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#51 2004-07-22 23:32:09

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

And so it goes on. The point von Braun was making, more than fifty years ago, was that even then we already has the technology to go to Mars. All it needed was the will to do it, and that's still lacking in certain quarters today.

We weren't even able to send objects into orbit then, so we certainly did not have the technology to go to Mars.  Besides, you need more then just propulsion to get people to Mars, you also need reliable long term life support.

Problem: Making cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes operate from electricty or from hydrogen created by electrolosys of water by electricity is not yet practical. It would also take decades for our nation to switch to Hydrogen or other energy storage medium. Reliance on fossil fuels for transportation (and to operate gas fired power plants) will not go away for decades no matter what we do.

If we created some big incentives for using biodiesel, we could eliminate much of the petroleum consumption in a fairly short time frame.  Biodiesel has the advantage of being able to run in regular diesel engines, so it does not have the chicken/egg problem that hydrogen does, and it also has a much higher energy density then hydrogen.

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#52 2004-07-23 01:44:23

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Well you get the idea... if the technology is not efficent enough, then it is impractical. Though I wonder what would have happend to England if Hitler had put Tabun instead of explosives on the V-2... gas masks would only prolong your agony

And what would have happened if Churchill had put Tabun instead of explosives on the Lancasters ... No, whatever way you look at it, the V-2 was a bad investment for the Nazis at the time.

Hitler was extremely reluctant to use poison gas (except in concentration camps) for some reason. One I can think of, so far as using them on England was concerned, is that the prevaling wind would blow them right back over Germany. The other is that he knew their use would invite an immediate British retaliation (Churchill said as much) and the British had better means of delivery. (The RAF)

We weren't even able to send objects into orbit then, so we certainly did not have the technology to go to Mars.

Yes we did, and yes we did. What we lacked was the political will to do it.

If we created some big incentives for using biodiesel, we could eliminate much of the petroleum consumption in a fairly short time frame.

No we wouldn't. Biodiesel projects I've seen require more fertiliser (produced from crude oil) than gasoline replaced, and would use up so much surface area, half the world would have to do without enough to eat. Also biodiesel is a much dirtier fuel than gasoline or normal diesil, so pollution would be increased.

Problem: Putting all the power plants in one place invites our enemies to obliterate our nation with a single nuclear strike. With our ability to produce energy gone for years.. all electricity and transportation nationwide.. the United States would cease to exsist in a single day.

Putting all (or near enough) our oil resenves in one place, which happens to be the most unstable politically on earth, ain't so smart either.

According to Dr. Marvin Herndon, the Earth's core is made of uranium.

...and the moon is made of green cheese. Can we try to stick with a modicum of realism around here, please?

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#53 2004-07-23 08:17:10

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Hitler may have also flinched on the use of nerve gas since he himself got a good dose of mustard gas in WW1 I do believe... But I digress, Tabun was the first engineerd nerve gas, for which gas masks wouldn't work... far more deadly than anything the allies had... Hitler sure didn't intend to top his ICBMs with high explosives, thats for sure. And what retaliation could the allies sortie that they wern't already deploying?

Putting alot of our oil interests in the Middle East has wound up being much more trouble than we bargained for, but the richness and ease of access that the ME has to oil is such that the added efficency & economics is a signifigant advantage... Bio-based fuels are a good idea and all, the trouble with them is that they just aren't going to come fast enough either no matter what we do. It will take a while even if we started a push today, and the stuff is no good for gasoline or kerosene.

The Earth's core probobly contains Uranium, but its still mostly iron. Otherwise, the Earth's gravity would be substantially stronger!


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#54 2004-07-23 10:34:58

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

And what retaliation could the allies sortie that they wern't already deploying?

The Nazis were on a hiding to nothing. They surrendered eary May 1945. If they have managed, by poison gas or whatever, to keep going for another 3 months to August 1945, they would have been nuked into immediate surrender.

Putting alot of our oil interests in the Middle East has wound up being much more trouble than we bargained for...

I don't think anyone consciously decided to make the Middle East the centre of our oil interests. It just happens to be where the oil is.

the trouble with (all alternatives) is that they just aren't going to come fast enough either no matter what we do. It will take a while even if we started a push today, and the stuff is no good for gasoline or kerosene.

