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Selected Problems in Interstellar Navigation

Selected Problems in Interstellar Navigation

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by Robert Cornog

INSTITUTE OF NAVIGATION
SIXTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING
23-25 JUNE 1960
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
by Robert Cornog

INSTITUTE OF NAVIGATION
SIXTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING
23-25 JUNE 1960
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

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03/21/2011

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SELECTED

PROBLEMS
IN

. INTERSTEllAR

NAVIGATION

BY

ROBERT

CORNOG

RAMO-WOOLDRIDGE

a division
THOMPSON CANOGA RAMO P ARK,

of
INC. CALIFORNIA

WOOLDRIDGE

INSTITUTE
SIXTEENTH 23-25 UNnED STATES

OF

NAVIGATION
MEETING 1960 FORCE ACADEMY COLORADO

ANNUAL JUNE AIR

COLORADO

SPRINGS,

SELECTED

PROBLEMS

IN INTERSTELLAR

NAVIGATION

INTRODUCTION The title is ambitious; lest I seem unduly pretentious, I plan I will spend

same time describing motivations which

the scope of the material it.

which

to cover, and the

led me to select

)

Motivation professionally

is the simple part. with

Twenty

years

ago, very few people Ballistic Missile.

were

concerned

the Intercontinental with problems

Still

fewer were professionally sequence, publicly most people were such impractical Ballistic of military

concerned

in space flight. about

As a con-

comparatively things

free to speculate

and discuss of Inter-

as the properties or the engineering

and potentialities design

continental Questions Anyone

Missiles, security

of space vehicles. were not very germane.

and classified

information

could speak freely. Today, the situation has changed. The ICBM and both space flight are realiwith facets

ties.

Developments

in both areas

have budgets;

are festooned in space

of classified

information.

So rapid has been flight exists.

our progress

technology field

that today the area of interstellar in which a corresponding deemed so visionary with situation

is almost

the only remaining space

Interstellar

ships are still

and so impractical

that very

few people

are professi6nally speak freely, So un-

concerned hampered much

their properties. facts

Consequently, or by too many the subject

one can still security

either by too many

restrictions.

for my motivation

in choosing

of this paper.

The problem front the navigator

of formulating

with

intelligence space

the problems

which

may con-

of an interstellar and performance

ship is not so simple. of the vehicle

Some knowbeing of

ledge of the properties navigated is almost

capabilities

a prerequisite. govern

Likewise,

one should have a knowledge space ship.

the motivations navigational navigator?

which

the captain

of an interstellar are likely

What

requirements To answer

and objectives questions,

to be presented

to the

these

I had to make

some assumptions.

-I-

ASSUMPTIONS

The laws of Nature

Who would

have guessed,

prior

to the discovery of anything

of radioactivity

late

in the 19th century, as the atomic bomb? such possibilities. have asserted consequently

the possibility Of course, poets

so dramatic

and cataclysmic did suggest would

and science-fiction exception, the known

writers

But, almost without violated

reputable

scientists

that such a device the possibility

laws of Nature and that consideration.

was not worthy

of serious

I am rather ample,

confident

that a similar of scientists

situation would, to be

exists

today. today,

For exem-

an overwhelming

majority

if polled

phatically concentrated Einstein's

aver that it is impossible than that corresponding equation, first adduced to assert

for there

a

source

of energy more of matter.

to the utter in 19~

annihilation

is still

the law of the land. will soon be discovered of energy, or How-

I am not going to be untrue, some new body

that Einstein's

equation

or that some new, currently of pertinent natural

Unsuspected

source

laws, will be presently

discovered.

ever, I do suggest this or related

that it may be unrealistic

and nearsighted it may

to rule out

possibilities. and boundary and downright

In other words, conditions

in time be discovered are unneces-

that the assumptions sarily conservative

herein

assumed

unimaginative.

It is not ~t all inconceivable laws of nature -- laws under whose

that our descendants overnight trips

will discover to utmost'.limits

new

aegis

of our galaxy will be easy and simple. to accomplish -- we will be able

Or -- and I believe

this to be easier of :the average Nevertheless., game,<*)

to extend

the life expectancy its present value.

human to ten, a hundred,

or a thousand

times

i~. order to give the reader I assume that all current described

some feeling

of participation

in a familiar

knowledge

is "true",

that the properties

of Nature bio-

are complete~ logical

by the present are still beyond

laws of physics, human control.

and that man's

characteristics "game" is used

r*JHere,

in the mathematical

sense of the word.

