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Nuclear fusion for space propulsion

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posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:31 AM
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I don't know enough about this myself to know if it is realistic. So I'm posing this question to the ATS community to learn more. It is to my understanding that a nuclear power plant is like essentially a high pressure steam engine in where high pressure steam is sent through a turbine which spins electrical generators. Well what if you take the spinning turbines out of the equation and have straight pipes coming out of the back of the spacecraft using that high pressure steam as the propulsion system for the space craft. Would that or would that not be a workable system to propel you through space.




posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: DonVoigt


That would work perfectly.

But how much water do ya think it would take to get to mars? If you need to carry that much water you might as well carry a more efficient fuel.



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:36 AM
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It would prob push it, but the propulsions force would run out with the water right before you went all supernova.

If you could produce water faster than or equal to its consumption, it would work.

Outa my pay grade, but fun thought exercise




posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: DonVoigt

And where would you get the "water" to make the steam you send out the back of the craft.

Very little water available off planets and asteroids.

That's why a "closed" system, generating electricity and recycling the water would be used.



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: DonVoigt

Youd run out of fuel really quick and you wouldnt get much speed.

Dump the fusion idea.

For the reactor use two superconductors. Situate them close enough to have an area with overlapping fields in between the two. Since the superconductors are acting like giant single electrons there will be a hi bias for a cloud of virtual positrons in that overlaping section. Put rig in a chamber designed to resonate at really really high frequencies coming close to a harmonic of the compton frequency so that those virtual positrons gain enough energy to surface or percolate above the zero point and watch them annihilate.

Then coat the walls of the chamber with quantum dots functioning like nano solar cells with super hi efficiency and bingo bango a controllablefunctioning/photo electric reactor to power your ship..

Then set up a powerful dielectric field around ship and tune it to either match impedance of the vacuum to speed up the spontainious photon emission process. presto light speed dramatically increases in value allowing you to go quicker than standard light speed in a vacuum.

Or pump a plasma into that dielectric field and turn it into a EM resonant cavity via a soliton phase conjugate laser beam running in the infrared. Use signals mixing and the same (or different) laser runing as a "dark" soliton beam to achieve quantum optical squeezing and with the help of a superconductor harvest energy below the normal shot noise threshold by exploiting plancks relationship with the heisenberg uncertainty principle and lowering the fundamental frequency level while increasing the noise gain. Presto! Mass reduction!

Use a gradient in the field strength to create a pressure differential between the craft and that of the vacuum to impart motion. Orientation of gradient to steer.

How fast can one accellerate a photon or fermions behaving mass less. Resting or inertial. Pretty fast. Add in that youve changed the speed limit of the photon to much higher and ... .zooooooooooooooooooooooooom!
edit on 28-9-2016 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Well no matter how much water you would have to carry it would be less explosive than other stuff



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:56 AM
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I would suspect that you only need to run the engine until you got up to the speed you wanted to travel at, then shut the engine down, not having any drag in outer space, you would continue to travel at the same speed. I would also suspect that this system would only be good for travel within our solar system
edit on Wed20169V201658930 by DonVoigt because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 09:56 AM
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a reply to: DonVoigt


True enough.
The problem is that water doesn't have much potential energy compared to its mass.
way to much energy would be wasted just to move itself.



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Wow, that is a little above my intellectual level, can you dumb it down a little. Lol



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: DonVoigt
a reply to: BASSPLYR

Wow, that is a little above my intellectual level, can you dumb it down a little. Lol


He makes it sound so easy doesn't he? Maybe he's building one in his garage..



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: DonVoigt

Nuclear power plants operate by harnessing the process of Fission not Fusion. There is a big difference, energy yield being only one of them.

en.wikipedia.org... Fission

en.wikipedia.org... Fusion

Like someone else also suggested fuel payload would make the proposal untenable.
edit on 28-9-2016 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

Thank you these are the things I'm trying to understand about it



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 11:21 AM
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Stop thinking like a mouth breathing human and think like a nose breathing relativist! You do not "shoot stuff out the back to go forward" that is the wrong way of doing things. Fusion is a method of creating heat (or energy) which can be converted into other forms of energy, like electricity. You would completely waste any effort just expelling things out the rear--all the energy you just created! Instead, that energy can be used to propel your ship forward.

The main problem with fusion in space is heat. What to do with all that heat created. Your best bet is to convert it all to electricity. Then use electricity in everything you can including propulsion. Every little of bit of generated energy in a spaceship needs to be used somehow. Think of a space ship as the ultimate recycling project ever and then you have to start becoming a nose breather. Heat to electricity can be done (a doped form of graphene most likely). Electricity as propulsion is a variant on an ion thruster. You would need CO2 scrubbers. Some kind of computer and navigation system. Artificial gravity and light... ambient warmth... some DVDs to keep you busy. You get the idea.

If you can figure it out, reduction in mass through high electricity or plasma. If you can really figure it out, QED cascade lasers creating matter and anti-matter would really get you going if you can also reduce your mass!

Anyway, somebody already beat you to the fusion engine punch: Boeing Patents Laser Nuclear Fusion Jet Engine. They say "jet engine" but it works equally well in space.

Hi to all the other armchair fusion engineers! ('Sup BASS? Figured you'd like the QED cascade idea!)



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Interesting, thanks, although I'm not an inventor or anything it's just something I'm curious about and would like to know more about which is why I created the thread



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: DonVoigt

I think we'll find anything nuclear is infantile in application...we will need to find or discover some other way to travel the vaste distances of space...other than propulsion-propelling us forward....but this is all we know and understand in our own scientific infancy on this planet and place in time.

We aren't aware of many other ways...as yet



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: DonVoigt


Your concept is faulty, but perhaps an even worse one was proposed by Fred Dyson well known for his concept of the "Dyson Sphere." An earlier idea that had backing and some funding for a few years was his wanting to build a huge ship that lifted off from earth via the push of H-bombs exploding ever couple of seconds underneath a reactor plate which pushed the ship beyond the seven-miles per second velocity necessary to escape the earth. Eventually!!!!!, it was concluded by others that the idea was not too wise.


Dyson's son George Dyson covered the full story (from his father's perspective) in his 2002 book "project Orion."



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 01:31 PM
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While it could work to get up to a reasonable speed you need as much again to slow it down, the main problem is getting that much h2o up into space in the first place.

Also you have to consider the outside temperature of the environment as that much water could soon turn into large ice crystals blocking the output pipes, imagine a condensing gas boiler's output pipe, without insulation it quite often blocks up at barely below zero so when its space cold it'll probably gum up in seconds without extra systems to keep the pipes warm.



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

You were right this is turning out to be a fun thought exercise, even with all of the possible flaws in the idea. I see a few people shooting it down for the possible flaws, but I also see some people trying to add possible solutions or other concepts. I love that about ATS.
edit on Wed20169V201633230 by DonVoigt because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 02:38 PM
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I think it is safe to say the the future of space travel is dissimilar metals



posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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Nuclear fusion can produce many things including electrical power, but we have little in the way producing motion. I think we need a complete understanding of gravity to reach for the stars. If we could manipulate gravity such as focus a small black hole in front of the ship to provide attraction, then the ship would always be falling forward. Change corse by moving the gravity well. This is beyond our current understanding but if we could.
Then the stars are ours.




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