[ RadSafe ] Space Propulsion, Enriched Uranium, Fusion, Etc.

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Thu Feb 3 23:36:00 CST 2011

Hi Radsafe:
         This is  from:    _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com)     
         Hope your weekend will be  a good one.  Clearly, I haven't been 
shopping for Hybrid cars
lately.  All manner of hybrids seem to be available.  That  Jaguar sounds 
like quite an
automobile (a Bad Boy????!!!!).   I knew Schlumberger paid people  
        I guess I should have studied  what was alluded to by Jeff Lahti 
earlier on Radsafe.  Rover,
Nerva etc. ---- US highly enriched reactor propulsion systems looked into  
earlier by the US
government.  A websearch via Google details reactor energies, impulse  
power, reactor test times,
etc.  I will have to look into all this further.  4000  MWthermal --- 
wow--- see what enriched Uranium/
Plutonium fuel can do for you.  More neutrons are produced by enriched  
fuel also, so shielding 
problems become a bit more difficult.
        An early version of this system  could be propelled into space 
using a chemical propelled
rocket.  That would necessitate using some sort of Lunar Landing  Module to 
reach and leave the
surface of Mars.  Sound do-able.  Like I said before, the nuclear  
spacecraft with reactor need
not ever return to Earth.  When its mission is over, the spacecraft  could 
be placed in a plastic bag
or other container and attached (permanently???) to the Moon.  
       Ultimately, a spacecraft more like a  flying saucer (see the movie 
Forbidden Planet or the TV
show --- Lost in Space???? --- USA) might be constructed which could  
overcome the impulse
launch problems.  Light and strong materials might allow such a flying  
saucer to be launched from the
Earth's surface directly  No more nasty and explosive chemical launch  
mechanism, but rather the 
saucer might do a direct dead lift right from the surface of the  Earth.  
Early models might struggle
to leave the Earth's gravitational field.  I suspect such launches  would 
not be so dramatic as those 
done using chemical propellant.  USA has done research work using  flying 
saucers.  Real information
about such sytems might not reach the common citizen in the USA for 25, 50, 
 75 years --- or 
whatever the US declassification of documents schedule is.  Clearly,  in 
the USA, there is still a
need to maintain a strategic/competitive edge over other nations.
       Some information on Thorium use in  reactors might be gotten from 
Nero's book 
(a paperback) on Reactors.
       As Mr. Sidney Greenstreet once advised  Bogart in the Maltese Falcon 
"I advise you to,...Be 
Careful".  The USA clearly has all manner of  
jets/planes/rockets/spacecraft in the air.
      Perhaps early pre-manned missions to Mars  will be done robotically.  
This would be OK if
the one way flight time would be about 2 months or in that  neighborhood.  
A few training missions, and
then a flight crew would go to Mars.  Do much testing, take a bit of  
calculated risks and go 
forward.  My guess is that Westinghouse and Tesla were not so cautious  
that it paralyzed their
ability to go forward with their work.  Early chemical propulsion  (rocket) 
systems failed many times 
before reliable rockets were finally created.  
       Now, go home and find your slide rules  and remember the good old 
days.  And if you ever
get the chance to look at a US Mercury space capsule in Florida or wherever 
 (and especially look
at the electronics), do so.  Most of us probably would never have  gotten 
into such a capsule.
And in the Health Physics community, I'm sure many stories about Chimps in  
Space abound.
       Have a good  weekend.     Regards,   Joseph R. (Joe) Preisig,  PhD

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