- 2 -

Technological

Skills reveal more clearly some of the key problems involved,

In order to help where necessary

it will be assumed technical

that the inhabitants Thus,

of our space vehicle that as long

have acqw..red infinite as the known vehicle

skill.

it will be assumed

laws of nature are not violated, and launch space engines instruments ships having

the crew of the astronautical size and description; and great reliability;

can build

of any specified high efficiency

they can build propulsive they can make measuring

of remarkable

sensitivity

and precision.

It is the writer's assumed skills

belief

that it will However,

not be necessary there

to invoke these corollary

to any great

extent.

is one impor~nt

assumption

which must be invoked. their

It is that the inhabitants skills, i.e., pass

of an interstelchildren.

lar space ship can perpetuate The people control stable in an interstellar

them on to their

vehicle

must attain

and maintain

technological some sort of a

of their environment. social structure

They must attain

and maintain

for many generations.

The Stellar

Environment to examine in some detail vehicle the nature of the Let

It will be found helpful stellar environment

in which an interstellar knowledge

is apt to navigate.

us examine

some of our present

about

the universe.

Clustered is a member diameter. 20,000

together

with an estimated galaxy which

150 billion is roughly

other 100,000

stars, our Sun light years its diameter, in or

of a disk-shaped The thickness

of our galaxy

is roughly it would

one-fifth take

light years.

By way of contrast, across the orbit

less than 11 hours known planet of

for light to travel our solar system. on a galactic

of Pluto,

the outermost

It is seen, then,

that the neighboring indeed.

planets,

when measured

scale, are very

close neighbors

There are other galaxies, In fact, galaxies membership come in ones,

besides double

the one to which or multiple

our Sun belongs.(*) groups (with a

galaxies,

of the order of ten), and clusters

of galaxies

(with a membership

(*)Considerations

pertaining

to intergalactic

flight were

deliberately

excluded

during

this study. However, it is interesting note that the the gravitational potential of our galaxyto is on the order speed required to escape of 400 km/sec.ll) (l)H.N. RUssell, R.S. Dugan,,,~nd J.Q. Stewar~ Astronomy II Astrophysics Stellar Astronomy, Ginn and Company, 1955, p. 8121'1'. and

- 3 -

measured

in hundreds,

or thousands). of a cluster

Some tens of thousands of galaxies

of galactic

clusters

are known.

The diameter

is on the order

of 3 x 106

light years.(2)

(3,ODO,OOD)
our own galaxy gregarious are by no means tendency. scattered at random; that

The stars within instead,

they show a decided~ density

It has been

estimated

the spatial

of stars near the center density

of a globular

cluster

may be more

than 1000 times highly populated

the stellar region,

in the neighborhood distance between

of Sol. stars

In such a

the average

is only one-tenth

as great as that of stars near our Sun.(3)

How close are the neighboring knows that Alpha other nearby Centauri is about four

stars?

Nowadays, away.

every

cat who's

hep to

light years

The distances

stars are not as well

known.

Gadomski within

has described

properties

of the 59 known

stars (4:) which

lie

17 light years which

of the Sun. lie within

Sa,p.dage($) has estimated 55.4 light years vehicle, journeys

that there are more of Sol. It is of

than 1700 stars apparent, action, years

(15 parsecs)

then, that an interstellar

to have an interesting which are on the order

radius

should be able to undertake

of 100 light

in length.

Propulsion The problem will be assumed stellar space, of propelling an interstellar vehicle, when vehicle located is a basic one. It

that an interstellar is able to achieve approximately

in field-free

inter-

a speed on the order 10 percent

of 1000 km/sec by apmass. At a speed

propriately

expelling

of its initial

of 1000 km/sec, in length.

30,000 years are required

to complete

a journey

100 light years

(2) Rudolf ~urth, Introduction Press, 1957, p. 12.

to the Mechanics

of Stellar

Systems,

Pergamon

(3) Russell, Dugan, Stewart'f799 (4) Jan Gadomski, "Die Sternenokospharen im Radius von 17 Lichtjahren um die Sonne" - Proceedings of· the VIIIth International Astronautical Congress, 1958, pp. 127-136. (5) Allan Sandage, "The Stars Wi thin 15 Parsecs of the Sun," Interscience Publishers, Inc., New York, 1958, p. 287. Stellar Populations,

- 4 -

It is at this point have sometimes been tempted

that the designers to invoke

of an interstellar phenomena. close

space

ship

relativistic

It has been to the speed

shown that passengers of light will,

in a vehicle

traveling

sufficiently

when measured normal

by a clock aging.

in the hands deal

of the folks back home less harshly with our

(and on Earth':), avoid cosmtc cousins.

