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Topic: Nuclear thermal rocket


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  Will Nuclear Power Put Humans On Mars?
Nuclear-reactor rockets, like the ones that would be used in the Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket, conduct nuclear fission reactions -- the same kind employed at nuclear power plants -- in which uranium atoms are split apart, releasing tremendous volumes of energy.
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.
research.lifeboat.com /fission.htm   (2263 words)

  
 LANTR Moon Base
This approach was dubbed Phase A. Borowski proposed instead a Phase B nuclear thermal rocket fueled by liquid hydrogen (LH2) brought from Earth.
The NTR shuttle was now refueled in lunar orbit by the LLV, which delivered up to 25 t of LUNOX for the nuclear shuttle's return to Earth orbit.
But nuclear propulsion had a political "image problem", and Borowski's plan simply proved too costly and ambitious to Dan Goldin's NASA which was struggling to assemble the International Space Station on cost and on schedule.
www.astronautix.com /craft/lannbase.htm   (1520 words)

  
 Nuclear electric rocket - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In a nuclear electric rocket, nuclear thermal energy is changed into electrical energy that is used to power one of the electrical propulsion technologies.
So technically the powerplant is nuclear, not the propulsion system, but the terminology is standard.
Nuclear electric rocketNuclear photonic rocketNuclear pulse propulsion • Nuclear salt-water rocketNuclear thermal rocket • Radioisotope rocket • The Orion project
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Nuclear_electric_rocket   (332 words)

  
 Nuclear Propulsion
For a manned mission to a distant planet like Mars a nuclear propulsion system or nuclear thermal system seems to be more advantageous in terms of propulsive power than a chemical system as a result of some basic differences.
The two main features that lead to the advantages of a nuclear thermal rocket over a chemical one are the enormous energy available per unit mass of fission (or fusion) fuel, and that in a nuclear thermal system the energy producing medium is separate from the thrust-producing propellant.
Nuclear Thermal Propulsion at Lewis Research Center Overview of nuclear thermal propulsion system as a possibility for future space missions.
library.advanced.org /12145/propul5.htm   (472 words)

  
 Innovative Nuclear Space Power
From the results of the thermal hydraulic analyses, eight axial temperature zones are chosen for the calculation of group average cross-sections.
A nuclear thermal rocket produces an enormous energy per unit mass of fuel, and the energy-producing medium is separate from the thrust-producing propellant.
In 1960, the nuclear rocket was viewed as an essential part of a manned mission to Mars due to a much higher thrust to weight ratio that could be produced in these systems.
www.inspi.ufl.edu /research/ntp/nuclear/index.html   (1694 words)

  
 Meltdown: going to Mars in a nuclear rocket - if it can get off the ground Omni - Find Articles   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-19)
Although "nuclear" has in some circles become synonymous with "dangerous," astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz explains that an atomic rocket would actually be safer for a human crew than a conventional rocket.
Nuclear power is more efficient than chemical fuels, propelling a rocket to Mars more quickly for the same amount of fuel and thus reducing the crew's exposure to radiation from solar flares and cosmic rays.
That kind of efficiency means that trip times of 450 to 500 days for chemical rockets can be shortened to 150 to 300 days for nuclear thermal rockets, according to Gordon Woodcock, director of a Boeing study ordered by NASA that examined propulsion options and declared nuclear thermal as the rocket of choice.
www.findarticles.com /p/articles/mi_m1430/is_n5_v15/ai_13345461   (786 words)

  
 Nuclear Reactors for Space
The US SNAP-10A launched in 1965 was a 45 kWt thermal nuclear fission reactor which produced 650 watts using a thermoelectric converter and operated for 43 days but was shut down due to a satellite (not reactor) malfunction.
Romashka reactors were their initial nuclear power source, a fast spectrum graphite reactor with 90%-enriched uranium carbide fuel operating at high temperature.
Nuclear fission heats a hydrogen propellant which is stored as liquid in cooled tanks.
www.uic.com.au /nip82.htm   (2327 words)

  
 Space Propulsion and Mission Analysis Office   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-19)
A Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) creates thrust by heating and expanding a working fluid, such as hydrogen, a fusion fuel, in a nuclear reactor.
The exhaust of chemical rockets are constrained by the chemical reaction, but in an NTR, the heat source is not based on the propellant, so an NTR can use a low molecular weight propellant, such as hydrogen, to improve performance.
NTR propulsion systems are referred to as high thrust when compared other advanced propulsion systems such as electrical propulsion.
trajectory.grc.nasa.gov /projects/ntp/index.shtml   (681 words)

