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Topic: Nuclear propulsion

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  nuclear propulsion
A nuclear propulsion system derives its thrust from the products of nuclear fission or fusion, and was first seriously studied by Stanislaw Ulam and Frederick de Hoffman in 1944 as a spinoff of their work on the Manhattan Project.
One way to achieve nuclear propulsion is to heat a working fluid by pumping it through a nuclear reactor, then let the fluid expand through a nozzle.
With unlimited nuclear power, however, it is not necessary to react or burn anything; instead, hydrogen gas could simply be heated inside a nuclear reactor and then ejected as a high-speed exhaust.
www.daviddarling.info /encyclopedia/N/nuclearprop.html   (445 words)

 Encyclopedia: Nuclear marine propulsion
Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a Merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor.
Work on nuclear marine propulsion started in the 1940s, and the first test reactor started up in the USA in 1953.
In contrast, nuclear propulsion has proven both technically and economically feasible in the Soviet Arctic.
www.nationmaster.com /encyclopedia/Nuclear-marine-propulsion   (1880 words)

 BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nasa to go nuclear
He is expected to back the US space agency's recent nuclear propulsion initiative, Project Prometheus, either in his State of the Union speech, due on 28 January, or later this year when he submits his 2004 budget to Congress.
Nuclear propulsion is theoretically capable of achieving much faster speeds than conventional rockets using far less fuel.
Nuclear power would also mean that Martian launch windows would be longer, allowing a more flexible choice of launch and return times, leading to a manned landing mission that could last as little as three or four months, as opposed to about three years.
news.bbc.co.uk /2/hi/science/nature/2684329.stm   (765 words)

 SPACE.com -- Will Nuclear Power Put Humans On Mars?
He argues that nuclear power is dangerous to the health and safety of workers in the nuclear industry, and to people around the world.
In a nuclear thermal rocket, this energy is used to heat hydrogen propellant, which is stored aboard the rocket as liquid in supercooled fuel tanks.
Nuclear reactors even provide enough power to create artificial gravity, a feature that should protect the astronaut crew from the physiological ravages of living in low-gravity conditions for extended periods.
www.space.com /scienceastronomy/solarsystem/nuclearmars_000521.html   (2372 words)

 Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Classification Review
While commercial nuclear reactors are operated by many countries, the ability to apply nuclear propulsion to a ship is a difficult task which very few countries have been able to accomplish.
Because release of U.S. naval nuclear propulsion technology would directly assist a foreign country in obtaining the military advantages of nuclear power for their Navy, continuing protection is warranted and necessary.
The technology used in our nuclear vessels cannot be divulged to foreign governments for their analysis of the vessel's safety without also contributing to that country's ability to use it toward developing an indigenous nuclear propulsion capability.
www.globalsecurity.org /military/systems/ship/systems/nnppcra.htm   (6129 words)

 Nuclear Propulsion and What It Means to Space Exploration - Red Colony Article   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
A nuclear rover under development by NASA for launch in 2009 would be able to travel hundreds of miles and last for months to years on the Martian surface, and its sensors could have orders of magnitudes more power, leading to much more data gained.
This form of propulsion is similar to nuclear thermal propulsion, except that instead of heating the fuel to accelerate it, it ionizes the fuel and then sends it through an electric field to propel it at extremely high velocities.
Therefore, despite the great promise to propulsion that nuclear technology has showed, it seems that only the most limited benefits are to be had in the near future.
www.redcolony.com /art.php?id=0303050   (2135 words)

 Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion - Technology
[3] The requirements for an operational nuclear aircraft were that, even under the most adverse conditions, the aircraft did not add materially to the general background atmospheric radioactivity and that while in use the aircraft restricted all harmful radiation to within the craft or a predesignated exclusion area.
Nuclear power showed promise in both fields because of its dual nature of long-lasting fuel supply and the high temperatures theoretically possible using a reactor.
Although nuclear ramjets, under Project Pluto, and nuclear rockets, under Project Rover, were successfully tested at the levels needed for operational use, an operational level atomic aircraft powerplant was never developed.
www.megazone.org /ANP/tech.shtml   (3066 words)

