Two Days to Mars and Floating Cities

DARPA Partially Funded Quantum Space Drive Orbital Test

IF the orbital test works then it will lead to interstellar travel and shrinking it down would give material that would have anti-gravity like effects. We would spend the money to make nanocavities so that we could have propellentless thrust for floating cities. All of space and propulsion related science fiction would become possible within about three decades short of faster than light. This drive is in orbit now for a few months. I think DARPA gave them more money to conclusively prove if it works or not. All of the ground tests show it might work. But if it proves out then we first get 1000 times better than a hall effect thruster but with no fuel limit. No fuel is used. So long as you have power, solar or nuclear the drive keeps working. So nuclear fuel supply for decades then thrust for decades. The theory proves out, then we make nanocavities which could act like antigravity then we get 1G or even 3G thrusters in space. This would be the Expanse TV show tech. 2 days to Mars using constant 2G acceleration.

The current version requires an energy source. The nanocavity version would not.

My first response is IF.

Less than a week, relatively inexpensive, trip to other planets and the asteroid belt opens up trade. It is a whole new frontier without having to suffer a technology starved frontier lifestyle.

I like living in the future.


12 thoughts on “Two Days to Mars and Floating Cities

  1. Safest bet is “the laws of conservation of energy and momentum are still in effect”

  2. The downside is that it makes catastrophically devastating kinetic weapons relatively easy via re-directing asteroids and various space-rocks, as well as making large iron rods that would make the Project Thor “Rods from God” seem dainty.

    Seriously, though, it’s likely that anti-gravity (broadly defined) exists, but I suspect that the downside risks from it would tend to make governments extremely leery of the tech being in anyone’s hands but theirs, and these days I’m not sure if the US military leadership can be trusted with it, either.

    • (to be clear, I mean AG “exists or could be made,” that is, some form of anti-grav is possible that doesn’t violate the basic laws of physics, either now known or unknown, not necessarily that there is currently a solid theoretical understanding of how it would work, let alone functioning version in use by some humans around here somewhere.)

      Related: I suspect there are some major holes in our current understanding of basic physics that are not being properly addressed for political and research funding reasons.

    • KE from space is an excellent reason for the government to stop pissing off Mr Musk.

      He’s gonna get up there and we want him to look down fondly at us.

  3. I wish the new drive was a real discovery but this is almost certainly “cold fusion in space”. A groundbreaking idea with infinitesimally small measurable effects at the ragged edge of measuring instruments usable range is a recipe for disappointment. Don’t hold your breath waiting for favorable results

  4. Anyone interested in this technology as currently being applied here on Earth’s surface is invited to dive down this rabbit hole to find out how this technology advancement is developing. The “nanocavities” mentioned are a fundamental aspect of this development of physics:

    Feel free to hurl your castigations and disputations at them and not me or Joe Huffman (we’re both just interested bystanders AFAIK). That said, how difficult can it be to modify an existing ICE-powered land or sea or air vehicle engine for operations in a near-vacuum? Assuming the ICE output exhaust gas continues to be ~20% oxygen in a near vacuum (as has been demonstrated to be the case at near-sea level atmospheric pressure), does that output suffice to maintain passenger life while in space? If not, how close to “space” can such a modified vehicle get and have a pilot/passenger survive (at least until the sudden stop at the end)?

    There is so much that is turning out to be not nearly the totality of what we think we know. Which is to say, there is so much we know that isn’t anything like what really exists. I’m glad Joe shares so much of the future with us.

    • No, ICE exhaust is nearly O2-free. It’s consumed burning the fuel. One of the problems with the ICE is that air is only 20% oxygen, so you have to intake and output a much higher volume of air than is needed to get enough oxygen for efficient combustion.

      (side note: The Japanese “Long Lance” torpedo used a pure O2 ICE to power it, which is what gave it such a relatively long range and high speed. The downside is that it reacted poorly when struck by incoming fire before launch.)

  5. Interesting extrapolation of a real but nanoscopic effect into the macro realm. But like most such things, it is more wishful thinking than practical engineering.

    There is no such thing as anti-gravity. Anyone selling you an anti-gravity drive might as well be selling you a bridge in Brooklyn.

    We already have plans for a drive powered by an external laser. It’s called a “solar sail”.

  6. Science that we don’t understand yet looks like magic, and people scoff.
    >There is no such thing as anti-gravity
    >We know all about physics
    >I expect to be the last head of the Patent Office

  7. Reading the comments, I am led to believe that The Jetsons was not, in fact, a documentary.

    Disheartening news, that.

  8. It certainly is fun to watch God entertaining/challenging people. It’s what makes us grow, makes us strong.
    And a trip to Pluto in 24 days sounds fun also! Although I must add propulsion is a problem to overcome. Traveling through space at high speed is going to present a bunch of other problems in and of itself.
    More fun!
    And it would be truly good to start giving humanity some hope for once. And be able to explain to folks the world isn’t overcrowded, and that the planet isn’t dying. And the few messes we’ve made can be fixed.
    We just need to get passed our greed and remember the greatest challenge is to control oneself.
    Then floating cities? Sweet! And a little zero-G hubba-hubba/vacation time with the wife sounds outstanding!

  9. Let’s see now… (1) the reported effect is so small that it’s hard to show it’s not just instrument error. (2) various reporters in other countries have reported similar but different effects; in particular, I think one communist group reported a significantly stronger effect — but of the opposite sign. If experimentalists can’t agree on the sign of the variable, it’s probably not real.

    Furthermore, as others have pointed out, the possibility of producing thrusts in the micronewton range doesn’t extrapolate in any plausible way to “floating cities” let alone “to Mars in a few days”.

    For serious space travel, a far more promising approach would be to work on nuclear propulsion. That includes fission ones, but for a more esoteric possibility there are fusion schemes of the Bussard flavor. Those are interesting in that they offer the possibility of neutron-free fusion, and of direct generation of high speed propellant particles (as opposed to indirect via heat and/or electricity).

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