Time will high-speed

Carried journey

to extremes, lasting

galactic

astronauts home

can take

an interstellar that millions at-home

only a few "days" and return

to find stay-

of years have gone by and that the descendants have undergone so many evolutionary changes

of their

relatives

that the return-

ing traveler~ There to accelerate one is able beams

would undoubtedly is one basic a space

be classed

as "little green men from Mars." The energies required Even photon is to if

flaw in this development.

ship to relativistic the complete legality,

speeds are astronomical. of mass into directed

to effect

conversion according

-- a process somewhat

whose

to the known

laws of nature, in order

at best

controversial

-- large masses close

must be consumed

bring a space vehicle words, journey

up to speeds

to the velocity

of light -- in other an interstellar

up to speeds at which during Many one human

one can contemplate

completing

lifetime. problems of the photon drive were first numerical

of the theoretical by ~·nger.(6)

investigated examples.

Stuhlinger

has computed

some interesting

(1)
It may very well be that the complete conversion source of mass ·into radifor the photon assumed drive,

ation

energy,

postulated

by Sanger violating

as the energy

cannot be done without

the known

laws of nature

above.

(6) Eugen sanger, "Zur Theorie der Photonenraketen," the Fourth IAF Congress, Zurich, 1953)

(paper presented

at

(1) Ernst

Stuhlinger, nautics, Pergamon

"Propulsion Systems for Space Ships," Press, New York, 1958, p. 195 ff.

Vistas

in Astro-

- 5 -

Limitations

on Specific

Impulse an interstellar ramjet in which the fusion hydrogen, energy energy it for

Unless of scooped would

one assumes

up deuterium

is used to accelerate

the associated

appear

that the best, most practical vehicle is either

source of propulsion of heavy nuclei

an interstellar of light nuclei. only about 25 percent

the fission between

or the fusion of that

The difference

the two processes

is a factor

5 in energy released per unit mass of fuel.
of the energy released is converted exhaust

If it is assumed energy

into kinetic velocities about

of the fission two

or fusion products, percent velocity

the corresponding

are,

for fission of the

of the velocity of light.

of light, and for fusion of a space

five percent

The properties 1.

ship using

such propulsive

en-

gines are given

in Table

TABLE 1
Nuclear Propulsion

Mass

Fraction

Impulse

Capability

(NuClear Material)
0.01 0.10

Ini tial Mass

.

(Exi t Speed

~4~~ss~
= t!/o c) 60 km/sec

(Exi t speed = 151 km/sec 1,580 km/sec 34,500 km/sec

5% c)*

632 km/sec
13,800 km/sec

*
Assuming 25% of energy released is given to exhaust products. Notes: 1) 3,000 km/sec is one percent of velocity of light. A vehicle moving this speed would require 10,000 years to complete a journey 100 light years in length. Relative to the centroid of the system of neighboring stars, the Sun is moving with a speed of about 20 km/sec. Other nearby stars have comparable speeds relative to the centroid. at

2)

-6-

Duration

of Flight

It is at this point one postulates vastly greater processes

that a basic

difficulty

becomes

clear.{8) is

Either

in which

the conversion theoretically ships most assume Again, journey

of mass

into energy

than the 0.64 percent them in space

obtainable of whose

in deuterium is journey

fusion and incorporates to be converted

initial mass

into energy,

or one must years.

that the interstellar one is tempted within a single with

lasts at least several some method of making

thousand

to look for lifetime. high-speed The ethnic

the interstellar opinion

It is the writer's interstellar ~ores ~light

that the preoccupation of an emotional

may be symptomatic

compulsion.

of our society

are still so ephemeral

and transitory which

that no one in his than 10,000 then, I

right mind will plan an experiment years to complete. think, adopt The designer

or venture

may take more vehicle MUst

of the interstellar One course would

one of two courses. of the human

be to slow down the bio~

logical processes

race -- either by a sort of cold storage.at or by some kind revised of controlled evolu-

some part of the individual tionary change

life cycle,

-- so that a drastically

set of actuarial years

tables will This assumed. In

be acquired,

and the average

life span will be 10,000 the known

or more.

course may be incompatible The other short, solution

with

laws of nature the journey

previously more

calls

for making

pleasant.

if life on shipboard

is more pleasant will

than it is in the new land ahead the joUrney. In-

or the old one behind, stead, he will now consider consider

the traveler his vehicle

no longer begrudge

the center

of the universe

-- even as we

Earth as our native

land.

