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(BBC-US)   Scientists are trying to create deflector shields to protect astronauts from exposure to radiation on long missions. Jeez, why don't they just reconfigure the anti-matter array. Duh   (bbc.com) divider line 51
    More: Spiffy, force fields, moons, magnetosphere, solar farms, space weathers, radiation, magnetic fields, molecular structure  
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1861 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Apr 2013 at 7:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-26 06:59:30 AM
Because real life doesn't work like the USS Make shiat Up?
 
2013-04-26 07:11:21 AM
A few boxes of tin foil won't do the trick?

Balls, looks like my start-up "Mars for the cost of a Ford Fiesta" company is on hiatus again.
 
2013-04-26 07:22:28 AM
The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.
 
2013-04-26 07:28:36 AM
This sounds like a nice application for high temperature superconductors. Price really isn't an object, relatively speaking, and space is fairly cold anyway. I'm going to have to read this article, I suppose.
 
2013-04-26 07:30:58 AM
i.ytimg.com
"......will not be quite operational when your friends arrive....."
 
2013-04-26 07:33:13 AM
Once again I am unable to read what sounds like a really interesting story because bbc.com is blocked in the country represented by the first "B". For fark's sake, BBC, you let everyone else read news stories on bbc.co.uk, and they're not even paying the licence fee. WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!
 
2013-04-26 07:34:31 AM
Don't forget to have one person on the bridge whose sole job it is to call out what percentage of the shields remain. This should almost always be done in increments of of ten (the shields are never at 37% - when in doubt, just round).
 
2013-04-26 07:41:36 AM

I Ate Shergar: Once again I am unable to read what sounds like a really interesting story because bbc.com is blocked in the country represented by the first "B". For fark's sake, BBC, you let everyone else read news stories on bbc.co.uk, and they're not even paying the licence fee. WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!


hola.org
 
2013-04-26 07:45:41 AM
I Ate Shergar:
Once again I am unable to read what sounds like a really interesting story because bbc.com is blocked in the country represented by the first "B".

Just reverse the polarity.
 
2013-04-26 07:45:43 AM

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.


Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?
 
2013-04-26 08:01:50 AM

I Ate Shergar: Once again I am unable to read what sounds like a really interesting story because bbc.com is blocked in the country represented by the first "B". For fark's sake, BBC, you let everyone else read news stories on bbc.co.uk, and they're not even paying the licence fee. WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!


It is pretty strange - I would have no problem with their self funding (in theory) international section showing adverts to British IPs as they do to everyone else, having it just a blackout zone just seems weird and annoying.
 
2013-04-26 08:11:23 AM

mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?


I think the idea was simply to design the craft such that the water you'd be bringing along anyway would be placed in locations where it'd help to shield the crew. That said, wikipedia suggests that you need 18 cm of water just to cut gamma ray intensity by half, which is a lot. I'm not sure what the figure is for shielding against energetic protons, but if it's comparable, you're going to need a heck of a lot of water for protection. Even just shielding a 4 meter by 10 meter cylinder is about 29 cubic meters of water AKA 29 metric tons. That's a lot of mass to try and launch.
 
2013-04-26 08:17:56 AM

mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?


Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints:
www.lepp.cornell.edu
 
2013-04-26 08:21:17 AM

kyleaugustus: Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints


Not really. They're still a slave to the rocket equation. And we  still don't have the materials which would make such a spacecraft workable.
 
2013-04-26 08:27:24 AM

t3knomanser: kyleaugustus: Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints

Not really. They're still a slave to the rocket equation. And we  still don't have the materials which would make such a spacecraft workable.


The materials necessary were already in existence in the 1950s and 1960s.  Most of the spacecraft is built out of steel, not titanium nor aluminum (hence even the smaller designs being around 4000 tons).  You're right about the smallest of those craft indeed being launched with chemical rockets at least to a high altitude where the pulse propulsion then engages.  That was meant to be lofted by a Saturn-style chemical rocket.

However, the larger vehicles could actually be surface launched from Earth under nuclear power.  Of course, public opinion is still not favorable to using about 800 nuclear detonations (albeit very small, <3kt detonations) being used.

/I'll maintain my hipster-like loyalty to unpopular technology
 
2013-04-26 08:29:12 AM

mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?


What are the astronauts going to drink? Brawndo?
 
2013-04-26 08:33:07 AM

mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?


As thick as you can get it.... stellar radiation hazards run a large gamut. A single high-energy neutron could do you in; months of exposure of low-level gamma might do nothing.

I believe it would be a matter of 'risk-management' as opposed to 'shield-all-the-things', like it is currently done in nuclear facilities. A field-based shield (or plasma) based might work better, or in conjuction with, but you'd need a power source far beyond chemical rockets and fuel cells to run it.
 
