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first interplanetary spaceships

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MeteorWayne

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Look no, problem. All I said was if you were going to propose a faster than light ship, it was going to be out of this (Missions and Launches) forum in a nanosecond.

As it is, it doesn't belong in Missions and Launches, really, because this is to discuss existing and near term missions.
It is discussing neither a Mission or a Launch! :)
It's always a good idea to spend some time reading a new website to get a feel for it to see where subjects belong in that community.

So I am going to move it, for the time being to Space Business and Technology. The other option is Science Fiction, and it may yet wind up there, but we'll give it a chance in a forum discussing real future spacecraft design and see how the thread develops.

I will leave a copy of the thread here until tomorrow. Any posts made in either location will remain when it finishes the move.
 
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MeteorWayne

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supn":3ggex54s said:
Disclosure project press conference with ex-military personnel on the retrieval, back-engineering and testing of extraterrestrial spacecraft.

Col. Philip Corso, Chief of the Pentagon's Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development (1951), testifies to have stewarded extraterrestrial artefacts.

And to underline that there must be something of a rather big cover up, in april 1950, President Truman was quoted saying, " I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on earth."
Mod Hat On****

supn, this post is unrelated to the subject of this discussion. Please stick to the topic

Wayne

Mod Hat Off****
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Jason- Very entertaining. And still fanciful. People have considered and seriously discussed nuclear fission powered and Ion engine spacecraft since the 1950s. (One would have to get around the International Outer-Space Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though.) Detonating nukes in space, even for constructive purposes such as spacecraft propulsion, is big NO-NO! :cry:

No harm in having solar panels I guess, but they're not going to do you very much good beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

Navigating through the Asteroid Belt isn't much of a problem. The asteroids are VERY far apart. If you were standing on the surface of Ceres, any other asteroids that you may see with the naked eye-if you could see them- would be tiny slithers of reflected white/yellow light far distant. (In reality, it wouldn't be like the scene from 'Empire Strikes Back' when the Falcon is in the 'asteroid field', where your ship would have to maneuver all over the place with collisions imminent.) Space is vast, as you know. And if the Asteroid Belt is a pinball/cue ball navigation problem, what about the Kuiper Belt and the immensely more vast Oort Cloud?

You mentioned that the scale may be too large. I didn't see where you provided a scale. Did I miss it? Is the ship a mile long? Ten miles? A hundred miles?

Where is the habitat section? Or, is it a robotic ship? Are there any biospheres for life support and fresh vegetables for the crew? Just asking. How about fuel tanks and extra fuel tanks? Escape pods with cryogenic human storage cubicles? :lol:

IMO, I think you should skip the old messy fission, and go with rapid succession of fusion hydrogen bombs exploding against an inertia/heat shield to provide thrust. You could replenish your hydrogen fuel with a magnetic scoop, or dock portside near Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and fill up there! I mean, since we're playing and all, may as well imagine big! :D

And you never answered my question about what software you used to draw your picture.
 
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JonClarke

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ZenGalacticore":1nlrmrh3 said:
Jason- Very entertaining. And still fanciful. People have considered and seriously discussed nuclear fission powered and Ion engine spacecraft since the 1950s. (One would have to get around the International Outer-Space Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though.) Detonating nukes in space, even for constructive purposes such as spacecraft propulsion, is big NO-NO!
Actually nuclear fission for power and propulsion is not banned. Bombs certainly are, with good reason. Orion type propulsion is in a very grey area, but it would be very stupid to use such systems in Earth orbit.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
JonClarke":2lkprn5l said:
ZenGalacticore":2lkprn5l said:
Jason- Very entertaining. And still fanciful. People have considered and seriously discussed nuclear fission powered and Ion engine spacecraft since the 1950s. (One would have to get around the International Outer-Space Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though.) Detonating nukes in space, even for constructive purposes such as spacecraft propulsion, is big NO-NO!
Actually nuclear fission for power and propulsion is not banned. Bombs certainly are, with good reason. Orion type propulsion is in a very grey area, but it would be very stupid to use such systems in Earth orbit.
Well of course we wouldn't be testing fission or even fusion powered spaceships in Earth's immediate vicinity! :ugeek: <---me, uber geek!

I'm not a nuclear physicist Jon, but how does one derive sufficient* energy from a collision of fissionable material where one does not induce an atomic energy burst(bomb/explosion)? I don't think a conventional nuke power plant would do it. No sarcasm here. I'm simply asking. :)

*Sufficient, ie, to power an inter-planetary spacecraft such as the one that the artist/writer OP suggests.

