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Big D
The catch with space travel is that it always involves chucking something out the back.

If you have a fusion-powered plasma rocket, you're still doing the same thing. If you want max Isp, you tap off some of the raw plasma from the reactor and chuck it out the back while it is still hot. Unfortunately, you're not talking about much mass here. It may be thrown out the back at high-C, but without significant mass, your acceleration will suffer.

Or, you can add reaction mass (eg H2) to the plasma stream as it is chucked out the back. The plasma heats the reaction mass, averaging out the temp somewhat and allowing you to chuck a larger amount of mass out the back at still decent speeds. You massively lower the Isp, but pick up a lot more thrust. How you balance this depends on how fast you wanna get there and how much reaction mass you wanna lug there.

Or, you can convert the heat from the fusion reaction to electricity, run that through an ion drive (or VASIMR, which is basically the same thing), and... chuck reaction mass out the back. Again, VASIMR lets you choose between chucking a little mass out the back at high speed, or a lot at lower speeds. There's still a trade off between speed and gas mileage.

There's also the Nuclear Salt Water Rocket, which I believe was another one of Zubrin's ideas. I haven't seen if anybody has vouched for his numbers, and they might not be as good as a fusion plasma rocket, but it might or might not be simpler/cheaper.

Finally, for bulk cargo, where speed isn't as critical, I really, really like the magsail (specifically, the M2P2) concept, which doesn't chuck anything out the back at all--at least not as reaction mass. It just uses a small amount of fuel to expand a EM bubble that serves as a sail against the solar wind. Sounds very promising.

Oh, and don't forget that if you're not thrusting the whole way, you can do an external centrifuge using tethers, a la Mars Direct.

Finally... this is SR. Expect any crew who aren't there to do magical research to be low on essence. That takes care of a lot of the meat issues, since you strategically replace the parts most vulnerable to failure. Most crew should also be accomplished riggers, since that's the cheapest way to get work done outside wherever you are. Don't put on a suit unless you need to.

Random thought... can you use spirits (summoned from the ground) to aid re-entry?

[edit] Oh, and I forgot... the most efficient rocket would actually be a plasma rocket that used antimatter to heat H2, which would then be chucked out the back.
kzt
QUOTE (Big D)


[edit] Oh, and I forgot... the most efficient rocket would actually be a plasma rocket that used antimatter to heat H2, which would then be chucked out the back.

Photon Rocket IIRC.
Demerzel
Well Frank, the primary flaw in your logic is you believe that this energy can be converted wholesale into motion.

Iím willing to grant you infinite source of energy, whatever you want in this discussion Iíve not once restricted the power output of the energy source.

However your ability to convert that unlimited energy source into momentum is what is in question. You are waving your hands and claiming the hardest part of the problem is solved and using the easiest part to justify it.

QUOTE (Frank)
1G isn't a big deal. We can do better than that with our knees, and we do very time we climb stairs.


Unfortunately there is no Stairway to Mars. In your step case your foot pushes back against the step and the step pushes back against your foot and you get propelled upward. The entire planet is your reaction mass in this case. In space you have nothing to push against. Just the simple equation Iíve given above for reaction mass.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
Random thought... can you use spirits (summoned from the ground) to aid re-entry?


Sure. And to aid takeoff. Between ground-based mass driveers and spirits, getting in and out of the atmosphere is child's play. It's so cheap that S&K has a factory in space (called Sky Forge).

But once you're actually in space, it falls to generating really stupidly large amounts of energy. Which fortunately, is extremely doable. You put kilograms of He3 and D in, you get hundreds of million of kilowatt hours of powr out, you do some future tech thing to translate at least 10% of that into forward motion, and you're there before the Banks open.

-Frank
Demerzel
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
and you're there before the Banks open.

Yea, you're just blown to atoms because you can't dissipate that kind of waste heat without vaporizing your ship.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Demerzel)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 9 2006, 12:07 PM)
and you're there before the Banks open.

Yea, you're just blown to atoms because you can't dissipate that kind of waste heat without vaporizing your ship.

That is the number one problem with Fusion power in 2006 - he part where it's just like igniting a hydrogen bomb inside your ship because you're igniting a hydrogen bomb in your ship. It's a big problem, but one which has been solved by "future advances" in Shadowrun's 2070.

Maybe the reaction is held in magnetic containment outside the ship and the waste heat is reflected off the vessel. Maybe the energy is transferred through the ship as photons. Maybe it's all collected in "dark matter" and eventually released.

I don't know. Shadowrun canon is not explicit as to how they solved the "everything around the reaction explodes for kilometers in every direction" problem. But they did, and now we can behave as if that problem was solved.

So the enrgy is there.
And you can use it without turning into a spark in the sky.

FTW.
YA RLY.

-Frank
Butterblume
I find it to hard to discuss in this thread, I just can't follow who said what earlier indifferent.gif.

Still, I am not giving up on the fusion-bomb driven spaceship. It would work with todays technology, it can achieve accelerations of 1g and more, and it can achieve up to a tenth of the speed of light.

So if it is possible to do it one way, there most likely are other ways.

Oh, I believe, like others here, that accelerating all the way with about 1g isn't that efficient. And, you not only need fuel to get fast, you also need fuel to decelerate...

@ demerzel: heat isn't that big a factor, because the plasma isn't in contact with the ship, and like someone said, vacuum is a good thermic insulator wink.gif.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Maybe the reaction is held in magnetic containment outside the ship and the waste heat is reflected off the vessel.

Hey, this idea might actually work. It does solve the problem of waste heat building up in the ship.
Interesting.
Cthulhu449
You can't FTW YA RLY the solid physics that Dem is giving you. Well you can if you want your SR games to be soft sci-fi like Star Wars or Star Trek, but if fusion reactors and heat and space travel work in a way that makes sense based on our current knowledge of physics (and fusion reactors do, we can contain the energy in magnetic fields and not have it "blow up," the reaction just isn't self-sustaining and requires more input than it outputs) then your idea doesn't work out, Frank. It's really interesting, and all power to you and anyone who wants to have it in their game, but reasonable based on demonstrated SR tech and physics: no.

Really, though, arguing physics in a game that has elves and spells is kinda pointless. If you came on the boards and said that everything falls at 21 m/s^2 in your game because you did some calculations that show we are being lied to and that is the true acceleration of a body in a vacuum towards the planet, I wouldn't really care; but you'd be just as "wrong" as you are now unless something drastic changed about the earth or how the universe works.