The one sure and certain event in our future is the end of the oil economy. (This is not all bad: it means the dire predictions of the global warming doomsayers will never happen) But it does mean we need to be constructing the alternative energy economy NOW.

In my view all the so-called green energy sources are like trying to put out the Great Fire of London by peeing on it. They are just not on the right scale -- or scaleable.

The only two technologies that we know of that are capable of doing the job are nuclear and space solar power satellites (SSPS) Nuclear is the short term stop-gap, and right now we need to be building nuclear power plants like there's no tomorrow (as there might not be if we don't build them) while we gear up towards building vast arrays of very large SSPSs at GEO...

...and there's a lovely spin-off for all or us: really cheap and really large-scale access to space. The cost of going to Mars (and everywhere else in the system) will tumble.

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#55 2004-07-23 11:17:33

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

The one sure and certain event in our future is the end of the oil economy. (This is not all bad: it means the dire predictions of the global warming doomsayers will never happen) But it does mean we need to be constructing the alternative energy economy NOW.

In my view all the so-called green energy sources are like trying to put out the Great Fire of London by peeing on it. They are just not on the right scale -- or scaleable.

The only two technologies that we know of that are capable of doing the job are nuclear and space solar power satellites (SSPS) Nuclear is the short term stop-gap, and right now we need to be building nuclear power plants like there's no tomorrow (as there might not be if we don't build them) while we gear up towards building vast arrays of very large SSPSs at GEO...

...and there's a lovely spin-off for all or us: really cheap and really large-scale access to space. The cost of going to Mars (and everywhere else in the system) will tumble.

Ehhh I wouldn't count oil out... we still have quite a bit here and there in Alaska and off the coasts. Oil will continue to  be a popular source of energy because of it cheap and storeable. There is infact good evidence that oil is produced by non-biological geologic mechanisms, and infact some partially depleated wells in the Gulf of Mexico are refilling.

You have a point about the Green Menace and their lies, but so called "renewable" sources do have a place in energy policy. If cheap polymeric solar cells can be cooked up that will have similar lifespan to rooving shingles, that can take a decent bite out of a home's energy consumption, even though they aren't as good as doped silicon cells.

Nuclear systems work just fine, especially with breeder reactors... I think that its unclear if SSPS is feasable... a very large one would be hard to place into high orbit (GEO imparticularly), hard to maintain in high orbit, questionable radiation resistence, and then you have to worry about transmission...

...Advanced nuclear systems, ones using gas for cooling and Brayton cycle heat exchangers, can be built to be melt-down proof. As in, even if the core lost pressure, the reactor would not get hot enough to destroy the core from decay heat. Using Helium or a mix of other Noble Gasses will make the cooling gas essentially contamination proof, since their nucleii do not become radioactive.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#56 2004-07-23 11:45:08

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

We weren't even able to send objects into orbit then, so we certainly did not have the technology to go to Mars.

Yes we did, and yes we did. What we lacked was the political will to do it.

Really?  So how many things had we sent into orbit by 1952?

If we created some big incentives for using biodiesel, we could eliminate much of the petroleum consumption in a fairly short time frame.

No we wouldn't. Biodiesel projects I've seen require more fertilizer (produced from crude oil) than gasoline replaced, and would use up so much surface area, half the world would have to do without enough to eat. Also biodiesel is a much dirtier fuel than gasoline or normal diesil, so pollution would be increased.

You are thinking of alcohol fuels.  Biodiesel definitely has a net energy gain of at least 3:1.  It has been estimated that 0.3% of the land area of the US could be utilized to produce enough biodiesel to replace all transportation fuel the US uses, if algae is used to produce the biodiesel.  Compared with regular diesel, biodiesel greatly reduces output of CO, CO2, SO2, aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulates.  It does produce more NOx, but that can be reduced by using catalytic converters.  Normally, the sulfur in diesel fuel would quickly destroy a catalytic converter, but biodiesel has a very low sulfur content, so catalytic converters would work for biodiesel.

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#57 2004-07-23 12:37:43

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Of course making giant petri dishes enough to cover 0.3% of the area of the United States would be somthing of an undertaking... biodiesel is not so much different than vegetable oils and such, which since they are created through biological processes rather than percolated through geologic formations for eons, contain more uniform molecules without the aromatic goop in crude oil or the sulfates... It is a good idea, and will produce nontrivial quantities of fuel able to replace Diesel oil in the long run... but not right now. The sheer volume of fuel oil needed is so large, I don't see it making a short-term impact any which way or being lots cheaper than crude oil fuels barring a crisis...

