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Posted: 2/13/2002 9:57:05 PM EDT
Thank you GW! He got the money snuck into the NASA budget while no one was looking. The tree huggers are, needless to say, unhappy. [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/12/science/12NUKE.html[/url]
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:04:22 PM EDT
Nice try salesman
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:08:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: Nice try salesman
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Well, I'm thinking he has a subscription to it and well........ Should have cut and past......
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:28:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2002 10:29:37 PM EDT by raven]
The NYT's registration system is a pain in the ass, isn't it? Here you go. WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 — NASA says the future of space exploration is rooted in the past, and it is time to look again at nuclear power as the way to the stars. Years after largely abandoning efforts to apply atomic power to space, NASA last week announced a Nuclear Systems Initiative that it said could jump-start space exploration within a decade. Tucked away in the Bush administration's proposed 2003 budget for the agency is $125.5 million to begin moving NASA into a new nuclear age. In the early days of the space program, NASA looked into nuclear-powered rockets as a possible means of sending humans to Mars and other planets. The agency tested some atomic rocket engines, but abandoned the effort because no missions arose to use them. In the new program, nuclear reactors would not directly produce thrust to propel rockets as in the earlier program, but would be activated when far from Earth, to supply power for other types of engines. The agency also developed electric generators powered by radioactive materials that have been flown on two dozen spacecraft, including the Pioneer and Voyager outer planet probes and piloted Apollo missions to the moon. In 1997, the launching of another probe with a nuclear generator, the Cassini mission to Saturn, drew protests from some environmental and antinuclear groups that worried that a rocket explosion might spread radioactivity. Now only one of these power units, called radioisotope thermoelectric generators, or R.T.G.'s, remain in the civilian space inventory, and officials say it is time to reopen production lines. The new program, they say, presents an opportunity to design and build new generators that are more efficient, require less nuclear fuel and can be used on more varied spacecraft. NASA is proposing to spend $950 million over the next five years to develop new types of atomic-powered generators to supply electricity for spacecraft, and also to build nuclear electric rockets to propel ships through space at greater speed than possible with traditional rockets. The NASA administrator, Sean O'Keefe, said nuclear power would help space explorers "conquer the problems of distance and time." It takes a long time for spacecraft to travel within the solar system, he said, noting that it would take more than a decade for a probe to reach Pluto using current technology. The continued exploration of the solar system and the space beyond is being held back by the limits of conventional chemical rockets as well as existing spacecraft power supplies, which mostly use solar-powered cells, Mr. O'Keefe said.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:29:22 PM EDT
Officials said the nuclear program would be conducted with the Department of Energy, which has the facilities and expertise to construct nuclear power units. Earl Wahlquist, of the Energy Department's Space and Defense Power Systems Division, said the fuel most widely used in R.T.G.'s, plutonium-238, is no longer produced in the United States. Mr. Wahlquist said that his agency would use NASA funds to buy the necessary plutonium from Russia. Dr. Edward Weiler, head of space science at NASA, said nuclear generators were necessary for outer planet missions, where sunlight is faint. Jupiter, he noted, receives only 4 percent of the sunlight that reaches Earth. The Galileo spacecraft, which has been exploring Jupiter and its moons, is powered by two R.T.G.'s. But new nuclear generators also could revolutionize studies of near planets, he said. The Smart Lander mission for Mars, which was scheduled for launching in 2007, will be delayed for two years to convert it from a solar-powered rover to one run by a nuclear unit. For roughly the same cost, he said, the 180-day solar-powered mission could be stretched to 1,000 days with nuclear power and the machine could range up to 50 miles instead of a mile or two as it looks for signs of life. For propulsion, a nuclear reactor could be used as a heat source to power new kinds of engines, like the electric ion drive successfully used on the recent Deep Space 1 mission. That spacecraft used solar power to run an engine that continually pushed it with very low thrust to high speeds. This approach used fuel 10 times as efficiently as conventional chemical rockets, which burn for a few minutes and require the spacecraft to coast for the rest of its trip. A nuclear-powered ion drive could sent a craft to Pluto in half the time as existing rockets, Dr. Weiler said. A major priority of the new program will be safety, he said, and developing technology that will virtually eliminate any risk to the public if something goes wrong, like a launching accident. "We will design these new systems for a worst-case scenario," Dr. Weiler said, "They'll be designed to survive a rocket blowing up, or one going up and then coming down and hitting the ground. If you can't guarantee this in your design, then we don't want to talk to you." NASA officials said the systems they envisioned would be launched by conventional rockets and not activated until safely in space. Once operating, they said, neither electric power supplies nor reactors powering engines would leave residual radiation. Still, there is some opposition to the initiative. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, a group based in Florida, said it remained opposed to any nuclear systems in space and speculated that any new technology developed might be applied to military uses. Dr. Weiler said nuclear energy was not only safe but necessary for further space exploration. The limits of current power and propulsion systems are now starting to limit space science, he said. "We are trying to continue the exploration of the solar system in covered wagons," he said, "Now it's time to switch to the steam engine and build railroads to explore the solar system like railroads contributed to the exploration and expansion of this country."
