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Letters to Nature
Nature 213, 588 - 589 (11 February 1967); doi:10.1038/213588a0

Interstellar Vehicle propelled by Terrestrial Laser Beam


Bishop's University, Lennoxville, P.Q., Canada.

IN a recent article Marx1 examined the possibility that interstellar travel may be accomplished in the lifetime of an astronaut. He pointed out that the attainment of relativistic velocities by a rocket-propelled vehicle is hampered by the low efficiency, which is a result of the energy acquired by the ejected mass. Marx suggested that if an interstellar vehicle were driven by the pressure exerted on it by a light beam transmitted from the Earth, then, because the recoil momentum and energy would now be acquired by an extremely massive body—the Earth—the energy wasted would be negligible.



1. Marx, G., Nature, 211, 22 (1966). | ISI |

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