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Nuclear engine could get to Mars in six weeks

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UM-Bot

Russia is working on a new propulsion system that has the potential to revolutionize space travel.

Despite all the technological advances that have been made over the last few decades, traveling around the solar system is something that is still significantly limited by our ongoing reliance on conventional chemical propulsion systems which are slow, heavy and expensive.

Read More: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/292632/nuclear-engine-could-get-to-mars-in-six-weeks

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b0wn

Yea, let's use nuclear tech to travel space.

Seems safe to me!

Edited by b0wn

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danielost

we should listen to a nation that has lost more than half their ships to the trip.

NASA's current nuclear engine design can lift more than chemical rockets, but, is no faster.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket

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danielost

Yea, let's use nuclear tech to travel space.

Seems safe to me!

your already flying in a radiation field. six months or six weeks you still need the same protection

Edited by danielost

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paperdyer

And when the engine explodes.........

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Space Commander Travis

Yea, let's use nuclear tech to travel space.

Seems safe to me!

Well, stars are pumping out a great deal of radiation continually, so it wouldn't make much of a detectable difference.
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Space Commander Travis

[

And when the engine explodes.........

The story doesn't make it clear, but I'm imagining that it would be launched by means of conventional rockets, and the nuclear engine would be fired up once in space, I would imagine.
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Waspie_Dwarf

Yea, let's use nuclear tech to travel space.

Seems safe to me!

That's not how it works. The nuclear stage only operates in space. Conventional rockets launch the nuclear stage. Russia (and before that the USSR) and the USA have been launching spacecraft into space with nuclear reactors of one type or another into space for decades.

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Leonardo

The main issue with having nuclear reactors on a manned space mission, is the extra weight of the shielding required meaning getting the craft into orbit becomes problematic - because a spacecraft capable of taking humans to Mars (and presumably return them) would have to be large to begin with. The only way to really get around this issue, would be to build the Mars spacecraft in orbit - which we currently can't do.

And, afaik, none of the proposed missions to Mars from any Space Agency were designed to use chemical rockets for the entire journey, and all of them would require a nuclear power-plant to generate power over the mission duration. So, the Russians aren't exactly being "novel" in this regard.

Edited by Leonardo
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danielost

The main issue with having nuclear reactors on a manned space mission, is the weight of the shielding required meaning getting the craft into orbit becomes problematic. The only way to really get around this issue, would be to build the Mars spacecraft in orbit - which we currently can't do.

any ship going to mars would have to be built in space, including the shielding.

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Waspie_Dwarf

we should listen to a nation that has lost more than half their ships to the trip.

As opposed to NASA? They have lost 40% of their Mars missions, including 4 out of 5 missions attempted between 1992 and 1999. As NASA have lost nearly half their Martian mission maybe they shouldn't be listened to either.

As none of these failures, Russian or American, have be remotely connected to nuclear propulsion how is your comment in the slightest bit relevant?

NASA's current nuclear engine design can lift more than chemical rockets, but, is no faster.

https://en.wikipedia..._thermal_rocket

You refer to CURRENT dNASA design and then link to an article that mostly deals with nuclear rocket projects which started in the 1950's and were terminated in the 1970's. Reading your own links might be a good place to start your research. If the image dated 1967 wasn't a clue that this isn't current then the references to this being a project to replace the upper stage of a Saturn V (which last flew in 1973) should have been.

NASA's current research is into a nuclear upper stage for the (as yet un-flown) Space Launch System, it is known as the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, see here: NASA Researchers Studying Advanced Nuclear Rocket Technologies

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danielost

As opposed to NASA? They have lost 40% of their Mars missions, including 4 out of 5 missions attempted between 1992 and 1999. As NASA have lost nearly half their Martian mission maybe they shouldn't be listened to either.

As none of these failures, Russian or American, have be remotely connected to nuclear propulsion how is your comment in the slightest bit relevant?

You refer to CURRENT dNASA design and then link to an article that mostly deals with nuclear rocket projects which started in the 1950's and were terminated in the 1970's. Reading your own links might be a good place to start your research. If the image dated 1967 wasn't a clue that this isn't current then the references to this being a project to replace the upper stage of a Saturn V (which last flew in 1973) should have been.