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 10:58:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2002 11:01:10 PM EDT by Kaliburz]
(SNIP, SNIP) Still, there is some opposition to the initiative. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, a group based in Florida, said it remained opposed to any nuclear systems in space and speculated that any new technology developed might be applied to military uses. (SNIP, SNIP)
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Dang people. Closed minded & (&^%*). How does anyone expect us to get anywhere using 'conventional' methods???? Any 'fast' propultion system will need power, lots of it, and 'nuclear based' is the future. When I say nuclear, I mean atomic, not just 'fission'. [soapbox] (You're talking to a space nut here..... a big dreamer....) [rail] (Kaliburz, thinking was born 150 years too early.......)
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 11:51:09 PM EDT
WooHoo! Another pork-barrel project! Go Bush!
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 12:16:35 AM EDT
I don't see why envirowhackos would oppose launching nuclear waste into space. What do they want us to do with it, bury it in Nevada?? [:D]
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 4:01:45 AM EDT
I sort of like those big rocket motors just the way they are....one big bomb just waiting for something to set if off [smoke] A few years back I was lucky enough to see a Shuttle launch from the parking lot of the vehicle assembly building. That was awesome - it ROCKED the place. Best part, after that the old timer told me that was nothing compared to the moon shots with the Satrn 5s....
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 4:15:16 AM EDT
One of the airport commission members here worked at JPL for quite a while. He helped to build the Mariner probes and assembled RTGs. No BS! He brought his old photo album from home and showed me the steps with he and others handling the stuff. Incredible! Planerench out.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:17:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia: WooHoo! Another pork-barrel project! Go Bush!
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You obviously don't know the definition of "pork barrel."
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 6:25:12 AM EDT
Finaly! NERVA could have gotten us to Mars by 1980 if it had not been for eco groups shutting the project down. Way to go Dubya! Now it's a toss up between Nuclear Thermal Rockets and Nuclear Electric Rockets. I would guess that NER would be used for carge where more efficent thrust is aceptable at the loss of speed, and NTRs for human missions. Nuclear engines are the best near term way to get humans into space in any major way. Space geeks of AMERICA UNITE!
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:08:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia: WooHoo! Another pork-barrel project! Go Bush!
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You obviously don't know the definition of "pork barrel."
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Please define then.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:26:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia:
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia: WooHoo! Another pork-barrel project! Go Bush!
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You obviously don't know the definition of "pork barrel."
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Please define then.
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A pork barrel project is one that is slipped into a bill as a favor to a powerful senator or congressman to bring jobs and/or money to his district or special interest. Re-invigorating NERVA is not a pork barrel project, it is a far-sighted, visionary project that could put us back in the manned space exploration business.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:35:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2002 9:36:20 AM EDT by Francisco_dAnconia]
Originally Posted By RikWriter: A pork barrel project is one that is slipped into a bill as a favor to a powerful senator or congressman to bring jobs and/or money to his district or special interest. Re-invigorating NERVA is not a pork barrel project, it is a far-sighted, visionary project that could put us back in the manned space exploration business.
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Your definition is correct, my apologies. ----- WooHoo! Another misuse of my taxes for something that should be handled by the free market! Go Bush!
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:47:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia: WooHoo! Another misuse of my taxes for something that should be handled by the free market! Go Bush!
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Well, I agree that ideally the private sector should be allowed to help exploit space enterprise, but aside from the legislative obstacles that have been stacked in their way to promote NASA through the decades, I am very very skeptical that private enterprise would EVER be allowed to experiment with nuclear rocketry anywhere on Earth.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 3:30:31 PM EDT
Private space enterprise, lol, like NASA would ever let someone do something they failed at. LOL, we are talking about the most elitest orginizations in the US goverment! Too bad considering they are tasked with carrying out the single most important faccet of the goverment/ American civilization in the long run. Just keep in mind if the Ming Dynsty hadn't dismanteled their exploration fleet we would all be speaking Madarin.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 3:48:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 4:20:08 PM EDT
Folks who have posted on this thread would probably enjoy checking out www.nasawatch.com from time to time. ColKlink: take a look at http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/bpp/
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 4:39:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelKlink: We need to explore alternate and more radical means of transportation I wanna see warp drive!
