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Thread: Russians on Mars within several years?

  1. #1 Russians on Mars within several years? 
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    MOSCOW – A nuclear-powered spaceship that can carry passengers to Mars and beyond may sound like science fiction.

    But Russian engineers say they have a breakthrough design for such a craft, which could leapfrog them way ahead in the international race to build a manned spacecraft that can cover vast interplanetary distances.

    They claim they’ll be ready to build one as early as 2012.


    http://features.csmonitor.com/global...craft-to-mars/


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The reality described in the article is an order of magnitude less than the headline implies.


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    One can hope that the space race will move on. It seems to have been stalled for decades.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Of course, the idea of a nuclear reactor as energy source for a space engine is not new.
    http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/N/NERVA.html

    There are several ways to put this into action.
    1. Using the reactor to heat exhaust gases for massive thrust
    2. Using it as power source for an ion drive engine
    3. Using nuclear warheads, rather than a reactor, dropped under the vessel and exploded to deliver incredible thrust force.

    The biggest problem with nuclear technologies is the fear of a failure, and all that nuclear material dropping back to Earth. It is difficult to assess how big this risk is, or even how much harm it would do if the accident happened.

    What I would love to see is a deep space vessel, propelled by an ion drive engine (possible powered by a nuclear reactor) which stayed in space, and was refuelled from Earth orbit. Such a vessel could be used numerous times, for all kinds of deep space missions, including carrying a landing vessel for the moon or Mars.
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