Perhaps I and you are both mistaken. Fission is okay in space, it's H-Bombs, as yet uncontrolled fusion reactions that were banned. I tell ya, the old noggin isn't working as good as it used to!
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
ZenGalacticore":3exxh5sf said:
Jason- Very entertaining. And still fanciful. People have considered and seriously discussed nuclear fission powered and Ion engine spacecraft since the 1950s. (One would have to get around the International Outer-Space Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though.) Detonating nukes in space, even for constructive purposes such as spacecraft propulsion, is big NO-NO! :cry:

No harm in having solar panels I guess, but they're not going to do you very much good beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

Navigating through the Asteroid Belt isn't much of a problem. The asteroids are VERY far apart. If you were standing on the surface of Ceres, any other asteroids that you may see with the naked eye-if you could see them- would be tiny slithers of reflected white/yellow light far distant. (In reality, it wouldn't be like the scene from 'Empire Strikes Back' when the Falcon is in the 'asteroid field', where your ship would have to maneuver all over the place with collisions imminent.) Space is vast, as you know. And if the Asteroid Belt is a pinball/cue ball navigation problem, what about the Kuiper Belt and the immensely more vast Oort Cloud?

You mentioned that the scale may be too large. I didn't see where you provided a scale. Did I miss it? Is the ship a mile long? Ten miles? A hundred miles?

Where is the habitat section? Or, is it a robotic ship? Are there any biospheres for life support and fresh vegetables for the crew? Just asking. How about fuel tanks and extra fuel tanks? Escape pods with cryogenic human storage cubicles? :lol:

IMO, I think you should skip the old messy fission, and go with rapid succession of fusion hydrogen bombs exploding against an inertia/heat shield to provide thrust. You could replenish your hydrogen fuel with a magnetic scoop, or dock portside near Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and fill up there! I mean, since we're playing and all, may as well imagine big! :D

And you never answered my question about what software you used to draw your picture.

Hello Zen,
I use 3D max for the model design, and Bryce for the background, although you cannot create a round atmosphere in Bryce.
I did think about using the gas giants as a possible fuel supply, after all they may be a good stop off and refuelling point for future spacecraft.
The main habitat section is at the front, behind the remote planetary probe, I think I explained all this, or maybe I forgot. As for scale, I’d say on a proper scale this puppy could accommodate up to 70 crew members. The labs are located in the rear module, together with a hydroponics bay for growing food.
I have started work on an engine for a ship that could perhaps explore beyond our solar system, not using faster than light travel, but a system that could create a partial wormhole, compressing space, instead of folding it, thus creating a vortex, which would act as a short cut to other parts of the galaxy. I followed CERN Particle collider experiment last year. There was a lot of hype about it creating a black hole and ending everything. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but it did make me wonder, that given time could this same technology be used to create a stable wormhole. Here you go.




 
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Boris_Badenov

Guest
Is this just artwork? Or is this a working design? Can you provide the technical specs? I can't see how this engine works.
 
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JasonChapman

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Boris_Badenov":1u4y9609 said:
Is this just artwork? Or is this a working design? Can you provide the technical specs? I can't see how this engine works.
If only! If this was an actual working prototype engine, me and you would not be having this conversation would we. Sorry, but hey in a few hundred years perhaps, or maybe within a hundred, you never know.
 
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crazyeddie

Guest
ZenGalacticore":gl2lxag7 said:
Well of course we wouldn't be testing fission or even fusion powered spaceships in Earth's immediate vicinity! :ugeek: <---me, uber geek!

I'm not a nuclear physicist Jon, but how does one derive sufficient* energy from a collision of fissionable material where one does not induce an atomic energy burst(bomb/explosion)? I don't think a conventional nuke power plant would do it. No sarcasm here. I'm simply asking. :)

*Sufficient, ie, to power an inter-planetary spacecraft such as the one that the artist/writer OP suggests.

Perhaps I and you are both mistaken. Fission is okay in space, it's H-Bombs, as yet uncontrolled fusion reactions that were banned. I tell ya, the old noggin isn't working as good as it used to!
A fission power plant would be needed for an ion drive. Solar-electric ion drives would only work in the inner solar system, but would be useless beyond the orbit of Mars, if I'm not mistaken.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Not correct eddie. That is the propulson method being used by Dawn, in the asteroid belt beyond the orbit of Mars. Of course, it has large solar panels specifically designed for the purpose.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Jason- Well that's some cool art work anyway my friend. I have to go with Boris on this though, it's just art, as you said. The first drawing looks like my backpacking stove, especially if you remove the extended cylinder. :lol:
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
ZenGalacticore":1buvz9m9 said:
Jason- Well that's some cool art work anyway my friend. I have to go with Boris on this though, it's just art, as you said. The first drawing looks like my backpacking stove, especially if you remove the extended cylinder. :lol:

Thanks 'Z' I never set out to present this as an actual theoretical model or anything like that. It’s been huge fun over the last week or so, and made me think a lot more about the ships I design, at the end of the day I'm just a hobbyist with a day job. I have put this on three different science forums now and it’s gone down a storm, its sparked a lot of debate about the future of space travel.

