Fun_People Archive
16 Feb
New horizons in interstellar travel

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 96 12:42:03 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: New horizons in interstellar travel

[Full speed astern!  This patent was really issued?  Maybe we should look on  
the patent office's clumsy software efforts a little more sympathetically...  

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Steve Simmons <>
Forwarded-by: ChrisTuck@aol
From: "a mate of mine who works for the patent office"

  Something I discovered while practicing on APS (the patent office
computer word search system) during a refresher class today:

     US PATENT 5,058,833 -- ABSTRACT:

       A spaceship is provided with a freely spinning propeller mounted
     on the front end.  The propeller significantly reduces resistance
     to flight and also deflects space particles which might otherwise
     slow the craft.  The sides of the spacecraft have ridges which are
     coated on the front side with radiation reflecting material and
     on the back side with radiation absorbing material.  The resultant
     force of radiations being absorbed from the rear and reflected from
     the front propels the craft forward.

  I pulled a copy of the patent after the class.  Suffice it to say that
the main text makes the abstract look like a model of scientific rigor.

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