  
 Nuclear Propulsion
For a manned mission to a distant planet like Mars a nuclear propulsion system or nuclear thermal system seems to be more advantageous in terms of propulsive power than a chemical system as a result of some basic differences.
The two main features that lead to the advantages of a nuclear thermal rocket over a chemical one are the enormous energy available per unit mass of fission (or fusion) fuel, and that in a nuclear thermal system the energy producing medium is separate from the thrust-producing propellant.
Nuclear Thermal Propulsion at Lewis Research Center Overview of nuclear thermal propulsion system as a possibility for future space missions.
library.thinkquest.org /12145/propul5.htm   (472 words)

  
 Nuclear-Heated Steam Rocket Using Lunar Ice
A steam rocket, with energy supplied by some external means such as a solar collector or nuclear reactor, would develop between 100 and 230 seconds of specific impulse (Isp) using the water directly as propellant.
Rocket engine specific power is a measure of the power required per ton of vehicle to lift payload against lunar gravity.
The cryofuel rocket compares poorly to the NSR because it requires an additional infrastructure to generate electricity in space, to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis, and to condense the gases into the premier cryogenic rocket fuels liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).
www.neofuel.com /moonicerocket   (4929 words)

  
 Lunar Base Studies - 1994: LANTR and LUNOX
Consequently, Borowski and Co. rejected this approach in favor of a nuclear thermal rocket fueled by liquid hydrogen brought from Earth.
This NTR is reusable, transporting 8,800kg of cargo from Earth orbit to lunar orbit, where it rendezvous with the LLV.
But nuclear propulsion has a political "image problem", and Borowski's plan simply proved too costly and ambitious to Dan Goldin's NASA which was struggling to assemble the International Space Station on cost and on schedule.
www.nss.org /settlement/moon/LANTR.html   (1607 words)

  
 [2.0] Advanced Space Rocket Propulsion Systems (1)
The goal of most of these advanced rocket propulsion schemes is improved efficiency through higher exhaust velocities, in order to reduce the amount of fuel the rocket vehicle needs to carry, though generally at the expense of high thrust.
NTR advocates believe that the safety concerns can be reasonably addressed, and NASA has recently considered development of some class of nuclear engine for deep-space exploration.
A particular problem in terms of shock protection was the stack of nuclear pulse units carried by the ship, since the gee forces could easily wreck their precision fuzing circuitry, turning them into duds.
www.vectorsite.net /tarokt_2.html   (3548 words)

  
 Strategic Affairs - Technology
For instance, one such nuclear rocket could be used for a mission to the Moon, to Mars and also flights to asteroids closer to the Earth.
The rocket's endurance can be gauged from the fact that it can orbit an asteroid for as long as one month, enabling ample time for research.
Testing nuclear thermal reactor engines entails inducing a sustained nuclear chain reaction that is forbidden by the CTBT.
www.stratmag.com /issueAug-15/page03.htm   (1002 words)

  
 Space Exploration Technology: Space Exploration and Nuclear Propulsion
Early rocket scientists got around this problem by building a rocket in stages, throwing away the structural mass of the lower stages once the propellant was consumed.
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 Rocket Launcher   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-19)
The rocket cannot be scaled down to less than 1000 tons due to the critical mass of a nuclear explosion.
The pulsed nuclear rocket launcher is prohibited by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, because it pollutes the atmosphere with radioactive waste.
The nuclear-thermal rocket launcher is popular with nuclear engineers despite the high probability of melt-down in low Earth orbit.
www.nas.nasa.gov /About/Education/SpaceSettlement/Nowicki/SPBI103.HTM   (256 words)

  
 Successful experience of QuickField application by National Aeronautics and Space Admimistation (NASA)
Nuclear Thermal Rockets or NTR’s have been suggested as a propulsion system option for vehicles traveling to the moon or Mars.
An alternative to full up nuclear testing is non-nuclear testing in a simulator which mimics the environmental conditions (minus the radiation) projected to exist in an actual nuclear engine.
Such a nuclear rocket environmental simulator is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshal l Space Flight Center.
www.quickfield.com /story5.htm   (356 words)

  
 Nuclear Rockets
Once nuclear energy became commonplace in the 1950s, fairly straightforward engineering calculations could be made on the design of a nuclear rocket.
The 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty — generally a good thing — was interpreted to apply to nuclear rockets as well as nuclear bombs.
The solid-core NTR is the simplest type (simplest to build, compared to the others, but definitely not simple in any absolute sense.) The NERVA engines were of this type.
www.chris-winter.com /CATS_Quest/Nuc_Rkt.html   (1676 words)

  
 Nuclear Rocket Launcher   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-19)
The pulsed nuclear rocket launcher is prohibited by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, because it pollutes the atmosphere with radioactive waste.
(Radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapons tests across the globe probably caused at least 15,000 cancer deaths in U.S. residents born after 1951.) Moreover, radiation produced by the nuclear explosions is a serious threat to the cargo.
The nuclear-thermal rocket launcher is popular with nuclear engineers despite the high probability of melt-down in low Earth orbit.
www.islandone.org /LEOBiblio/SPBI103.HTM   (296 words)

