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How To Choose Between A Prepaid Or Regular Cell phone For Personal Or Business Use

The cell phone as we know it is changing our lives every day. Almost all small and big businesses require for their employees to own or have a cell phone to get in contact with other people as well as the need for cell phones to have a regular work day. This is why knowing about cell phones will pay off when you go to find one and get a plan. Locating your best cell phone plan is what you need to look for it will be the most important choice you make when getting a cell phone.

Think about whether you want a prepaid phone or a regular plan with your cell phone. When you have a prepaid phone you can only use the minutes you will have on your phone. Most of these phone plans come with a free phone. The only thing that is con about it is that you won't be able to use your phone when it runs out of minutes until you buy more. This is why buying a cell phone and getting a contract with a company is the easiest way to go. If you spend 40 to 50$ a month on minutes I am pretty sure you can get a fairly good plan from ATT for that much or just less per month. There are all kinds of plans out there that are way better than getting a prepaid phone. You won't have to worry about the minutes going out while you're talking.

Many cell phone companies have a family or share plan. When you have a plan like this you can have I think up to four or five people on the plan something like that. You will only be billed a certain amount each month and good plans start at like $60 for a share plan. This is easier than getting an individual plan for each kid in the family.

Cell phone plans are better than prepaid because you wont ever run out of minutes and you also will have rollover sometime like if you take a trip outside the united states and you don't use those 1000 minutes you have for the month and you are gone for 2 months you will have 2000 minutes when you come back because you haven't used your phone.

I think of prepaid phones only as an emergency to get in contact with someone. I think they should just be used when traveling.

The statements stated above are true and a plan is going to be better I price and for talking. You won't have to worry about losing minutes when talking on the phone and won't have to worry about dropped calls either.


USB Voice-Over-IP Phones - An Affordable Web Communications Technology

Cordless Skype phones are simply phones that use broadband internet connections to send voice signals instead of the regular telephone switching network. When you make a call using your cordless skype Phone, the telephone company doesn't charge you. Wifi Voice-Over-IP phones can place calls to other Voice-Over-IP handsets or regular cellular phones. You can also make what is called a computer to computer call.

Cordless Skype phones have become increasingly common because they afford the user a low-priced way by which to communicate. Unlike traditional international and long distance calls where you pay fairly high charges for each second, the VOIP call will only charge you according to what you pay for your ethernet access. So if you have flat monthly internet billing, then you may make as many calls including interstate places as many times as you like without being billed for any additional costs.

USB VOIP telephones give the user leverage when it comes to communication because the same internet service that is used for audio signals may also be used for other data transfers such as downloads. With VOIP Phones, you are able to get rid of the copious bundles of telephone cables and the resulting drilling.

There are mainly 3 ways to connect a wifi Voice-Over-IP telephone. The most common is through the use of a run of the mill Voice-Over-IP telephone - this may be simply a plain old cell telephone handset with additional Voice-Over-IP programming - meaning it has the ability to communicate through the web in lieu of the normal telephone network. You can also have VOIP telephones through modification of a standard phone. In this instance you'll require an adaptor so that the regular phone can be made to transmit and receive digital voice signals via the web. A 3rd option is the soft phone. In this case you'll use your computer speaker and microphone as the telephone. The computer will also have software that will enable it to transmit the resulting digital audio signals via the net.

There are a great many things to consider if you are considering hosting a wireless VOIP phone. You'll need to think about the communications standards that the phone offers. You will also have to determine if your wireless and Web connections are able to support it. Again, you'll have to see if it is endowed with advanced features such as teleconferencing so that you are able to talk to a whole group of people at the same time. It will be necessary to get a wifi Voice-Over-IP Phone with a bright LCD or LED screen so that you are able to make calls or otherwise use the phone in low lit places. You will also need to ascertain what protocols used by the Voice-Over-IP are directly supported by your PC. This will be vitally critical if you are employing an adapter to make the telephone work. You will also want to find out this specification if you plan to use a Voice-Over-IP Phone handset.

