It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
originally posted by: DonVoigt
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.
originally posted by: Bluntone22
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.
so then you mean once out in space. Still, the amount of water you would need would be space/weight prohibitive.
originally posted by: DonVoigt
a reply to: Quetzalcoatl14
I agree that it would not be enough to get you out of the atmosphere, gravity and drag would inhibit that, however in space there is no gravity or drag
PSS and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab are collaborating on a new fusion technology. Direct Fusion Drive is a a revolutionary direct-drive, fusion-powered rocket engine. Compact and clean-burning, each 1-10 MW Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) engine can produce both power and thrust and high specific power. Power and propulsion are both generated from a single engine, which shortens trip times and increases capability for a wide variety of space missions: robotic missions to the outer planets, human missions to the moon or Mars, missions to interstellar space.
DFD is based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration reactor (PFRC), a technology developed by Dr. Sam Cohen of PPPL. The reactor employs a unique “odd-parity” RF heating method, producing a steady-state, closed-field configuration with a highly efficient current drive. The PFRC-2 experimental machine is currently in operation at PPPL, a plasma pulse is shown below.
The aim for the fusion drives is to get about 1 kilowatt of power per 2.2 lbs. (1 kilogram) of mass. A 10-megawatt fusion rocket would therefore weigh about 11 tons (10 metric tons).
"It would probably be 1.5 meters [4.9 feet] in diameter and 4 to 8 meters [13 to 26 feet] long," Paluszek said.
Nuclear fusion requires extremely high temperatures and pressures to force atoms to fuse, a process that converts some of the mass of the atoms into energy. The fusion reactors that Princeton Satellite Systems is developing uses low-frequency radio waves to heat a mix of deuterium and helium-3, and magnetic fields to confine the resulting plasma in a ring.
Princeton Satellite Systems is working on a small-scale fusion reactor that would only be 1.5 meters across and 4-8 meters long (4.9 by 13-26 feet). A experimental fusion power plant might cost $20 billion, but the smaller version being developed by Princeton Satellite Systems should only cost about $20 million. NASA seems interested in the idea, too. It’s given Princeton Satellite Systems three grants so far to pursue its research.