Not too sure it would be any good for making gasoline or kerosene out of though, enough trouble to make disel fuel out of it already, and certainly not polymer feedstocks.

What are the best plant stocks already grown for making biodiesel? And anybody ever hear of Thermal Depolymerization?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#58 2004-07-23 14:23:38

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

We weren't even able to send objects into orbit then, so we certainly did not have the technology to go to Mars.

Yes we did, and yes we did. What we lacked was the political will to do it.

Really?  So how many things had we sent into orbit by 1952?

Sorry, my typo. What I should have said was, "Yes we were, and yes we did.", meaning , "Yes we were able to send objects into orbit, and yes we did have the technology to go to Mars."

Ehhh I wouldn't count oil out... we still have quite a bit here and there in Alaska and off the coasts. Oil will continue to  be a popular source of energy because of it cheap and storeable.

It's rapidly going to become anything but cheap and there will not be nearly enough to go around. When China and then India a few years later go for automobiles in a big way, world oil demand will double and then treble and than quadruple... just as supply starts to run out. This will happen soon enough, even without any major upsets in the Middle East, and even with every imaginable source exploited as rapidly as possible (For example, you don't mention the Alberta tar sands, for one, which the last I heard were likely to cost up to $100/barrel to extract; or the offshore oil off Newfoundland, which will require enormous production platforms able to withstand 'direct hits' from icebergs on a regular basis, and will also cost well over $100/barrel to land. Oh! And the pollution danger would be great and permanent.)

Now of course if the demand is there--for the reasons I mentioned-- you'll be able to sell stuff from these places. But the selling price is likely to be something more like $200/barrel (supply and demand--and we cry at $40/barrel today) so yes, you're right, don't count oil out. But I'd sooner get my energy from somewhere else, thank you very much.

I think I said on an earlier thread: I used to work for Mobil as one of the people who looked at the feasability of these Alberta and Newfoundland projects, among others, so I know of what I speak. The private view of those of involved in these studies was that burning oil as fuel ought to be made a crime; it is too valuable and really is irreplaceable as chemical feedstock.

There is infact good evidence that oil is produced by non-biological geologic mechanisms,

You're thinking of natural gas. It's pretty well established that crude oil is the product of biological processes--just as coal is.

and infact some partially depleated wells in the Gulf of Mexico are refilling

This hoary old one comes up every now and again. What's really happening is that deposits in unexploited areas immediately adjacent to the depleted field seep in to fill the 'vacuum'. It may deliver a little more pumpable crude, but it ain't the second coming.

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#59 2004-07-23 15:50:16

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Actually no, I mean real live crude oil is created through a purely geologic process, not just from decomposing biological sources. The methane and ethane, etc, deep underground (which there is alot BTW down deep) when heated a great deal by the Earth's natural heat and then cooled in the cracks of the Earth's crust will link to form larger molecules... oil molecules.

Most rich crude oil reserves are near geologicly active places. Carbon dating doesn't mesh neatly with soley biological decay products, and there are chemistries in the oil that shouldn't be there if it were soley from biological sources from the minerals in the deep Earth. The natural gas accompanying much of the oil contains helium, a nuclear decay product from the Earth's crust. Etc etc... there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Earth geologicly creates oil too. And so there is alot of it, its just a little deeper than we thought to drill for... and in the Gulf, it is seeping out of the deep Earth rocks and refiling the oil reserves.

Since thats how at least a good portion of how all oil is produced, particularly in the rich deposits we can tap in short order, then I don't think the "all the oil is going to ruuun ouuut!"  doomsday prediction is the whole truth... After all, the prediction itself is based off of the biological-only model, where the limit of biomass entering the ground is the limiting factor.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#60 2004-07-23 20:12:51

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Actually no, I mean real live crude oil is created through a purely geologic process, not just from decomposing biological sources

My father was an oil geologist and an uncle was professor of geology after years in the oil business. I have many good friends in the geological side of the oil business and in universities as professors, etc. Credit me with a little bit of knowledge about this.

If there is one thing everyone in the business is quite certain about, it is that yes, crude oil is created geologically all right, but from the pressure and temperature effects on deeply buried dead bits of biology over millions or even billions of years. For one thing, it's a mixture of hydrocarbons, which means its chemistry is organic and not inorganic. That fact alone kills your idea stone dead.

