Artificial gravity of 1g is possible inside a 1st generation Enterprise by using a magnetically suspended wheel rotating at 2.0 RPM.
August 21st, 2014
If the EmDrive is real, the challenge of developing a low-cost launch system for getting things from Earth to orbit will be solved. And also – the ships going to orbit can be really big. In fact, a ship as big as the Gen1 Enterprise could be gradually moved upward into the thin upper atmosphere, and then electric propulsion engines like the VASIMR can slowly accelerate the ship until orbital velocity is reached. This reminds me of the airship-to-orbit concept promoted by John Powell. John’s idea is to float airship platforms far up in the atmosphere and then use electric propulsion engines to get ships launched from there up to orbital speed.
As I noted in a recent post, to an observer the EmDrive will appear to work as a kind of anti-gravity device. You can imagine a Gen1 Enterprise slowing ascending straight upward with no propellant being ejected. Once the big ship is 100km or so high the VASIMR-like engines can kick on and get the ship going parallel to the Earth’s surface.
It can work in reverse too. The Enterprise could slow down and then Earth’s gravity will begin to pull it downward. The EmDrives can be kicked on to enable a slow, controlled descent. The normal problem with todays’ high speed re-entries of dealing with the tremendous heat due to the ship’s hull hitting the air at high speeds is eliminated. Going to space and back will thus get a lot safer.
And if the Enterprise could be completely built on Earth and then moved to orbit – this would give a huge cost savings! It’s really expensive today in terms of $/kg to move any hardware into orbit and to do construction work in orbit. Being able to build the Enterprise on Earth would be incredibly efficient. Workers could simply drive to work every day. Materials for the ship could be brought in on trucks. It starts to remind you of this.
The EmDrive could be the key enabling technology to make the Gen1 Enterprise practical to build. Yep – perhaps we can Build the Enterprise by using breakthrough technologies to lower its overall cost.