@Magnetic containment: What you are trying to do is put the reactor in a perfect closed system to try and ignore the heat, but such a thing doesn't exist in reality. The magnetic field is created by something on board the ship, which is more mass, more energy, and more heat. It brings up the same problems and adds some as well.
kzt
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 9 2006, 03:46 PM)

I don't know. Shadowrun canon is not explicit as to how they solved the "everything around the reaction explodes for kilometers in every direction" problem. But they did, and now we can behave as if that problem was solved.

The problem is that a solution that works when you have a few billion gallons of cold water into which to dissipate your waste heat doesn't have any assurance of working when you can't.

The 1.58*10^13 J of waste heat that will heat up your billion gallon cooling pond by 1 degree C will also heat your 1000 ton steel spacecraft a toasty 3,521.6 degrees C. Which might be a tinsy bit too warm for most people's tastes.
Demerzel
Frank,

You donít even come close to understanding the problems associated with what youíre proposing.

There are two issues with what you propose.

The first is energy generation, and Iím not saying that thereís any problem with you having a virtually unlimited supply of energy. Somehow you believe if you overcome this problem you can just waive away the rest of the issue. However the second part is where youíre stuck.

The second part, and the only part that matters, is converting energy into motion. You go though all this effort to argue that infinite energy means you can have whatever acceleration you want, but itís not true.

You can only convert energy into work with limited efficiencies. We talked about the possibilities of a fusion rocket with a core equaling the temperature of the sun, but you arenít willing to accept that the limitations due to reaction mass so you want something better.

If you want some sort of electronic propulsion that accelerates the reaction mass to large fractions of C then you have to deal with the fact that your electric generator is quite simply a heat engine. An AMAZINGLY well understood concept in physics based on centuries of thermodynamics. A heat engine has one input and two outputs.

1 input: Heat

2 outputs: Useful work + Waste Heat

The only way this device works is to transfer heat from a hot mass (your fusion core) to a cold mass (something youíre ignoring and pretending does not matter). Now on Earth the cold source can be huge heat absorbers (Evaporative cooling towers, rivers, oceans, etc.) however in space it has to be on your ship. Maybe some sort of heatsink, but at the energy levels youíre talking about they have to be huge, and if they are huge you start having to make your ship bigger and then you need a more powerful engine. Remember that vacuum is a great insulator and only radiative heat loss from the light emitted from your hot heat sinks will be dissipating. Thereís no ocean to conduct the heat away as in an ocean going vessel.

And even then you STILL need reaction mass!

Lets just say youíve got two points in space no planets or other gravitational sources around. You want to move a 100,000 ship from point A to point B 75 billion meters away. If you accelerate at 1g for 1 day then Ė1g for 1 day, and can eject reaction mass at a velocity of .01c (A HUGE speed for the amount mass youíre proposing), you will need more than 200,000 kg of reaction mass (216,451 kg).

Now if you take the same amazing engine scaled down to only produce 0.01g acceleration and go 10 days of +0.01g and 10 days of Ė0.01g youíll get exactly as far on only 12,210 kg of reaction mass.

And thatís assuming you sent your reaction mass needed for the return trip ahead of you on a slower trip way ahead of you leaving. Otherwise a 100,000 kg ship is way too small for anything interesting apart from a god photo shoot from orbit.

To sum up, even a super powerful ion drive accelerating your ejecta to 0.01c using tremendous amounts of electricity that would never be possible to generate without so much waste heat youíre broiled bacon when you arrive.

Your two day trip is absurd. Your standing by it is absurd. Your steadfastly arguing the source of energy is sufficient with absolutely ignoring how you turn that energy into motion is absurd.

Want to make it close to feasible? Take two months, not two days.
Demerzel
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
Really, though, arguing physics in a game that has elves and spells is kinda pointless. If you came on the boards and said that everything falls at 21 m/s^2 in your game because you did some calculations that show we are being lied to and that is the true acceleration of a body in a vacuum towards the planet, I wouldn't really care; but you'd be just as "wrong" as you are now unless something drastic changed about the earth or how the universe works.

My concern is that I think Frank is a freelancer and if a 2 day trip to Mars shows up in cannon it's really going to be a set back to a game that is pretty hard sci-fi in the places where it isn't fantasy, if you understand my meaning.
knasser
I think most of us can see the problem with the weekend trip to Mars idea. It isn't feasible given what we know of physics and the cannon setting doesn't support it because there are major differences between a fusion station on Earth, with abundant cooling methods, and rapidly baking spaceship in a vaccuum. And the problem with modern day fusion is not stopping it from going critical as Frank says (that's a risk with fission, not fusion), but of stopping it fizzling out when you take the plug out of the wall.

However, if a GM wants to make it possible, then all we need are vaguely plausible solutions to the problem of heat dissipation that will keep the tone of the game believable.

I'd offer the following two bits of game fluff.

Modern day (i.e. 2070) nanotechnology provides staggeringly efficient heat to electricity conversion. Picture a heat driven engine, like you'd find in a powerplant. It works but there's always a lot of energy given off as heat because of the scale of the thing. But skrink it down, shrink it really far down. Make it less than a millimetre long. Now give it a few billion brothers and sisters, mass-produced in the zero gravity workshops at Lagrange point. What you have is a cube of carbon-like material, surprisingly light, measuring 2 metres on a side. Look at it closely and you'll see that it's endless layers of these engines, but on anything other than a microscopic scale, it's a magic block that eats heat at a staggering rate and gives off electricity with high efficiency. Taking less than 14 months to manufacture 2 metres^3 and costing a mere 1.7 billion nuyen.gif it's Ares bargain of the year.

Nature abhors a vaccuum, and so does heat. But now you can smuggle more heat into a vaccuum than ever before with the Mitsuhama Heat Trainô. With almost a mile of ultra-fine nano-webbing stretching out for behind your spaceship with our unique patented capillary heat disipation technology, you add an effective surface area to your ship of over four-hundred square miles, all of high-grade heat-radiating material. As an added bonus, the beautfiul effect of the glowing lace train behind your ship will make excellent publicity material for your mission. Simply detach before entering orbit and unfurl a new one for the return journey (size when folded approx 2m square, toe super-heat-conducting toe-rope not included).