It's extremely important to use a high speed internet connection for your cordless Voice-Over-IP Phone. A low speed internet connection will cause your connections to sever very often, resulting in poor voice quality. If you are buying a wireless Voice-Over-IP Phone from a retail outlet, be sure to ensure that you have access to police and emergency services such as 911.

Skype phones allow a very affordable way to interact with coworkers and others. You will spend less money to communicate interstate or overseas.


Sony Ericsson MK16A Xperia Pro Android Smartphone Review

One of the many leading smartphones available on the market today, the Sony Ericsson MK16A is like any of the other Android-powered phones on the market, using its 3.7-inch screen for many features. However, the MK16A has a surprise built-in, a full QWERTY-style keyboard that slips out from the bottom so you can quickly send a message or text and then snap it back together so you can take advantage of its high-contrast color screen.

That is the beauty of this phone. Unlike a Blackberry, where the screen and keyboard reside on the same device, this is a two-piece smartphone that gives you the best of both worlds. You can take advantage of one of the many thousands of applications that have been created to work under Android 2.3, using the full display, and still use a mini-sized small keyboard to handle your texting and email needs.

A surprising feature is its size, the MK16A is driven by a 1 GHz microprocessor and yet is only 2.2 inches by 0.5 inches by 4.7 inches, weighing an impressive 3.2 ounces. The MK16A is a lightweight, yet it packs a punch such as an 8.1 MP automatic camera, as well as a front-facing lens for videoconferencing or chats. Interestingly, the high-resolution camera features an autoflash capability and shoots at 720 p so that you can share any video you shoot through an interface cable with your high-resolution TV screen. Further, the M16A, though a lightweight, is still driven by a Qualcomm 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and up to 32 GB of memory so it can handle any chore you ask of it. For example, the M16A automatically recognizes you have received a mail message or text and notifies you so you can quickly answer it on the built-in QWERTY-style keyboard.

Internal memory available to you is 1 GB, while a microSD card takes care of the memory expansion. Further, since this is Sony Bravia-compatible, the phone automatically synchronizes with any other Bravia device and you can see the high-definition video messaging or displays through the synced device. A powerful unit, it automatically recognizes SMS texting, as MMS video messaging and instant messaging. Not only is there the built-in keyboard, which is great for higher-speed mails and the like, but the keypad itself is capacitive so that, if you are in a hurry, you can quickly send a message without snapping open the phone.

A key to this phone is its access to social media such as Twitter and Facebook and its ability to display what you see there. In addition, the MK16A is a fully independent wireless networking device capable of not only using standards 802.11 a/b/g/n, but also of acting as a high-speed hotspot. And, it will interface with other high-definition devices through a mini-HDMI cable or a USB 2 port. In other words, there's very little this phone can't do.

Indeed, it will operates on the full range of quad-band frequencies, offering GSM, GPRS/EDGE frequency operations on 800, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz, as will as UMTS and HSPA capability on 800, 850, 1900 and 2100 MHz. These are the frequencies used by AT&T and T-Mobile but not by a CDMA device, such as those offered by Sprint or Alltel.

The MK16A offers full radio capability plus access to the RDS service (Radio Directory Service, where the display features not only the station played but also the artist and frequency and, in some cases, if a sideband is offered with roadway service such as traffic, you may also gain valuable traffic information).

It also offers an HTML browser as well as DLNA-compatibility, Flash 10.1 and access to Google maps and GPS services.

As you can see this is a well-rounded phone that can handle anything you ask of it. Instead of needing two devices, such as a tablet and a phone, for that matter, this is the one device you need to carry with you as it offers you up to a full day's talk time before you need to charge it again or you can plug it in an use it as a speakerphone while the battery is recharged.