(8)

See for example: ·a) John Gustavson, "The Possibility of Interstellar pulsion, January, 1957, p. 69 f. L.R. Shepherd, planetary "Interstellar Vol. Flight," Journal Flight," Jet Pro-

b)
c)

of the British

Inter-

Society,

11, No.4,

1952, p. 149. Entfernungen,"

W. Peschka, "Uber die Uberbruckung interstellarer Astronautica Acta, Vol. II, 1956, p. 191 ff.

-7-

Emotionally, distant sun surrounded air.

one is tempted by verdant

to consider whereon

speeding

his spacecraft perfume

to a a

planets

lotus blossoms have pointed

mosquito-free

As Huang(9)

and

Gadomski(lO)

out,- it is not possibility. to prod and

at all unlikely However, sizeable attractive

that this dreamy

vista may be in fact an exciting to invoke such a nirvana A reliable, vehicles before

I do not think one needs segments of mankind

in order time-tested

off into space.

space ship will

suffice.

Interstellar generations which

of the type described they are, launched

below will probably on interstellar they completely cordingly, attractive

be tested

for many

journeys. conform

The technologies natural

are required,

even

though Ac-

with that

laws, will

take time to perfect. space

it is assumed to sizeable

life aboard of properly

an interstellar qualified

ship will be

groups

inhabitants.

Description

of Assumed

Interstellar

Vehicle considerable of human speculation on possible ecology methods of small a subastral

Recently, of meeting extent.

there has been requirements

biological

beings

in a closed

In order

to avoid dwelling assumed

on the nuances

of so controversial aboard the typical

ject, it was arbitrarily abode would be allocated

that each person

an initial mass

of 10 tons.

The number person portion portions

is not too critical.

For example,

one hundred mass

tons per a

could also have been assumed. will be used to provide will come the propulsive his food supply,

From each person's which

allocation,

the structure machinery

houses

him; from other the machinery

to actuate

the vehicle,

that.generates to provide

and such other

equipments

as may be necessary life.

for him, or her, a complete,

rich and rewarding

In order to avoid

excessive

statistical

fluctuation

in the population temperaof at

level, and in order to insure an adequate ments, and professional skills,

spectrum

of personalities,

it is assumed

that a stable population

(9)

Su-Shu Huang, "Occurrence of Life in the Universe," Autumn, 1959, Vol. 47, No.3, p. 397 127-136

American

Scientist

(10) Gadomski,

- 8-

least 10,000 people assumed house

will be required is allocated

to man an interstellar a volume equal

vehicle.

If it is

that each person

to half of a 2,000 ft2 it turns out

(three bedrooms,

two baths,

and wall-to-wall would enough,

carpeting1),

that a sphere

only 534 feet in diameter Interestingly people,

provide a sphere

this volume

for a popula-

tion of 10,000 people. will house namely,

10 times this diameter
diameter more __

10 million 10 miles

and one only

100 times the reference 10 billion
people,

about

in diameter population

-- will house of the Earth.

than

three times the present

Shielding hazards

the population

against

cosmic

rays and other Suppose

environmental 10% of the the ex-

may be a problem

in an interstellar

vessel.

that

initial mass allowed ternal walls vehicle

each person

(10 tons/person)
shaped vehicle.

is used

to provide

of such a spherically

In the case of the largest that this weight steel and the

(10 miles in diameter),
will be met

it may

easily be computed walls

requirement

even

though

the external such walls noxious

are of solid

five feet thick. traveler debris a greater

Properly

disposed, against

can be made

to afford

protection being

cosmic

radiations here

and meteoric on Earth.

than is currently

provided

to his progenitors

-9 -

NAVIGATION

PROBLEMS·

Now for the big question: confront the denizens

What

sort of navigation

problems

might

of such a world?

