Artwork of Daedalus starship

Artwork of Daedalus starship

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This image is part of the feature Designing A Starship

Credit: JULIAN BAUM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Starship Daedalus. Artist's impression of Daedalus, a space vehicle designed in 1978 by the British Interplanetary Society to visit Barnard's Star. The vehicle has a mass of 50,000 tonnes and is powered by nuclear explosions. Frozen pellets of deuterium and helium are released into a 'combustion' chamber 250 times per second. A laser 'ignites' each fuel pellet to create a series of small fusion explosions. The plasma formed by these repeated explosions is released via the exhaust nozzle, providing thrust. With a 450- tonne payload, Daedalus would travel at 12% of lightspeed and take about 50 years to reach its objective some six light years from Earth.

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Keywords: artwork, daedalus, exploration, future, galaxy, illustration, manned spaceflight, space art, spaceship, starship

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