Post by James Nicoll Post by Butch Malahide
Is the New Frontiers in Heinlein's _Methuselah's Children_ a ramjet?
Was it the first interstellar ramjet in science fiction?
The same total conversion drive its predecessor (the one from Orphans
of the Sky) had.
An inertia-cancelling drive that let sunlight push it up to .8 C in one
go, invented by Andrew Libby
An FTL drive, also devised by Libby (but I think working from a demonstration
of alien tech).
Yeah but the way it got fuel to feed the converter:
The _New Frontiers_ had no fuel tanks; she "lived off the country," gathering
up any mass that lay in her path with a sweep field--meteors, cosmic dust, stray
atoms. If the "country" was "poor" in stray matter, any mass from within the
ship was fuel for her hungry converter--furniture, clothing, food, even dead
Isn't that sort of the way an interstellar ramjet is supposed to work?