Angeltxilon

More nuclear propulsion, why not?

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Hi!

I have been much idle time, but I'm back and I'm back with a new idea: more nuclear propulsion.

Justification of more nuclear propulsion:
In Kerbal no evidence of the existence of a cold war, nuclear testing and non nuclear proliferation treaty; and also the only life there are those green people living in the rocket base, so no problem with nuclear contamination. ;.; (forever alone)

The atomic propulsion that I suggest:

- Nuclear thermic engine (update):
Now make use of only hydrogen (more down) instead fuel and oxidizer.

- Radioisotope engine:
A little engine similar to ionic engine, little more heavy, that make use of hydrogen (instead xenon) and not requires electricity.

- Atomic bulb:
A big powerful engine that make use of hydrogen and little of uranium (more down), and produces electricity.

- Nuclear liquid uranium engine:
A medium powerful engine that make use of hydrogen and uranium.

- Nuclear gas uranium engine:
A big very powerful engine that make use of hydrogen and lots of uranium.

- Uranium bubble:
A medium very powerful engine that make use of only uranium (need a new animation to represent ioniced uranium bubble), and lots of electricity.

- Nuclear pulse engine:
A very big and very powerful engine that make use of 0,8 to 25 kilotons range nuclear detonations to propelling (need a new animation to represent engine move and nuclear explosions), make use of nuclear nukes (there is of different types, mass and power).

- Advanced nuclear pulse engine:
A extremely big and powerful engine that make use of 25 kilotons to megaton range nuclear detonations.

- Polywell nuclear thermic engine:
A little-medium engine that make use of a controlled fusion reactor to heat up hydrogen (make use of only hydrogen), and produces much electricity.

- Antimatter injection thermic engine:
A little-medium engine that make use of very low amounts of antimatter to heat up hydrogen (make use of hydrogen and antimatter), and produces much electricity.

Fuels and materials to propulsion:

- Liquid hydrogen: in containers of similar size to "fuel-oxidant" containers (any size).

- Uranium: in little and shorts containers.

- Antimatter: in little and shorts heavy containers, with reinforced texture, these containers consumes a lots of electricity to contain the antimatter, if there is no electricity, it will explode.

- Nukes (very expensive, care):
of various types, in very width and shorts containers:
- 0,8 kt (60 units)
- 2 kt (30 units)
- 5 kt (20 units)
- 10kt (10 units)
- 25 kt (5 units)
- 50 kt (3 units)
- 100 kt (1 unit)
of various types, in very width and large containers:
- 25 kt (30 units)
- 50 kt (20 units)
- 100 kt (10 units)
- 250 kt (5 units)
- 500 kt (3 units)
- Megaton (1 unit)

Utilities:

- Big radioisotope battery.

- Nuclear isomer battery: like classic radioisotope battery, but with more intensity, less duration and rechargeable.

- Nuclear power reactor (produces a lots of energy, consumes uranium).

- Polywell power reactor (produces more energy than fission nuclear, consumes hydrogen and requires big quantity of energy to start).

Technology tree:

After nuclear node (thermal nuclear engine):
- Add: little and medium hydrogen containers/tanks

After nuclear node (thermal nuclear engine):
- Advanced nuclear node: nuclear power reactor, big radioisotope battery, radioisotope engine, little uranium container/tank, big hydrogen containers/tanks.

After advanced nuclear node:
- More advanced nuclear node: atomic bulb, gas nuclear thermal engine, liquid nuclear thermal engine, medium uranium container/tank.
- Basic nuclear fusion: polywell power reactor, isomer battery.

After more advanced nuclear node:
- Kiloton: nuclear pulse engine, little nukes containers, uranium bubble.

After basic nuclear fusion node:
- Advanced nuclear fusion: polywell engine.
- Antimatter: antimatter containers, antimatter injection engine.

After kiloton node:
- Megaton: advanced nuclear pulse engine, big nukes containers.

:cool:

Edited by Angeltxilon
ortography

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I think that there should be something in game which needs such things. Currently it is easy to send anything you can put together to anywhere with existing engines and electric generators.

There should be major overhaul to planet geometry and atmospheric effects before nuclear bombs would be useful. Maybe they could be used for making artificial craters, caves or expose underground mineral deposits for utilization, but current model does not allow changing of topography. Squad and most players are against of militarization of the game so possibility to destroy crafts is not a good reason to have bombs.

But maybe this would be a good mod for those who want to invent problems for infinite variety of existing solutions. :)

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There was a mod for Orion like spacecraft. I do not know if it is updated anymore.

But what purpose you would use it? Original Orion was intended to enormous payloads and very high dvs. There is not such need in KSP. You can not handle masses of tens of thousands on tons. Game engine can not handle such amount of parts. There is also no need for tens of km/s dv. Orion could be part of some mod which have for example huge and insanely massive colonization or mining units or other solar systems at distances of light years. But there are no plans to develop KSP to that direction.

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Ten new nuclear engines is probably a bit much, though I think the game could really use a 2.5m nuclear option. I'd just as soon keep the "liquid fuel" abstraction in KSP, for simplicity's sake.

