[ExI] future fizzle

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Jun 3 01:28:38 UTC 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of 
> Stefano Vaj
> Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 4:22 AM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [ExI] future fizzle
> On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 2:45 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> > Stefano, the ISS studies show that most of the 
> physiological damage is 
> > done within the first 8 to 10 weeks.
> > ...
> > Taking humans to Mars is unlikely to be much less than a four year 
> > mission with any readily foreseeable technology.
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/28/vasimr_plasma_first_st
> age_test/
> According to what is currently tested on the ISS, It would 
> appear we are down to 39 days. And of course there those 
> Russians having spent more or less one year on the Salyut...
> --
> Stefano Vaj

Stefano, you realize there are two completely different things being
discussed here, ja?  Most of the article is about the VASIMR, which is a
plasma propulsion device.  Way down at the bottom is an offhanded comment
about a completely different propulsion scheme, which is based on nuclear
fission.  The nuclear fission device isn't a plasma accelerator, but rather
a system that uses fission to heat a traditional propellant to extraordinary
temperatures.  The big holdup on that is that it still takes chemical
rockets to get into orbit, or some laser boost system.  Rockets sometimes
fail, in which case we run the risk of a buttload of fissionable material
raining down upon the hapless proles at home.  

The anti-nuke crowd goes crazy over taking fissionable material into orbit.
To do Mars in 39 days would require a looot of plutonium.


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