Discussion:
Not used in a story yet? Nuclear Salt water rockets.
(too old to reply)
pete...@gmail.com
2021-01-13 15:58:33 UTC
Permalink
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.

TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.



pt
James Nicoll
2021-01-13 16:22:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
I have a vague memory Baxter used NSWR but cannot recall where.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Ross Presser
2021-01-13 21:10:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
I have a vague memory Baxter used NSWR but cannot recall where.
The GUTdrives, used in most of the Xeelee sequence books and stories, use
underdescribed "Grand Unified Theory" magi^H^H^H^Hscience to heat water
as a propellant.
Dorothy J Heydt
2021-01-13 21:23:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross Presser
Post by James Nicoll
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
I have a vague memory Baxter used NSWR but cannot recall where.
The GUTdrives, used in most of the Xeelee sequence books and stories, use
underdescribed "Grand Unified Theory" magi^H^H^H^Hscience to heat water
as a propellant.
Did they also use ramscoops or something to pick up interstellar
water molecules to avoid running out of propellant?

(I'm thinking of the early Stanley Steamers, which had to be
stopped every mile or two to take on more water. The later
models acquired a condenser to recirculate used water.)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Ross Presser
2021-01-13 21:46:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Ross Presser
Post by James Nicoll
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
I have a vague memory Baxter used NSWR but cannot recall where.
The GUTdrives, used in most of the Xeelee sequence books and stories, use
underdescribed "Grand Unified Theory" magi^H^H^H^Hscience to heat water
as a propellant.
Did they also use ramscoops or something to pick up interstellar
water molecules to avoid running out of propellant?
(I'm thinking of the early Stanley Steamers, which had to be
stopped every mile or two to take on more water. The later
models acquired a condenser to recirculate used water.)
Not Baxters GUTships, no. They generally packed ice on the outer hull / built the
engine into a comet.

Don
2021-01-13 17:02:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
FWIW, in 1962 Perry Rhodan debuts with an atomic powered rocket engine.
It's all rocket science to me, so someone else can comment on its
plausibility, if the spirit moves them.

Rhodan was lulled by the nuclear powered engine’s roar,
which had now become an even hum. The void close below the
cylindrical stem of the ship held an ice blue incandescence.
There, liquid oxygen, heated by atomic power, burstforth with
tremendous pressure in the combustion chamber.
The radioactive elements in the reactor would last for
at least a year, but the liquid hydrogen and oxygen had to be
handled with greater economy. Their supply was limited. Once
the tanks were empty and there was nothing more to be
released, even the most efficient power plant was condemned
to total impotence.

Danke,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``. https://crcomp.net/reviews.php
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
J. Clarke
2021-01-13 17:43:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
FWIW, in 1962 Perry Rhodan debuts with an atomic powered rocket engine.
It's all rocket science to me, so someone else can comment on its
plausibility, if the spirit moves them.
Rhodan was lulled by the nuclear powered engine’s roar,
which had now become an even hum. The void close below the
cylindrical stem of the ship held an ice blue incandescence.
There, liquid oxygen, heated by atomic power, burstforth with
tremendous pressure in the combustion chamber.
The radioactive elements in the reactor would last for
at least a year, but the liquid hydrogen and oxygen had to be
handled with greater economy. Their supply was limited. Once
the tanks were empty and there was nothing more to be
released, even the most efficient power plant was condemned
to total impotence.
That's not a salt water rocket, that's a _weird_ rocket--sounds like
it's using chemical propellants and then nuclear energy to superheat
the exhaust or something.
Don
2021-01-13 20:45:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
FWIW, in 1962 Perry Rhodan debuts with an atomic powered rocket engine.
It's all rocket science to me, so someone else can comment on its
plausibility, if the spirit moves them.
Rhodan was lulled by the nuclear powered engine’s roar,
which had now become an even hum. The void close below the
cylindrical stem of the ship held an ice blue incandescence.
There, liquid oxygen, heated by atomic power, burstforth with
tremendous pressure in the combustion chamber.
The radioactive elements in the reactor would last for
at least a year, but the liquid hydrogen and oxygen had to be
handled with greater economy. Their supply was limited. Once
the tanks were empty and there was nothing more to be
released, even the most efficient power plant was condemned
to total impotence.
That's not a salt water rocket, that's a _weird_ rocket--sounds like
it's using chemical propellants and then nuclear energy to superheat
the exhaust or something.
Although the reader's imagination ultimately propels rockets, it'll
probably pay off in the long run to peek under the hood to take a good
long look at the original Moewig; for the lulz if nothing else.

Es war der in der atomar aufgeheizten Expansionskammer zur
gewaltsamen Ausdehnung gekommene Flüssigwasserstoff.

Whoops. Liquid hydrogen violently expands in a nuclear-heated expansion
chamber, it seems. Liquid oxygen only appears in Ackerman's translation.

Danke,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``. https://crcomp.net/reviews.php
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Dorothy J Heydt
2021-01-13 19:09:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Hmmmm.