My personal feelings on our space industry right now is that it's stuck in a rut. NASA always seems to be worrying about funding, or pulling the plug on a projects. It’s been forty years since we set foot on the moon, and all we have done since is messed about in orbit, with the shuttle or the ISS. Yes we have sent load of probes and robots out to the other planets, and the Hubble space telescope has opened up the cosmos in ways we could not have imagined during the sixties, but I still feel that more needs to be done in terms of manned space flight.

What I plan to do now with this little project of mine is create an image that really looks technical, like a working model and then put it up on twitter; to see if that gets tongues wagging. If you want to see more of my art you can visit my site at www.scifi-design.com I do plan to create more artwork but I will put it in the scifi section next time, don't want to annoy the mods too much. I really like this forum, and will add a link when I update the science links section on my site.
 
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JeffreyNYA

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JasonChapman":25lnfwyc said:
Hello, I'm a new kid on the block. I very much like the look of this site, a busy forum.
So I'll dive right in.

I have often wondered, when we finally manage to start manned missions to the other planets in our solar system what our first interplanetary spaceship would look like. Given the size of our solar system would conventional rocket ships do the job? I have created this illustration of what we might design in the future.



I'm currently working on Santa Maria MKII Unlike the ship above the SM MKII will be capable of faster than light travel.
Thanks
Jason Chapman

Think the main issue with your design like most others is that its to big, to complicated and far to expensive to be even worth it at this point. And until we have a manufacturing base and shipyard actually in space, then it will remain that way.

What is truly needed is many small cookie cutter pieces that you can stick together with an engine. Say 5 modules from Bigalow with an extra designed for high radiation periods. With something like this it would be possible to build a fleet of ships quickly. I am sure there are other parts of this. but if ways can be found to mass produce parts that can just be bolted together and can be flown on something other tahn a 1 billion dollar rocket, then we have a chance. Now if you want to start landing places, I think you need to do things like moons and asteroids to setup outpost to see what we really can do with them. Once we are able to produce fuel and parts in space we will be well on our way to setting up bases on planets. But we need to do the first things first.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
nimbus":iq1xkkq1 said:
So MW was right - this is one for the SF forum.
Maybe, but its like I said to Wayne, throughout this entire post I haven't mentioned one Warp Drive, Hyper drive or improbability Drive. The technology like, particle collision and nuclear fission is possible with today’s technology, it’s just there is no drive to push the limits of science anymore. People worry too much about how much everything costs.

Jeff, you’re right about a lot of what you said.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
JasonChapman":zo4htzaf said:
nimbus":zo4htzaf said:
So MW was right - this is one for the SF forum.
Maybe, but its like I said to Wayne, throughout this entire post I haven't mentioned one Warp Drive, Hyper drive or improbability Drive. The technology like, particle collision and nuclear fission is possible with today’s technology, it’s just there is no drive to push the limits of science anymore. People worry too much about how much everything costs.
That is true, as I said, that would have put the Thread in the Unexplained. However, I'm still uncomfortable with this in Space Business and Technology, since it has now been revealed that this is nothing but fancy drawings and fanciful ideas.

SB&T is really is more about current systems and projects, not something that is a sketch of ideas for the next century.

We'll leave it here for now, but don't be surprised if t makes a gentle transition to SCi Fi.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
MeteorWayne":2rhcpn6r said:
JasonChapman":2rhcpn6r said:
nimbus":2rhcpn6r said:
So MW was right - this is one for the SF forum.
Maybe, but its like I said to Wayne, throughout this entire post I haven't mentioned one Warp Drive, Hyper drive or improbability Drive. The technology like, particle collision and nuclear fission is possible with today’s technology, it’s just there is no drive to push the limits of science anymore. People worry too much about how much everything costs.
That is true, as I said, that would have put the Thread in the Unexplained. However, I'm still uncomfortable with this in Space Business and Technology, since it has now been revealed that this is nothing but fancy drawings and fanciful ideas.

SB&T is really is more about current systems and projects, not something that is a sketch of ideas for the next century.