Once described definite

launched,

a self-sustaining travel

interstellar

vehicle

of the type

could, period

in principle,

through

interstellar

space for an insystem are be

of time -- even as Earth space. However,

and the rest of the solar

now drifting emotionally colonists

through repugnant

such a purposeless Assume, to move therefore,

existence'may

to many people.

that our astral

will

from time to time wish

from one star to another.

If such journeys mid-course mid-course corrections position Fixes

are to be other

than pre-set

"ballistic"

trajectories, corrections,

must be made.

In order

to make mid-course

and velocity

must be known.

Interstellar

In principle, by taking bearings measurements cannot

one's position

in interstellar

space

can be determined stars? vehicle. Parallax If paraldistances

on nearby ordinarily

starsj but which be made

are the nearby

from an interstellar must be used

lax measurements

are lacking, objects

some other method

to measure

to newly discovered

in interstellar objects

space. less than 10,000 light years:) ship navigator. points located

The distances can be measured Suppose

of nearby

(i.e.,

if triangulation

techniques

are used by the space one or more on nearby observation

that the navigator

has established Bearings

at some distance such outpost Doppler

from his vessel.

stars are taken vessel.

from each By use of can be of or

and the results

are communicated between

to the parent outpost

radar techniques, with great With

the distance

and parent

vessel

determined kilometers.

accuracy,

even at distances baselines,

of hundreds

of millions stars

such extended

the distances

to nearby

other objects

can be measured

accurately.

The velocity Velocity

of the space

ship is also of navigational the position

interest. Thus if

can be determined

by differentiating

function.

- 10 -

position

relative

to nearby

stars has been

determined

at two or more

times,

relative velocity with time. A direct ing the Doppler simple, practical

can be computed

by determining

the rate of change of position

determination

of relative spectral

velocity

also

can be made by measurfrom nearby stars. A

shift in known device

lines

in the light is used

in which

this procedure

"to measure

stellar Doppler

range

rates has been described speedometer,"

..

by J.E. Abate.

(11)

Called an "astro-digital spectral

the device measures

Doppler

shift of known

lines.

It appears, of an interstellar tionof his vessel

then, that it would

not be difficult display

for the navigator both the posi-

vessel

to have a continuous

showing

and the direction

and speed with which

it is moving.

Profitable

Encounters

In 1929 Oberth(12)pointed lar vehicle well. to do its accelerating which

out that

it is profitable

for an interstel(gravitational) close to speed than

at the bottom while

of a potential

Thus a vehicle star will if it were

accelerates

it is moving a much higher

in orbit residual

a massive it would time.

have, at great

distances,

to cause its accelerational

impulse

to occur at any other

Mathematically, a hyperbolic encounter

the problem with a massive

of navigating star is very a planet

an interstellar similar

vehicle

during

to that of guiding Baker, (13)

an interplanetary Stearns,(14)and

vehicle

as it approaqhes investigated

for a landing.

others have

the latter problem.

Ordinarily

it is desired

that the vehicle

be guided

along

an entry

cor-

ridor such that aerodynamic It may be desirable object,

braking

in the planetary to approach problem

atmosphere closely

is possible.

for a space vehicle A somewhat

an even more massive will be encountered.

i.e., a star.

similar

in navigation

(11) James A. Fusca, "Speedometer 22 June 1959, p. 201 ff. (12) Hermann Oberth, Wege

Proposed

for Space

Vehicle,"

Aviation

Week,

zur Raumschiffahrt,

Munich,

R.

oIdenbourg,

1959, pp. 143-145

(13) Robert M.L. Baker, Jr., "Accuracy Required for a Return from Interplanetary Voyages," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 17, Nos. 3 and 4, May through August, 1959 (14) E.V. Stearns, "Guidance for Interplanetary landings," (Paper presented at the 6th National Annual Meeting of the American Astronautical Society, 18-21 January 1960, New York City, New York)

.

- 11 -

Two cases merit or moving slowly

concern.

In the first

case, a star is either

stationary,

(relative

to the space will

ship and to its destination). the principle. whose mass Choose a white times

A numerical dwarf whose

example

illustrate

size is equal to that of Earth, (and thus three times the mass

is 1,000,000 and whose

that of Earth

of Sol),

temperature At the

is so low that approaches surface of such a body,

as close as 10 Earth

radii are practical. is

gravitational

acceleration

106 g, and the period
At 10 Earth radii, the along

of a low altitude corresponding a parabolic

satellite

is less than six seconds.

numbers path will,

are 104 g and 190 seconds. at the point km/sec, where of nearest

A space

ship approaching be moving with the

approach,

speed of 11,000/R measured

1/2

R is the distance of closest

to the center

of the star, radii

in Earth radii. center,

If the point

approach

is 10 Earth

from the mass

the speed will be 3480 km/sec.

