The Cube

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Success_Machine, Feb 11, 2003.

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  1. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Check it out:
    http://www.plasmas.org/fusion-alternate.htm

    Only three forms of fusion are viable as aneutronic:
    p+B11
    p + Li6
    D + He3

    Of this D + He3 will produce high energy neutrons form a D+D side reaction so it still need some shielding and refitting. Also He3 is a very rare substance. D+He3 is though the most energy productive and is the easiest of the 3 to fuse

    P+Li6 produces the lest amount of energy but produces He3 as a product. So P+Li6 fusion would be used as a (breeder reactor) for D+He3 fusion

    P+B11 is the hardest to make but unlike D+He3 produces no high energy neutrons from a side reaction and is totally clean. Also protons and boron are the cheapest fuels to refine and mine.

    For space propulsion I would go with D + He3, But for power: p+B11. Though D + He3 produce twice the energy and is easier the radiation is a problem as well as the price of fuel. p+B11 would be cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2003
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  3. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    1. a probe, much like Deep Space 1
    2. we alter its orbit by nudging it with nuclear explosions
    3. the same way Phobos and Diemos were put in Martian orbit.

    My point was that while the cost reduction would allow the thing to pay for itself, using an asteriod would be cheaper and faster than bringing th ematerial from earth.

    Why mess with LLO? with a large enough counterwieght, you could probably pluck it off a track on the surface, though the lower gravity makes other methods more practical.

    Quite frankly I don't think a skyhook is the answer. Fusion is, after thirty years of research, still sci-fi.

    What would we be looking at with five or six million tons?
     
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  5. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    As for moving a asteroid my not be as easy as you say most of all placing it in orbit would be very tricky since its velocity would need to be slowed a lot. Also Fusion is much more reasonable in a time line then a Shytower which is centuries away at best.

    When I said LLO I ment that the hook is in Low Lunar Orbit and that it grabes cargo right off the surface or just above it.
     
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  7. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    is this a serious thread?
     
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Yep turn out "the cube" was not a joke but a legitimate design plan for a skyhook system that could pick up cargo on top of a airplane and bring it to high earth obit.
     
  9. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

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    So you want to build a fusion-powered spacecraft, and assemble it in orbit? Then check out the current design for a fusion reactor at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) homepage. This reactor stands seven-stories tall and has a mass in excess of 30,000 tonnes! The follow-on to the ITER experiment, intended to produce electricity continuously is expected to be 5-times the size, with a mass possibly ~150,000 tonnes!!! These things are made of solid metal and superconducting ceramics - they are REALLY heavy.

    Can you imagine trying to assemble a fusion-powered interstellar probe without THE CUBE ?!!! Good luck. THE CUBE is what we need to get the job done.
     
  10. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    "Gas Dynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion" would consist of a +200meter long tube only 10cm wide weighting in at only 35 tons total. That does not include heat sinks, support structure, active thermal power generators, nozzle, ect. Probably come around to 100-200tons total

    "Dense plasma focus fusion" reactor could be made under one ton and less then 1m^3 in size. Again that is not include heat sinks, nozzle, capacitors, ect. Most likely about 20-40tons per engine… might need another reactor to power the engine reactor though.

    PS to many sights on this stuff look up the above names for reference.
     
  11. Jaxom Tau Zero Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for the fusion info, Fetus. Didn't know about the third. BTW, D-T is also still an option as well, although with the development of either of the three you mentioned, it would probably not be as pursued.

    One thing you probably know...he-3 is rare. On earth. The Moon has plenty...doesn't help us right now, but once we get out there...

    Success, I'm not disputing your idea has merit once it's built. But it has to be built first, which means using current or new technology to deliver the still large amount of material into orbit. It isn't going to build itself...

    You have to weigh (literally) the cost of lifting all the resources needed vs. exploring the technology to move the bulk materials from a source already in space. For all I know, it would be cheaper to shuttle load after load into LEO...but somehow that doesn't make sense, given a few small NEO's could have a lot in them, for the cost of a few launches, a few nudges, and of course the trial runs with some smaller rocks, to make sure we know what we're doing.

    Another safer method might be to use orbit around the Moon as a target for the NEOs, and ship the mined stuff from there. Still probably cheaper than the setup of a Moon base mining colony, mass driver, etc. Although that's a good thing to shoot for as well, for the he-3 and oxygen in the soil, if nothing else. Plus the added benefit that if we mess up the orbit path, it just hits the moon...