2013-04-26 08:33:47 AM
Have they tried reversing the polarity?
 
2013-04-26 08:34:19 AM

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?

What are the astronauts going to drink? Brawndo?


Hey, it has electrolytes. Besides, who would want to drink water - it comes out of the toilet.
 
2013-04-26 08:36:28 AM

t3knomanser: kyleaugustus: Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints

Not really. They're still a slave to the rocket equation. And we  still don't have the materials which would make such a spacecraft workable.


The one way to overcome this limitation is to send up the water separately, in separate trips, then pump it to the long term spacecraft, which could be docked at the ISS until it's ready to go.
 
2013-04-26 08:44:52 AM

kyleaugustus: The materials necessary were already in existence in the 1950s and 1960s.


Just remind me, were these materials operating under the constraints that the crew wouldn't get pulverized and they could withstand the repeated strain? Of being bombarded with nuclear weapons (including the radiation damage). We could build a pusher-plate, since that's just an exercise of brute-force, but the plate's suspension would be difficult, even with modern technology. It certainly would not have been possible with 1950s technology. Had we actively researched that avenue starting in the 1950s, we might have such spacecraft today, but  shockingly, people get freaked out by the idea of detonating radioactive bombs to move spaceships around. Nuke-to-orbit would never have happened, in any plausible alternate history.

kyleaugustus: However, the larger vehicles could actually be surface launched from Earth under nuclear power.


Whether it's a chemically fueled rocket or a nuclear fueled rocket, the rocket equation still governs its behavior. The rocket equation simply defines the relationship between the mass accelerated and the fuel needed to accelerate it- an exponential relationship, since each gram of fuel carried adds to the mass. This remains true for nuclear fuel- all we've done is adjust the mass-to-thrust ratio of our fuel supply.
 
2013-04-26 08:45:46 AM
www.cheesehouse.com
 
2013-04-26 08:49:05 AM
It's not a matter of simply "reversing the polarity." More accurately, you'll need to reverse the polarity on the negative power coupling. That, or vent plasma from the starboard nacelle.
 
2013-04-26 08:54:29 AM

kyleaugustus: Of course, public opinion is still not favorable to using about 800 nuclear detonations (albeit very small, <3kt detonations) being used.


Rumor has it that they did try to put a metal plate over a nuke just to see what would happen, and the best they could suppose is that it either made orbital velocities or was vaporized in the blast.
Our views on nuclear testing changed alot faster than the technology could come to fruition, but one wonders what would have happened if they followed up the moon shot with a full tour of the solar system on an American starship.

/Still betting we'll see Orion again.
/You'd just have to launch from someplace far away, like the moon.
 
2013-04-26 09:03:00 AM

way south: Rumor has it that they did try to put a metal plate over a nuke just to see what would happen


The way I recall the story was more of a case where they didn't properly secure the metal plate, and ended up launching something the size of a manhole cover. It's still up in the air if it survived the blast, and if it did, whether it went into orbit, or was ablated away by the atmosphere, or just tumbled away. It almost certainly didn't get into orbit.

way south: Still betting we'll see Orion again


I don't think we will. Fissibles are difficult to extract, difficult to process, difficult to store, etc. Nuclear bombs still depend on conventional explosives, and those explosives tend to decay pretty rapidly when exposed to radiation. We'll see something fusion based, first.
 
2013-04-26 09:03:01 AM
Shielding from radiation with water :

http://what-if.xkcd.com/29/
 
2013-04-26 09:44:23 AM

kyleaugustus: mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

I'd guess a lighter solution would be much more preferable. Just out of curiosity, anyone know how thick a layer of water you would need to shield those on board from radiation hazards in space?

Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints:
[www.lepp.cornell.edu image 850x398]


upload.wikimedia.org
The Snouts HATE it when the humans come up with something like this...
 
2013-04-26 09:46:58 AM

malle-herbert: Shielding from radiation with water :

http://what-if.xkcd.com/29/


Radiation + H20 = H202
I would be more worried about swimming in hydrogen peroxide
 
2013-04-26 10:01:24 AM
Radiation + H20 = H202   ????????

Where does the extra O come from all of a sudden ?????

Radiation in space may be charged protons but you'll need a whole bunch of them to make an extra Oxygen atom...
(and a bunch of neutrons and electrons...)

What is more likely to happen is that the Hydrogen absorbs a proton and as a result you get 'heavy water'
(Hydrogen --> Deuterium --> Tritium)
 
2013-04-26 10:10:12 AM

malle-herbert: Radiation + H20 = H202   ????????

Where does the extra O come from all of a sudden ?????