Now the above two ideas satisfy my need to for realism as an amateur physicist. Demerzel might have more of a problem in the same way that I can't watch any Hollywood film involving computers, a doctor friend of mine can't immerse herself in anything set in a hospital and someone close to me who has a degree in history freaks out about five minutes into any period film. But then you always run into those problems with People Who Know Things. smile.gif Frank was after a SR bit of future tech that would keep him from cooking his astronauts. Hopefully these are pretty cool examples. Who knows, maybe they'll exist one day. smile.gif

-K.

EDIT: I've just read Dermezel's comment about this stuff making it into cannon. I don't want my comment about running into experts to sound like I'm saying the sub-week trip to Mars is only going to bother physics post-grads. I think a high-proportion of SR players would have a problem with it and it would detract from the realism of the game. The presence of elves doesn't mean you can dispense with realism. It means clinging to it is even more important than it was before!
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
You can only convert energy into work with limited efficiencies. We talked about the possibilities of a fusion rocket with a core equaling the temperature of the sun


Right. But the temperature of an active fusion reaction is much more than the temperature of the sun. Your positted temperature is amazingly short of what an actual fusion drive is throwing around.

Let's consider the wiki pages you got that temperature from

QUOTE (wikipedia)
At the temperatures and densities in stellar cores the rates of fusion reactions are still extremely slow. For example, at solar core temperature (T ~ 15 MK) and density (~120 g/cm3), the energy release rate is only ~0.1 microwatt/cm3 - millions of times less than the rate of energy release of ordinary candela and thousands of times less than the rate at which a human body generates heat. Thus, reproduction of stellar core conditions in a lab for nuclear fusion power production is completely impractical.


So... you're willing to give me a temperature where fusion is so slow that we'd be better off plugging the ship into a "Matrix Engine" of the actual crew members trappped in a Virtual Reality world. Why thanks, that's so kind of you!
:rofl:

Yeah, it's fusion power baby, and it really isn't operating at the temperature scales you are talking about.

Energy must be conserved. If you're putting out 100 million kilowatt hours, something has to be being heated, moved, lit up, or destroyed. If you can reflect the heat and not get destroyed, you're going to be moved. In an extremely energy conservationist manner.

-Frank
Cthulhu449
Oh, I understand why you press on Dem, no problem there. I agree with both your and knasser's sentiment in regards to realism in SR. Sometimes though you just have to know you're right and let the other guy "win." Anyone paying attention knows the real score, chummer.

But Frank, that last thing you posted is the worst physics yet. You can't reflect heat from something attached to your ship to push your ship forward like a sail. It doesn't make sense for many reasons. If you don't understand why, you are in way over your head.

I am starting to wonder though if you are serious, Frank, or if you are simply seeing how long you can keep this going. smile.gif
knasser
QUOTE (Cthulhu449 @ Nov 9 2006, 05:15 PM)
Oh, I understand why you press on Dem, no problem there. I agree with both your and knasser's sentiment in regards to realism in SR. Sometimes though you just have to know you're right and let the other guy "win." Anyone paying attention knows the real score, chummer.


Seconded. I think this argument is done.

@Frank - I'm surprised someone who argues so intelligently in other areas is becoming so entrenched in this case. Your'e starting to live up to your surname! You have a lot of respect on these boards and you can afford to let one slide. wink.gif
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
Your'e starting to live up to your surname!


Holy shit, I'm going to Shoot a bunch of Russians!

-Frank
ChicagosFinest
Gamers have the best since of humor
Butterblume
SR has superconductors, so creating the containment field for a fusion reaction doesn't generate much heat. The fusion itself occurs in a vacuum, so the same argument that disallows heat dissipation into space prevents the ship from heating up rapidly. Thermodynamically speaking, the heat transfer from one very hot object (fusion-generated plasma) to a cool object (ship) is faster than from the cool object (still ship) to a cold one (space), but the ship has a far greater surface area, so it might just be enough to shed excess heat.

I don't want to be an ass, but I just have to repeat myself. If it's possible today to build a spacecraft with relative effective nuclear pulse propulsion, why should it be impossible to build one more advanced with future tech?
Cthulhu449
@ Butter: Not to keep it going, this is the last post I promise, but Butter, the discussion is in regards to the scope and speed of such a ship, not whether the technology has any merit or not.

Also, in regards to heat dissipation, because of the vacuum space is not conducive to dissipating heat contrary to what you have said, even with the large surface area of the theoretical ship.
knasser
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 9 2006, 05:34 PM)
QUOTE
Your'e starting to live up to your surname!


Holy shit, I'm going to Shoot a bunch of Russians!

-Frank


Well fuck it, in that case I'm going to have to overthrow the Egyptian government. Actually, that would be no bad thing. But I just said that because I was starting to think you were trolling deliberately.

I like Butterblume's idea about a detached reactor, but even allowing electricity to jump somehow from the detached reactor to the ship, it's unfortunately not just a matter of avoiding cooking your astronauts. The reactor itself has to be kept cool. Which brings us back to heat dissipation.

And lest we get hung up too much on whether or not the heat problem can be solved, we should remember that it's still only half the problem.
knasser
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
Also, in regards to heat dissipation, because of the vacuum space is not conducive to dissipating heat contrary to what you have said, even with the large surface area of the theoretical ship.


Is this bit directed at my heat-dissipation web idea? I know that the vaccuum wont allow heat dissipation by convection. You'll note that I did mention the train glowing prettily. It's essentially a collossal naked low-heat light-bulb and works by radiation. I don't know if such an idea could work sufficiently well to dissipate the sort of heat we're talking about, but it's a massive amount of radiating surface area for a relatively tiny mass. I was just offering it as a support for Frank to use in justifying a two day trip in his game.
Butterblume
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
Also, in regards to heat dissipation, because of the vacuum space is not conducive to dissipating heat contrary to what you have said, even with the large surface area of the theoretical ship.

I haven't talked about (absolute) efficiency. The fusion reaction itself, even if it happens inside the spaceship, doesn't transmit much heat to the ship, because the fusion itself is contained by a magnetic field, and occurs in a vacuum. The heat that is transmitted to the ship will be much lower, and therefore needs a larger surface to be emitted as EM waves into space.


QUOTE (knasser)
And lest we get hung up too much on whether or not the heat problem can be solved, we should remember that it's still only half the problem.

