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From: (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: Could intersteller debris make space travel between other stars 
	not   possible?
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 02:18:02 GMT

In article <>,
Duke Skylurker  <> wrote:
>I propose to move a small rock in front of the ship -
>one of approximately diameter of the ship, and of the
>same thickness.

If you are concerned about large debris -- which seems unwarranted, given
how scarce it is -- what you want is a cloud of dust, not a rock.  Even
dust, travelling at relativistic speeds, delivers enough energy to
vaporize an incoming rock.  The ship then passes through the expanding
fireball; with a good spacing between the dust and the ship, the fireball
will be quite thin by the time the ship reaches it.  (This is the same
principle used to protect spacecraft against micrometeorites, by the way.)
Of course, you have to replace the dust cloud each time.
When failure is not an option, success  |  Henry Spencer
can get expensive.   -- Peter Stibrany  |      (aka

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