  
 Nuclear propulsion Summary
NTRs could produce enough thrust to carry a spacecraft into orbit, but because the propellant itself would quickly run out, they are unsuitable for longer missions to Mars or beyond.
We have nuclear fusion to thank for life on Earth: Most solar energy comes from the four million tons of hydrogen that is converted into helium every second in the interior of the Sun.
Nuclear propulsion includes a wide variety of propulsion methods that use some form of nuclear reaction as their primary power source.
www.bookrags.com /Nuclear_propulsion   (1399 words)

  
 Innovative Nuclear Space Power
Because of its high performance potential, nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) could be utilized for manned missions and cargo transport to the moon or mars, unmanned explorations of the outer planets, and earth orbit transfers of satellites.
Nuclear propulsion can provide a greater specific impulse (Isp) to reduce the time for a manned mission to Mars from 600 days to about 200 days.
A nuclear thermal rocket operates by the same basic principles as chemical rockets--namely the expansion of hot gas (propellant) through a rocket nozzle to provide thrust.
www.inspi.ufl.edu /research/ntp/why   (398 words)

  
 Nuclear-thermal rockets (Paul F. Dietz; Henry Spencer; James A Davis)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-19)
The key problem is that solid-core nuclear thermal rockets must be run cool enough that the core doesn't melt, while chemical rockets are under no such constraint; temperatures in a high-pressure LOX/LH2 flame are very high.
In the nuclear design I was discussing, the purpose of the design is not to convert a given quantity of fission energy into work more efficiently, but rather to get more fission energy into the propellant.
For a thermal rocket where the energy source and the propellant are separate, hydrogen is miles out in front for performance.
yarchive.net /space/rocket/nuclear_thermal.html   (3761 words)

  
 Antimatter rocket Summary
Finally, a nuclear photonic rocket involves heating up such a tungsten block or other material so it emits light - a curved mirror would then reflect the photons backwards and thus accelerate the spacecraft forwards.
For example, an antimatter rocket could take one ton of cargo to the interplanetary space using about 400 micrograms of antimatter, or to the low earth orbit using half of that amount.
For comparison, 95-98% of launch weight of modern chemical rockets such as Zenit or Saturn V is taken by fuel and fuel tanks.
www.bookrags.com /Antimatter_rocket   (904 words)

  
 Nuclear Reactors
The following are examples of nuclear technology that could be used for propulsion in space.
Cold hydrogen is pumped into the main axis of the rocket's engine.
For comparison purposes, the available figures for a solid nuclear system are also given.
www.andrew.cmu.edu /user/bschmell/nuclear_reactors.htm   (265 words)

  
 PRATT & WHITNEY THERMAL NUCLEAR ROCKET ENTRY: TRITON
When used in TRITON nuclear thermal rocket, the fast-spectrum CERMET reactor provides thrust in propulsion mode by using Hydrogen which is gasified by the high temperature of the full-power reactor and the gaseous hydrogen is accelerated out through the nozzle giving you Isp values (i.e.
A Bimodal feature in a NTR allows you to reduce some of the major spacecraft power system elements that you would need by reducing the size of the typical photovoltaic or fuel cells that are sized to handle all the power demands of the entire spacecraft.
A typical nuclear rocket would have a radioactive inventory that was about at 1 part in 106 of what a standard commercial reactor would have at the end of its life.
www.nuclearspace.com /A_PWrussview_FINX.htm   (8662 words)

  
 Nuclear thermal rocket + nuclear pumped laser - Viewing a thread
The idea is to take a "usual" nuclear thermal design, increase reactor power, convert some % of power to laser beam, and convert beam's energy to more heat in a place where we don't risk melting down the reactor - in the throat.
The best way to boost NTR Isp is to come up with better materials that can withstand higher temperatures in the "combustion chamber" and nozzle.
All this energy flies away from the core as light, and is converted to heat and then to kinetic energy of exhaust _not_ in the reactor core, but in the throat.
forum.nasaspaceflight.com /forums/thread-view.asp?tid=6957&mid=118543   (1164 words)

  
 SPACE.com -- Nuclear Power: The Future of Spaceflight?
NERVA was basically a graphite-core nuclear reactor with a liquid-hydrogen tank on one end and a rocket nozzle on the other.
Another key feature of the new NTR engine is that its thrust is down to 15,000 pounds, as little as one-sixteenth that of the larger NERVA concepts, making it more affordable to build.
Anticipating a range of questions about nuclear power in space, Borowski said that the project office is preparing a "frequently asked questions" brochure to be distributed later this year.
www.space.com /businesstechnology/nuclear_power_000718.html   (1197 words)

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