Yeah, the Heat discussion starts to bore me biggrin.gif.
What was the other half of the problem wink.gif?


FrankTrollman
There are several considerations.

1 Can we get the really large amount of energy required to move a ship from Earth to Mars in a rapid acceleration?

Yes Shadowrun has access to tremendously large amounts of energy. 9 Years ago in game time they sent a trip which went 5 times the distance in 90 times the time.

2. Can we pack enough fuel to get there and back?

Yes The fuel for a fusion drive is measured in kilograms, not tonnes.

3. Can we get into and out of the Earth's atmosphere?

Yes THere's a spirit-protected mass driver in Tanzania that will launch vessels into space using magic and technology cheaply and safely. It doesn't even use any power from the ship.

4. Can we handle the reaction at all?

Yes Shadowrun keeps stable energy yielding fusion reactions going for years at a time.

5. Can we get forward motion out of the energy we are getting from the fusion reaction?

Yes The explosive power of the reaction can be translated to forward motion by any of a number of means. Superconductors can transmit heat into substances hat release energy at specific waelengths that can be focused into directional lasers, the reaction itself can be "contained" off ship with hard vacuum cleaving it from the ship itself causing the resultant explosion to "push" on the ship rom the outside, or the plasma can be released as a jet from the ship. All of these provide forward motion without running a turbine that would inevitably heat up and melt the ship.

6. Can we dissipate the heat that will inevitably generate anyway?

Yes Not only are e forced to ask ourselves how this would even be a prblem if we were considering doing what is essentially the same thing with a chemical explosive for 6 months, but seriously, we got superconductors and dozens of tonnes to throw around. Some of it could be concentrated, heated, and hurled into space, or some of it could be released into he void in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Essentially, if you can figure out a way to dissipate the heat generated by 8 people living in a confined space for 6 months (like Project Discovery already did), you can use the same techniques to keep your ship running at operating temps for two fucking days.

---

The objections primarily fall into two categories:

1. "But none of the current Mars plans call for anything like that kind of speed!"

True. That's because they are based on current technology and don't have fusion power, super conductors, or virtually free lift into orbit. Keep in mind that the very pages that claim such a speed is impractical put in such caveats as "unless you could put a municipal power station on board" or "unless you had access to something much hotter than the sun" - we have those things.

2. "This will destroy the Shadowrun universe!"

Posh! The Shadowrun universe already has a manned base on Mars. It's in the basic book on page 42. It also has orbital resorts, asteroid miners, and competing lunar installations. Space is a part of the Shadowrun universe and the assumed high travel times make most gaming tables avoid it. Bringing a fast journey option to the table brings space to the table. The background which has always been there is no open to be the foreground. That's good.

The number of fast ships capable of afterburnering it to Mars is doubtless going tp be exceedingly small. We aren't looking at Traveller style space Winebegos just yet. What we are looking at is the possibility of characters interacting with the Mars stuff that has been being tossed around since the 90s.

-Frank
knasser
QUOTE (Butterblume)
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
Also, in regards to heat dissipation, because of the vacuum space is not conducive to dissipating heat contrary to what you have said, even with the large surface area of the theoretical ship.

I haven't talked about (absolute) efficiency. The fusion reaction itself, even if it happens inside the spaceship, doesn't transmit much heat to the ship, because the fusion itself is contained by a magnetic field, and occurs in a vacuum. The heat that is transmitted to the ship will be much lower, and therefore needs a larger surface to be emitted as EM waves into space.


There are two problems with this. First is that it sounds like you're envisioning this fusion reaction as if it's just happening free standing you're maybe just chucking in pellets of He3 and Deuterium as needed. In fact, it takes place in a reactor which you have to keep from melting. It comes back to heat disspiation. The second problem is how you get the power from this reactor. Fusion generates heat. You get your power by turning this heat into electricity. You see the problem isn't keeping the heat of the fusion process away from you as such (although see problem number 1 a few sentences back). The problem is that your process for turning this heat into electricity isn't 100% efficient. It isn't remotely close to it. You put in X amount of heat and you get Y amount of electricity, plus Z amount of heat left over. It's Z that you need to get rid of and with the amounts of power that Frank has asked for (in getting to Mars and back in two days), Z is a lot. I'm not capable of working out what Z is, and Demerzel probably doesn't have the time to spare, but most here agree that it would be somewhere in the fuckofalot range. That's what my nano-block fluff justification was essentially - a super efficient way of turning heat into electricity so that Z remained small. The reality is that it's probably not feasible, but if Frank wanted to justify it to his players, that was a suggested bit of sci-fi reasoning.

QUOTE (Butterblume)


QUOTE (knasser)
And lest we get hung up too much on whether or not the heat problem can be solved, we should remember that it's still only half the problem.

Yeah, the Heat discussion starts to bore me biggrin.gif.
What was the other half of the problem wink.gif?


Yep - I think I'm done with the heat discussion. The other half of the problem is propulsion. I think you're envisioning your reactor as spewing plasma out of the back in order to drive the spaceship. That's cool, but way back in this thread Demerzel was talking about how effective this would be and the conclusion was not very much. That's where all the discussion about the temperature of the Sun started, because standard heat equations say that even if you had that amount of heat, it wouldn't drive a space shuttle anywhere near 1g. In order to get that sort of thrust with plasma, you have to drive the plasma out of your butt much faster than simple heat will do it. For that, you need an electromagnetic field - the ion drive. And to power the electromagnetic field to the level that you'd need to get 1g, you're talking immense amounts of power. Which brings us back to heat. Again. There just doesn't seem to be any avoiding it in this discussion. There's also the possibility of adding in some more mass to the plasma you're spewing out. That helps, but it means you have to carry this mass. Demerzel has been putting this far better than I have, but that's the problem.

Maybe the solution is to plan ahead. Instead of trying to make a ship that can power itself to Mars without delivering a payload of Astronaut McNuggets when it arrives, you have the power sources provided externally. First off, you have an electromagnetic railgun of grand design, which accellerates the craft to perhaps 5g. With cyberware, the astronauts shouldn't be too bothered by that. This is nothing though. You need constant accelleration. So what you've been doing for the last couple of years is positioning railguns floating along the route to Mars, gradually coming into line ready for the big day. They're disposable, capable of two shots each and then they're allowed to drift out into the void. But on the outgoing voyage the ship shoots through them one by one, picking up an 8g accelleration each time. Now it's utterly absurd both in terms of aiming a ship through them without error and in how many you'd need to cover the 78 million kilometres. But Demerzel probably knows less about interplanetary trajectories and materials costing than he does about fusion so maybe you'll get away with it. wink.gif
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
That's cool, but way back in this thread Demerzel was talking about how effective this would be and the conclusion was not very much.