 Space Exploration Technology: Space Exploration and Nuclear Propulsion
For those who are interested in the exploration and development of space by humans, nuclear propulsion technology is a very attractive option.
Nuclear propulsion systems have the ability to overcome the Isp limitations of chemical rockets because the source of energy and the propellant are independent of each other.
In gas-core NTR's, the nuclear fuel is in gaseous form and is inter-mixed with the hydrogen propellant.
www.astrodigital.org /space/nuclear.html   (2331 words)

 Nuclear-powered Ships
Nuclear power is particularly suitable for vessels which need to be at sea for long periods without refuelling, or for powerful submarine propulsion.
Russia built 248 nuclear submarines and five naval surface vessels powered by 468 reactors between 1950 and 2003, and was then operating about 60.
Nuclear propulsion has proven technically and economically essential in the Russian Arctic where operating conditions are beyond the capability of conventional icebreakers.
www.uic.com.au /nip32.htm   (1736 words)

 ipedia.com: Antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion Article   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
Nuclear pulse propulsion has the downside that the minimum size of the engine is defined by the minimum size of the nuclear bombs used to create thrust.
This releases a shower of neutrons, causing the surrounding fuel to undergo rapid fission.
The reaction is fast enough to also serve as the trigger for a nuclear fusion reaction if desired.
www.ipedia.com /antimatter_catalyzed_nuclear_pulse_propulsion.html   (572 words)

 New Scientist Breaking News - NASA boosts nuclear propulsion plans
These use a nuclear reactor to supply electrically charged particles, which are expelled to drive a craft travelling through space.
Despite billions of dollars of research in the 1950s and 1960s, nuclear propulsion was abandoned due to technical and political difficulties.
Nuclear generators already provide compact and long-lasting power sources for electronics aboard spacecraft too far from the Sun to rely on solar power.
www.newscientist.com /article.ns?id=dn3285   (575 words)

 Naval nuclear propulsion (from nuclear engineering) --¬† Encyclop√¶dia Britannica
The damaging effects of the light, heat, blast, and radiation caused by nuclear explosions had long been known to scientists, but such explosions' indirect effects on the environment remained largely ignored for decades.
At the center of each atom is a tiny core called a nucleus that is surrounded by a cloud of electrons—electrically charged particles that move in the outer regions of the atom.
The organization was opposed to the nuclear arms race and sought to educate the public on the catastrophic medical consequences that would result from a nuclear war.
www.britannica.com /eb/article-64708?tocId=64708   (851 words)

 Soviet Mars Propulsion - Nuclear Electric
First stage testing of nuclear electric propulsion began in 1962 and the original draft project N1 of that year foresaw the use of this form of propulsion in multi-module orbital base stations and interplanetary spacecraft.
The propulsion section was essentially the same except that for safety reasons two completely independent redundant reactor / engine assemblies were used in the place of the single unit of the MEK design.
For a single-launch complex of 150 tonnes a nuclear electric propulsion unit of 5 to 10 MW with enough fuel for 1.5 years would be required.
www.astronautix.com /articles/sovctric.htm   (1386 words)

 SPACE.com -- White House Go-Ahead On NASA Nuclear Prometheus Project
Nuclear rocket is a term that's very easily misconstrued in the public, Savage said.
Using nuclear thermal rockets, the payload delivered from low Earth orbit to the Moon or Mars can be doubled, Zubrin said.
Nuclear power reactors are essential for Mars base surface power.
www.space.com /businesstechnology/technology/nuclear_power_030117.html   (1381 words)