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The theory of Space Trek warp drive is a bit far off, but there is a sort of nuclear fueled "warp" that is in the works. It actually creates mini nuclear explosions at the tail of the space craft (which is damn long). The blasts are then buffered to prevent breaking the necks of the occupants. Creating more blasts obviously speeds you up. However, they are not sure about the buffering system's reliability, especially since a frozen shock absorber create a bit of a problem! Now...think about it....being strapped to a nuclear missle...this idea has been around in Hollywood for years!
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 5:44:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Minman72: The theory of Space Trek warp drive is a bit far off, but there is a sort of nuclear fueled "warp" that is in the works. It actually creates mini nuclear explosions at the tail of the space craft (which is damn long). The blasts are then buffered to prevent breaking the necks of the occupants. Creating more blasts obviously speeds you up. However, they are not sure about the buffering system's reliability, especially since a frozen shock absorber create a bit of a problem!
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That would be the Orion concept, but it hardly qualifies as a warp drive. More like playing kick-the-can with fission bombs. The closest thing to a warp drive that physicists have come up with is the Alcubierre Spacetime Inflation drive concept that uses negative energy (and no, they don't know if it exists at all much less how to make it or use it) to expand the fabric of space behind the ship and contract the space ahead of it, making space itself move faster than light while the ship itself never goes faster than light THROUGH space, thus preserving Relativity and still getting the ship where it wants to go at supralight speeds.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 8:18:00 PM EDT
Finally! NASA takes such a small percentage of the budget...if it could just be upped a little more some major things could be accomplished.
Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist: Just keep in mind if the Ming Dynsty hadn't dismanteled their exploration fleet we would all be speaking Madarin.
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Not really. We just might have had one more war...no big deal. They weren't the brightest lot (technologically). However, if Charles Martel hadn't halted the islamic invasion of france in 732 we'd all be praying to allah.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 8:24:23 PM EDT
Well, space travel is still in its infancy. It's like comparing a sailing ship (our stage in space travel) to say a hydrofoil (the ships that have those foils/wings to lift the hull)... We've only been in space since the 50's, w/ the launch of Sputnik (spelling). Granted, we haven't really, really, tried any major improvements in propulsion. It'll be some time before scientists get a theory, let a lone build a 'practical/fast' space propulsion system. From what I hear, they're still trying to make the theories fit together, the physicists. Some subatomic particals behave this way, and this theory explains it, but then those act this way, and the same theory doesn't fit....... It won't happen in my life time.....that's for sure.[:(] [V] And if I did live that long [;D], I'll be way too old and I wouldn't be able to take part in a trip (like that I could if it happened today).
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:26:50 PM EDT
I just finished Michener's "Space." A good overview from WWII to the shuttles first flight. Looking at the on again, off again push into the last frontier, it's really good to see a man with vision leading the way. I'm starting to think Bush will stand shoulder to shoulder with the giants of history. I think the shame of this is we'll never know what we would have known. If we hadn't aborted the supercollider, the middle east might have been allowed to settle back into 1000 B.C.
Link Posted: 2/14/2002 9:37:15 PM EDT
The theory of Space Trek warp drive is a bit far off, but there is a sort of nuclear fueled "warp" that is in the works. It actually creates mini nuclear explosions at the tail of the space craft (which is damn long). The blasts are then buffered to prevent breaking the necks of the occupants. Creating more blasts obviously speeds you up.
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My chief concern is how do you stop?!?![:O]
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 5:04:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Badseed:
The theory of Space Trek warp drive is a bit far off, but there is a sort of nuclear fueled "warp" that is in the works. It actually creates mini nuclear explosions at the tail of the space craft (which is damn long). The blasts are then buffered to prevent breaking the necks of the occupants. Creating more blasts obviously speeds you up.
