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Old September 15 2012, 07:36 PM   #60
Rear Admiral
Re: manned Mission to Mars discussion

This is really the place to have a discussion on nuclear power concepts. Right now the controversy on responsible missions to Mars means limiting transit times and thus rad-dosing of astronauts--ironically nukes mean less radiation exposure for astronauts.

There is a big arguement between nuclear thermal (NERVA type systems favored by Stan Borowski) and nuclear electric systems like Chang Diaz's

That is fission end of things.

New fusion drive proposed

More on the Z-pinch

This technology can therefore be dual use--for smaller computers and Mars ships.

The way we go to Mars now is that we only use the LV to punt a wide warhead and let Mars run into it. That is the payload-centric course by folks who don't respect rocket-centric MSFC types who worry about how a spacecraft can slow itself down do the descent stage doesn't have to slam into Mars as hard.

Stan Borowkski's Nuclear Thermal seems most do-able in that we tested NERVA systems way back when when rocket engineers opinions counted for more than they do now.

The best approach--as per Stan Borowski

A nuclear rocket loaded with enough liquid hydrogen propellant would allow for one-way Mars transits as short as three months. That would also mean that the six-man crew would be exposed to much less space radiation enroute than during transits using conventional chemical propulsion.

To make the journey, the nuclear spacecraft’s three engines would be loaded with a total of 120 kgs of enriched Uranium-235, less than 1% of which would be fissioned during a round trip mission to Mars. That means the craft could be used on multiple missions providing it’s parked in earth orbit and resupplied with liquid hydrogen upon its return.

This is good for the folks who want depots.
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