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Houston you've got a problem: Anti-nuclear greenies!

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Tsiklon
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NASA's biggest barrier to progress in spaceflight and space exploration is its refusal to actively engage in R&D for nuclear propulsion. And keep in mind that this does include the use of nuclear driven engines to lift payloads into orbit as well as travel around in interplanetary space(and eventually interstellar space).

Nuclear rockets, particularly VASIMIR thrusters powered by gascore nuclear reactors(which use magnetic containment and operate at temperatures up to 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit)can produce much larger specific impulses than any chemical reaction and would allow very large payloads to be lifted into orbit while leaving some propellant left over!

There is a proposal for an unmanned spaceship called Prometheus which uses a solid core reactor to generate electricity for ion propulsion but this thing will be built entirely in space because of the hysteria surrounding anything and everything nuclear which was whipped up by the greenies some 40 years ago. They have enormous influence on policy and have killed the nuclear industry in the US; preventing the construction of new reactors and effectively outlawing nuclear propulsion R&D.

Russia doesn't have this kind of problem and is already pursuing R&D in nuclear space propulsion. Why the hell should the US do the same thing??? I would go so far as to suggest that the United States withdraw from Partial Test Ban Treaty to completely open the door to nuclear propulsion.

Any thoughts? Any takers? :smartass:

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Russia doesn't have this kind of problem and is already pursuing R&D in nuclear space propulsion. Why the hell should the US do the same thing??? I would go so far as to suggest that the United States withdraw from Partial Test Ban Treaty to completely open the door to nuclear propulsion.

Any thoughts? Any takers? :smartass:

Russia's reputation for quality and safety is well known (they produce crap). I hope they test and deploy their nuclear powered vehicles in very, very, isolated regions.

ruveyn1

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Russia's reputation for quality and safety is well known (they produce crap). I hope they test and deploy their nuclear powered vehicles in very, very, isolated regions.

ruveyn1

Not true. Russia has produced the cheapest and safest device for putting men into space and brining them back alive and has been doing so on a routine basis for the past 62 years.

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Not true. Russia has produced the cheapest and safest device for putting men into space and brining them back alive and has been doing so on a routine basis for the past 62 years.

Have you ever seen their automobiles?

Russia does not have a tradition of excellence in craftsmanship. Most of their goods are shoddy and sorry.

ruveyn1

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Have you ever seen their automobiles?

Russia does not have a tradition of excellence in craftsmanship. Most of their goods are shoddy and sorry.

ruveyn1

I am talking about spacecraft specifically and exclusively, but you're on a birdwalk. This is not about the Russian space program, it's about NASA.

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Any thoughts? Any takers? :smartass:

Well, you're right, of course. But there's not much to add, except that, as long as politics dictates space exploration (as long as the government is in charge, or a major source of subsidies, like with SpaceX), it's not gonna happen. It might make all the sense in the world, but it's politically inconvenient.

The general population will never make a rational, informed decision on rocket science. It just can't happen.

And, just because Russia is more of a dictatorship and therefor might take this one decision against popular opinion, that doesn't change the fact that it's still a government run operation that's gonna get most of the other decisions involved wrong, and therefor the project will likely end in miserable failure (as most of their projects have done, through history).

Edited by Nicky
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Well, you're right, of course. But there's not much to add, except that, as long as politics dictates space exploration (as long as the government is in charge, or a major source of subsidies, like with SpaceX), it's not gonna happen. It might make all the sense in the world, but it's politically inconvenient.

The general population will never make a rational, informed decision on rocket science. It just can't happen.

And, just because Russia is more of a dictatorship and therefor might take this one decision against popular opinion, that doesn't change the fact that it's still a government run operation that's gonna get most of the other decisions involved wrong, and therefor the project will likely end in miserable failure (as most of their projects have done, through history).

Sometimes the only way to make actual progress is to go ahead with something if you have the money and the power to do it even when the general public is opposed to it due to their irrational beliefs. But its too bad that no corporation is trying to pursue nuclear rocket propulsion since corporations are not accountable to public opinion so long as they generate a profit.

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Sometimes the only way to make actual progress is to go ahead with something if you have the money and the power to do it even when the general public is opposed to it due to their irrational beliefs. But its too bad that no corporation is trying to pursue nuclear rocket propulsion since corporations are not accountable to public opinion so long as they generate a profit.

What if going ahead with something poses an undue threat and hazard to public safety?

ruveyn1

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Sometimes the only way to make actual progress is to go ahead with something if you have the money and the power to do it even when the general public is opposed to it due to their irrational beliefs. But its too bad that no corporation is trying to pursue nuclear rocket propulsion since corporations are not accountable to public opinion so long as they generate a profit.

The reason for that is that no country has a well established Laissez-faire Capitalist political system, in which a long term, risky project like this could be implemented and be worth the investment.

Between trying to navigate regulations (often arbitrary regulations) and corruption, and then, even if successful, having one's profits and project at the mercy of targeted taxation, nationalization or theft of intellectual property, such a project just isn't worth the investment, in any country.

What if going ahead with something poses an undue threat and hazard to public safety?

There are plenty of test sites where even a catastrophic radiation leak would threaten no one's safety.

Edited by Nicky
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