Submarine nuclear propulsion operator assigned to duties not associated with the supervision, operation or maintenance of naval nuclear propulsion plants.
Members serving in senior nuclear billets (NEC 336X) at commands where the specified watchstations do not exist are considered to have satisfied the watch qualification criteria if they were previously qualified on the required watchstations.
Members serving in senior nuclear billets (NEC 339X) at commands where the specified watchstations do not exist are considered to have satisfied the watch qualification criteria if they were previously qualified on the required watchstations.
buperscd.technology.navy.mil /bup_updt/508/NEC/NP.htm   (2014 words)

 Air-Attack.com---> Nuclear Propulsion
According to the story, a "top-flight nuclear physicist" in Los Angeles had received a mysterious letter containing a description of the Soviet saucer from someone associated with an officer of a Russian oil tanker which was docked in Los Angeles harbor.
Because of these problems, one of the ideas considered by the Lexington group was to simply eliminate the crew from the nuclear airplane, make it into a flying atomic tugboat, and let it tow a more conventional airplane -- safely distanced from the reactor by a long cable -- to the vicinity of a target.
The nuclear powerplant designed for the B-60 was the General Electric P-1, an open-cycle, air-cooled reactor with a thermal output probably in the 50 megawatt range, which was married to four powerful GE J53 turbojet engines by a complex tangle of air ducts.
www.air-attack.com /page.php?pid=18   (1978 words)

 MITEE - A Miniature Nuclear Propulsion Engine   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
Increasing the specific impulse to 1000 seconds, which is possible with Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, enables the spacecraft velocity to be over 2 times greater than that for a hydrogen/oxygen rocket, for the same mass of propellant consumed.
Nuclear thermal rockets are thus not useful (or politically possible) as boosters launching from the ground.
The ion or plasma propulsion idea is much better as far as ISP if you don't need a lot of thrust in a short period of time.
www.freerepublic.com /focus/news/673317/posts   (3775 words)

 Project Orion: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth
Project Orion was a space vehicle propulsion system that depended on exploding atomic bombs roughly two hundred feet behind the vehicle (1).
A number of designs were proposed in the late 1940's and 1950's to get around the temperature limitation and to exploit the enormous power of the atomic bomb, estimated to be on the order of 10 billion horsepower for a moderate-sized device (8).
The core of the vehicle was a 200,000-pound "propulsion module" with a pusher-plate diameter of 33 feet, limited by the diameter of the Saturn.
www.islandone.org /Propulsion/ProjectOrion.html   (4724 words)

 NuclearSpace: The Pro-Nuclear Space Movement
Trying to reconcile major tectonic movements on the political landscape toward support for a nuclear space program seems far more difficult to achieve than with actual development of nuclear systems with the means of propulsion and power to bridge our solar system.
In tribute to all the men and women from all walks of life in the United States who came together for a brief period in human history to demonstrate the potential of the Nuclear Thermal Rocket in the Nevada desert.
Project Prometheus will use breakthrough nuclear propulsion and power systems to fuel an ambitious mission to Jupiter’s icy moons, which astrobiologists believe could harbor organic material, and lay the groundwork for even more ambitious exploration missions in the coming decades.
www.nuclearspace.com   (1564 words)

 Space Propulsion pulsed nuclear propulsion   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
In the case of OTVs, I think that fusion propulsion systems, pulsed nuclear propulsion systems and probably reactor based nuclear propulsion systems as well are going to be leapfrogged by antimatter propulsion systems.
A third type of launch vehicle propulsion system is the electromagnetic accelerator or "mass driver." While primarily discussed as a method launching payloads from the Moon, it is also adaptable to Earth to LEO transportation.
If a fusion powered propulsion system can be devised that does not entail releasing radiation into the atmosphere, it may become the basis of a practical launch system.
www.unexplainable.net /artman/publish/article_705.shtml   (4328 words)