To be fair, Demerzel assumed a temperature which his own sources gave as an example of a temperature that was orders of magnitude too cool to get meaningful power out of a fusion reaction.

Even then he was getting results of approximately 2 kilograms a second getting hurled out the back. That's astronomically (pun intended) more than would actually be required at the "real" temperatures such a device would operate at, but even so it came out to 345 tonnes - which isn't orders of magnitude outside the realm of possibility.

So once you account for the fact that Demerzel was deliberately picking an impractical temperature that sounded impressive, we're totally on track.

-Frank
knasser
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 9 2006, 06:39 PM)
There are several considerations.

1 Can we get the really large amount of energy required to move a ship from Earth to Mars in a rapid acceleration?

Yes Shadowrun has access to tremendously large amounts of energy. 9 Years ago in game time they sent a trip which went 5 times the distance in 90 times the time.

2. Can we pack enough fuel to get there and back?

Yes The fuel for a fusion drive is measured in kilograms, not tonnes.

3. Can we get into and out of the Earth's atmosphere?

Yes THere's a spirit-protected mass driver in Tanzania that will launch vessels into space using magic and technology cheaply and safely. It doesn't even use any power from the ship.

4. Can we handle the reaction at all?

Yes Shadowrun keeps stable energy yielding fusion reactions going for years at a time.

5. Can we get forward motion out of the energy we are getting from the fusion reaction?

Yes The explosive power of the reaction can be translated to forward motion by any of a number of means. Superconductors can transmit heat into substances hat release energy at specific waelengths that can be focused into directional lasers, the reaction itself can be "contained" off ship with hard vacuum cleaving it from the ship itself causing the resultant explosion to "push" on the ship rom the outside, or the plasma can be released as a jet from the ship. All of these provide forward motion without running a turbine that would inevitably heat up and melt the ship.

6. Can we dissipate the heat that will inevitably generate anyway?

Yes Not only are e forced to ask ourselves how this would even be a prblem if we were considering doing what is essentially the same thing with a chemical explosive for 6 months, but seriously, we got superconductors and dozens of tonnes to throw around. Some of it could be concentrated, heated, and hurled into space, or some of it could be released into he void in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Essentially, if you can figure out a way to dissipate the heat generated by 8 people living in a confined space for 6 months (like Project Discovery already did), you can use the same techniques to keep your ship running at operating temps for two fucking days.

---

The objections primarily fall into two categories:

1. "But none of the current Mars plans call for anything like that kind of speed!"

True. That's because they are based on current technology and don't have fusion power, super conductors, or virtually free lift into orbit. Keep in mind that the very pages that claim such a speed is impractical put in such caveats as "unless you could put a municipal power station on board" or "unless you had access to something much hotter than the sun" - we have those things.

2. "This will destroy the Shadowrun universe!"

Posh! The Shadowrun universe already has a manned base on Mars. It's in the basic book on page 42. It also has orbital resorts, asteroid miners, and competing lunar installations. Space is a part of the Shadowrun universe and the assumed high travel times make most gaming tables avoid it. Bringing a fast journey option to the table brings space to the table. The background which has always been there is no open to be the foreground. That's good.

The number of fast ships capable of afterburnering it to Mars is doubtless going tp be exceedingly small. We aren't looking at Traveller style space Winebegos just yet.  What we are looking at is the possibility of characters interacting with the Mars stuff that has been being tossed around since the 90s.

-Frank


Sorry, but the objections do not fall into 1. Current Mars missions don't use these timescales or 2. It will destroy the Shadowrun universe. For the first, no one has bothered using current plans as a arguement against you as we (a) say that SR2070 has different technology and (b) accept that you've dispensed with any kind of economic sense that constrains RL missions. For the second, cannon Mars exploration is not in dispute and nor has anyone questioned that being able to send players to another planet in two days opens up new adventure possibilities. The actual objections in this thread, and I fail to see how you omitted this, are that it contradicts known physics and pushes the game from realism into Star Wars technology. And please note, before you bring it up again, that I said known physics no technology.

No-one cares if you want to whizz your players to Mars and back for the sake of an adventure. You'll note that I've twice tried to offer you some helpful suggestions on making it more believable. But several of us do care if you keep insisting that it's actually realistic. If you sincerely believe this, then we're trying to help you.
Demerzel
Frank, you fail to understand the difference between Fuel used as mass inside a fusion reactor and Reaction Mass.

You still believe that my objection to the Mass required to accelerate your ship has to do with fuel consumed in the Fusion reaction.

My objections donít come close to the objections you think I have, and that alone indicates that youíre failing to grasp the basic problems youíre facing.

Let me clarify my objection by exclaiming, ďWhatís the rush?!?Ē

Okay having shouted that out let me try putting it another way, maybe youíll consider an economic argument.

Someone above said Nature Abhors a Vacuum. How about this, Corporations Abhor a Waste of Money.

Case 1:
100,000 kg ship
Burning two days at 1g.
Your jet shoots at 0.01c, a tremendously fast speed, ridiculously fast in fact.
You need 216,451 kg of Reaction Mass to throw behind you.
This is important so Iíll repeat it:
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!

Case 2:
100,000 kg ship (same ship)
Burning 20 days at 0.01g.
Same jet propulsion just throttled down for less dm/dt but still 0.01c output speed.
You need 12,910 kg of Reaction Mass.

You get the same distance in either case.

What is more expensive, 36 days of astronaut pay, or 200,000 kg of boosting to orbit. And thatís assuming youíre taking a tiny little space shuttle sized craft.

Keep in mind that when you decide on a cost per kg to boost into space 100 nuyen.gif still means 20 million nuyen in extra reaction mass compared to 36 days pay. Thatís more than half a million nuyen a day . . .

Whatís that you say? Time is money? Well any corp to stupid to be able to plan out two months doesnít deserve the AAA status necessary to make this all feasible in the first place.