Most rich crude oil reserves are near geologicly active places

Not as I recall, top of the head. There are oil-exporting countries such as Iran, that are subject to earthquakes, but not near their oilfields (remember Iran is as big as the US east of the Mississippi) and as for volcanoes--it's true Krakatoa, that blew up last century, is in Indonesia, but the country's main oilfield is about 1,000 miles away on another island.... and so and so on.

Earthquakes and volcanoes happen along tectonic plate boundaries in the earth's crust; oil tends to turn up where the surface has been away from one of these fault lines long enough for the organic processes that lead to oil to have happened.

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#61 2004-07-24 18:46:17

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

No no, Methane and other organics can be produced from purely nonbiological sources too in the deep Earth, as evidenced by radiocarbon dating and trace Helium, and that the stuff happens to be where biological materials and fossils are not. If it is dead plants and critters, then why would there be oil where there wern't any? Titan has loads of hydrocarbons, but they surely aren't from biological sources!

Heat those up, then cool them back down, and under pressure it makes oil... Do be careful of the use of terminology as well, that organic/inorganic mean different things to chemists and non chemists, threw me off for a second. smile


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#62 2004-07-25 04:01:11

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

...organic/inorganic mean different things to chemists and non chemists

Well yes, but I was discussing this thing seriously, not in the ignorance-speak of the (so-called) 'organic food' greenies, who don't know the meaning of the very word they call their overpriced substandard rubbish. They make their money from the principle that there's another fool born every minute. (Like 'genetically modified': we humans have eaten nothing but GM food for many thousands of years--it's called selective breeding. ... but I digress...)

No no, Methane and other organics can be produced from purely nonbiological sources too in the deep Earth, as evidenced by radiocarbon dating and trace Helium, and that the stuff happens to be where biological materials and fossils are not.

Well of course, I agree with that. It's what I've been saying!

However: Methane (CH4) is organic to the same extent as, say, CO2 is organic. In other words it's organic in the strict sense of the term: it contains carbon. But it's not a complex hydrocarbon of the kind that makes up crude oil--and living oranisms. Ethane (C2H6) propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10), also simple hydrocarbons, are the other main components of natural gas, but about 75% of natural gas is methane. These gaseous (at NTP) compounds are the hydrocarbons that have been detected on Titan -- and also in intersetellar gas clouds, by the way. Their chemical simpicity is why, unlike petroleum, they burn so cleanly--

CH4 + 2*O2 --> CO2 + 2*H2O (+891 kJ)

So, what is crude oil?

Geologists generally agree that crude oil was formed over millions of years from the remains of tiny aquatic plants and animals that lived in ancient seas. There may be bits of brontosaurus thrown in for good measure, but petroleum owes its existence largely to one-celled marine organisms. As these organisms died, they sank to the seabed. Usually buried with sand and mud, they formed an organic-rich layer that eventually turned to sedimentary rock. The process repeated itself, one layer covering another.

Then, over millions of years, the seas withdrew. In lakes and inland seas, a similar process took place with deposits formed of non-marine vegetation.

In some cases, the deposits that formed sedimentary rock didn't contain enough oxygen to completely decompose the organic material. Bacteria broke down the trapped and preserved residue, molecule by molecule, into substances rich in hydrogen and carbon. Increased pressure and heat from the weight of the layers above then caused a partial distillation of the organic remnants, transforming them, ever so slowly, into crude oil and natural gas.

Although various types of hydrocarbons—molecules made of hydrogen and carbon atoms—form the basis of all petroleum, they differ in their configurations. The carbon atoms may be linked in a ring or a chain, each with a full or partial complement of hydrogen atoms. Some hydrocarbons combine easily with other materials, and some resist such bonding.


The number of carbon atoms determines the oil's relative "weight" or density. Gases generally have one to four carbon atoms, while heavy oils and waxes may have 50, and asphalts, hundreds.

Hydrocarbons also differ in their boiling temperatures—a key fact for refiners who separate the different components of crude oil by weight and boiling point. Gases, the lightest hydrocarbons, boil below atmospheric temperature. Crude oil components used to make gasoline boil in the range of 55 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Those used for jet fuel boil in the range of 300 to 550 degrees, and those for diesel, at about 700 degrees.