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My chief concern is how do you stop?!?![:O]
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You use maneuvering thrusters to turn around and set off bombs in the other direction.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 5:07:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2002 5:09:20 AM EDT by slacko]
Nuclear Propulsion is already a reality. It was once considered for long range missiles. They used a honeycomb of hundreds of fuel rods and built the reactor to about the size of a mobile home. The biggest problem for the tests was the cooling system, which required a heat exchange facility the size of a small rifinery and a field of pressurized water lines (it took several days to build enough pressure for a 5 minute test). This project was abandoned 30-40 years ago (something like that) in favor of ramjet technology and other means of propulsion, but much was learned.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:19:18 AM EDT
My favorite Arthur C. Clarke writings are when he talks about new drive technologies. Imperial Earth - He describes the creation of a Black Hole like Kernal that is held in suspension by magnetic fields. A small stream of Hydrogen is applied to the kernal. This hydrogen is converted directly to energy, as it is absorbed by the kernal. Songs of Distant Earth - The structure of Superspace has been discovered, and Engineers have learned to tap the vast energies of empty space. This creates a drive where no fuel is required, allowing unlimited acceleration AND deceleration. City and the Stars - Employs technologies that Rikwriter was describing. He also used computer controlled matter transmutation, translation, and preservation, and gravity deflection. Cool stuff.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 11:49:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2002 12:10:39 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
The Jet Propultion Lab used to have a Advanced Propultion Concepts website. But they locked it up after Sept 11. Tried to go there and got a 403 Forbidden message, maybe they will unlock it again someday, but it went into detail about the old thermonuclear engine program. This is a cool site though: [url]http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/STD/propulsion/research/fusion/gdm/fusiongen.html[/url]
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 12:39:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Well, I agree that ideally the private sector should be allowed to help exploit space enterprise, but aside from the legislative obstacles that have been stacked in their way to promote NASA through the decades, I am very very skeptical that private enterprise would EVER be allowed to experiment with nuclear rocketry anywhere on Earth.
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All Congress needs to do then is start defunding NASA and removing the barriers on private space enterprise and research. Yeah, right. I agree that's not going to happen. I can, however, point out that we are in the middle of a recession and a war that I do not expect to be won by the use of nuclear powered space probes, so the timing is not the greatest. Then again, this is probably the best one can get out of politics.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 1:35:06 PM EDT
Found two more interesting sites: [url=http://rigel.neep.wisc.edu/~jfs/neep533_lect32_99_fusionProp.html#Borowski]Lecture #32: Fusion Propulsion[/url] [url=http://silver.neep.wisc.edu/~neep533/neep533.html]NEEP533 Syllabus, University of Wiscnosin[/url] First time I've seen any real data from Clemintine and Lunar Prospector.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 1:49:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Francisco_dAnconia: WooHoo! Another misuse of my taxes for something that should be handled by the free market!
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If you will recall, Columbus' expedition was funded by taxes. The original 13 colonies also relied heavily on government suppport. Those both turned out to be very prudent expenditures, and a great benefit to our civilization as well. Free market economics assumes perfect knowledge when judging risk, but that is not possible when going into "the great unknown."
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 4:21:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Found two more interesting sites: [url=http://rigel.neep.wisc.edu/~jfs/neep533_lect32_99_fusionProp.html#Borowski]Lecture #32: Fusion Propulsion[/url] [url=http://silver.neep.wisc.edu/~neep533/neep533.html]NEEP533 Syllabus, University of Wiscnosin[/url] Nice.......gonna have to save those to the zip drive. First time I've seen any real data from Clemintine and Lunar Prospector.
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Link Posted: 2/15/2002 5:48:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By imposter: If you will recall, Columbus' expedition was funded by taxes. The original 13 colonies also relied heavily on government suppport. Those both turned out to be very prudent expenditures, and a great benefit to our civilization as well. Free market economics assumes perfect knowledge when judging risk, but that is not possible when going into "the great unknown."
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I'm sorry, but free market economics is most definitely [i]not[/i] based on perfect knowledge. In fact it is the imperfect and limited nature of knowledge, among other things, that puts the free market economy so far ahead of any other system. To properly analyze your examples it is not sufficient to say that government did X, Y resulted, and Y was a good result. You must compare that with what would have happened otherwise. You must also demonstrate that the two examples you have provided are not a fluke.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:00:07 PM EDT
I applaud the few crumbs diverted into nuclear powered propulsion. However, we are not likely to leave the solar system using nuclear propulsion nor in our present (human) form. [X]
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:19:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By imposter: If you will recall, Columbus' expedition was funded by taxes.