NOTE: For the record the output speed for the above jet would require a plasma rocket over 100 times (two orders of magnitude hotter than the sun).
kzt
QUOTE (Butterblume)

I don't want to be an ass, but I just have to repeat myself. If it's possible today to build a spacecraft with relative effective nuclear pulse propulsion, why should it be impossible to build one more advanced with future tech?

Because getting to Mars isn't the problem with Orion (it can do that), it's getting it there TOMORROW!
knasser
QUOTE (Demerzel)
Frank, you fail to understand the difference between Fuel used as mass inside a fusion reactor and Reaction Mass.

You still believe that my objection to the Mass required to accelerate your ship has to do with fuel consumed in the Fusion reaction.

My objections donít come close to the objections you think I have, and that alone indicates that youíre failing to grasp the basic problems youíre facing.

Let me clarify my objection by exclaiming, ďWhatís the rush?!?Ē

Okay having shouted that out let me try putting it another way, maybe youíll consider an economic argument.

Someone above said Nature Abhors a Vacuum. How about this, Corporations Abhor a Waste of Money.

Case 1:
100,000 kg ship
Burning two days at 1g.
Your jet shoots at 0.01c, a tremendously fast speed, ridiculously fast in fact.
You need 216,451 kg of Reaction Mass to throw behind you.
This is important so Iíll repeat it:
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!
REACTION MASS NOT FUEL!

Case 2:
100,000 kg ship (same ship)
Burning 20 days at 0.01g.
Same jet propulsion just throttled down for less dm/dt but still 0.01c output speed.
You need 12,910 kg of Reaction Mass.

You get the same distance in either case.

What is more expensive, 36 days of astronaut pay, or 200,000 kg of boosting to orbit. And thatís assuming youíre taking a tiny little space shuttle sized craft.

Keep in mind that when you decide on a cost per kg to boost into space 100 nuyen.gif still means 20 million nuyen in extra reaction mass compared to 36 days pay. Thatís more than half a million nuyen a day . . .

Whatís that you say? Time is money? Well any corp to stupid to be able to plan out two months doesnít deserve the AAA status necessary to make this all feasible in the first place.

NOTE: For the record the output speed for the above jet would require a plasma rocket over 100 times (two orders of magnitude hotter than the sun).


*Sigh* Now we get three pages of debating economics and statements about how fusion provides inifinte cheap energy so boosting Xkg into orbit isn't a factor, guiding comets in to extract reaction mass in space without raising it from Earth and spirits using movement power to raise it all effortlessly at the cost of five mages afternoon salary. frown.gif And all needlessly because the heat and propulsion problems were never overcome. Demerzel - Physics was enough and now it will be forgotten. frown.gif frown.gif frown.gif
Butterblume
QUOTE (knasser)
Maybe the solution is to plan ahead. Instead of trying to make a ship that can power itself to Mars without delivering a payload of Astronaut McNuggets when it arrives, you have the power sources provided externally. First off, you have an electromagnetic railgun of grand design, which accellerates the craft to perhaps 5g. With cyberware, the astronauts shouldn't be too bothered by that. This is nothing though. You need constant accelleration. So what you've been doing for the last couple of years is positioning railguns floating along the route to Mars, gradually coming into line ready for the big day. They're disposable, capable of two shots each and then they're allowed to drift out into the void. But on the outgoing voyage the ship shoots through them one by one, picking up an 8g accelleration each time. Now it's utterly absurd both in terms of aiming a ship through them without error and in how many you'd need to cover the 78 million kilometres. But Demerzel probably knows less about interplanetary trajectories and materials costing than he does about fusion so maybe you'll get away with it. wink.gif

Sorry, but that must be one of the worst plans, ever. How are you even going to hit the next railgun without a margin of error (among other things)?
(and of course they would drift off after the first shot)



If you believe wikipedias numbers, you could boost several million tons into space with nuclear pulse propulsion for about 70 us-cent per kilogram, and some radiactive fallout, with todays technology (the fallout being one of the reasons why this isn't done).



Demerzel
Sorry, your right the physics is enough.

The thing though that there are so many problems, I just can't stop coming up with new problems to point out.

The answer is simple. Take a couple months, and give up on a couple days and it's problem solved.
knasser
QUOTE (Butterblume)
QUOTE (knasser)
Maybe the solution is to plan ahead. Instead of trying to make a ship that can power itself to Mars without delivering a payload of Astronaut McNuggets when it arrives, you have the power sources provided externally. First off, you have an electromagnetic railgun of grand design, which accellerates the craft to perhaps 5g. With cyberware, the astronauts shouldn't be too bothered by that. This is nothing though. You need constant accelleration. So what you've been doing for the last couple of years is positioning railguns floating along the route to Mars, gradually coming into line ready for the big day. They're disposable, capable of two shots each and then they're allowed to drift out into the void. But on the outgoing voyage the ship shoots through them one by one, picking up an 8g accelleration each time. Now it's utterly absurd both in terms of aiming a ship through them without error and in how many you'd need to cover the 78 million kilometres. But Demerzel probably knows less about interplanetary trajectories and materials costing than he does about fusion so maybe you'll get away with it. wink.gif

Sorry, but that must be one of the worst plans, ever. How are you even going to hit the next railgun without a margin of error (among other things)?
(and of course they would drift off after the first shot)


Hmmm. I'm worried if you didn't think I was joking. I even put a wink.gif at the end of it.
Demerzel
And on a side note I could teach you more about interplanetary trajectories than I could about fusion.

Interplanetary tranfer orbits is undergrad physics. If you take constant accelleration it makes it grad level.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
Your jet shoots at 0.01c, a tremendously fast speed, ridiculously fast in fact.


So ridiculously fast that... a particle of Helium-3 at the base reaction temperature (100 KeV) is most probably going 2535722. m/s - 85% of that, and after the reaction it's temperature shoots up to 18.4 MeV and our He-4 going off into space at 29787994 m/s that's about 1 order of magnitude faster than you were willing to grant.

That makes a much more favorable reaction mass, don't you think?

BTW, we can all follow along with these equations, because there's an online calculator:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase.../kintem.html#c4

So don't just let Demerzel roll you over with the fact that he can do them at all. Now that I've actually taken the time to step-by-step it, the problem with his stuff isn't that he's doing any of the math wrong. The problem is that the arbitrary inputs he's selecting are orders of magnitude slower, colder, and less impressive than an actual fusion reaction.

