Magnetic Sail Plasma Beam Propulsion

I like the sound of this. But none of this crap about space travel means a panhuman lovefest and universal brotherhood and world government. I want a Jacksonian space program. The USA, not Mankind or the Federation of Planets, must emplace all the plasma stations at all the key points and obtain and hold the high ground so America has total control of the Solar System FOREVER.

That is a space program I’d be happy to support. Ha.

(It’s been a while since the Boyz speculated on the tools we’d need to achieve galactic hegemony, like here, and here. I think this technology would go pretty darn well with that whole program.)

(And maybe Jay will share with us something intelligent and informed about this interesting development.)

(Via Instapundit.)

7 thoughts on “Magnetic Sail Plasma Beam Propulsion”

  1. Some see global dominion as sufficient. The ambitions of others end at the Oort Cloud. I, however, see the Solar System as a mere steppingstone.

    But, one thing at a time.

  2. It’s funny this should come up, as I actually know someone who used to work on some of Professor Winglee’s earlier projects (UW baby!). The beam stuff is all new, but the team has been working on magnetic sails (using research related to the fields designed for fusion reactors) as propulsion for some time.

    It’s pretty cool stuff, and has a number of potentially diabolical, conquest oriented uses…

  3. “potentially diabolical, conquest oriented uses…”

    Don’t toy with us, Captain! Tell us about these fascinating things!

  4. Let’s just state the most obvious: these orbiting magnetic thrusters, capable of propelling a ship all the way to mars, are essentially highly accurate multi-megawatt plasma cannons. Can you say EMP effects? You’d be able to knock out any electrical system on the planet. Could also be used for missile defense, I suppose, or anything else where a focused, high-intensity magnetic field would be useful (anti-satellite warfare?). The possibilities are near endless.

    Placing these in high enough orbit to protect them from surface attacks would give you pretty much complete dominance of Near-Earth space…

  5. Captain Mojo – since plasma cannon satelites in distant orbits could hit targets on earth is the reverse true: could earth-based plasma cannons take out the satelites? In other words, would they be unsafe at any distance, or are there atmospheric issues or something that make earth based plasma cannons a non threat?

    Thanks, very interesting

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