My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
J. Clarke
2021-01-13 20:11:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Hmmmm.
My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
Probably wise. I don't believe Schmitz ever detailed the Sheewash
Drive other than to the extent that it involved glowing wires and one
or more witches and was very very fast, but that didn't make it any
less effective as a story element.
Dorothy J Heydt
2021-01-13 20:58:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Hmmmm.
My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
Probably wise. I don't believe Schmitz ever detailed the Sheewash
Drive other than to the extent that it involved glowing wires and one
or more witches and was very very fast, but that didn't make it any
less effective as a story element.
Exactly. I wanted a Solar System having Mars with canals and
Venus with swamps, and I avoided the clammy restraints of reality
by putting the whole thing on the far side of The Interregnum, a
period *after* the terraforming of Mars and Venus, when space
travel and other tech were lost. This period was a thousand
years long, either more or less or exactly.

The time of the story is set in the sixth century A.R., for
After Reunion, when spaceflight was rediscovered and people from
Terra got re-acquainted with their distant relatives on the
other planets.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Sjouke Burry
2021-01-13 21:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Hmmmm.
My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
But you just did?????
Dorothy J Heydt
2021-01-13 21:29:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sjouke Burry
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by ***@gmail.com
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Hmmmm.
My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
But you just did?????
Not how they work, I didn't.

Just to muddle the topic further, the drive utilizes "dynagenic
translation nodules," aka "space pearls," found in the asteroids.
I'm not going to attempt to explain those either. It's all
handwavium.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Michael F. Stemper
2021-01-13 21:17:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Seeing James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
My perpetually-in-progress space opera opens with some kind of
space drive that will get a ship from circum-Terra to the
asteroid belt in months, not years. I do not attempt to explain
how it works. Toward the end, somebody develops an FTL drive
which I do not intend to explain either.
In my opinion, that's the right way to do it. The only exception is in
a story which would have a limitation of a specific technology as a
plot point.

In fact, it's generally a poor idea to even name specific implementations
of a general category of device:
- He gave me a box of punch cards with all of the data
- He gave me a mag tape with all of the data
- He gave me a floppy with all of the data
- He gave me a zip drive (remember those?) with all of the data

Much longer lasting is to just say:
- He handed me all of the data
--
Michael F. Stemper
No animals were harmed in the composition of this message.
Joel Polowin
2021-01-13 21:34:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael F. Stemper
In fact, it's generally a poor idea to even name specific implementations
- He gave me a box of punch cards with all of the data
- He gave me a mag tape with all of the data
- He gave me a floppy with all of the data
- He gave me a zip drive (remember those?) with all of the data
- He handed me all of the data
Or at least use something fairly generic, e.g. "memstick" or "crystal".

Joel
--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com
Michael F. Stemper
2021-01-13 21:44:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joel Polowin
Post by Michael F. Stemper
In fact, it's generally a poor idea to even name specific implementations
- He gave me a box of punch cards with all of the data
- He gave me a mag tape with all of the data
- He gave me a floppy with all of the data
- He gave me a zip drive (remember those?) with all of the data
- He handed me all of the data
Or at least use something fairly generic, e.g. "memstick" or "crystal".
Thank you. I had intended something like that, but absolutely could not
think of any such words.
--
Michael F. Stemper
Deuteronomy 24:17
Tony Nance
2021-01-13 20:21:30 UTC
Permalink
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
I also cannot think of an appearance of NSWR in fiction, but...

Hm...sketchy (i.e. non-corroborated) info from Google indicates Stross may
have used NSWR in Saturn's Children (possibly used for a fast Jupiter to Eris
trip). I've never read it & don't have access to it, so maybe someone can check.

Tony
James Nicoll
2021-01-13 20:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Nance
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
I also cannot think of an appearance of NSWR in fiction, but...
Hm...sketchy (i.e. non-corroborated) info from Google indicates Stross may
have used NSWR in Saturn's Children (possibly used for a fast Jupiter to Eris
trip). I've never read it & don't have access to it, so maybe someone can check.
I think I saw it was available for a reduced price online a couple of days
ago.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Michael F. Stemper
2021-01-13 20:53:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Nance
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
I also cannot think of an appearance of NSWR in fiction, but...
Hm...sketchy (i.e. non-corroborated) info from Google indicates Stross may
have used NSWR in Saturn's Children (possibly used for a fast Jupiter to Eris
trip). I've never read it & don't have access to it, so maybe someone can check.
The following was based on a quick skim, and should not be considered
authoritative.

_Saturn's Children_, page 210 (U.S. MMPB):

[...] As mentioned earlier, _Indefatigable_ is a nuclear/VASIMR
high-speed outer system liner. Five percent of his mass is
spaceship plus cargo and passengers; the rest consists of huge
bulbous tanks full of liquid hydrogen. [...]

It doesn't appear that they'll be squirting salt water out of the
exhaust nozzles.
--
Michael F. Stemper
No animals were harmed in the composition of this message.
Ross Presser
2021-01-13 21:18:07 UTC
Permalink
Seening James' recent post on Orion rocket stories, I was reminded
of the 'Nuclear Salt Water Rocket', which provides high thrust over long
periods. How about getting to Mars in a month? No stories have used
this yet, afaik.
TL,DNR. Uranium-235 salt solution in water at above-critical concentrations
is held in check by moderators until injected into a rocket engine bell.
There it fissions, creating a *continuous* nuclear detonation and steam
rocket. In some versions, the exhaust velocity is 1% of c.
http://youtu.be/cvZjhWE-3zM
Winchell Chung's NSWR discussion only links to a not-published fictional work,
Matthew Linebarger's _The Last Great War_.

I have seen the NSWR explicitly referenced in a computer game or two.
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