P3_2 Terminal velocities due to relativistic Doppler effects

R. H. Peck, H. W. Buttery, C. D.Y. Moore, C. J. Middleton


We find the speed of a spacecraft at which the radiation pressure ahead of the craft from blue-shifted starlight will be enough to balance the propulsive force of its engines. We found that the drag force obeys P=(4*pi/3)*(((V/c)+1)^2*I_0/(c*(1-(V/c)))), calculated the terminal velocity of the Project Daedalus 2nd stage to be (100-4.6x10^-19)%c, and found that at the craft's planned cruise speed, 0.12c, only 1.1x10^-15N of drag results from this effect.

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