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nuclear space engine - would it work ??



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 4th 06, 08:53 PM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
Steve Hix
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Posts: 64
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

In article ,
"Danny Dot" wrote:

As a retired engineer, I don't see how nuclear explosions could be used for
launches. The blast would tend to distroy the vehicle and anyone inside of
the vehicle.


After the Trinity test at Alamagordo (and some above-ground test later
on) parts of the tower structure that held the device remained. And some
shielded test gear within about 100yds of the device also survived the
blast.

On orbit, a nuclear explosion may not even provide a impulse via blast.
Without an atmosphere, I don't think there would be an impulse of force.
Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation, but no blast overpressure.


Which is OK, since the atmosphere isn't needed to produce the thrust.
The thrusters would have been surrounded with a jacket of water or wax
(for example), and the plasma produced provides the thrust.

Not hugely efficient, maybe, with plasma being wasted on each pop; but
who cares when the total energy being produced is so much over the top
of your requirements, not to mention any chemical alternatives.

Google around for "Orion nuclear rocket". Lots of stuff, including
proof-of-concept tests.

But a nuclear reactor with hydrogen of even water being boiled and heated
then expelled out a nozzle would make a good rocket engine.


Easy (relatively). The NERVA test engine was running in the 1960s.
Northwind is a more recent notion.

Politics stopped their use; until you can convince the Greenies that it
would be safe enough to put the (cold) engine in orbit before fueling
and lighting it off, we won't see any.
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  #22  
Old October 4th 06, 10:16 PM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
David Spain
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Posts: 2,492
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

Steve Hix wrote:
In article ,
"Danny Dot" wrote:
On orbit, a nuclear explosion may not even provide a impulse via blast.
Without an atmosphere, I don't think there would be an impulse of force.
Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation, but no blast overpressure.


Which is OK, since the atmosphere isn't needed to produce the thrust.
The thrusters would have been surrounded with a jacket of water or wax
(for example), and the plasma produced provides the thrust.

Well you could certainly embellish the pusher plate with coatings of this
kind to improve overall efficiency, but anything that reflects will work.

"Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation", is the key phrase here.
The light pressure from the emitted radiation alone is enough. Remember
those photo sensitive vanes in a evacuated bulb you may have seen in junior
high? Now scale it up. The trick is too keep the pusher plate cool enough
to maintain its reflectivity.

The physics is no different than solar sailing or using a ground or space-based
laser to propel a spacecraft. Except the light energy is coming from your own
supplied bombs.

Not hugely efficient, maybe, with plasma being wasted on each pop; but
who cares when the total energy being produced is so much over the top
of your requirements, not to mention any chemical alternatives.


I image only a fraction of the energy released by the bomb is actually providing
propulsion. IIRC you need some kind of super shock absorber that resonates with the
explosive pulses connecting the plate to the spacecraft if you want to provide
a comfortable experience for the occupants. Also IIRC the bomb detonates at a
goodly distance (many, many, many miles) from the spacecraft.

Google around for "Orion nuclear rocket". Lots of stuff, including
proof-of-concept tests.

But a nuclear reactor with hydrogen of even water being boiled and heated
then expelled out a nozzle would make a good rocket engine.


Easy (relatively). The NERVA test engine was running in the 1960s.
Northwind is a more recent notion.

Politics stopped their use; until you can convince the Greenies that it
would be safe enough to put the (cold) engine in orbit before fueling
and lighting it off, we won't see any.


Putting the cold engines in orbit doesn't present a problem. It's putting up
the fuel. Since the days of Three Mile Island the words nuclear and irrational
have become synonymous in the English language.

Dave
  #23  
Old October 4th 06, 11:33 PM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
Jonathan Silverlight[_1_]
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Posts: 298
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

In message , Danny Dot
writes


As a retired engineer, I don't see how nuclear explosions could be used for
launches. The blast would tend to distroy the vehicle and anyone inside of
the vehicle.

On orbit, a nuclear explosion may not even provide a impulse via blast.
Without an atmosphere, I don't think there would be an impulse of
force. Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation, but no blast
overpressure.


Possibly, but it's my understanding - backed up by
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nuclear_propulsion%29,
for instance - that the blast wouldn't even seriously damage the pusher
plate, and the acceleration on a crewed craft would be only a few G.
And you can always add reaction mass to the bombs.
  #24  
Old October 4th 06, 11:45 PM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
David Spain
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,492
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

Jonathan Silverlight wrote:

Possibly, but it's my understanding - backed up by
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nuclear_propulsion%29,
for instance - that the blast wouldn't even seriously damage the pusher
plate, and the acceleration on a crewed craft would be only a few G.
And you can always add reaction mass to the bombs.


OK. My memory is faulty. Plasma Wave. Detonation at 60 meters from the Pusher Plate.

Dave
  #25  
Old October 5th 06, 01:32 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
bombardmentforce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

Danny Dot wrote:

http://spacebombardment.blogspot.com...-re-lunar.html


As a retired engineer, I don't see how nuclear explosions could be used for
launches.