How To Find The Best Cell Phone Choices For Today's Kids

If you are like most parents, your kids want to be able to have a cell phone to talk to their friends. You might also be interested in their having one so that you will be able to reach them. You will feel safer, too, knowing that your child can contact help in times of emergency. For all these reasons, you may be in the market for a child's cell phone if your child doesn't already have one.

There are several different options to choose when you are looking to buy your child's cell phone. There are different features on the various phones. Some will make you happy, and others will be specifically designed to please the kids. Exploring all the different phone choices will allow you to make the best selections.

The Cingular Firefly has been a best-selling kids' phone for awhile now. It is a simple phone for kids to use. It has been designed with kids aged five years and up in mind. Because of that, it couldn't be easier to dial or charge. The battery can hold up to about seven hours of talking. It is an exciting choice, with flashing lights, animation, and sounds.

The Tictalk is a very durable phone made especially for kids who are not good at caring for delicate things. It is a cool because it has educational games for kids to play five in all. It is also a good phone to use for text messaging, which is a favorite pastime of many kids. There may be some issues, though, with ease of activation.

For young children, the Verizon Migo is a good choice. It is especially well-suited for kids in the five to nine year age group. It has five speed dial buttons to make it easy for your child to reach important people in a hurry without remembering long numbers. For these young children, that can be a very valuable asset in a cell phone. It can mean the difference in whether your child is safe from harm if they can call you when they need to do so. Children will also like its bright green case.

The Disney Mobile Phone is a favorite with children and parents alike. Children aged eleven to fifteen like this phone very much. It is an LG flip phone, which gives kids that cool, adult-style look that they all want. The phone has V Cast music and video capabilities. It also has a navigator that will give directions in case the child gets lost. You can download ringtones, do text and picture messaging, and get on the internet.

It also has a feature that helps parents be informed about their kids cell phone use. This is the most important feature of these phones. Parents can set limits on their kids' cell phone use, and then monitor it. Yet, the child will still be able to contact their parents or emergency numbers.

When you are looking for a phone for your child, take into consideration the features that may be important to your child. At the same time, don't forget to check out phones that allow you as a parent to have some control over your child's cell phone use.


Are Cheap Cell Phones With Limited Features Really A Bargain?

The old thinking of just having a cell phone to have one is over, people need their cell phones to function well every day. Cell phones have become a need for parents needing to know where their kids are and small business and other people as well. People who work as a business will need their cell phones to communicate better. Even kids and teenagers need a cell phone to get in touch with friends and family. The days are gone when cell phones were expensive to have and you couldn't afford a phone or a plan. Now all kinds and sorts of cell phones are on the market today.

Over the years cell phone companies made cheap cell phones to flood the market now they have flooded the market with high tech phones and devices to go along with them. You may be one of those people who have an iPhone from apple which is an MP3 player and internet and TV or maybe you are just looking for a phone to get by with. Knowing what you need and when you will need it will help you out when looking for a cell phone.

If you buy a cheap phone you should never expect the same features as with a high tech cell phone. The only thing I can think of that a cheap phone does is send text messages and call and receive calls. So if you want all the extra features than you will need to get one of those high tech phones. Cell phones, the ones that are cheap only come with basic features but if you buy a high tech phone you will love the extra features. The only option you may have is to send and receive calls. So sending and receiving text messages may be available for you on a cheap phone as well but may only have certain levels of usage. Your best bet is to find the phone that has everything you're looking for, for a cheap price you can most likely find these deals at an overstock website.

I think by far the best thing to do is sign a contract and get the discount on the phone you want. Maybe you won't get the most expensive phone but you will more than likely get a nice phone for what you pay. Almost every type of Cell Phone Company will offer to let you sign a contract and have a plan.

You will still need to do the work in researching what kind of cell phone you want and what kind of service you want as well. So go out and start looking for your new cell phone today and get the one you want.


