booster. NASA/Roscosmos (the Russian Space Agency) jointly operate an aerial Scout base high in the atmosphere of Venus, it is a governments funded operation where they keep boosters attached to lighter than air platforms to help their scout vessels return to low Venus orbit where the Valkrie refueling station awaits, this is the orbital component of the scout base, it is much like a spaceport but specifically tailored for Scout class vessels. Venus is not as developed as Mars. As you might have guessed these planets are much as they are today. Venus is much like Antarctica, there are research bases floating around in its atmosphere, largely government funded. There are plans to terraform the planet, but it is hard to get government funding to do that, so for now they just operate research bases in the atmosphere, and they have lander's that can reach the surface and even suits that allow humans to walk the surface for a short while, but nothing lasts long on the surface of Venus and mining is very difficult.

Nuclear powered plasma drives are for ships that do not land, they tend to be capital ships, the United States Space Force operates a nuclear powered fleet, these are nuclear powered plasma drive ships, the newest models have fusion drives, they carry smaller subordinate ships, China has a similar fleet for its Space Force. Another operator is NASA and the Chinese Space Agency, they are building and launching actual starships of the slower than light variety, there is a kind of Interstellar space race going on between those two powers, the starships have four fusion powered stages, the first two stages bring each Starship up to 10% of the speed of light using Daedalus class fusion pulse drives, two-stage unmanned flyby probes have already flown through the Alpha Centauri system with sub probes splitting off and flying by each planet of interest at 10% of the speed of light. Proxima b and c had flyby probes and planet b was found to have a thin atmosphere and is a promising target for colonization with a habitable band on the dayside of the planet, the surface looks much like Mars but with active volcanoes and an ocean, there is oxygen in the atmosphere that scientists think is produced by microorganisms in the ocean, because of the high percentage of carbon-dioxide the atmosphere in Traveller terms counts as 4 - Thin, Tainted, carbon-dioxide scrubber filter masks are required for a human to breath that atmosphere, the gravity is a bit high and uncomfortable as well.

I think a good place for a colony on Proxima b would be under water, the ocean provides protection from Proxima Centauri's flares and at a certain depth, about 5 meters beneath the surface the water pressure equals 1 atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level. The planet is colder than Earth and over half its surface is covered in ice sheets, not exactly a paradise but more habitable than any of the planets in the Solar System besides Earth.

Last edited by Werner; March 31st, 2021 at 06:51 PM..
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