 The inner workings of classified nuclear propulsion systems that make no noise in air. The inner secrets of the US ...
We had the USAEC going into nuclear powered bombers that could stay in the air for extended periods, and were intended as part of the cold war offensives.
There is another class of these nuclear propulsion systems that don't use reactors as the propulsion drives directly, which are based on the separation of fission products from the bomb making process.
Since the LRV was to carry a small nuclear reactor to provide electricity for flight systems, it is conceivable that tests would have been conducted at this isolated location.
members.aol.com /doewatch/ufo.html   (6311 words)

The laser beam is used to heat a propellant with the energetic expansion driving the craft.
The 'ASTRID' Pumped-Propulsion Flight Experiment was the first flight demonstration of a pump-fed 'thrust-on-demand' propulsion system designed by the Lawrence Livermore National Lab for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
The test showcased the operation and performance of TBM interceptor propulsion components and associated systems in free flight.
www.islandone.org /Propulsion   (823 words)

 NWC Review, Spring 2000: James   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
The quest for aircraft nuclear propulsion, at least at its outset, made sense for the United States in the era of a building rivalry with communist states and related tensions at home.
Two basic approaches to nuclear propulsion that received sustained attention during the Fairchild project were known as direct and indirect cycles.
It seemed to him that the services had been fighting over a slice of the nuclear pie that many doubted ever would be “baked.” The mission of the overall ANP was now restricted to pure research for nuclear propulsion systems and shielding.
www.nwc.navy.mil /press/Review/2000/spring/art5-sp0.htm   (10606 words)

 BBC - Radio 4 - Project Prometheus
Fifty years ago, US nuclear scientists were working on a top secret project to develop a three thousand-ton rocket that would take people to Mars propelled by atomic bombs.
This is not a dream of science fiction, but the goal of a $3 billion project that aims to launch its first nuclear behemoth before the end of the decade.
Leo travels to Albuquerque in New Mexico where nuclear rocket scientists from around the world are meeting to discuss their work.
www.bbc.co.uk /radio4/science/projectprometheus.shtml   (484 words)

 NASA boosts nuclear propulsion plans   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
"nuclear propulsion was abandoned due to technical and political difficulties."
Bush Senior announced the "Space Exploration Initiative" and effort began to try to recover the priceless nuclear technology that we threw away in the early 70s.
Nuclear engines could not be built or tested in America today due to hysteria about the "N" word.
www.freerepublic.com /focus/f-news/827240/posts   (904 words)

 Nuclear Rocket Page
Nuclear rockets utilize fission energy to heat a reactor core to very high temperatures.
Nuclear rocket engines were designed, built and tested in the 1960s but were never implemented into the space program.
Nuclear Thermal Rocket for a Manned Mars Mission is a paper on using solid core nuclear rocket, ala Rover/NERVA, for a Mars Mission-- ship masses, delta Vs, etc.
www.lascruces.com /~mrpbar/rocket.html   (705 words)

 Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-20)
This project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, edited by Stephen I. Schwartz.
Although no airplane ever flew under nuclear power, the Air Force converted this B-36 bomber, known as the Nuclear Test Aircraft, to carry an operating three-megawatt air-cooled reactor to assess operational problems (it made 47 flights over Texas and New Mexico between July 1955 and March 1957).
The NB-36H carried the reactor in its aft bomb bay and incorporated a new nose section, which housed a 12 ton lead and rubber shielded crew compartment with 10-12 inch (25-30 centimeters) thick leaded-glass windows.
www.brook.edu /FP/projects/nucwcost/anp.htm   (370 words)

The Innovative Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Institute (INSPI) at the University of Florida is funded through several government and private industry research grants and contracts to conduct fundamental and applied research in areas related to application of nuclear power in space.
Current research is focused on the design studies related to nuclear thermal propulsion based on square lattice honeycomb ternary carbide fuels and nuclear electric propulsion based on gaseous and liquid fuel reactors with magnetohydrodynamic power generation systems.
Specific research projects are conducted in areas such as ultrahigh temperature nuclear fuel, computational fluid and gas dynamic and heat transfer, and development of a web based space nuclear power information resources and database system.
www.inspi.ufl.edu   (180 words)

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