>> theoretical anti matter engine would get us to Pluto in nine
>> minutes...I more recently heard that a wee chunk of it has been
>> manufactured and am curious as to what's to be done with it.
>Rather 9 days or weeks (see Robert Forward's publications in the
>field). The important problem is of course to manufacture enough for
>use as fuel - at CERN they just created nine antihydrogen atoms,
>which is obviously insignificant.
Even more important will be the energy conversion efficiency. Unless
this can reach a few percent, antimatter propulsion will always be
restricted to pioneer missions. There are just too many economically
competitive systems. My new article, "The Interworld Rapid Transit
System", dicusses these issues. It is a proposal for a transportation
network between established orbital positions, and does not rely on
rockets of any sort for primary propulsion.