Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 23:04:26 -0700 (MST)
> And your point? Pulsed is pulsed is pulsed. The mechanism may be different,
Well, it's a matter of perspective then. One could similarly propose
that a squid's propulsion system and Axis propulsion system are the same,
since they're also pulsed. An even better comparison would be to say that
Archimedes's steam engine is the same as a nuclear-submarine's.
Back to aircraft pulse engines: I don't forsee this system as producing
reliable thrust for commercial or military aircraft, nor is it quite
durable enough for long-range missiles, etc. Ship-to-ship missiles and
stuff like that? Probably, but probably never for manned aircraft.
As far as nuclear pulse engines, it's a cute concept based on a
desperate idea that is based on a theory that simply can't work for this
particular application, at least, not for self-sustaining power. The
problem is in maintaining the 'reaction chamber', I have as yet to see a
viable scheme for maintaining the chamber, supporting the fusion, much
less radiation hardening, etc. But that's okay, nuclear space propulsion
fo this type is still at least 50 years away. For now, new Hall-Effect
thrusters seem to be proving themselves the wave of the future for
space-propulsion of satellites and automated systems.
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