There are three essentials in the creation of a crude oil field:

    First, a "source rock" whose geologic history allowed the formation of crude oil. This usually is a fine-grained shale rich in organic matter.

    Second, migration of the oil from the source rock to a "reservoir rock," usually a sandstone or limestone that's thick and porous enough to hold a sizable accumulation of oil. A reservoir rock that's only a few feet thick may be commercially producible if it's at a relatively shallow depth and near other fields. However, to warrant the cost of producing in more challenging regions (the Arctic North Slope, for example) the reservoir may have to be several hundred feet thick.

    Third, entrapment. The earth is constantly creating irregular geologic structures through both sudden and gradual movements—earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and erosion caused by wind and water. Uplifted rock, for example, can result in domelike structures or arched folds called anticlines. These often serve as receptacles for hydrocarbons. The probability of discovering oil is greatest when such structures are formed near a source rock. In addition, an overlying, impermeable rock must be present to seal the migrating oil in the structure.

The oldest oil-bearing rocks date back more than 600 million years; the youngest, about 1 million. However, most oil fields have been found in rocks between 10 million and 270 million years old.

Subsurface temperature, which increases with depth, is a critical factor in the creation of oil. Petroleum hydrocarbons rarely are formed at temperatures less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit and generally are carbonized and destroyed at temperatures greater than 500 degrees. Most hydrocarbons are found at "moderate" temperatures ranging from 225 to 350 degrees.

It is the particular crude oil's geological history that is most important in determining its characteristics. Some crudes from Louisiana and Nigeria are similar because both were formed in similar marine deposits. In parts of the Far East, crude oil generally is waxy, black or brown, and low in sulphur. It is similar to crudes found in central Africa because both were formed from non-marine sources. In the Middle East, crude oil is black but less waxy and higher in sulphur. Crude oil from Western Australia can be a light, honey-colored liquid, while that from the North Sea typically is a waxy, greenish-black liquid. Many kinds of crudes are found in the United States because there is great variety in the geological history of its different regions.

Of course, light hydrocarbon gasses like methane are often—even usually—found in oil fields because they tend to be off-gassed by the crude, but this is a separate (although currently more common) source than direct geological production from non-oil fields. In fact these gas fractions are so common and such a nuisance that standard practice has long been just to burn it off as it emerges from the well. That's what most oil flares actually are.

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#63 2004-07-25 05:37:21

JimM
Member
From: England
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 247

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Woops, my oversight.

I intended to say that most of what I said in my last post, after "So, what is crude oil?", is taken from http://www.chevron.com/learning_center/crude/]this site by Chevron which was much easier than writing it all out myself. But I forgot to say so.

Sorry.

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#64 2004-07-25 07:33:34

comstar03
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2004-07-19
Posts: 329

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Well,

Plasma Drive is a good drive system if designed properly, doubling as an internal power grid as well, The use of super-conductors and other materials / components that could add the development of this process.

We need to develop, test, control and develop disater procedures to make this process function and also the system must generate enough power for the whole ship.

It will allow us to progress into other forms of fluid drive systems eventually into matter / anti-matter drive and power systems providing enough power to hyperspace travel.

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#65 2004-07-25 08:54:38

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Well,

Plasma Drive is a good drive system if designed properly, doubling as an internal power grid as well, The use of super-conductors and other materials / components that could add the development of this process.

We need to develop, test, control and develop disater procedures to make this process function and also the system must generate enough power for the whole ship.

It will allow us to progress into other forms of fluid drive systems eventually into matter / anti-matter drive and power systems providing enough power to hyperspace travel.

I agree with you. That why I support a long term government project in space developement of building city and other technologies to support those city like Plasma Drive space ships. Both the idea of building cities in space and developing Plasma Drive have to go together. :unclesam:

Like why would you build Plasma Drive if you had no city on Mars?

How could you build a city on Mars without Plasma Drive?

Why would you as a private corporation consider the expenditure to develope and building Plasma Drive without a large market for you Plasma Drive like maybe a City on Mars? tongue

Larry

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#66 2004-08-02 15:10:53

prometheusunbound
Banned
From: ohio
Registered: 2003-07-02
Posts: 209
Website

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

I know this might sound stupid, but is it possible to use nuclear waste to serve as the nuclear material in a NTR or nuklear rocket?  And why bury the waste on mars if the rockets could be shot into the sun? cool   I think the sun could more than handle the extra radiation.  And I think private industry should handle this; NASA has very little motive to build a NTR given all the poltical bombshells involved in making one.


