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Pentagon eyes interstellar travel! Win a cool $500,000!

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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 03:02 AM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

The newer designs are also interesting:

Fission fragment rocket

A newer design proposal by Rodney A. Clark and Robert B. Sheldon theoretically increases efficiency and decreases complexity of a fission fragment rocket at the same time over the bundle proposal.[1] In their design, nanoparticles of fissionable fuel (or even fuel that will naturally radioactively decay) are kept in a vacuum chamber subject to an axial magnetic field (acting as a magnetic mirror) and an external electric field. As the nanoparticles ionize as fission occurs, the dust becomes suspended within the chamber. The incredibly high surface area of the particles makes radiative cooling simple. The axial magnetic field is too weak to affect the motions of the dust particles but strong enough to channel the fragments into a beam which can be decelerated for power, allowed to be emitted for thrust, or a combination of the two. With exhaust velocities of 3% - 5% the speed of light and efficiencies up to 90%, the rocket should be able to achieve over 1,000,000 sec Isp.

Or this design:
Nuclear salf water rocket

A nuclear salt-water rocket (or NSWR) is a proposed type of nuclear thermal rocket designed by Robert Zubrin that would be fueled by water bearing dissolved salts of Plutonium or U235. These would be stored in tanks that would prevent a critical mass from forming by some combination of geometry or neutron absorption (for example: long tubes made out of boron in an array with considerable spacing between tubes). Thrust would be generated by nuclear fission reactions from the nuclear salts heating the water and being expelled through a nozzle. The water would serve as both a neutron moderator and propellant.

Because of their ability to harness the power of what is essentially a continuous nuclear fission explosion, NSWRs would have both very high thrust and very high exhaust velocity, a rare combination of traits in the rocket world, meaning that the rocket would be able to accelerate quickly as well as be extremely efficient in terms of propellant usage. One design would generate 13 meganewtons of thrust at 66 km/s exhaust velocity (compared to ~4.5 km/s exhaust velocity for the best chemical rockets of today). Another design would achieve much higher exhaust velocities (4,700 km/s) and use 2,700 tonnes of highly enriched Uranium salts in water to propel a 300 tonne spacecraft up to 3.6% of the speed of light.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 03:40 AM
Wouldnt it be great if someone on ATS started a thread on how to build an interplanetary craft. Using sci fi and turning it into sci fact. It IS being done, and people see them everywhere. We can take that as fact, even if we all havent see them up close. The Black triangles are ours, whether they can operate in space is the unknown factor.
So let ATS try and solve it.
As a Non Military application, i think we should dispense with any Nuclear or Fission or Fussion technology. But I think looking into Magnetic and Electrical Propulsion is the key. Escaping Earth Gravity would be the greatest challenge.
I propose super lightweight, using composites (carbon fibre), nitinol (a nickle titanium :Memory" Alloy very light) etc, as a "skin", possible impregnated with photovoltaic cells for electrical energy from the Sun. Fast spinning gyroscope for stability. 50' or so diameter for 2 passengers. Surround Spy cameras and LCD/Led screens for vision (no glass canopy etc). Very light seating bare interior..seating not needed in space..weightless.

So. who wants to start a "build a Real Spacecraft" ( not a bomb, like a rocket) thread???

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 05:49 AM
The best use of atomic reactive propulsion is to supply the necessary power source for a plasm rocket, because to date electricity simply doesn't have the power when the plasma rocket engine is scaled up.

I'm still not sure if NASA is going ahead with a demonstration if the VASIMR from the ISS but I'm looking at the final payload specs of the Space Shuttle program.

The atomic powered VASIMR engine might not be explained fully at the NASA site but here is the introduction page of the concept.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:30 AM
reply to post by Nspekta

If you look at the Vatican and the pineal gland,also how Australia tried to recently outlaw 1000 PLANTS CONTAINING this chemical.How this chemical is in all of us,also how our body produces this and uses
it when we die.This, if you research is what specifically they don't want you to know .How the church long ago
used it and still do .Reverse everything they say is not good, is ,and what is good for you is not.The answer
is chemistry ,and then you will see what they don't want you to see.Look up Clarence mckenna.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 12:09 PM
Half a million dollars! el cheapo!!! for a propulsion system that can allow trips to other solar systems!!!

Well, if I had such an idea, I wouldn't even want 500k, since I would already be rich to buy Earth. After all, if one can travel to the stars, the business deals he can do and the weapons he would have would worth a lot more than 500k.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 10:42 AM
Okay, time for all my physics training to pay of, going for a phd of it next year, will they be making it, or does it have to just be theoretically possible?

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 05:20 PM
Wouldn't we have to build one of these enormous interstellar ship in space first of all? I mean the pure mass of the ship wouldn't even exit the atmosphere. Though we could do like Sid Meirs Civ. revolution and send pieces of the ship up one move at a time.

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 06:16 AM
We already have the means to travel to other stars. My prediction is we will be colonizing other planets outside by about 2060 to 2080.

posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 10:54 PM
hahaha $500,000 for a project that would cost so much more

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 05:22 AM

WASHINGTON: The defence department first proposed Star Wars. Now it wants Star Trek. DARPA, the Pentagon's research agency that helped foster the internet, wants someone to dream up a way to send people to a star.

When they say... "it wants Star Trek", I guess the DARPA/NASA want the Star Trek's DY-100 class 'Sleeper Ship'. It was a 'nuclear powered' ship - as stated on this Memory Alpha website:
"DY-100 class"

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