[ RadSafe ] Space Travel (Fission, Fusion, etc.)

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Sat Dec 10 22:57:49 CST 2005


     This is from:  jpreisig at aol.com   .

      Greetings Radsafers!!!!

            Hope all is well with you.  A while back, someone was asking about
      travel to the Moon and/or Mars, and Cosmic Rays and all that.  The 
      archives should have considerable e-mail discussion of these matters,
      especially concerning the use of fission/fusion propulsion.
      Consult the archives, if you wish.

            For fundamental discussions of Cosmic Rays, charged particles,
      neutral particles, please read:  Patterson & Thomas "Accelerator Health
      Physics"  and the Accelerator Health Physics course notes by Coissairt.

           Flights to Mars using chemical propulsion probably take too long
      for sane astronauts.  Fission/Fusion propulsion  flights  would 
probably be 
      quicker.  Mr./Dr. Facius's recent comments about cosmic rays are
      probably in the recent radsafe archives.  Clearly, if one uses 
      propulsion, one might have to limit maximum  spacecraft accelerations,
      to not injure astronauts.  I don't know how reasonable it is to have an 
      shielded area in a spacecraft, because I don't know how quickly
      astronauts could be warned about dangerous cosmic rays, solar flares
      and the like.  Such cosmic ray phenomena might possibly be lethal.

           Space flight is still a dangerous business --- if one examines the 
      Mercury (NASA) capsules, one will probably appreciate the bravery of the
      Mercury astronauts.

           Clearly, charged particles will be shielded using high Z 
materials, and
      neutrons can be shielded using hydrogenous materials (polyethylene,
      water, etc.).

           As for somebody's son wanting to be a spacecraft pilot, Go For It.
      NASA's websites probably have information on Pilot and/or mission
      specialist requirements.  If your kid has eyeglasses already, think 
      not applying.  NASA pilots need considerable flight hour training and
      pilot (hour) experience.

           There is at least one fission propelled spacecraft (recent 
      Prometheus???).  See the internet for more information.

           Best wishes for safe and happy holidays....INL (formerly INEL --- 
      appears to be getting the nod for US reactor development for future
      US reactors.

       Take care.                 Joseph R. (Joe) Preisig,  Ph.D.


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