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New Nuclear Powered Spacecraft

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by WILLIAM H, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    According to UK mag FOCUS in Jan 03 before the shuttle was lost Bush & NASA agreed to move ahead w a nuclear powered probe to Jupiters moons named Prometheus. The probe will be a testbed for the next gen in spacecraft which Bush Admin wants to be all nuclear similair to the US Sub fleet. Unlike Chemical rockets which could get to Jupiter but would then be completely out of propellant long before arriving the Nuke probe could travel from 1 Moon to another at will.
    This would be a huge leap in tech but there are dangers of course & kooks who want absolutely zero nukes in space.
    If Prometheus & following probes are succesful a Nuke manned ship could arrive at Mars with only 12 weeks of travel vs 9 months or more for chemical rockets
    This is a great argument for mining the Moon & seeing if we can find uranium, plutonium or other useful radioactive material there to keep Earths atmosphere safe
     
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  3. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
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  4. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Nope, not the Cassini. This is a new ship not built yet or just entering prototype stage, seems to be even larger than the Cassini & w a small reactor on board. They didnt give a lot of technical details.

    Cassini is going to Saturn, the Prometheus is going to Jupiter
     
  5. DrStranglove

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  6. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

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    I don't think Bush is as serious about the space program as he seems. If he really wanted to go to Mars he would have started that earlier. But at least it brings intrest to NASA again. Even if it is short lived.
     
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  8. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Lets think about this. Why do we not want nukes in space?, there is far more radiation and REAL nukes happening out there than here. Look at the Sun for example for gosh sake. Just rediculous to think we have discovered something ... we haven't it is perfectly natural thing outside of this planet. Man the kooks are fncken stupid.

    This is the way to go, but I have to say I would be far happier if they launched them from the Moon or some sort of space station than risking a launch balls up and then 'bombing' some country ... er, accidentally.

    Pete
     
  9. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Yes space is definately full of letahl radiation so to object to a relatively tiny reactor in space is very silly

    Problem is getting the radioactive material into space. Rockets have a nasty tendancy to explode or veer off course sometimes & 100# of plutonium in the atmosphere could really give one a bad hair day so I understand the concern.

    There are projects for a space elevator to take objects into Low Earth Orbit without using rockets.

    Also Rutans Space Ship One or a similair larger shuttle which is launched from an aircraft at high altitude is a safer proposition. The shuttle could be launched from its mother ship over a deserted part of the Sea or over somewhere we dont like like the Middle East :) This seems much safer than shooting a reactor through the atmosphere on a rocket.

    ultimately the safest way to get radioactive materials into space is to mine them off the Earth to begin with on the Moon, Mars, or the asteroid belt in which case we have no worries of any radioactive material exploding in our atmosphere

    I would like to see a satellite map the Moon for potential sources of radioactive material for future spacecraft
     

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