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Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies Delivers Advanced Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Design To NASA

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posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 03:59 PM
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Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has delivered a design concept to NASA as part of a study on nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) flight demonstration. NTP technology provides unprecedented high-impulse thrust performance for deep space missions such as crewed missions to the moon and Mars. The NASA-sponsored study, managed by Analytical Mechanics Associates (AMA), explored NTP concepts and designs enabling deep space travel.

"We want to lead the effort to open new frontiers in space, and do it quickly and safely," said Dr. Michael Eades, principal engineer at USNC-Tech. "Our engine maximizes the use of proven technology, eliminates failure modes of previous NTP concepts, and has a specific impulse more than twice that of chemical systems."

Advancements in nuclear fuel design and passive safety measures pioneered by Ultra Safe Nuclear (USNC, USNC-Tech's parent company) with Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM™) fuel enabled USNC-Tech to create a novel NTP concept with specialized performance capabilities. The enhanced safety characteristics and design flexibility of the USNC-Tech concept is a critical step forward in achieving extensibility of NTP systems to deep-space missions.


Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies Delivers Advanced Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Design To NASA

If we are ever going to send rockets to Mars on a regular basis. We need something like this engine to do it.

The rocket engines we use now are weak and pitiful. So weak we can't go straight to Mars anytime we want.

By the time you get anything useful for human exploration into orbit. You're lucky if you have enough fuel left to make it to the moon and back.

There have been nuclear rocket designs before. Some have even been built and tested.

This nuclear propulsion system creates heat, not an explosion, to power the spacecraft.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies website and twitter



edit on 19-10-2020 by LookingAtMars because: add pics




posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

It’s a nice concept.
Heat created by nuclear fuel pushes against the engine creating propulsion.

I’m not sure the moon is far enough away to get much benefit from this type of engine but other planets are for sure.

Maybe some day we will have a better way to get in to orbit than the chemical engines currently used.

I remember a science fiction novel I read that used small nuclear explosions to push a ship in to orbit.
Cool idea but the radiation...yowza.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22


NTP technology provides unprecedented high-impulse thrust performance for deep space missions such as crewed missions to the moon and Mars.



has a specific impulse more than twice that of chemical systems


I am ready for the space elevator.

Then we can build lots of cool stuff in orbit.


edit on 19-10-2020 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

I saw that.
My point was that the shorter the distance, the less benefit you get from the engine.
You would accelerate half way and decelerate the other half.

It only took three days to get to the moon back in the 60’s.
Cut it in half and you save a little over a day.

Go to mars and cut a month or two.



edit on 19-10-2020 by Bluntone22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:45 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

We could take a more direct path to Mars because we would not be worried about fuel and power.

We could send a rocket to Mars every week if we wanted.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:51 PM
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Ok, you have a safer nuclear reactor for heating the propellant. Where do you get the hydrogen for the propellant? The article in the OP is less than half the practical idea of an atomic rocket.

We will need to get to the Moon, mine water, and process it into hydrogen and oxygen for this to work. Then we can use this to go to Mars.

Where is the technology to get the propellant?

Atomic Rockets



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

The heat is used to flash off hydrogen as a propellant. This is stated in the linked article. It could also use water but be much less efficient.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge

If this design requires large amounts of hydrogen then it’s doomed to fail.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge

I figured it was in a closed system and recycled.

Just looked at your link. If this is true, I will have to agree with you.


ETA -

Thats no good!

edit on 19-10-2020 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:07 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Unlike a chemical rocket, an atomic rocket has the atomic pile for fuel and hydrogen for propellant. Hydrogen is the most efficient as it is the lightest element and therefore has the most acceleration potential when heated.

Fortunately there is water on the Moon and other bodies in our solar system. We will have to mine the water then process it into oxygen and hydrogen by using solar power. The technology to do this must be developed before this engine is practical.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge

They need to go ahead and disclose the tic tac's system.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge

Right.
Unfortunately hydrogen is to hard to refine at this time to make it a practical fuel.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

It could be a big step forward but not without a lot of development of the other equipment for the propellant supply. Fortunately, breathing oxygen is a byproduct of making hydrogen from water.

This will probably work sometime near the end of this century or the next one.

If we last that long.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

""Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies""

What could possibly go wrong?

Something claims to be "Ultra-Safe" I'm apt to ponder why??? LoL
edit on 19-10-2020 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:21 PM
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Controlling nuclear blasts for takeoff will lead to a new type of arms race.

I am convinced that super power countries have been working for decades in the background, on anti-nuclear technology.

Someone's going to eventually do it.

Create a device to absorb, or nullify the energy releasing effects and/or the radiation effects of nuclear technology.
Cool! "You just made a device to make nuclear propulsion safe from the surface of Earth."

No my friend, you just made a weapon. If you can fully nullify nuclear explosions, you just changed Mutually Assured Destruction. The balance of power on this planet, is balanced no more.

Stuff like this is just leading us down the path faster.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:22 PM
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I just remembered the other problem with hydrogen, storage. Any tank you put it in will leak. It is such a small atom that it seeps through the structure of metals and any other material.

The processing of the water into oxygen and hydrogen will have to take place on the ship and not in a fueling facility. Water is easier to store but much more bulky as compared to its constituent gases when compressed. This will make the size of the ships enormous as the bigger the water tank, the more engine needed to push it.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:28 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge

Thanks for all the info.

It doesn't look like this is going to work.

We need something better.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: beyondknowledge



Where is the technology to get the propellant?


There is an experiment on the 2020 Mars rover that will try to make fuel from the air on Mars.



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: Archivalist

There would be no nuclear explosion with this engine. Think of it as a boiler without any water in it when it is off. It will be super hot from the reactor. You spray hydrogen into one end and it flashes off in the reactor then sprays out the other end through a nozzle producing thrust. All the atomic material is contained in the core, continuously heated by the atomic reaction, and the hydrogen flow is the only control necessary.

Any nuclear fuel pellets, contained in a ceramic coating, would be safe if the engine structure failed because as soon as they separated, the reaction would stop from loss critical mass to sustain it. Just don't swallow them.

edit on 10 19 2020 by beyondknowledge because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2020 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Yes, but that is methane for the SpaceX Starship. It is too heavy to be efficient for this atomic rocket use and would clog the reactor with carbon buildup.



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