"I am the spritual son of Abraham, I fear no man and no man controls my destiny"

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#67 2004-08-04 11:52:12

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

The short answer is "no," the nuclear fuel for an NTR engine will be high grade Uranium undoubtably. Uranium is nice because the reactor will not produce any really harmful radiation until after its activated, so the reactor can be launched without shielding. Nuclear waste on the other hand would need heavy shielding and wouldn't work as well as Uranium anyway.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#68 2004-08-08 22:22:25

comstar03
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2004-07-19
Posts: 329

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

GCNRevenger,

That is an issue shielding remember these vessels are build in components and shield can be developed I did some reading on harmonics that could have some answers, looking at the radiation waves and controlling wave distance ( harmonic sound wall ) not physical shielding would be a departure from the normal thinking ( radical - interesting reading ** but unproven theory !!!! )

Again people are looking for alternatives in shielding and other issues for nuclear drives, reactors and other components for nuclear / plasma  propulsion engines.

Also energy generating is another issue, because the complex control systems, scientific systems, environmental systems and other support systems will drain on power requirements for the vessel, and any ship design will be larger that the current designs that the power requirements will be larger.

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#69 2004-08-12 05:41:01

comstar03
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2004-07-19
Posts: 329

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Design the Plasma Propulsion to function on a number of fuel sources not just one source. So we could use it from the moon or mars or jupiter or other outer planets.

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#70 2004-08-12 07:57:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

NASA works on far-out propulsion plans
Aerocapture, tethers and atomic power under study

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5673239/

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#71 2004-09-14 06:21:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

Next stop Mars: Professor to develop rocket prototype
NASA funds MAE professor's work on plasma thrusters
Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab (EPPDyL)

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archiv … 0701.shtml

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#72 2022-01-22 15:03:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,008

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

This topic has been quiet for a while ...

Below is a link to the first post by C M Edwards:
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=929#p929

Without reading the whole topic, I'm deliberately inviting C M Edwards to pick up the topic where he started with his first post.

The scenario I'd like to offer is this:

Suppose we load up a vessel in LEO with large quantities of liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen.

This is now a viable scenario, thanks to the inventiveness and world class engineering of the team who built and deployed the Webb telescope.

The sunshield can hold temperatures below 50 Kelvin, which is below the boiling point of both LH and LOX.

With that premise as a starting point, it is feasible to deliver electric power to a VASIMR (or similar) ion thruster by feeding the fuel into fuel cells.

It should be possible to work out the flight characteristics for a vessel designed to feed an ion engine with power using chemically stored energy.  The only consumable would be whatever atom type is chosen for acceleration by the ion engine.

Since Hydrogen and Oxygen are available in this scenario, perhaps it makes sense to consume one of those to feed the ion drive.

(th)

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#73 2022-01-22 19:16:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Plasma Rockets - Where do you stand on this topic?

So what is so special about energy levels that make up the 4th state of matter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_(physics)

We have used Plasma in a variety of products to make light and we know that they are contained to make the arc pass through the gas that we are changing states within to make the light. We are ionizing the matter but we want to make it have an isp that is not that of an ion engine so we will want to do something different.

The sun is a plasma driven fusion engine
https://www.livescience.com/54652-plasma.html

"Plasma is a charged gas, with strong Coulomb [or electrostatic] interactions,"

AmWAxCgMM8tJWQo6b3oRcD-970-80.jpg.webp

https://www.energy.gov/science/doe-expl … ing-plasma

The proceeding posts talk about the fuel traditionally, this it's made up of two ion species – deuterium and either hydrogen or helium-3. Which are supper heated to the matter state that once it passes out of containment would pass out the engines nozzle to provide the force to move the rocket forward.

So far all we have is a more forceful ion engine but its still slow and steady to gain the speed over time.

We have also talked about the nuclear material that would be used to generate that heat level of change in the presses of the fuel to exhaust through the engine.

Now if we are about to obtain the state of energy that gives compression to the effect with the ionic would make He4 out of the reaction which should make a bit more exhaust energy if this were to happen.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power

I thought the use of Americium sheets as the nuclear element to produce the heat was something new to approach for research.

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