How To Be A Safe Driver While Still Being Available On Your Cell Phone

Cell phones are great communication tools to carry around with you when you are out and about. You can use them to carry on business, contact friends, or in case of emergencies. However, in many places now, the use of cell phones is not permitted while driving. Even where there is no such law, it is still a dangerous situation.

You need to find other ways to conduct cell phone business while you are out rather than driving down the road talking on the phone. Whether you are answering the cell phone or making a call, there are other ways to accomplish the same thing without putting your life and the lives of others in danger. It is good to get into the habit of using these methods whenever you are driving.

One simple solution is to request that your passenger answer or make calls for you. If your cell phone rings, your passenger can find out for you who is calling and what they want. Then, they can relay any messages you want to tell that person. Also, if you realize that you need to make a call, your passenger may be able to handle it, especially if it is a call to get directions or some other non-personal subject.

However, there may be times that only you can adequately take care of a call. This is often the case with business calls. If you know you will be conducting business during a drive, you may want to ask someone to drive you. Then, you will be free to make all the calls you want and to receive calls that come in for you. If your business is fast-paced, this is a good solution for you.

If you are alone when driving and you feel that you must answer the cell phone or make a call, the best idea is to pull over into a parking lot or to the side of the road before using the cell phone. Then, you can deal with any phone situation without interruption. You can be assured that you will not be putting lives in danger by talking on your cell phone. Then, when you are done, you can get back on the road.

It may not be practical to pull over to answer calls if you get too many of them. That is when using a message taking service can really make a difference. You can ignore your phone while you drive and get your messages when you have safely arrived at your destination. You may even want to turn your cell phone off when you drive. After all, you will not miss any calls because the message taker will get all the information you need to return them.

It is not enough to try to pay attention when you drive while using a cell phone. Sooner or later, you will become too distracted to be safe. It is far better to plan to avoid danger by considering alternate ways to use your cell phone. Think about it ahead of time, and you will be ready when your cell phone rings.


Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are increasingly taking the place of regular manned aircraft for certain missions and combat operations. This trend requires them to perform similar functions to that of the manned aircraft. In 2013, The United States Navy launched its first drone squadron that has a mix of unmanned as well as manned aircraft. The rising operational demand from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is compelling the UAV manufacturers to push the boundary on the capabilities of the UAV, and as a result are putting tremendous focus on the payload and sub systems market. The market for UAV payload and subsystems will grow at a significant CAGR of 8.94% in the forecast period.

The share of C4I payload and subsystems is the highest in the market, but it is the electro optic payloads which will grow at the fastest pace in the forecast period. The electro optic systems help the unmanned aerial vehicles in accurate navigation and detection. The C4I systems though will continue to hold the highest market share at the end of the forecast period.

North America is the biggest market for unmanned aerial vehicle payload and subsystems, but the growth in the market is slowly moderating due to falling defense expenditure of the United States. There are several ongoing activities in the region for UAV systems and payloads. In 2015, L3 Communications has acquired Force X which is an ISR Specialist. This acquisition allows L3 to move from a hardware provider to an information provider. In the same year, Harris Corporation has acquired Exelis (a leading vendor in airspace surveillance and sense and avoid tool) which positioned the new entity very favorably to capitalize on the massive opportunities seen in the global market. Asia Pacific on back of resurgence of Japan as a military spender and markets like India, China, and South Korea will see the significant growth rate in the forecast period. Saudi Arabia which has limited drone capabilities, is also ramping up purchases and upgrades, in order to counter the increasing threats in the region.

Elbit Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing are some of the key players in the Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market. The market has been segmented by Payload (C4I, radar, electronic warfare, electro optic, sonar), and by Geography (North America, South America, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific).

What the report offers

1) Market analysis of Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market with specific assessments and competition analysis on global and regional scales

2) Market definition along with the identification of key drivers, opportunities and restraints

3) Expert interviews and their insights on market shift, current and future outlook and factors impacting vendors short term and long term strategies

4) Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market, forecasts from 2015-2020.

5) Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market segmentation by Payload, forecasts from 2015-2020

6) Global UAV Payload and Subsystems Market segmentation by Geography, forecasts from 2015-2020

7) Identification of factors instrumental in changing the market scenarios, rising prospective opportunities, and identification of key companies that can influence this market on a global and regional scale

8) Extensively researched competitive landscape section with profiles of major companies along with their market shares

9) Identification and analysis of the macro and micro factors that affect the Global UAV Payloads and Subsystems Market on both global and regional scales

10) A comprehensive list of key market players along with the analysis of their current strategic interests and key financial information

11) A wide-ranging knowledge and insights about the major players in this industry and the key strategies adopted by them to sustain and grow in the studied market

12) Insights on the major countries in which this industry is blooming and to also identify the regions that are still untapped


SpaceX CRS-1 Payload, Internet From Satellite

SpaceX CRS-1 is the third flight for the uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, an American private space transportation company based in Hawthorne, California; a partially reusable spacecraft by Space X (also known as the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation).

It is the fourth overall flight for the company's two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle, a rocket-powered spaceflight launch system. Aside from that, it is also the first Space X operational mission under their Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, or the "National Aeronautics and Space Administration" ("NASA"), the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research, for the delivery of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) by commercial firms. The launch occurred on 7 October 2012 at 20:34 EDT (8 October 2012 at 00:34 UTC).

In May 2012, it was reported that the CRS-1 Falcon 9 had already been transported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ("CCAFS"), an installation of the United States Air Force Space command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at the nearby Patrick Air Force Base. The CRS-1 Dragon later arrived on August 14, 2012. On August 31, 2012, a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDH) was completed for the CRS-1 Falcon 9 to test out the systems of the rocket prior to spacecraft integration and launch, and on September 29, a static fire test was completed; both of these tests were completed without the Dragon capsule attached to the launch vehicle stack. The mission passed its Launch Readiness Review on October 5, 2012.

When launched the CRS-1 Dragon will be filled with about 1,995 lb (905 kg) of cargo, 882 lb (400 kg) without packaging. Included is 260 lb (120 kg) of crew supplies, 390 lb (180 kg) of critical materials to support the 166 experiments onboard the station and 66 new experiments, as well as 232 lb (105 kg) of hardware for the station as well as other miscellaneous items.

The Dragon will return 1,995 lb (905 kg) of cargo, 1,673 lb (759 kg) without packaging. Included is 163 lb (74 kg) of crew supplies, 866 lb (393 kg) of scientific experiments and experiment hardware, 618 lb (235 kg) of space station hardware, 69 lb (31 kg) of spacesuit equipment, a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, vacuum and temperature extremes, and 55 lb (25 kg) of miscellaneous items.
A 150 kg (330 lb) prototype second-generation Orbcomm satellite ("OG2"), intended to supplement and eventually replace the current first generation constellation, is planned to be launched as a secondary payload from Falcon 9's second stage.


NASA's New Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Debuts

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research, launched a new Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) last Wednesday 8:48 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The said spacecraft is NASA's eleventh TDRS to be used for communications with the International Space Station and to relay more images from the Hubble Telescope. Also, according to NASA, such spacecrafts will "provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth."

"TDRS-K bolsters our network of satellites that provides essential communications to support space exploration. It will improve the overall health and longevity of our system," said Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for Space Communications and Navigation at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The letter K designation (TDRS-K) is currently the spacecraft's name that will be changed into TDRS-11 once it reaches its destination. Launched by United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V Rocket after the three-month test phase, the spacecraft is expected to be on its intended location (22-300 mile-high) in approximately two weeks. Its operations, though, will take place in a couple of months.

Jeffrey Gramling, TDRS project manager said "With this launch, NASA has begun the replenishment of our aging space network.This addition to our current fleet of seven will provide even greater capabilities to a network that has become key to enabling many of NASA's scientific discoveries."