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Just because the Queen of Spain underwrote the expedition doesn't mean it was paid for by taxes (at least not directly.) Isabella hocked the crown jewels to finance the trip--in essence, it was a private enterprise funded by the sale of private property. While it didn't pay off immediately, I don't think one could argue that it didn't turn out alright in the end for the Spanish royalty--probably the most profitable investment in history.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:49:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Still, there is some opposition to the initiative. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, a group based in Florida, said it remained opposed to any nuclear systems in space and speculated that any new technology developed might be applied to military uses.
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Hippies.[pissed] No nuclear power in space? Go protest the sun, frickin' treehugger!
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 7:10:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zak:
Originally Posted By imposter: If you will recall, Columbus' expedition was funded by taxes.
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Just because the Queen of Spain underwrote the expedition doesn't mean it was paid for by taxes (at least not directly.) Isabella hocked the crown jewels to finance the trip--in essence, it was a private enterprise funded by the sale of private property.
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The crown jewels belonged to the state, didn't they? It would be akin to President Bush hocking the White House furniture to pay for the space program.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 8:25:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2002 8:51:21 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: I applaud the few crumbs diverted into nuclear powered propulsion. However, we are not likely to leave the solar system using nuclear propulsion nor in our present (human) form. [X]
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Oh really? [url]http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/iec/Frames/Publications/Reports/Murali/murali1.htm[/url] Whoops put in wrong link...
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 8:33:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: I applaud the few crumbs diverted into nuclear powered propulsion. However, we are not likely to leave the solar system using nuclear propulsion nor in our present (human) form. [X]
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Oh really? [url]http://www.pppl.gov/pub_report/2001/PPPL-3592.pdf[/url]
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Really oh really
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 9:02:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: Really oh really
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Good comeback. What's your point?
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 9:13:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2002 9:14:20 PM EDT by 5subslr5]
Originally Posted By Minman72:
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: Really oh really
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Good comeback. What's your point?
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I don't believe we'll leave this solar system with any propulsion system using 'brute' force. Now what will the propulsion system be ? I don't have a clue - Ion drive - anti-matter ?? Our bodies don't perform well in space. Primarily our immune systems shut down. We'll need to travel quickly or must clone into an entity more accommodating for long term space travel. The drive is a problem. The altered human is not.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 9:55:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2002 9:59:51 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
No we have a problem with zero gravity- not with space. Gravity can be faked. That is why to exploit the moon we will have to build habatats AROUND it where the families of the miners will live and where high level processing of the raw materials and the manufacture of finished goods will take place. Besides I like the idea of living in a space colony myself. I'd kind of like to get to one before I croke... [left][img]http://www.dyarstraights.com/msgundam/OPNTYPE1.JPG[/img][/left][center][img]http://www.dyarstraights.com/msgundam/OPNTYPE2.JPG[/img][/center][right][img]http://www.dyarstraights.com/msgundam/OPNTYPE3.JPG[/img][/right] There are so many things to exploit in THIS solar system before talking about going to others. Just settling Lunar Space and the Earth Sphere (the Earth, the Moon, and all the liberation points around it) would take a couple centuries. Pics are from: [url]http://www.dyarstraights.com/msgundam/frontier.html#Calendar[/url]
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 10:45:56 AM EDT
Dual-Armed, Perhaps we can agree that we must move first into our solar system and then beyond if we are to survive as a people.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 3:10:31 PM EDT
5sub, I whole heartedly agree that our expansion beyond Earth is crucial to the survival of the Human race, and in the shorter term the survival of the American way of life. Nuclear power, be it NTR's or NEP's will be the 'conestoga' of the settalment of space. Fusion rockets of course will take over when they become avalible, but are only viable for the exploration of the nearest stars. To go beyond that will require some kind of exotic physics propolsion system to alow for faster then light travel. I don't think that drives requiring negative energy will pan out but I think that 'loop hole' technologies like synthetic wormholes, tachyon drives are more likely then warping space itself.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 9:19:05 PM EDT
Hmm, here is a question, at what fraction of C does time dialation become noticeable? Is it a linear function of speed, or is it logarithmic or ? That could be a wild card for intersteller travel (but it wont do much good for people waiting at home)
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 9:55:35 PM EDT
The "C" factor is exponential...it doesn't really factor in until you get to 90% lightspeed, at which point time has slowed down by a factor of two...at .95C it is 3.2, at .99C is 7, at .999C is 22.4 and at .9999C is 70.7! Nukes Forever!
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 10:17:27 PM EDT
... Outer space, like the mind cannot be understood appreciatively without busting through boundaries you once thought were sacred. … I'm all for funding a space program. However, I want to play an active role in its definition, engineering cycle, real commencement and production control. … Nothing else
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