The solar temperature, for example, is an average of fusion reactions and billions upon billions of earth sized lumps of matter which are not presently fusing - to bring the example home, this is essentially talking about your exhaust stream as if it had a temperature that was the average temperature of the actual exhaust stream, the unexploded fuel, and the shielding on your reactor. Needless to say, that's a generalization which is automatically going to short everything by a lot.

With an order of magnitude more speed than Demerzel was "graciously" allowing, the equations look a lot better.

So much better in fact, that this isn't even a new idea.

-Frank
Arab_One
@ Knasser:

"The presence of elves doesn't mean you can dispense with realism. It means clinging to it is even more important than it was before! "

So stealing this for my sig (and to hand out on little cards to stupid players).
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Butterblume @ Nov 9 2006, 07:38 PM)
QUOTE (knasser)
Maybe the solution is to plan ahead. Instead of trying to make a ship that can power itself to Mars without delivering a payload of Astronaut McNuggets when it arrives, you have the power sources provided externally. First off, you have an electromagnetic railgun of grand design, which accellerates the craft to perhaps 5g. With cyberware, the astronauts shouldn't be too bothered by that. This is nothing though. You need constant accelleration. So what you've been doing for the last couple of years is positioning railguns floating along the route to Mars, gradually coming into line ready for the big day. They're disposable, capable of two shots each and then they're allowed to drift out into the void. But on the outgoing voyage the ship shoots through them one by one, picking up an 8g accelleration each time. Now it's utterly absurd both in terms of aiming a ship through them without error and in how many you'd need to cover the 78 million kilometres. But Demerzel probably knows less about interplanetary trajectories and materials costing than he does about fusion so maybe you'll get away with it. wink.gif

Sorry, but that must be one of the worst plans, ever. How are you even going to hit the next railgun without a margin of error (among other things)?
(and of course they would drift off after the first shot)



If you believe wikipedias numbers, you could boost several million tons into space with nuclear pulse propulsion for about 70 us-cent per kilogram, and some radiactive fallout, with todays technology (the fallout being one of the reasons why this isn't done).

Screw the rail guns, just use a laser sail. All you need is a giant laser canon with LOS to the craft. The advantage is that you can also use it to beam power to the surface of the earth and/or kill people that you don't like.

QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
But once you're actually in space, it falls to generating really stupidly large amounts of energy.


All kidding aside, it only takes a force 24 spirit with 32 successes on an Force 48 Astral Armor spell to withstand the void reliably. It is extremely unlikely to summon such a spirit but it is not beyond possibility.
Big D
Have a corp cut a long-term deal with a free spirit, load it up with karma "donated" by workers (or SINless).

But then, it still can't do anything in space. It could survive, but there's no mana there for it to draw in to use its powers... unless you're going to invent a rule to allow extra karma to be burned to sustain powers in a mana void (I don't think it's reasonable to allow normal quickening to do that, it just sustains the process of drawing in and using ambient mana). Now, if you think big, and take a small station with enough mana for your spirit to work with, then maybe you don't need engines at all...

Frank, I understand what you're saying, but the catch is, a fusion plasma drive is very low-thrust unless you add lots of (cold) reaction mass as an afterburner--which weighs a friggin' lot--or unless you scale up the reactor so massively that it burns fuel fast enough that it has enough plasma being output that it effectively replaces the reaction mass... and that ain't in the 10GW power plant range, that's many orders of magnitude larger. To push a ship--and all the fusion fuel (which doubles as reaction mass in this case) at that speed would generate so much heat that if it *was* properly converted into electricity, it would be more juice than the planetary power grid (guessing here, I'm *not* a physics major).
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Big D)
But then, it still can't do anything in space. It could survive, but there's no mana there for it to draw in to use its powers... unless you're going to invent a rule to allow extra karma to be burned to sustain powers in a mana void (I don't think it's reasonable to allow normal quickening to do that, it just sustains the process of drawing in and using ambient mana). Now, if you think big, and take a small station with enough mana for your spirit to work with, then maybe you don't need engines at all...

Of course it can. In space, it simply gets a -12 penalty to its force. If its force is greater than 12 then it can still use its powers.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
QUOTE (Big D @ Nov 9 2006, 10:11 PM)
But then, it still can't do anything in space.  It could survive, but there's no mana there for it to draw in to use its powers... unless you're going to invent a rule to allow extra karma to be burned to sustain powers in a mana void (I don't think it's reasonable to allow normal quickening to do that, it just sustains the process of drawing in and using ambient mana).  Now, if you think big, and take a small station with enough mana for your spirit to work with, then maybe you don't need engines at all...

Of course it can. In space, it simply gets a -12 penalty to its force. If its force is greater than 12 then it can still use its powers.

Absolutely. So even if Blood Spirits worked the way Lars intended them to work, an Blood Mage should be able to make a Force 12 Spirit of Man, Blood Invoke it, feed it two people, have the spirit cast Astral Armor on itself until it gets 36 hits, and then just fly through space handing out Force 12 Movement to things. Then you could get to Mars in one day with a base Acceleration of only 1.75 m/s^2.

But that rule is still broken even if we use the "intended" version, so I'd prefer to not rely on it.

And I honestly don't think I have to. With the actual speed of particles in the reaction, we could get the kind of moentum we're looking for by launching 33 grams out the back in the initial second. That's less than six tonnes even before we count in the fact that your mass is shrinking en route. In fact, that's such a small mass reduction that we almost don't even have to calculate he fact that our mass is falling over time - but we really should (for one thing it drops the reaction mass requirements even more). It drops required reaction mass down to a little over 5 tonnes each way for our 100 tonne craft.

We could be moving the Nimmitz if we wanted to - we'd only be throwing out 33 kilograms a second for 172,800 seconds. More than we're willing to do, but not more than we are able to do. A 100 ktonne craft could get to Mars in 2 days on about 5 kilotonnes of reaction mass. That's totally doable if for some reason you wanted to bring a pre-fab skyscraper to Mars in a hurry.

-Frank
Inu
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
QUOTE
Your jet shoots at 0.01c, a tremendously fast speed, ridiculously fast in fact.


So ridiculously fast that... a particle of Helium-3 at the base reaction temperature (100 KeV) is most probably going 2535722. m/s - 85% of that, and after the reaction it's temperature shoots up to

I think that was a typo. In previous posts, he's been talking about 0.1c as a high-speed thing, and 0.01c as a reasonable-speed one. In the same post, further down, he mentions .01c as a reasonable-speed acceleration, making me think that putting .01c as too high is a typo that was meant to be 0.1c.

