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Showing results for tags 'nuclear engine'.
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I found an interesting idea about a propulsion system that would be based on the fission of lithium-6 (exothermic reaction that is only possible with high-energy neutrons). As I understood, it would use water or heavy water with dissolved lithium hydroxide. Such water would be irradiated with fast neutrons generated in a supercritical plutonium nuclear reactor, a non-aneutronic nuclear fusion reactor, or a spallation system. The water would be heated by the reactor like in a classic saltwater nuclear rocket, but the fission of lithium-6 would generate much more energy. This translates into an ISP higher than that of conventional chemical and nuclear rockets, and a pushing force superior to that of ionic rockets. The main problems are the neutron source (it must be big) and, in case of use a supercritical nuclear reactor, the risk of core meltdown (typical of nuclear rockets) or even a nuclear explosion. It could be interesting to see an addon based on this idea. Sources: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/clean-lithium-fission-saltwater-rocket.863418/ https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39844.60
I'm trying to make an interplanetary tourist ship, which means I need to get fuel efficiency down. I decided to go with the nuclear engines, but I read somewhere that they tend to overheat. What parts can I use to prevent that? I installed engine pre-coolers on the engines themselves (which are powered by fuel tanks you'll find on planes), but I don't think that'll be enough once I escape the atmosphere. How useful are they? Recommended radiators?
I'm having a devil of a time trying to stack multiple LF-only tanks to fill the 2.5m form factor and put a single LV-N Nerf underneath it. These are two designs that do NOT work: In the first design, I used the Tri-Adapter to take 3 stacks down to one 2.5m node. It is impossible to get fuel lines from the tanks to the engine, they just end up attaching to the adapter. I then found that I could still attach mk0 tanks to the 3 nodes, clipping through the adapter. Fuel lines to the LV-N and everything seemed to work fine, only it doesn't: even though they are connected at the same node, th mk0 tanks don't draw fuel from the Mk1 tanks. Of course, I had to be well into my interplanetary burn by the time I found this out, so that was a huge pain. In the second design, I thought the Mk2 Bicoupler might work. The LV-N draws fuel fine from the bicoupler, so I just removed the oxide and added Mk1 tanks above. And again, it was only on the interplanetary burn that I found out that the bicoupler will NOT draw/allow the transfer of fuel from the connected mk1 tanks. Again, fun to have to transfer fuel every minute or so on a long burn. So, has anyone found a way to get this to work? I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll just have to bite the bullet and clip the engine into the parallel stacks of tanks. or clip a cubic thingy into the tanks and attach the engine to that. The downside is obviously the time and effort making sure the thing is actually perfectly central.