Other water atoms.  Yes, it can happen.
 
2013-04-26 10:12:28 AM

malle-herbert: Where does the extra O come from all of a sudden ?????


www.reactiongifs.com
 
2013-04-26 10:19:12 AM

The All-Powerful Atheismo: Other water atoms.  Yes, it can happen.


Yes, but it generally happens through electrolysis. While there will probably be a small amount of hydrogen peroxide created (and hydrogen released), it's not going to be very much, and it will likely break down pretty rapidly back into water and oxygen.
 
2013-04-26 10:21:23 AM

malle-herbert: Radiation + H20 = H202   ????????

Where does the extra O come from all of a sudden ?????

Radiation in space may be charged protons but you'll need a whole bunch of them to make an extra Oxygen atom...
(and a bunch of neutrons and electrons...)


It isn't creating new oxygen, its actually creating helium.  The radiation knocks the hydrogen off the water molecule, creating free hydrogen and oxygen.  Alpha radiation, as you already said, is charged proton radiation.  It slams into the free hydrogen and creates helium + energy.  The excess energy in the system then allows the remaining oxygen and hydrogen to recombine into peroxide instead of water.
 
2013-04-26 10:23:44 AM

t3knomanser: The All-Powerful Atheismo: Other water atoms.  Yes, it can happen.

Yes, but it generally happens through electrolysis. While there will probably be a small amount of hydrogen peroxide created (and hydrogen released), it's not going to be very much, and it will likely break down pretty rapidly back into water and oxygen.


It actually happens through radiation exposure as well.
 
2013-04-26 10:25:54 AM

The All-Powerful Atheismo: It actually happens through radiation exposure as well.


I agree, it does. But the amount you're getting is very low. We have long running disposal pools. It's not like all the water turns into peroxide.
 
2013-04-26 12:17:06 PM

t3knomanser: The All-Powerful Atheismo: It actually happens through radiation exposure as well.

I agree, it does. But the amount you're getting is very low. We have long running disposal pools. It's not like all the water turns into peroxide.


There are a few factors at play. One being the massive amount of water relative to the amount of radioactive material; however, they are most concerned with local concentrations as the radiolysis products of water all promote corrosion of the storage casks themselves. Although as I understand it (and I could be wrong) this is more of a problem of corrosion in the water cooling system as opposed to the storage pools. They usually just add hydrogen to the water, which takes care of it.
 
2013-04-26 12:19:12 PM

ChubbyTiger: This sounds like a nice application for high temperature superconductors. Price really isn't an object, relatively speaking, and space is fairly cold anyway. I'm going to have to read this article, I suppose.


While space is absolutely freezing, vacuum is a ridiculously good insulator so heat doesn't transfer very well. So it doesn't work to keep things like superconductors cool, hence the need for helium cooling even if they put these on a ship.
 
2013-04-26 01:14:06 PM
That's preposterous. Only a deflector can be reconfigured in that manner.
 
2013-04-26 01:18:10 PM

SurfaceTension: t3knomanser: kyleaugustus: Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints

Not really. They're still a slave to the rocket equation. And we  still don't have the materials which would make such a spacecraft workable.

The one way to overcome this limitation is to send up the water separately, in separate trips, then pump it to the long term spacecraft, which could be docked at the ISS until it's ready to go.


Or use robots to mine some of the water in space, say a comet, and transfer it  to the ship.
 
2013-04-26 01:22:15 PM

MuonNeutrino: mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.


Elon Musk has said he isn't really thinking about the radiation issues much, since he's focusing on getting the first capability (mass to orbit / $$) before he worries about other things.  But he "kind of" thinks that in a radiation increase in deep space, like a CME you have the radiation coming in one direction (even if that direction is not straight from the Sun due to magnetic distortion) so you can probably deal by just aligning the spacecraft to put the water tanks between the crew and the incoming rads.

But then he's also said he isn't intending to colonize Mars without killing a lot of people, just not many more than were killed colonizing North America.  You can take on one HELL of a risk if your safety standard is "as safe as a sea voyage from Europe to America in 1700".
 
2013-04-26 02:03:29 PM

t3knomanser: The All-Powerful Atheismo: It actually happens through radiation exposure as well.

I agree, it does. But the amount you're getting is very low. We have long running disposal pools. It's not like all the water turns into peroxide.


I'm just saying it happens.
 
2013-04-26 02:07:21 PM
FTA: "The scientists propose to place superconducting coils on the sides of a spacecraft."

Lets just hope this time the ship doesn't end up in Norfolk...
 
2013-04-26 02:11:44 PM

cirby: I Ate Shergar:
Once again I am unable to read what sounds like a really interesting story because bbc.com is blocked in the country represented by the first "B".

