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Max_Rodriguez

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Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« on: Nov 02, 2009, 04:52 »
Came across this a moment ago, could get pretty interesting.

Quote
MOSCOW -- Russia's space agency is planning to build a new spaceship with a nuclear engine, its chief said yesterday.

Anatoly Perminov told a government meeting that the preliminary design could be ready by 2012. He said it will then take nine more years and $600 million to build the ship.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged the Cabinet to consider providing the necessary funding.
"It's a very serious project," Medvedev said. "We need to find the money."

Perminov's ambitious statement contrasted with the state of the Russian space program, and sounded more like a plea for extra government funds than a detailed proposal.

Russia is using 40-year-old Soyuz booster rockets and capsules to send crews to the International Space Station. Development of a replacement rocket and a prospective spaceship with a conventional propellant has dragged on with no end in sight.

Perminov described the spaceship as a "unique breakthrough project." He said the ship will have a megawatt-class nuclear reactor, as opposed to small nuclear reactors that powered Soviet satellites.

Perminov didn't say what the new spaceship will be used for.

The Russian space agency has mulled over future missions to the moon and Mars, but hasn't set a time frame.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2009/10/29/11562161-sun.html

Offline Adam Grundleger

Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 02, 2009, 05:18 »
Great if they can pull it off, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 02, 2009, 09:11 »
Great if they can pull it off, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

The last time the Russians tried launching anything Moon-mission capable such as the N-1, it ended like this picture:

Offline Adam Grundleger

Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 03, 2009, 07:58 »
Given the present world political climate, I think their claims are more propaganda than plan.  I'd be very happy if they surprised me, though. 

Expansion into and exploitation of space are grand goals, and just lately those seem to be in short supply.  In the place of the manic optimism of our own space age (post WWII through the early 70's) we have a huge void.  Without great goals we have aimless energies pulling us in all directions.  It's been too long since we as Americans worked cohesively towards something.  In the place of the glittering sci-fi cities in the sky and rockets to the moon we have decadent squalor and decay. 

It says something when our greatest technological achievements are in consumer electronics and cosmetic surgeries.  No cure for cancer, but we can get 67 year old women pregnant and make old men virile.  We have the boon of nuclear power in our grasp, but bow to ignorance and pursue windmills that dessicate downwind areas or solar panels fabricated using toxic chemicals.  We have the means to educate our youth effectively, but instead worry about diversity and self esteem, dooming them to mediocrity at best.

So, no, I don't think the Russkies will send a nuclear powered spaceship to Mars.  I see more and more hollow claims to keep the one-upsmanship game going, but I doubt I'll see another great achievement in my lifetime.  It would be nice, though.

Offline Gamecock

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Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 03, 2009, 09:44 »
The good folks at MIT have been evaluating this for NASA for a few years.

Note also that we have looked at nuclear powered space propulsion before.

This is not a new concept.
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Offline Adam Grundleger

Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 03, 2009, 11:14 »
Heck, it was advocated back in the 60's (I think) by Ted Taylor (Manhattan Project physicist.)  His plan was to use a series of atomic explosions to propel the craft through space.  I think it was called project Orion (no relation to the current project of the same name.)

Offline Mike_Koehler

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Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 03, 2009, 02:04 »
« Last Edit: Nov 03, 2009, 02:09 by Mike_Koehler »
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Offline stormgoalie

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Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 03, 2009, 02:26 »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket and   http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/R/Rover_Project.html


Started in 1953 program officially ended in 1972.

I remember having to deal with a couple of flasks at N-Reactor that had at one time contained fuel for the Rover Project. Went through a HUGE hubub because they weren't entirely sure that there wasn't fuel still inside when we had to open them.  Of course we did it in July, middle of the day, in a tent outside....... :D
WARNING: Translation of author's random thoughts may have resulted in the unintended introduction of grammatical errors, typos, technical inaccuracies, lies, propaganda, rhetoric, or blasphemy.

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Offline HydroDave63

Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 03, 2009, 08:16 »

Offline Mike_Koehler

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Re: Russian Nuclear Spaceships?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 04, 2009, 09:51 »
Wasn't talking about electrical producing reactors in space (everybody is still working on and using various power cells and power plants), but propulsion using reactor technology.


from your Wiki article.....


TOPAZ nuclear reactor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The TOPAZ nuclear reactor is a lightweight nuclear reactor developed for long term space use by the Soviet Union. Cooled by liquid metal, it uses a high-temperature moderator containing hydrogen and highly enriched fuel and produces electricity using a thermionic converter.

Whereas Rover was.....

Nuclear thermal rocket
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Sketch of nuclear thermal rocketIn a nuclear thermal rocket a working fluid, usually hydrogen, is heated to a high temperature in a nuclear reactor, and then expands through a rocket nozzle to create thrust.



also from Wiki......


Mike

« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2009, 09:53 by Mike_Koehler »
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