Required Reading Material?
Contributed by Richard Vireday
One thing I think we might be missing from these discussions
is a common vocabulary and understanding. This is usually
addressed in a real course by a list of required reading
materials. And the stuff in the LIT reference area is more
than a little bit chewy to digest right away.
Given everyones jobs and normal life, reading all this might be a little
daunting. Also, is this first project a 1, 2 or 5 year effort?
I think we should target a 2 year effort for this first
What got me interested in space and science (besides Apollo)
was the Fiction of space and science. Some of these works
have even been cited by Astronauts and others as inspirations
for their careers.
I therefore suggest a supplemental list of reading that
can prove informative and very inspirational. These are
included below, although not with complete scholarly bibliographies
As soon as I can dig up some others, there were some interesting
articles recently in one of the Sci-Fi periodicals on the
Delta Clipper. I have noticed a relative lack of information
on this topic so far in the LIT archives, which hopefully can
be remedied in fairly short order. Given the
success of the Clipper, the lessons learned there should be
more widely disseminated.
The other materials listed in the LIT library on topics such
as E-beam propulsion systems should also be engaged. Hopefully,
many of the articles can be put on-line for everyone's access and not
just referenced. But, no violations of copyright! I myself am
trying to get up to motivation to tackle some of the tougher ones.
That is one reason I feel the supplemental fiction lists are
essential as well, for a good non-technical understanding and audiences.
USE OF BUSSARD RAMJETS
- Forward, Robert. "The Flight of the Dragonfly"
- Investigate Dr. Forward's several books about a flight to
Barnard's Star for a look at using a Bussard Ramjet
as a propulsion system. Some very detailed designs and
notes on the entire problem. The author avoids some of the
problem of time span and radiation by the novel use of
drugs instead of the usual deep freeze. Excellent details
and analysis of the shielding needed from the Ramjet radiation
and other technical problems which need to be solved.
- Niven, Larry. et.al. "Legacy of Herot"
- Colony established around another star, and some of
the problems therein. Notable to the Propulsion group
for the use and descriptions of the planetary shuttlecraft,
which are basically variations of the NASA shuttles.
They land on water, and use water to create the hydrogen
for fuel. Some straightforward assumptions used on advances
needed to create the shuttles.
- Anderson, Poul "Tau Zero"
- Use of Bussard Ramjets as probes to seed other systems
with algae and other Terran life forms in an attempt
to spread human life. Single person ship, with Cryogenics
(the Deep Freeze) used to solve the timespan problem.
Not as good on the technical end, more focused on some
interesting personal problems the technology and culture
of the future presents to the hero.
- Heinlein, Robert. "Universe". Available in Sci-Fi Hall of Fame, Vol I.
- Short story, which is one of the classics in defining the
idea of a multi-generational ship. Propulsion method is
left undefined, but some intriguing notions of the quality
of the systems that would be required for such a long journey.
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