How can we travel faster in space?

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Heiwa
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How can we travel faster in space?

Unread post by Heiwa » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:06 pm

http://education.jsc.nasa.gov/explorers/p4.html

Above is a funny NASA site about topic How can we travel faster in space?

NASA Official Dr. Robert M. Starr and Editor Sharon Bowers state 2006, i.e. seven years ago, the following:
Nuclear thermal propulsion allows a spacecraft to travel faster by providing a more efficient, and light weight system. We would not use nuclear propulsion systems until the spacecraft was far from Earth. Spacecraft would still be launched from Earth with chemical rocket engines or be built and launched in space. A nuclear thermal propulsion system could potentially be over 100 times more powerful than chemical systems of comparable weight.
It is fantastic news! Because if you reverse the nuclear thermal propulsion system you can also brake and stop anywhere in space at little time.

The only question is how this nuclear thermal propulsion system creates a force that will accelerate and/or brake the spaceship.

Any ideas? :rolleyes:

NASA suggests that
Nuclear thermal propulsion – heats a fluid, usually hydrogen, in a high temperature nuclear reactor that creates thrust to move the rocket in space.


So NASA needs a fluid and a high temperature nuclear reactor up in space fitted in the space ship. And then you pour into or fill the nuclear reactor with this fluid and thrust is created.

Amazing. How do the NASA gangsters get away with such nonsense?

lux
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Re: How can we travel faster in space?

Unread post by lux » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:16 pm

According to the wiki this is how Nuclear thermal rocket engines work:

Image

But, since hydrogen is a highly combustible gas and its temperature of combustion is only 932° F, I don't see why you'd need more than a flame to ignite it.

Heiwa
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Re: How can we travel faster in space?

Unread post by Heiwa » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:01 pm

Thanks. There is no air or oxygen in space so the hydrogen will not burn. It will only be heated in the nuclear reactor!

The liquid hydrogen has temperature −252.87°C in a tank from which it is then pumped into a small nuclear reactor, where it is heated up to an unknown temperature, say 1 200°C not to melt the reactor and nozzle, so it becomes a gas, which is ejected out at high velocity – what can it be? - 10 000 m/s ? - through a nozzle into space vacuum. Part of the ejected gas also drives the pump.

Liquid hydrogen has a density of only 70.85 kg/m3, so you need quite a big tank to store, e.g. 1 000 kg: actually 14.11 m3.

Say that you heat up 1 kg/s liquid hydrogen and that it is ejected at 10 000 m/s, then you produce a force or thrust of 10 000 N.

Say that you apply this force during 1 000 seconds. The fuel consumption is just 1 kg/s and total fuel consumed is 1 000 kg.

Say that the space ship has mass 10 000 kg to offer some comfort for the crew, then the force 10 000 N will accelerate the space ship at 1 m/s² during 1 000 seconds, so it seems the speed change will be 1 000 m/s during that time. Actually a little more as after this acceleration your space ship weighs 9 000 kg. 1 000 kg fuel is consumed, actually ejected at 10 000 m/s velocity through the nozzle.

And if you heat up 10 times more fuel and eject it, your speed will become 10 000 m/s faster during 10 times longer time. Probably a little more, as your space ship weighs only 0 kg after the acceleration. Ooops! You ran out of fuel! :blink:

You do not wonder why NASA is not promoting this fantastic nuclear space ship. :)

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