Space Transportation and Engineering Methods
July 26, 2001
by Dani Eder
This document is a an attempt list of all known space transport and space engineering methods. It includes only those methods whose underlying physical principles are understood (i.e. no Star Trek warp drives). It is the product of a number of years of collecting and, occasionally, inventing them.
I am motivated by a desire to see civilization expand into space and my frustration by the slow pace of progress to date. Most current space vehicles and projects use techniques that existed in the 1950's and 1960's. Some new ideas were developed as early as 1960, but have not been put into used even today. From the 1970's to today many additional ideas have been generated. Most of these have received scant attention. By disseminating information on these ideas, I hope others will realize the vast untapped potential contained in these ideas.
This draft (version 0.79) lists all the concepts I am aware of, with at least a basic description of each. As you can tell by the version number, which is less than one, this is still very much a work in progress. Later versions of this document are intended to flesh out each method with improved descriptions and current references. If you know of a method which is not on this list, I would appreciate being informed of it. If you have references or text descriptions on a concept, they would be appreciated also.
Some related information on the basics of space transport, the forces and energies used, and space project engineering are included. Editorial comments and material that needs lots of editing appear in square brackets.
Section A: Basics of Space Transport
Section B: Propulsive Forces
Section C: Energy Sources
Section D: Propulsion Concepts, part 1
Section E: Engineering Methods
Section F: References
<0.7............Prior to 1994..........Various in house drafts
0.71..........3 Jun 94..........Translated from Word to ASCII and posted to sci.space.tech
0.72..........8 Jun 94..........Cleaned up text, added ideas from Landis
0.77..........1 Aug 99..........Conversion to HTML files