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<Link> HALO DRIVE: Could We Use Black Holes for Space Travel?
#2
Yeah, I came across this 2 or 3 weeks ago. Meant to post something about it, but got sidetracked. It's clever, but suffers from the rather major problem that (as this video mentions) the nearest known black hole is thousands of light-years away and that even if one was relatively 'nearby' it would still be so far away that if we could reach it in the first place we probably wouldn't need to use this technique, as we would have developed other methods that are as (or more) capable and don't require a black hole to work.

To use an example already found in OA - Beamrider technology would let you accelerate a starship up to a high percentage of the speed of light (potentially even high enough that travel to the Andromeda galaxy in less than a human lifetime becomes possible to contemplate - although we don't take it that far in the setting) at extremely high efficiency using a small fraction of the energy output of nearly any star (so no need to first travel to a specific - and possibly quite distant - location before you can use this tech. Magnetic braking sails would let you slow that same starship down from high fractional c to about one half of one percent of c in less than three years - with no expenditure of reaction mass.

I'm not totally dismissing the idea - points to the author for putting the different pieces together to come up with this. But I don't really see it as having much practical value from a near to intermediate future interstellar travel standpoint (unless maybe we postulate that future starships might employ multiple different modes in the course of their travels - taking advantage of any black holes they come across or know of for a given trip?). The author does talk about a sort of galactic network that uses the black holes (in particular binary black holes (which the video itself doesn't talk about much) to accel and decel ships (potentially of planetary dimensions) - which might work if you have a galactic civ that is sending ships all over the galaxy. But for smaller scales, it is rather iffier. Again, you'd have to get to the black hole(s) before you could use them. And if you have the ability to do that - do you actually need them?

My 2c worth,

Todd
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RE: HALO DRIVE: Could We Use Black Holes for Space Travel? - by Drashner1 - 04-17-2019, 02:07 PM

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