NASA's current research is into a nuclear upper stage for the (as yet un-flown) Space Launch System, it is known as the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, see here: NASA Researchers Studying Advanced Nuclear Rocket Technologies

i refered to nasa's only designs that i know of. which is what i linked to. i am sure there might be new designs they had to by law redisgn when the old designs got twenty years old without be used. or so the scientist from NASA told me in my cab

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danielost

i believe the best space drive engine, is the ion engine it needs no fuel, but at the moment it is too slow for human travel.

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Finity

Ion drives need Xenon gas (a radioactive gas). Which is all over the solar system, but to sparse to get any real power from.

Edited by Finity

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badeskov

i believe the best space drive engine, is the ion engine it needs no fuel, but at the moment it is too slow for human travel.

Of course it needs fuel. What do you otherwise think generates the force to propel the spaceship?

Cheers,

Badeskov

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badeskov

we should listen to a nation that has lost more than half their ships to the trip.

As Waspie already pointed out, NASA has lost some 40% of it's missions. Mars is not an easy destination to reach and especially land upon. However, Russia has a very good record on sending manned missions into space, so why not pay attention to this?

NASA's current nuclear engine design can lift more than chemical rockets, but, is no faster.

https://en.wikipedia..._thermal_rocket

As Waspie also pointed out, old stuff...

Cheers,

Badeskov

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danielost

Of course it needs fuel. What do you otherwise think generates the force to propel the spaceship?

Cheers,

Badeskov

Of course it needs fuel. What do you otherwise think generates the force to propel the spaceship?

Cheers,

Badeskov

sorry i meant it doesn't needs to carry any fuel. it gets its fuel from space.

Edited by danielost

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

sorry i meant it doesn't needs to carry any fuel. it gets its fuel from space.

Of course it needs propellant. You need a propellant to ionize !

There are several possible propellants, such as argon, xenon or mercury. But you still have to carry it on the spacecraft.

https://en.wikipedia...ter#Propellants

Edited by Noteverythingisaconspiracy

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Grey Area

This is potentially very exciting.

We are able to put things together in orbit, the ISS is a very good example of this.

A modular spacecraft is not beyond the realms of imagination, but with testing and developing the technology and materials needed to make this work I would suggest a manned mission to Mars would still be decades away.

Perhaps I have played way too much kerbal space program.

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XClashGames

If they are going to use Nuclear Engines they better keep using Baikonur because I am pretty sure the US doesn't want one of them to 'fail' lol

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Gecks

Very interesting... lets hope they can pull it off

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Merc14

And when the engine explodes.........

Do you have any idea how many nuclear reactors are powering vessels all over this planet every day? SSN-571 was commissioned in 1954 and we have been a nuclear powered world ever since so nuclear propulsion is relatively old technology, if one considers the current rate of technological advancement, and has proven relatively safe (Soviet Union excepted) over the last 60+ years. We will never get past Mars if we don't tap nuclear propulsion (fusion, hopefully, someday), that is guaranteed and if we deem it off-limits then we fall behind.

Space is full of radiation. The star we orbit is a massive reactor spewing out radiation at incredible levels so we would NOT be polluting it. I find it bizarre that someone could be so educated about the evils of nuclear power but was never taught about radiation in space. Google the Van Allen belts and get back to us, I think it will be an eye opener.

Edited by Merc14
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Codenwarra

Ion drives need Xenon gas (a radioactive gas). Which is all over the solar system, but to sparse to get any real power from.

Actually xenon has about a dozen known isotopes, and six are stable, while another two are thought to be radioactive but have never been caught at it. The problem with xenon is that it is scarce. A far cheaper propellant alternative would be argon, which is the third most common gas in Earth's atmosphere, at just less than 0.94% by volume. Argon takes a little more energy to ionise, though, so that may be a consideration. Maybe cheap carbon dioxide would do.

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Hartmut

Well, it does not matter what fuel we use - because if we do not find a way to overcome the light-speed barrier - we will not be able to go much beyond our little solar system. :-)

Edited by Hartmut

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Space Commander Travis

Well, it does not matter what fuel we use - because if we do not find a way to overcome the light-speed barrier - we will not be able to go much beyond our little solar system. :-)

I'm sure either Google or Elon Musk are working on a warp drive as we speak.

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