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RuBisCO

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    Chemical Engineer
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    St. Paul MN

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  1. Well never say never, remember there is now satellite services in which a symbiotic satellites docks to a rocket nozzle of the host satellite and then the symbiotic sat takes over the propulsion functions of the host.
  2. If Mars has life it is most likely subterranean and as such would take a lot for us to contaminate. If Martian life is not related to us, totally separate evolution of biochemistry then it most likely could eat us as well as we can eat plastic. Even if Martian life is related to us and thus could hypothetically infect us, most subterranean bacteria here on earth has no clue what to do in an oxygenated human body, geobacter and shewanella are harmless even to people who are immunocompromised. I understand CYA because of unknown unknowns means we need to take outlandish precautions, so here I what I propose: If ice coring samples of potential human landing sites find water ice under the ground (for making fuel for the return trip) and IF they find life in those cores then send a One-way trip of biochemists to figure out what that life is and determine how harmful it can be before sending us back, if ever, I volunteer. If we become infected with Mars life and can never return, so be it.
  3. Watching that launch was extra scary considering the price tag and astronomical advancements this telescope represents. We still have 6 more months before everything ins unfolded and checked out.
  4. Here is my submission to for the Jool Challenge. All 7 Kerbals landed on every moon in the Jool system. ISRU was used as well as the DLC packs. MechJeb was the only mod used to simplify all the transfers, landings and dockings, etc, as well as to provide orbital and surface data in every picture. Only one launch is needed, at a cost of nearly 1.5 million. Use KSP version 1.12.2. https://imgur.com/a/qnEOtsC More info can be found on the KerbalX page for the craft: https://kerbalx.com/RuBisCO/Jool-All-In-One-Mission-21
  5. Well Zubin Drive it would be a beam of radioactive plasma, so white-purple. Its exhaust in atmosphere would be like a continuous nuclear explosion, in fact I seriously doubt that even if Zubin drive could work that it could work in atmosphere without just exploding. I think the others have covered the topic: we all agree water steam will be transparent to whiteish-blue.
  6. Which is why I advocate for nuclear-water so that ISRU requirements are dramatically reduced, no need to crack water and cryoliquify hydrogen, also no waste oxygen. None the less I think with the present state of research H2/O2 is going to win out on the moon and CH4/O2 on Mars, nuclear only in nuclear power reactors to power ISRU at best. Human's are not Kerbals and as such I think there will be much political pressure against nuclear thermal rockets. I mean if it was up to me we would go with Zubin's continuous nuclear exploration, nuclear salt water engines, regardless of the fact they would spew a beam of pure nuclear waste out the nozzel.
  7. That sounds like the worse of both options, you need to develop NTR and you need to make LH2 and LO2 via ISRU. Either have H2/O2 in space fuel economy with existing tech, or have nuclear-water with technology that has been proposed for decades but never developed.
  8. Sounds like a standard electrolysis cell to me: Above you can see the hydrogen and oxygen are separated into separate pure gas streams by a proton-exchange membrane. Higher efficiency can be achieve using hydroxyl exchange membranes (alkaline fuel cell) the best I have seen and theoretically possible is 75%, but that is with electricity, which means means you have to count the inefficiency of making electricity. Lets say you use a nuclear reactor with a very efficient closed cycle helium baryon cycle of 50%, so your water electrolysis is going to be at best 37.5% total efficient. What is desirable is to have a more direct heat process, for example a sulfur-iodine cycle could do up to 50% efficiency from heat alone, no conversion to electricity.
  9. Well that not scifi, we have the technology to crack water to H2 and O2, separate and cryoliquify, it just takes a lot of power and equipment mass. Nuclear-water would skip all that but at the cost of needing very new technology that has only be proposed and never tested at any scale, that being extremely high temperature steam in a nuclear thermal rocket.
  10. I did before, the best I can do is turn off "shadowmaterial" in the EVE settings, but this does not eliminate shadowing from sun light, just the shadows of the clouds. What is needed is to remove shadow casting altogether when below clouds from the sun, but keep it for headlights and lights. Instead shadows from the clouds are rendered on top of lights, when it should be the reverse and lights should render on top of shadows.
  11. Still did not fix the problem but thank you non the less for the mod improvment:
  12. I was thinking nuclear fuel pellets, grains even, sand size, in a rotary nuclear rocket engine, held in place by centrifugal force alone (or perhaps sintering when cooled to low temperatures when the engine is off):
  13. No a reactor can be designed to minimize or prevent superhot corrosive propellant from contact with it, remember existing H2+O2 chemical engines are also shooting out superheated steam and not disintegrating. An H2/O2 is probably a safer bet technologically, also it solve the reaction control problem, for to have nuclear reaction control you would need a axillary nuclear engine running at lower temperatures to push steam down pipes and out of nozzles for 150~200 Isp out RCS. Also H2/O2 engines are likely more easily throttleable then nuclear. Of course Mars makes CH4/O2 viable which is easier to store and work with then H2. Hydrogen from ISRU would most likely mean you are stuck with O2 as waste product (if manufacture from water) for ever 1 ton of hydrogen one gets 8 tons of oxygen waste! Per ton of water required a nuclear water engine of 450 ISP outperforms as nuclear hydrogen of 1000 ISP out of 15 km/s of delta-v, because you have to go though 8 times as much water to fuel up the nuclear hydrogen. There is another option though which is to use oxygen in a ion engine and hydrogen for landing purposes.
  14. In theory a rotory bed reactor would minimize how many parts are touching the steam and allow for superheating in the void above the fuel elements as well as film cooling along the exit throat and return to pump throat. At 3500K most of the water is splitting back and forth from O and H radicals and back so yes incredible corrosive.
  15. Yeah I tried that, did nothing visible, does not turn the shadows off. The problem I trying to solve is that on Eve (with Eve and on the planet Eve) the shadows of the clouds build up over light from the craft, such that even if you turn the headlights on those are muffled by the shadows, weirdly the flag decal is not. Ideally when under clouds there would be no more shadows from the sun, and it would be general defuse lighting.
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