Also, according to NASA, "The TDRS-K spacecraft includes several modifications from older satellites in the TDRS system, including redesigned telecommunications payload electronics and a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet growing S-band requirements. Another significant design change, the return to ground-based processing of data, will allow the system to service more customers with evolving communication requirements."

TDRS-L, the next-generation TDRS spacecraft, is expected to launch next year.


Commercial space travel: A peek into its near future

When The Dragon, SpaceX's unmanned spacecraft, successfully docked at the International Space Station in May this year with a cargo of supplies for the station, the whole world was impressed. What was particularly impressive about this feat was that for the first time in the history of space exploration a privately-owned vehicle had taken off successfully and delivered a payload to the space station.

Keen observers have applauded this accomplishment because the company, SpaceX, has beaten a path where none existed before; it has ably shown the world that a private enterprise can surmount all the hurdles inherent to space travel and successfully launch space vehicles. Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science at University of Michigan, was exuberant in telling TechNewsWorld that the launch was an 'amazingly huge success'. He lauded The Dragon as both a scientific and entrepreneurial success.

Professor Zurbuchen isn't the only person ecstatic at the possibilities of commercial space travel as there are many other players who are hoping to cash in on the new development. One group of such entrepreneurs is assembled in the barren Mojave Desert, California, locked in a race to build viable space vehicles that can carry people and cargo into space. These companies are spurred in part by the impending cutbacks in NASA's budget that will force the space agency to outsource services to independent contractors involved in space travel.

Commercial space travel promises to be a moneymaker considering how much NASA is likely to spend on transporting personnel and supplies to the ISS. The techies camping out in the Mojave together with others across the country are also eyeing the nascent space tourism industry. Some of these companies are dedicating all their efforts to developing vehicles that can carry pleasure-seeking passengers to space and back, and they are projecting that in the next 4-5 years these vehicles should be lifting off.

A different kind of entrepreneur is also waiting to benefit from space travel but with regards to running a space travel agency. We are certainly going to see the opening of many an agency in response to increasing interest in space travel. As soon as companies like XCOR, Virgin Galactic, Space Adventures and Armadillo Aerospace put together viable space vehicles that can carry paying passengers, a space travel agency will become a very important aspect of the space travel business. You are likely going to buy your tickets and make reservations with the help of such an agency. We already have a few agencies that are enabling people interested in future space flights to start reserving seats. This industry will definitely take shape with time and we will see more and more enterprising people coming up with interesting products and services related to space travel including theme parks, memorabilia, computer games, simulated tours, and so on.


Space Shuttle Retirement: Why is NASA cancelling the Shuttle?

After almost 30 years, NASA's space shuttle program is ending. NASA is cancelling its space shuttle program and the space shuttles will be retired. There will be no more space shuttle flights after 2010, unless NASA extends some of the remaining 6 missions into the year 2011. The space shuttle era is coming to an end.

As the world's first reusable spacecraft, the space shuttle has been able to accomplish things that no other spacecraft can do. The space shuttle can launch like a rocket, maneuver in orbit like a spacecraft, and then land on a runway like an airplane. NASA's space shuttle is the first space vehicle ever developed that can bring large satellites up into orbit and then also bring them down from orbit and back to Earth.

Even though it is the most complex spacecraft ever designed and built, the space shuttle has been a hard worker. Heavy space station modules, parts, and supplies have been ferried to the International Space Station in the shuttle's large cargo bay. Since the first shuttle flight on April 12, 1981, the shuttle has boosted more than 3 million pounds of cargo into orbit.

Since 1981, more than 600 people have flown as crew members on space shuttle missions. The space shuttle today is even more capable than it was when it first launched. Modifications and updates to the original design have made the space shuttle even safer and more reliable than before.