Just reverse the polarity.


But that will burn out the phase inducers!
 
2013-04-26 02:25:12 PM

kyleaugustus: t3knomanser: kyleaugustus: Plausible 1950s technology that laughs at your mass constraints

Not really. They're still a slave to the rocket equation. And we  still don't have the materials which would make such a spacecraft workable.

The materials necessary were already in existence in the 1950s and 1960s.  Most of the spacecraft is built out of steel, not titanium nor aluminum (hence even the smaller designs being around 4000 tons).  You're right about the smallest of those craft indeed being launched with chemical rockets at least to a high altitude where the pulse propulsion then engages.  That was meant to be lofted by a Saturn-style chemical rocket.

However, the larger vehicles could actually be surface launched from Earth under nuclear power.  Of course, public opinion is still not favorable to using about 800 nuclear detonations (albeit very small, <3kt detonations) being used.

/I'll maintain my hipster-like loyalty to unpopular technology


The real problem with launching in nuke mode right from the surface is the launch site is single use.  Not a good idea.
 
2013-04-26 02:46:02 PM

OhioKnight: MuonNeutrino: mamoru: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The best strategy I heard was to line the inside of the pressure hull with the ship's water tanks since water tends to absorb radiation quite well.

Water is heavy and rather dense (1 ton per cubic meter). That will significantly add to the mass of any ship, further increasing fuel requirements, further increasing the amount of mass you need to move. If water is your fuel, then you run into the problem of decreasing your shielding by using it.

Elon Musk has said he isn't really thinking about the radiation issues much, since he's focusing on getting the first capability (mass to orbit / $$) before he worries about other things.  But he "kind of" thinks that in a radiation increase in deep space, like a CME you have the radiation coming in one direction (even if that direction is not straight from the Sun due to magnetic distortion) so you can probably deal by just aligning the spacecraft to put the water tanks between the crew and the incoming rads.

But then he's also said he isn't intending to colonize Mars without killing a lot of people, just not many more than were killed colonizing North America.  You can take on one HELL of a risk if your safety standard is "as safe as a sea voyage from Europe to America in 1700".


If you aren't worried about germ line mutations caused by ionizing radiation, which will only affect your kids, we can already deal with Earth to Mars in a reasonable way, unless there is a solar storm or major solar flare during the trip. And once you are on mars, you can build habitats in places like lava tubes which will provide adequate shielding (we think). It's really just about risk minimization and Musk understands that. They also want to focus a lot on robotic economic activity (astroid mining) and getting infrastructure started. If you are thinking about long-term investment and reasonable economics in the short term, then you can afford large multi-year investment up front. Getting significant infrastructure in place is the major hurdle. Then you can start thinking about different approaches. If you can procure, mine, or manufacture much of what you need in space you don't have to worry so much about the problem of getting heavy material in to orbit first, which is expensive.
 
2013-04-26 02:50:18 PM

Edymnion: malle-herbert: Radiation + H20 = H202   ????????

Where does the extra O come from all of a sudden ?????

Radiation in space may be charged protons but you'll need a whole bunch of them to make an extra Oxygen atom...
(and a bunch of neutrons and electrons...)

It isn't creating new oxygen, its actually creating helium.  The radiation knocks the hydrogen off the water molecule, creating free hydrogen and oxygen.  Alpha radiation, as you already said, is charged proton radiation.  It slams into the free hydrogen and creates helium + energy.  The excess energy in the system then allows the remaining oxygen and hydrogen to recombine into peroxide instead of water.


Are you doing that on purpose, or are you just completely talking out of your ass?
 
2013-04-26 03:50:37 PM
Odd. I thought Quantum Apostrophy would be in here, derping it up with his Anti-Space Crusade nuttery.

I'm worried about him. I mean, here's a perfectly 'valid' point to make about how dangerous space is and how we shouldn't even bother going to it, and he's not here to try to argue it.

I mean, it's like

"Lol looks like you can't 3D Print your way out of this one! Life isn't like Startrek, get your head out of the stars and back to Earth you nutjobs."

He sounded really tired last thread I saw him in, like he was just phoning it in. Was he giving up? Was he sick? Now I'm worried. He seemed decent on any topic aside from 3D printing and space tech...
 
2013-04-26 05:40:56 PM
Will this make Scanners obsolete? Vomacht will be unhappy.
 
2013-04-26 10:50:50 PM

GentlemanJ: Will this make Scanners obsolete? Vomacht will be unhappy.


I can't believe I never thought to bring up the Pain of Space before.

:(
 
2013-04-26 11:06:01 PM
[CTRL-f] "Inverse Tachyon Pulse"

0 Results Found.

Dammit!

/now 1 result.
 
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