Cthulhu449
OK, I'm breaking my promise, but Dem, Knass, why are you falling for this. Frank consistantly ignores your imploring statements that he pay attention to the reaction mass and not the mass needed to run a fusion reaction. He either isn't listening or is baiting you. Drop it; people either understand or they never will (these boards aren't the best physics classroom).
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
OK, I'm breaking my promise, but Dem, Knass, why are you falling for this. Frank consistantly ignores your imploring statements that he pay attention to the reaction mass and not the mass needed to run a fusion reaction. He either isn't listening or is baiting you. Drop it; people either understand or they never will (these boards aren't the best physics classroom).

That's a consistent claim, and it's not even true. I did the calculations on the reaction mass using the actual temperature created by the actual fusion reaction in question. It requires 33 grams of reaction mass per 100 tonnes of vehicular mass per second at those speeds.

Demerzel did some perfectly fine calculations for speeds that he pulled out of his ass that were very much lower than the actual speeds of particles coming out of a fusion reaction, and came to the conclusion that particles at those reduced speeds would require an intractable amount of reaction mass.

But with the actual temperature of a post reaction particle (18.4 MeV), the reaction mass is 33 grams per 100 tonnes per second. It's not an intractable amount. In fact, it's a hand wavable amount, since we don't know how much the fusion drive masses.

-Frank
knasser
QUOTE (Cthulhu449)
OK, I'm breaking my promise, but Dem, Knass, why are you falling for this. Frank consistantly ignores your imploring statements that he pay attention to the reaction mass and not the mass needed to run a fusion reaction. He either isn't listening or is baiting you. Drop it; people either understand or they never will (these boards aren't the best physics classroom).


Well firstly a concern that Frank actually believes this. It's kind of a duty to help him understand where he's going wrong. Secondly, the concern that by accompanying his hand-waving with a lot of numbers, he's going to misinform people with less of a grasp of physics. And thirdly, and this hadn't occured to me until Demerzel pointed it out, Frank is one of the freelancers and if this sort of stuff made it into cannon it would do damage to Shadowrun's hitherto good(ish) track record on realism. Also, some sense of solidarity with Dem who can't be the lone voice of sanity here. wink.gif
Draconis
Physics aside I really hate the idea of a two day trip. 'nuff said.
hyzmarca
Actually, I was thinking of Ally Spirits as it is, on a whole, a more reliable process than Force 12 Blood Invoking. 197 karma gets you a Force 24 Ally with the Sorcery skill. That's a drek-pot load of karma, but it is certain possible given the number of corporate-produced foci on the market. It will require a grade 6 initiate and most of the time the binding will fail or the drain will push the magician into physical overflow. However, if done in a hospital with medical care on standby and with sacrificing to make some of the drain magically healable, it is realitivly safe (compared to being shot in the face in an ally behind a seedy bar), and it will work eventually if the magician tries enough times. Since the Ally spirit rules places karma payment after the bnding ritual multiple attempts are possible. Such attempts don't even create Free Spirits. The spirit just dies if the binding fails (so I doubt that it would use Edge to resist and ensure its own destruction).
Cthulhu449
Frank, you just keep on putting together facts that might be true but simply don't mesh in regards to making a ship for actual realistic travel. So sure, I guess you are right about everything you are saying; if a fusion reaction makes particles go fast (even if that speed is random movement amongst the particles, essentially HEAT) you must be then able to use that as reaction mass and shoot it out the back. Anyone who wants to believe you without any further evidence should do so as well, but honestly do yourself a favor and talk to an expert (physics professor) offline and let them show you what we are trying to say. Either that or quit your job and become a theoretical physicist immediately because if you are correct you have turned the universe on our head as anyone with a solid physics background knows.

You don't understand why the "very fast" particles of the fusion reaction cannot simply be applied as a reaction mass. You are plugging and playing equations that you don't fully grasp the consequences and meanings of. You are being willfully ignorant, and it is unfair to anyone who might believe you, so please at least put a disclaimer that you have no science background, you only play a scientist on the Dumpshock Forums.
hyzmarca
Lets screw the physics discussion here and talk about the real issue. Money.

You can, today, at this very moment, as I type, build and fuel a rocket-ship capable of accelerating at 1g for 2 days straight if you have access to unlimited funds.
And there lies the issue and the out. If you throw enough money at the problem then it will solve itself*

If you throw enough money at the problem it will solve itself and we're talking about megacorps here. They spend more money on toilet-paper, annually, than a fully-fueled giant rocket-ship of this sort would cost.

"You see this?", says Damian Knight, "This is a billion nuyen note. It is the only billion-nuyen note ever made. It is actually worth 6 billion nuyen in the currency collector's market because it is so rare. Do you know what I'm going with this billion nuyen note? I'm going to wipe my ass with it. Why? Because I'm rich, that's why. Because I'm so rich that I can wipe my ass with a billion nuyen every time I go to the bathroom and I wouldn't even notice. See that old ragged dish towel there? That's the original Mona Lisa. Yes, the original. The one in the Louver is a fake. I know, its hard to tell with all of the barbecue stains."

Can it be done? Sure. It most certainly can be done. It might be expensive as hell. But, to paraphrase one of the great leaders of the 20th century: We choose to go to Mars. We choose to go to Mars in two days and do the other things, not because they are cheap, but because they are cool, because that goal will serve to demean and demoralize the best of our competitors and rivals, because that challenge is one that the public is willing to accept, one that is easier if we don't postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.



*Actually, the team of highly skilled slave-engineers chained in your dungeon will solve it to the motivational whipping of the Oompa-Loompa slave-drivers.
Fortune
Instead of endlessly repeating "You're wrong Frank", maybe one of you should actually take his numbers (as he keeps asking you to) and prove him wrong. Don't make up other numbers and equations to muddy the waters (unless his figures are in fact actually incorrect). He has given you the numbers and equations he used to come up with his theory, but as yet nobody has fully addressed the issue as he portrays it.
ChicagosFinest
2nd SR is a FICTIONAL setting used for fun! I want to see Frank go to Mars in two days. That way I can figgure out what happened to those dragon bones.

Shake things up for a chance? I'm sure we all like change otherwise SR would have died as a product a long long long LLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG time ago.
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