Here's a simplified view of one of the key engineering drawings.

http://spacebombardment.blogspot.com...-23-of-ga.html

  #26  
Old October 5th 06, 01:36 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
bombardmentforce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

Herb Schaltegger wrote:
(snipped)

http://www.angryherb.net


He was born in Big Beaver by the borderline
He started playing hockey by the time he was nine
His dad took the hose and froze the back yard
And Little Herb dreamed he was Rocket Richard
He grew up big and he grew up tough
He saw himself scoring for the Wings or Canucks
But he wasn't that good with a slide rule

Herb's real talent was beating people up
His heart wasn't in it but the crowd ate it up
Through pee-wee's and juniors, midgets and mites
He must have racked up more than six hundred fights
A scout from the flames came down from Saskatoon
Said, "There's always room on our team for a goon
Son, we've always got room for a goon"

There were Swedes to the left of him
Russians to the right
A Czech at the blue line looking for a fight
Brains over brawn-that might work for you
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do

Hit somebody! was what the crowd roared
When Herb the goon came over the boards
"Coach," he'd say, "I wanna score goals"
The coach said, "Buddy, remember your role
The fast guys get paid, they shoot, they score
Protect them, Buddy, that's what you're here for

Protection is what you're here for
Protection-it's the stars that score
Protection-kick somebody's ass
Protection-don't put the biscuit in the basket just
Hit some, Buddy! it rang in his ears
Blood on the ice ran down through the years
The king of the goons with a box for a throne
A thousand stitches and broken bones
He never lost a fight on his icy patrol
But deep inside, Herb only dreamed of a goal
He just wanted one damn goal

There were Swedes at the the blue line
Finns at the red
A Russian with a stick heading straight for his head
Brains over brawn-that might work for you
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do

In his final season, on his final night
Herb and a Finn goon were pegged for a fight
Thirty seconds left, the puck took a roll
And suddenly Herb had a shot on goal

The goalie committed, Herb picked his spot
Twenty years of waiting went into that shot
The fans jumped up, the Finn jumped too
And coldcocked Herb on his follow through
The big man crumbled but he felt all right
'Cause the last thing he saw
was the flashing red light
He saw that heavenly light

There were Swedes to the left of him
Russians to the right
A Czech at the blue line looking for a fight
Take care of your teeth-that might work for you
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do
But what's a Canadian lawyer boy to do
What else can a lawyer boy from Canada to do

  #27  
Old October 5th 06, 02:33 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
bombardmentforce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

Robert Kolker wrote:
bombardmentforce wrote:


The doesn't do much for a growing population, and is no way for us to
get rich..


True. Recycling buys some time but the moment of truth comes. Either the
population stops growing or we mine metal from the oceans.


The oceans are lousy ore.

We do not
have to go to the asteroid belt. There is also substitution of
non-metalic substances for metal. Right now we are getting very strong
material using carbon fibres. Lots of carbon, yes?

I think the soundest approach is population limitation. That way, if our
space efforts


Our current space efforts are scheduled to produce _nothing_ profitable
and tangible.

fail to produce what is needed, we can still survive a
long time on this planet.


The dinosaurs had no asteroid survival plans, our only plan is to plan
to plan on warning.

Any time we get is a gift from an overidulgent creator who blessed our
more fit ancestors with

"Be friutful and multiply."

  #28  
Old October 5th 06, 02:43 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
Steve Hix
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

In article [email protected],
David Spain wrote:

Steve Hix wrote:
In article ,
"Danny Dot" wrote:
On orbit, a nuclear explosion may not even provide a impulse via blast.
Without an atmosphere, I don't think there would be an impulse of force.
Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation, but no blast overpressure.


Which is OK, since the atmosphere isn't needed to produce the thrust.
The thrusters would have been surrounded with a jacket of water or wax
(for example), and the plasma produced provides the thrust.

Well you could certainly embellish the pusher plate with coatings of this
kind to improve overall efficiency, but anything that reflects will work.

"Huge amount of heat in the form of radiation", is the key phrase here.
The light pressure from the emitted radiation alone is enough. Remember
those photo sensitive vanes in a evacuated bulb you may have seen in junior
high? Now scale it up. The trick is too keep the pusher plate cool enough
to maintain its reflectivity.

The physics is no different than solar sailing or using a ground or
space-based
laser to propel a spacecraft. Except the light energy is coming from your own
supplied bombs.

Not hugely efficient, maybe, with plasma being wasted on each pop; but
who cares when the total energy being produced is so much over the top
of your requirements, not to mention any chemical alternatives.


I image only a fraction of the energy released by the bomb is actually
providing
propulsion. IIRC you need some kind of super shock absorber that resonates
with the
explosive pulses connecting the plate to the spacecraft if you want to
provide
a comfortable experience for the occupants. Also IIRC the bomb detonates at a
goodly distance (many, many, many miles) from the spacecraft.

Google around for "Orion nuclear rocket". Lots of stuff, including
proof-of-concept tests.

But a nuclear reactor with hydrogen of even water being boiled and heated
then expelled out a nozzle would make a good rocket engine.


Easy (relatively). The NERVA test engine was running in the 1960s.
Northwind is a more recent notion.

Politics stopped their use; until you can convince the Greenies that it
would be safe enough to put the (cold) engine in orbit before fueling
and lighting it off, we won't see any.


Putting the cold engines in orbit doesn't present a problem. It's putting up
the fuel.


Which is what I said; you don't go hot (critical) until after you're in
orbit. But they even freak out about small radio-thermal power sources.

Since the days of Three Mile Island the words nuclear and
irrational have become synonymous in the English language.


Although it has been interesting, over the past few months, to hear some
long-time green types beginning to argue that nukes might not be so bad
after all.
  #29  
Old October 5th 06, 02:45 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
Steve Hix
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??

In article om,
"bombardmentforce" wrote:

Herb Schaltegger wrote:
(snipped)

http://www.angryherb.net


He was born in Big Beaver by the borderline
He started playing hockey by the time he was nine
His dad took the hose and froze the back yard
[snip]


Oooooooooookay then.

*plonk*
  #30  
Old October 5th 06, 03:56 AM posted to sci.physics.fusion,sci.space.history,soc.history.what-if,alt.history.what-if
Scott Hedrick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 724
Default nuclear space engine - would it work ??


"Robert Kolker" wrote in message
. ..
I think the soundest approach is population limitation.


You first.


 




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