Re: 1 g acceleration?

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 02 Jul 1998 18:34:16 -0400

Brent Allsop wrote:

> Michael Lorrey said at the end of a message:
> >- ------------------------------------------------------------
> >BIG NEWS: The most newly discovered extrasolar planet is now less than a
> four
> >year trip away at constant 1 g acceleration!!!
> Is there a table somewhere of how far one cat get per year of
> travel at constant 1 g acceleration? Or perhaps a simple equation?
> I'm not in the mood to think about this too hard but I'd like to know.

Since Distance = ((acceleration/2)*time^2) + (starting velocity * Time), also shown as


a = 1g = 9.8m/s^2
t = 1 year = 31,536,000 seconds
v(0) = 0

Distance traveled at 1 g acceleration equals 4,873,000,000,000,000 meters

Since light speed is 300,000 km/s, a light year (distance light travels in one year) is 9,460,800,000,000,000 meters.

So you would travel approximately 0.5 light years in the first year. However this is not very important. What is important is the velocity you attain.

Since velocity = acceleration * time, or V=a*t, at the end of one year's acceleration at one gravity, you would be traveling at 302,745,600 meters per second. Since this velocity is higher than light speed, you cannot obviously reach this velocity. Instead, as you get closer to light speed, two things begin to happen. A) your vehicle becomes steadily heavier, and B) Time in the rest of the universe, as observed by the crew of the ship, seems to speed up, while to people on earth observing the crew, time on ship would be observed to be slowing down. This is known as time dilation, and is an interstellar astronaut's best freind. I don't have the equations handy to factor in these relativistic effects, but rest assured that at the end of one year's travel at one G acceleration, one month to you is actually approximately one whole year to the rest of the universe, so you can traverse one light year in what seems to you to be just one month. Thus, accelerating for what seems to you to be two years, then turning around and decellerating for another two years will get you somewhere around 20-25 light years, as I recall. If anyone would like to make some more exact calculations for an annual ship time calendar, please be welcome....

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
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