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Waspie_Dwarf

Pulsed Nuclear Fusion Propulsion

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Scientists developing pulsed nuclear fusion system for distant missions

The ticket to Mars and beyond may be a series of nuclear slapshots that use magnetic pulses to slam nuclei into each other inside hockey pucks made of a special, lightweight salt.

A physics team from The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering soon will take delivery of a specialized system to see if they can "Z-pinch" a tiny bit of that salt into the heart of a star.

“We are trying to develop a small, lightweight pulsed nuclear fusion system for deep space missions,” explained Dr. Jason Cassibry, an associate professor of engineering at UAHuntsville. “If this works we could reach Mars in six to eight weeks instead of six to eight months.”

In hockey, a slapshot digs the head of the hockey stick into the ice to bend the shaft, like an archer’s bow, storing energy for a sharper snap against the puck and drive it down the ice rink. Cassibry and his team will attempt to drive a hollowed-out puck in on itself, fusing lithium and hydrogen atoms and turning a little of their mass into pure energy.

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warp speed engage!!!

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Sounds like project Orion all over again.

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More like 2001 propulsion system the movie.

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Posted (edited)

Sounds like project Orion all over again.

Orion would have used fission not fusion. In using small nuclear bombs it would also have produced a much greater acceleration, albeit over a shorter period of time. Orion would have required massive shock absorbers between the pusher plate and the crew compartment to protect the crew from the massive jolt produced by each detonation.

This form of nuclear propulsion is more akin to ion drive in that it produces small, gentle acceleration over long periods of time.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Could we see the 'Kessel Run record' smashed at last?

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The current system of propulsion is as out of date as horses.

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The current system of propulsion is as out of date as horses.

In what way? It still works. There are many different proposals on the table for replacing rocket propulsion but, with the exception of ion propulsion, they all have one thing in common, they haven't been shown to work yet (and many of these proposed systems such as ion propulsion and the fusion propulsion described in the original article will still rely on rockets to haul them into orbit).

A system only becomes out-dated when there is something better to replace it. Horses were made out-dated by the internal combustion engine. A century on and the internal combustion engine still reigns supreme. For this reason rockets are no more out-dated than the internal combustion engine is.

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A system only becomes out-dated when there is something better to replace it.

dont you mean obsolete.

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dont you mean obsolete.

I know exactly what I mean, thank you.

outdated [ˌaʊtˈdeɪtɪd] adj[/] old-fashioned or obsolete

Source: The Free Dictionary

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While the combustion engine is being mentioned, anyone any idea how much horse-power Pulsed Nuclear Fusion Propulsion would produce?

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While the combustion engine is being mentioned, anyone any idea how much horse-power Pulsed Nuclear Fusion Propulsion would produce?

Not much in comparison to a chemical rocket, but power isn't really the point. It's the fact that the engine continues to accelerate the vehicle for weeks on end that makes it so effective.

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Not much in comparison to a chemical rocket, but power isn't really the point. It's the fact that the engine continues to accelerate the vehicle for weeks on end that makes it so effective.

Thanks for the clarification Waspie :)

What I was really hoping for was 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hp

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Sounds risky to me. Do we really want this type of material raining down on us, if or when, an accident occurs during lift off?

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Sounds risky to me. Do we really want this type of material raining down on us, if or when, an accident occurs during lift off?

This is fusion, not fission. Hydrogen is fused together to form helium. There are no radioactive fuels and no radioactive byproducts.

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tats cool but we stll gotta find a way to make spacecrafts move the speed of light

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Thanks for the clarification Waspie :)

What I was really hoping for was 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hp

Or 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 HamsterPower!

Or 230,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 GoldfishPower!

If anyone would like to try and correct me on my calculations for making animals equivilents to horsepower, please feel free to do some tests and prove me wrong.

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Posted (edited)

If anyone would like to try and correct me on my calculations for making animals equivilents to horsepower, please feel free to do some tests and prove me wrong.

The beauty of science is that we don't need to. A hypothesis is considered false unless proven to be true. The burden of proof lies totally with you. As you have presented no evidence you are automatically assumed to be wrong.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted (edited)

Or 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 HamsterPower!

Or 230,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 GoldfishPower!

If anyone would like to try and correct me on my calculations for making animals equivilents to horsepower, please feel free to do some tests and prove me wrong.

The beauty of science is that we don't need to. A hypothesis is considered false unless proven to be true. The burden of proof lies totally with you. As you have presented no evidence you are automatically assumed to be wrong.

I did see him heading home from an aquarium with 230,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Goldfish the other day, he might just be right ;)

Edited by Junior Chubb
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Great. I hope it works as they hope. This type of propulsion couldn't lift off from the ground though?

Could only be engaged once out of earth's grip?

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