Re: The Martian Dialogs - Continued

Posted by Southern Man on Jun 07, 2002 at 09:00

Re: The Martian Dialogs - Continued (Bobba)

“I don't see why that really matters? We've literally got all the resources in the world to get it up our gravity well and down to the Martian surface.”

If we have all the resources in the world, then why complicate the problem with a reactor that we may or may not be able to construct to break water that may or may not be available into hydrogen and oxygen so we can get the energy back when we burn it back to water? Why not just use all those infinite resources to deliver all the rocket fuel we need?

“I happened to find this set of design drawings on the little bugger shows it to be far cooler (and tougher) than I originally guessed.”

I WANT one! But look at that diagram on . How do you get that assembled without people with wrenches on site? Wasn’t the idea here that we would use the water for the return of the initial explorers? Someone said no one would show up until the hydrogen for the return trip had been collected. How does this reactor get assembled in space and dropped from the sky without fracturing?

“The cool Martian breezes would more than suffice…”

You sure? But if we have unlimited resources and can build solar panels large enough to do the job then we can build radiators large enough. If we can just get them down to the surface without them collapsing of their own weight.

“By comparison, the Hubble Telescope was far more fragile and IIRC it was eight times the size (roughly 200 m^3 compared to our 24) and weighed 12 tons.”

And these devices were accelerated to only a fraction of the speed needed to get them to Mars.
“Still, the subject of secondary contamination due to neutron radiation is a matter of interest to me so I’d appreciate any references you might have to qualify your claims.”

You can start here - Let me know if this is insufficient.

“First, I’d think that the liquefied fuel would weigh, by combined volume, exactly the same as an equal volume of water – 1 g/cm^3 – unless I’ve encountered some sort of unforeseen duh factor.”

Need to check this but I don’t think that matters too much since it only determines volume of the fuel and not the mass.

“As to the energy release efficiency, I have no idea and can’t seem to find a simple explanation or answer on the net. I found something regarding this but couldn’t really interpret it. I’m afraid that parts on you, should you feel obliged of course. “

VERY OBLIGED! Thanks. From a quick scan I think the answers are there. Unfortunately I’m out of time again today. I saved the page and will read it soon. More tomorrow?

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