The Space Transportation System (STS) is the official name of the space shuttle orbiter, the large external tank, and the two slender solid rocket boosters. The space shuttle orbiter vehicle houses the crew and payload. About two minutes after lift-off, the shuttle drops the used solid rocket boosters and they fall into the ocean, where they are picked up by boats and taken to be cleaned and reused.

As the space shuttle orbiter and external tank reach orbit, the main engines shut down and the external tank drops off to fall and burn up in the atmosphere. The space shuttle opens its large payload bay doors when it is in orbit. The shuttle can use its remote manipulator arm to take satellites from the payload bay or move items over to the International Space Station.

So what does the future hold for the space shuttle? NASA, if it can get funding from Congress, is considering delaying space shuttle retirement. NASA may even request funding for a few additional space shuttle missions before the vehicles are mothballed. The Constellation program is the new space program being developed by NASA. The manned component of the Constellation program is a crew exploration vehicle, named Orion, which is similar to an Apollo capsule.

The Orion capsule, launched on a rocket, will transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station. It is hoped that later versions of the Constellation program will some day be able to travel beyond Earth to the Moon and eventually to Mars. The Constellation program will take years to design, build, and test. Because of this, many people hope that Congress and NASA will delay the space shuttle retirement.


Beamed Energy Propulsion and Space: an Introduction

This brief note is about Beamed Energy Propulsion (BEP), which is, actually, a rocket science. However, you dont have to be a rocket scientist in order to understand what it is about, it is simple and I will explain it to you in next few paragraphs.

It is all about rockets. What everyone knows about them? On Earth motion is based on pushing from the medium, wherever the motion takes places: cars pushing from pavement by wheels, swimmers pushing from water by limbs, etc. Rockets fly in space and space is mostly a vacuum, it is empty. Rockets move in space using reactive principle, i.e. exhausting hot gases (backward) and pushing away from exhaust in opposite direction (forward). Rockets have to carry all their fuel and burning agent onboard, because there is nothing in space that can be used for burning fuel (like air for burning gasoline in automobiles on earth).

Rockets cargo space is very expensive. Why? Because with so many elements onboard: fuel, oxidizer, cryogenics, tanks, lines, you name it, there is a small (and very expensive room) for the payload. If we could only find a way to separate the heavy energy source from the rocket, the gain in efficiency of such rocket will be tremendous.

Energy can be delivered to the rocket from remote external source using light or, say, laser, x-ray, microwave high-power beams. With its mirrors, rocket will collect and focus that beams on its "fuel". Any solid matter can be a fuel. When high-power beam of photons is focused on a solid material, the material evaporates and ionizes instantaneously. The energy density in focused high-power beam exceeds hundreds to millions times one in the heat of burning hydrogen. Thus, beam-driven rocket will remain a rocket, it will be pushing from its own exhaust, but the energy of this exhaust is much higher, and the rocket itself is much lighter, comparing to hydrogen burners.

Beam-driven rocket is equipped with beam-collecting optics (i.e. mirrors) and some relatively lightweight solid fuel. That is it: no more tanks, oxidizer, cryogenics, nozzles, lines, - the rest will be cargo. Such rocket will be a subject of 4P Principle, formulated by the founder of laser propulsion, Arthur Kantrowitz: Payload, Propellants and Photons, Period!

Can efficiency of beam-driven rocket be compared to hydrogen burner? Yes, this can be done with scientific precision! For example, current price per lb. of a payload delivered to low earth orbit is $10,000. Calculations (repeated many time by independent researchers worldwide) show that with the laser propulsion space delivery price will be reduced to $100 per pound of a payload! It is a hundredfold profit!

In addition to laser beams, other types of energy transfers using microwave, x-ray and even particle beams are getting explored for BEP. The number of in-lab demonstrations of BEP principles grows every year, and the day when we will achieve in-space BEP demonstration becomes inevitable. Of course, there are still a plenty of scientific and engineering problems which should be solved before BEP will bring us its benefits. However, the days for first practical use of beamed-energy propulsion are near.


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