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  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Waits wrong with a moon base???
     
  13. Jaxom Tau Zero Registered Senior Member

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    Nothing in the long term...I stated it was a good goal to have, necessary in fact if we plan on mining materials.

    But like anything, we have to look at the costs and technology required, and determine the best path to take. Number one problem in my mind is getting off Earth. You cannot build a skyhook or moonbase without doing this, repeatedly, especially if you're bringing raw materials with you.

    Which is why I suggest using what's already in space, passing Earth all the time. Why lift 50 million tons of solid mass into space, when for the cost of a few explosive nudges, you can shove it over to us? I mentioned the moon, just as a safeguard...it'd be bad to try and orbit a rock several hundred meters in size, to have it degrade and fall on a city.

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    But if we use the moon as a parking place, a few mistakes just cost us the time and energy wasted.

    I am not in opposition to much of anything when it comes to space...I think we're doing far too little as it is.

    One other benefit of moving NEOs...we can learn how to do it, in case we have to move one for Earth's protection. Comets as well...right now no one has a clue what procedure would work best, or if any of them are as effective as we theorize. I'd hate to have to experiment with NEO moving techniques on the one that's heading toward earth...talk about pressure...
     
  14. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

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    Have they achieved "break-even" with Gas Dynamic Mirror fusion or Dense Plasma Focus fusion? Have they gotten more energy out than they put in? Furthermore, have they run these reactors continuously?

    ITER is a tokamak reactor, and other tokamaks such as JET have achieved break-even. Now ITER will be designed to run continuously. It could produce electricity, but it won't be designed to do that because as an experimental reactor it is overdesigned, so they won't build a full-sized commercial powerplant out of it. The follow-on however, called DEMO, will produce commercial quantities of electricity. AFAIK the tokamak is the only type of fusion reactor that has the track record and backing to become reality. These reactors are made of solid metal and superconducting ceramics, they are REALLY heavy. We need THE CUBE to heft this baby into orbit....

    Fusion Reactor -----> 30,000 tonnes !!!

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  15. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    There are other advantages of putting asteriods(near-earth and otherwise) into stable earth orbits. metals mined from them would be processed in space, removing half(I think the most polluting as well)of the manufacturing process from the earth. The materials be easier to get to than leaving the asteriod wherever it was. By putting a glass roof over an asteriod, you get farmland.

    Most likely most spaceships will be built primarily from carbon composites and such, rather than metal, makes sense when you consider which one's more available.
     
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Success_Machine: considering the insane amount of spending needed for a Tokamak reactor I don’t see it becoming competitive against other sources of power. For fusion to every be competitive as the pipe dream that it is to make it cheap to build, cheap to maintain and cheap to fuel.

    Jaxom: That’s why I proffer laser power space ships. Not only is an Earth based maser/laser array much cheaper to build then a “cube” but it can be used for just about anything. It can be used to lunch maser/laser plasmafied air propelled space planes, It can propel ships in space to anywhere with in several AU of the maser/laser source, it can be used to propel sails attach to NEA for the purposes of bring them in to earth orbit :eep:
     
  17. Success_Machine Impossible? I can do that Registered Senior Member

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    Aha! But the cube will require similar beam-power facilities to energize its electrodynamic stationkeeping engines. I estimate 13 gigawatt nuclear reactors, each with 50-meter directional microwave transmitting dishes, spaced out around the Earth's equator could do the job.

    Based on SPS power efficiencies (previously published) the electrodynamic engines should be able to pump a 4.5 gigawatt electrical current through a fan of bare wire conductors, interacting with Earth's magnetic field, and resulting in a force in The Cube's orbital direction strong enough to overcome the momentum transfer to a 50-tonne payload launch!

    The Cube is versatile. The Cube is strong.
     
  18. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    versatile ya, but with that power we could forgo it and just run of the maser alone!
     
  19. Jaxom Tau Zero Registered Senior Member

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    We need to get back into real space first...past LEO. I have never considered that "space". Right now launching a small satellite is a huge effort. It's comparable to Greyhound being the only transportation, running only monthly treks, and they can only go from New York to DC. And that's if it's not raining...

    Bad analogy...but you get the point. People call this the Space Age, but we are not a space faring civilization, not by a long shot. Developing what we've talked about will build the infrastructure to become that, but we have to build it first...and the first steps are big ones.
     
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