Gundam EZEight (
Sun, 25 Feb 2001 22:25:39 -0800 (PST)

how much energy can you get out of one atomic
collision? 18 something MeV right? if the MS has to
have massive amounts of energy, then it would also
have to throw together more atoms right? how can a few
litters of fuel last so long?
--- -Z- <> wrote:
> > hmmm...i understand the propellant, but how can
> the
> > gas not be used up? don't you burn gas to power
> the
> > engine to run? or am i stuck in thinking about
> car
> > engines?
> The "engine" of an MS is a Minovsky-Ionescu compact
> fusion reactor -- about the
> size of a refrigerator or washing machine -- that
> uses the fusion of hydrogen
> and helium-3 to create a miniature star suspended in
> a magnetic bubble. It's
> unbelievably hot but very tiny, so the heat doesn't
> extend very far from the
> fusion point. It's also got a very powerful
> electromagnetic field that can be
> tapped directly for electrical power through
> induction coils. It only takes
> microscopic amounts of hydrogen and helium-3 fuel to
> create and maintain the
> fusion reaction, so a couple of liters could last
> for years.
> The propellant is run through the reactor, very
> close to the fusion reaction, so
> that it is superheated to the point where it becomes
> a plasma -- the last state
> of matter before it becomes energy. Essentially,
> it's more than vaporized, it's
> disintegrated into subatomic particles. Propellant
> is thus expended beyond any
> hope of recovery the instant it comes into proximity
> with the fusion reaction.
> > what do you use as "propellant" for space mecha?
> you
> > use air to propel you in atmospheric flight, and
> water
> > for undersea motion. what about in space? you'd
> > use rocket thrust, no? if it's rocket thrust,
> then
> > won't you be using fuel? thus the extra fuel
> tanks?
> A jet engine works by combining a combustible fuel
> with oxygen, usually in the
> form of the ambient air, and burning it explosively
> in a tightly enclosed space
> to that the force of the explosion is channeled in
> one direction and propels the
> craft in the opposite direction. Continuous
> combustion creates a direction jet
> of consumed fuel and air, hence the name jet
> propulsion. Although the fuel is
> often referred to as the propellant, the words are
> not interchangeable.
> "Propellant" is actually the combination of fuel and
> air -- both are needed to
> create the jet that propels the craft.
> A conventional chemical rocket is a jet with a
> self-contained oxygen supply,
> usually called an oxidizer. Fuel and oxygen are
> both contained in tanks,
> internally or externally, and combined in the
> combustion chamber, where they're
> burned to create the same propulsive jet exhaust.
> Because it doesn't rely on
> the ambient atmosphere for its oxidizer, a rocket
> can operate underwater (where
> it's called a "subroc" or "submarine rocket") or in
> the vacuum of space.
> The fusion powered rocket motors on the MS work a
> bit differently. Since any
> fluid -- liquid or gas -- is converted to an
> explosively expanding cloud of ions
> by the heat of the reaction, no oxidation is
> required. Air, water, petroleum,
> maple syrup, milk, swamp gas, neon, freon, the blood
> of the Zeon -- it all
> atomizes quite nicely, thank you. Whatever fluid
> you use is the propellant --
> the material whose expansion in a directed jet
> propels the craft.
> A ground unit like the MS-09 Dom can use the ambient
> air as propellant and an
> amphibious unit like the MSM-07 Zugock can use the
> ambient water in the same
> way -- draw it in, pump it through the reactor and
> spit it out as a jet of
> plasma. In space, however, you need to carry that
> fluid with you, hence
> propellant tanks.
> The most common propellant is probably liquefied
> hydrogen gas -- the smaller the
> atom, the faster it breaks down to plasma and the
> higher the speed of the
> exhaust, and monatomic hydrogen is about as small as
> it gets. The next most
> common propellant is probably good old distilled
> water -- readily available,
> inexpensive, safe to handle and you can even drink
> some of it in a pinch. But
> you can use any fluid, really, and, if you divert
> some of the heat of the
> reaction to a preheater, you could probably melt
> just about any solid into a
> fluid and use it, too -- uneconomical and
> impractical but certainly possible.
> If you can burn something and use it as conventional
> fuel, you probably don't
> want to throw it away in a fusion reaction -- burn
> something that's otherwise in
> ert and useless, instead. Neon, xenon, helium,
> argon, Dr Pepper -- why, you
> could even divert your waste disposal into the
> reactor and use, uh, stuff that
> you'd otherwise be looking to drain out at your next
> pit stop as propellant.
> > at least...i think they're fuel tanks (what else
> would
> > you store in those tanks, if you're using air and
> > water?) given that those big thingamajiggers are
> > always attached on 'long-range' mecha or 'custom'
> > officer's mecha like rick dom 2, gelgoog marine,
> > gelgoog jaeger, cima's gelgoog, gerbera tetra,
> dra-c,
> > aaaand....practically anything else katoki gets
> his
> > hands on :P.
> Short-range MS theoretically have all the propellant
> they need for their
> assigned missions in external reservoirs. When you
> need to go farther or stay
> longer, you need to add additional propellant, which
> means attaching external
> tanks that can be tossed away when the propellant is
> used up.
> -Z-
> -
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