We'll leave it here for now, but don't be surprised if t makes a gentle transition to SCi Fi.
Wayne,
I have no problem with it, if you feel more conmfortable putting this post in scifi, then I don't mind really.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
We'll see how it goes. I want to make it clear as well, that you haven't done anything wrong except perhaps posting in the non optimum forum for the subject.
It's no big deal, that's why we mods are here to help and avoid fraying around the edges :)

I've enjoyed your art!

Wayne
 
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nimbus

Guest
I don't want to keep arguing nitpicks.. But your explicitely said you don't have any technical basis for the designs. So the tech you're basing them on is effectively vaporware. So it's not business and technology, because both of those are hinged upon feasibility. Either technical or commercial. That means it's "science"-"fiction". Hard SF, but SF :)
 
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JeffreyNYA

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nimbus":2g69ftzk said:
I don't want to keep arguing nitpicks.. But your explicitely said you don't have any technical basis for the designs. So the tech you're basing them on is effectively vaporware. So it's not business and technology, because both of those are hinged upon feasibility. Either technical or commercial. That means it's "science"-"fiction". Hard SF, but SF :)

Ya, Its really not Business or Technology. but to put it in Sci-Fi would be lumping it in with post looking for books and taking about movies and TV shows. Its really not a place to have a discussion the poster is looking for. Unexplained may be better, but then you are grouped with the face on mars and planetX type posts. Again maybe not the place for a discussion the poster is looking for.

I guess out of all the areas on the site Free Space may be the best place and would get decent views anyway.

However a new catagory could be added for just this type if thing. It would be a place to talk about possible near term technology and possible visions of the future without be added to some of the nut ball topics I see sometimes in the unexplained part. However most everything being posted should be based at least a little on known science. Just a thought.
 
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neilsox

Guest
I'm posting here as we have the technology to do this, but perhaps not the will:
Most all the suggestions to date in this thread involve finding cheap engineering solutions to the many details and objections. My suggestion follows which also has details that need to be fixed. We can build a barely interplanetary shuttle at the ISS = international space station. It will compromise some of the science presently done at the ISS. A crew of two female colonists stand by in the ISS for launch on very short notice. When a possibly suitable asteroid or comet is detected approaching Earth, the shuttle leaves the ISS to land on the asteroid a day or two later. Hopefully the asteroid misses Earth. The shuttle has a rocket motor at both ends, so one motor can fuse a hole into the asteroid while the other keeps the shuttle from taking off. Depending on the composition of the asteroid, there will be enough fuel to bore down 3 to 30 meters into the asteroid. The shuttle will plug the opening of the hole. The colonists will caulk to make an air tight seal. Now the colonists can breath about 3 psi of 98% oxygen in the bottom of the hole. More would be better, but they can likely adapt. More pressure may blow the shuttle out of the hole and/or spilt the asteroid, which has almost no gravity and possibly very little cohesion and adhesion. The colony is in trouble, if the asteroid is a gravel pile. They can now enlarge their tiny habitat (which is supplemented by the shuttle that brought them there) Water, oxygen and other materials that may be useful later can be extracted from the asteroid material. A large reserve is desirable as it may be decades before this asteroid does another close approach to Earth. A years supply of food is minimum as it will be practical to produce very little of their own food. Unmanned supply rockets can likely reach the colony anywhere in the inner solar system, but there will always be reasonable doubt about successfully docking with the end of the shuttle sticking out of the hole. Walking the surface of the asteroid in a spacesuit is dangerous, so they will do this as rarely as practical. They may need to band the asteroid to prevent their atmosphere from expanding the asteroid slowly to disintegration. The asteroid may have a small dimension as small as 50 meters. Small asteroids are generally not spherical. 20 meters of most asteroid material does give good radiation protection, but the asteroid material it's self may be dangerously radio active. When and if the ladies decide their colony is reasonably safe, one of them will produce one or more children with the help of the sperm bank or embryo bank that they brought from Earth. The other lady will be the midwife. When the children reach teen age, they will want their own colony, and they can quite easily by retrofitting two of the supply rockets, nose to nose for the short trip to a different asteroid which will approach closely, but rarely. The asteroid dwellers will be able to post in forums like www.space.com and www.bautforum.com which will give them a notoriety to partially compensate for the disadvantages. The ideas that flow to Earth may be worth more than the total cost of the program. In a few centuries the human population of the solar system could reach thousands by launching only a few shuttle from the ISS.
This shuttle can be up graded to take humans to the moon or Mars as the technology improves. Neil
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
This thread has now drifted far enough away from the subject of the forum (Space Business and Technology) that it will be moved to Sci Fi. I'll leave a copy here for a day or so.