In the meantime, if you don't mind using mods you might like Atomic Age (adds a few new nuclear engines), Project Orion (adds nuclear pulse propulsion in a couple of variants) or KSP Interstellar Extended (Lots of new resources and advanced propulsion).

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Thank you for informing me about the mods ^_^, I see that Orion is outdated.
Does anyone know if it is compatible with 1.0.5?

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@RoverDude made a mod, and it was updated for 1.0.5 for the Orion Spacecraft.

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I've said it often, I say it once more: IMO the current nuke is just too small. It doesn't take much of a payload to make it the best option; I won't say that's bad, but I don't really see the necessity either. Where I'd really like to use nukes is large mothership-like contraptions; but if you want non-crawling acceleration the part count quickly goes way over the top.

Everyone has their own idea of what TWR is still acceptable; IMO, 1.5m/s² is the bare minimum and 2.5m/s² very desirable. The latter still makes for a 15-minute Jool transfer burn -- I'm fully aware that this is unbearably slow to some while others consider it as wasteful. Please don't derail the thread, that discussion has been had a thousand times before.

The nukes we currently have could deliver one half g and still have a better dV than any chemical rocket. What stops me from utilizing their power is part count and nothing else. That's sad.

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On 1/31/2016 at 3:05 PM, Andem said:

@RoverDude made a mod, and it was updated for 1.0.5 for the Orion Spacecraft.

Yes, you're thinking of this one.

 

On 12/8/2015 at 6:17 AM, Red Iron Crown said:

Ten new nuclear engines is probably a bit much, though I think the game could really use a 2.5m nuclear option. I'd just as soon keep the "liquid fuel" abstraction in KSP, for simplicity's sake.

+1 to this.  A few more would be nice, we don't need 10.  And please, please don't add any more fuel options to the stock game.  Life is complicated enough as it is.  Would simply add complexity without really adding anything to gameplay.

I really like Atomic Age.  It adds a 2.5m option and a low-thrust 0.625m option, both of which are very handy.  And of course, it's beautifully modeled, since it's Porkjet.

Edited by Snark

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You don't find the Lightbulb to be OP with 1500s of ISP and plenty of thrust?  Seems like the only downside is needing some big radiators, then you can take a big ship anywhere in the solar system almost without any challenge at all

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2 hours ago, fourfa said:

You don't find the Lightbulb to be OP with 1500s of ISP and plenty of thrust?  Seems like the only downside is needing some big radiators, then you can take a big ship anywhere in the solar system almost without any challenge at all

I play with Atomic Age. I will tell you that the Lightbulb is 20 tons, so weight is a consideration.

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2 hours ago, fourfa said:

You don't find the Lightbulb to be OP with 1500s of ISP and plenty of thrust?  Seems like the only downside is needing some big radiators, then you can take a big ship anywhere in the solar system almost without any challenge at all

I've used it a fair amount, and I don't find it to be overpowered:

  • Its TWR is pretty close to an LV-N, actually.  Slightly better, but pretty close.  In terms of mass and thrust, it's about like having seven LV-N's.
  • The high Isp is counterbalanced by high price and science investment to unlock.  Also, generates lots more heat than LV-N's.
  • It's also quite awkward to manage reentry with one of these things-- unlike other engines, it will very rapidly overheat and explode if you try to use the engine itself as a heat shield.  It's quite dense and hard to manage.
  • The fact that it's so heavy means that you need a really big ship for it to be worthwhile.  So it's not a casual-use-for-everything kind of engine.

In any case, I can take big ships around with an Isp of 800, too... it's not like this is the make-or-break technology for solar system exploration.  And I like having a big nuke engine to help keep part count down, if nothing else.

My personal metric for "is engine X overpowered" is:  does its presence cause me to use it to the exclusion of other engines?  And the answer here is no.  Even for a game where the Lightbulb is available, I still use LV-N's; there are plenty of missions for which the LV-N is still a better choice.  So it seems fine to me.

 

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So, close to the same thrust and mass as 8 LV-Ns (which is a reasonable powerplant for a lot of ships)... except that it needs half the fuel for a given amount of dV.  Same ship has nearly double the dV in the same size - not hard to reach 20km/s with okay TWR and really have no cares at all.  I played with it for a bit - decided it was OP in stock-ish saves, a better match for highly modded installs moving large amounts of dead mass in colonization, greenhouse, launchpads, life support gear etc.

Decidedly well-designed mod though, and definitely has a place.  On my laptop, I'm very part-count sensitive and this is good for that...

oops: ninja'd by Snark.  this is a reply to the one above

Edited by fourfa

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It wouldn't be gas core lightbulb if it wasn't OP. I submit to you that it's simply not possible to balance advanced nuclear rocket engines against chemical - fission fuel energy density is so many orders of magnitude better than chemical that no matter what you do chemical rocket engines will always look feeble against them.

The mod lightbulb is already much weaker than real life projection of what a gas core engine can do. When you sign up for Atomic Age you're implicitly saying "my Kerbals have advanced to a technology level where they would look at a chemical rocket powered interplanetary ships the same way we look at a steam locomotive - quaint, romantic, not very practical".

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