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Interstellar theorist Richard Obousy (Baylor University) has some thoughts about William and Arthur Edelstein’s ideas on flight near the speed of light. As discussed in these pages on Friday, the Edelsteins, in a presentation delivered at the American Physical Society, had argued that a relativistic rocket would encounter interstellar hydrogen in such compressed form that its crew would be exposed to huge radiation doses, up to 10,000 sieverts in the first second. Because even a 10-centimeter layer of aluminum shielding would stop only a tiny fraction of this energy, the Edelsteins concluded that travel near lightspeed would be all but impossible.

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