Suppose are turned 3480 km/sec distance

that at or near the point

of closest

approach,

rocket

engines

on so as to increase to 3481 km/sec.

the vehicle's these

speed one km/sec,

i.e., from at a great will be

Under

circumstances, I will call

the velocity infinity,

from the star, namely,

at what

local

83.5 km/sec.
As can be seen from Table appropriate many nearby propellants, velocity guidance accuracy, 1, 83.5 km/sec is not inconsequential. With with chemical a

the space

ship can now effect a rendezvous On the other hand, even with

stars in 30 or 40 milleniums.

less than 1/400 of the ship's mass of one km/sec assumed

need be ejected of closest

to attain approach.

increment

at the point

With a specific

the use of a nuclear

reactor

which

heats exhaust

hydrogen speed),

so as to produce even more impres-

impulse

of 2035 Ib-sec/lb

(20 km/sec

sive results cle mass

can be obtained.

If, after

a parabolic

approach,

1.25~ of the vehiinfinity will

is ejected

at periaps+s,

the resulting

speed at local

be 418 km/sec. As can be seen from Table mass than one can hope I, this is a much more engine effective use of ejected fusion is

for in any conventional

in which

nuclear

used as a source of power. There Suppose of which is a second method of extracting energy from a stellar star, system.

that our space vehicle is a massive

is slowly approaching properties

a double

each member

dwarf having

identical

to those

of the dwarf

- 12 -

assumed

in the previous in a circular

example.

Assume

further

that the stars are moving Granted

about

each other navigational hyperbolic

orbit with

a speed

of 1000 km/sec.

consummate

skill, a space ship could approach orbit which is almost parabolic.

such a fast-moving the encounter, a speed which acceleration

star in a the space at loca'l inand no pro-

After star with

ship would be moving

away

from the double

finity would be 1000 km/sec pulsive orbital engines.

-- all of this tremendous is also under

Final direction star.

control

-- if it lies in the

plane of the double

Interstellar' Courier

Pigeons

Assume

there are 1000, or 10,000,

inhabited

communities

-- each aboard

its space ship -- spread throughout civilization; workable isolated each will be pursuing of intercolony all tim.e.

our galaxy.

Each group will be a separate Unless there is some

its own objectives.

scheme

communication, It has been

each colony will be completely that unless groups some minimum

throughout

suggested isolated

size requirement

is met,

such sociologically

may be unstable; and regression the different information. are to be found.

in too small a group, may be the norm. cOlJDllunities ould w For example, Perhaps

sociological aside

and technological from these possible useful

stagnation dangers,

Completely probably

like to exchange to know where

environmental double stars

they may wish

desirable

they would wish

only to pass

the time of millenium •

.sol'!T Some ~ of electromagnetic medium. X-rays Radio waves could be used. information are used

radiation

is often

chosen as a communication or focused required

extensively.

Modulated

light beams

Regardless at a given

of the frequency rate increases

selected,

the energy

to transmit between

as the square

of the distance between of in-

sender and receiver. is measured

I am going

to suggest

that if the distance transmission method.

sender and receiver formation

in light years,

the direct feasible

electromagnetically geometrical

may not be the most

Wi th l1mi ted and receiving can be

power and limited antennae,

size of the apertures restrictions infinite

of the sending

there are quantum Thus,

on the rate at which technical skill,

energy

transmitted. for the people

even with

it may not be practical of space

on one space ship to "talk" directly than a few light years away.

to the inhabitants

ships which are more

- 13 -

Under

these circumstances, manner. Suppose

communication that N two-way space

capability relay ships.

can be improved are" evenly that

in the following distributed

stations

between

the two communicating to maintain

It may be found

the total power ing the power required him when launched

required

a given

rate of communication stations)

{incl~d-

requirements

of all the N relay Thus,

is now only l/N that unwound twine behind

for direct

communication. the Cretan

even as Theseus

he penetrated

labyrinth,

so the inhabitants

of a newly them as

space ship may unwind the layrinthine

a string

of communication of our galaxy.

relays behind

they penetrate

intracacies

- 14 -

·

.•.

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