Wayne
 
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williammook

Guest
Faster than light isn't needed for interplanetary journeys. One gee acceleration is just fine. A micro-fusion device (see inertial confinement fusion)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter ... propulsion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion

Lithium deuteride, is a compact powder that when detonated by a tiny micro-fission device releases lots of energy;

21D + 63Li → 2 42He + 22.4 MeV

detonates and releases 645 gigajoules (about the same energy in 105 barrels of crude oil) per GRAM (about the mass of a penny) all without producing neutrons! Done in a magnetic nozzle this system is very interesting

http://mnx.pppl.gov/

Now jet energy is given by kinetic energy per unit mass

E = 1/2 m V^2

So we can rewrite the equation to figure out exhaust speed

V = SQRT(2*E/m) = SQRT(2*6.45e11/.001) = 25,400,000 m/s = 25,400 kilometers per second.

Now thrust is equal to

F = ma = mdot * V ---> F/2.54e7 = mdot

With F in newtons - to convert to kg divide by g0 = 9.802 m/s/s

F(kg)/2.49e8 = mass flow rate (kg/sec)

So, a nuclear fusion rocket burns about 4 micrograms of lithium deuteride per second produces 1 tonne of thrust.


Now constant acceleration to the moon - 360,000 km away achieves 59.4 km/sec - and doubles that to land softly on the lunar surface - while accelerating at 1 gee all along the way! The propellant fraction to achieve this is;

u = 1 - 1/exp(Vf/Ve) = 1 - 1/exp(120/25400) = 0.00471 ~ 0.5%

So, a 1 tonne vehicle carrying 10 kg - about 10 liters - of lithium deuteride is fully capable of flying to the moon at a constant 1 gee from Earth and flying back again at 1 gee - and have some added maneuvering room. Using advanced MEMs technology, this system would have a 1,000 to 1 thrust to weight ratio - so the propulsion system would weigh only 1 kg - and the 1 tonne system would mass only 5% - or 150 kg - and carry 849 kg payload. The trip would take 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Mars at 30 million km distant would boost at 1 gee for 15 million km - 542.3 km/sec - double that to slow down over the remaining 15 million km - and you have 1,084.6 km/sec. The propellant fraction needed to achieve this is;

u = 1 - 1/exp(vf/Ve) = 1 - 1/exp(1,084.6/25,400) = 0.04180 =~4.2%

Again for a 1 metric ton vehicle it must carry 84 kg - or 84 liters of LiD - the structure is still 150 kg - 234 kg in all - leaving 768 kg of payload capacity. This will take 1 day 6 hours and 45 minutes to complee the journey to mars at 1 gee.

This sort of spaceship would be quite capable. I envision a totally automated system. A sort of GOOGLE SOLAR SYSTEM that gives you your position on whatever planet you find yourself on - and you type in where you want to be - navigate on the software to precisely the location where you want to be - and press GO and *bam!* the software calculates;

1) lithium deuteride load to get you there and back
2) available payload
3) supply weight
4) payload weight (after subtracting your weight and the weight of others)
5) duration of voyage,
6) arrival date
7) return date.using duration at site and arrival date.
8) interesting sights along the way

http://www.chewednews.com/Pictures/winnebago.jpg

You can fly anywhere in the solar system out to Neptune and back in three weeks or less at 1 gee - and have the comfort of 1 gee all along the way.
 
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williammook

Guest
To fly to Neptune, 4.65 billion kilometers away achieves a speed of 6,751.2 km/sec. This requires a propellant fraction of;

u = 1 - 1/exp(6751.2/25,400) = 0.233 = 23.3%

To return requires

u = 1 - 1/exp(13,502.4/25,400) = 0.412 = 41.2%

So a 1 tonne vehicle carries 412 kg - 412 liters of LiD - and 562 kg when adding 150 kg structure - leaving 438 kg payload. Say you total 100 kg (220 lbs) with clothes and spacesuit, and you use 3 kg of supplies per day (including air) To achieve 13,502 km/sec at 1 gee requires 16 days - 32 days out and back!! That's another 100 kg of consumables on board. You can see this is nearly the limit for this sort of vehicle - at 1 tonne total mass.

1,000 kg - total
412 kg - lithium deuteride
200 kg - astronaut (w/suit)
200 kg - consumables
150 kg - vehicle

Two people for a month aboard the vehicle will make it to Neptune and return - with enough supplies to stay 10 days at Neptune.

There are lots and lots of things to do and see in this region of space - and this requires no impossibly difficult technology.
 
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