Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Business Insider)   Jeff Bezos developing nuclear rockets, which should make future Amazon disputes with eBay and Aliexpress more interesting   (businessinsider.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Satellite, Spacecraft propulsion, NASA, space venture, Blue Origin, Spacecraft, Jeff Bezos, Lockheed Martin  
•       •       •

1371 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Apr 2021 at 9:14 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



61 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2021-04-13 8:54:39 PM  
DARPA wants to test nuclear thermal propulsion technology, which uses a nuclear reactor in a rocket to heat up the fuel and propel the craft beyond low Earth orbit.

memegenerator.netView Full Size
 
2021-04-13 9:15:57 PM  
So, when does Israel decide to screw with them?
 
2021-04-13 9:16:30 PM  
I watched RoboCop recently again (best movie from the 80s, fight me!), and for some reason when I read this story I imagined Dick Jones screamin about how the real point was military contracts.
 
2021-04-13 9:16:59 PM  
Yes, lets give tax dodgers more taxpayer money.
 
2021-04-13 9:21:44 PM  
So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer
 
2021-04-13 9:23:24 PM  
Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.
 
2021-04-13 9:24:03 PM  
If bezos gets access to nuclear propulsion, I demand we all get unlettered access to it.  Why should billionaires get nuclear propulsion and us plebes don't!

Nukes should be for everybody.
 
2021-04-13 9:25:29 PM  
This has already been explored by the U.S. military in the past and successfully test fired, but was ultimately scraped for the obvious reasons.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucle​a​r_thermal_rocket
 
2021-04-13 9:25:33 PM  
Does Bezos REALLY need that Pentagon contract for a pet project he could easily pay for on his hypothetical kids allowance or is he just grubbing for more money because he can?
 
2021-04-13 9:28:10 PM  

Karma Chameleon: Yes, lets give tax dodgers more taxpayer money.


Oh, so YOU want to build the nuclear rocket? :-)

Ringshadow: Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.


What have you done with the REAL Ringshadow!??????

You? You hate it? But why? Okay... let's start from the beginning where on this engineering schematic did the nuclear rocket touch you?
 
2021-04-13 9:28:15 PM  
I think nuclear rockets in space could be an incredible idea, but in the atmosphere not so much.  So the trouble is safely transporting nuclear fuel into space for use in propulsion systems.
 
2021-04-13 9:32:37 PM  
Mr. Smith,

We regret to inform you that your order for a case of beer nuts delivered via drone was mistakenly mixed up with an order for a nuclear weapon delivered via drone.

If you, or anyone else within 50 miles, can read this message, please let us know you're alive so we can get you those beer nuts. Sincerely,

-Amazon Customer Service
 
2021-04-13 9:38:57 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-13 9:42:02 PM  

Destructor: Karma Chameleon: Yes, lets give tax dodgers more taxpayer money.

Oh, so YOU want to build the nuclear rocket? :-)

Ringshadow: Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.

What have you done with the REAL Ringshadow!??????

You? You hate it? But why? Okay... let's start from the beginning where on this engineering schematic did the nuclear rocket touch you?


fark yeah I want to build a nuclear rocket.

Totally not saying I am qualified to do so but fark YEAH I WANT TO
 
2021-04-13 9:48:59 PM  
Space X rockets on meth.
 
2021-04-13 9:51:37 PM  

Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer


Prince has a psuedo army but that's it. Not enough funding for supervillain status.
 
2021-04-13 9:51:44 PM  

Flincher: Space X rockets on meth.


That's not normal.
 
2021-04-13 9:53:34 PM  
Also, TFA seems to think nuclear propulsion is energy created by a reactor that creates thrust. F that. Project Orion or bust 😬
 
2021-04-13 9:54:22 PM  
I can't think why a nuclear rocket would be needed other than a mission outside our solar system.
 
2021-04-13 9:54:32 PM  
So, none of Blue Origin's designs actually fly except for internal testing, right?  I mean they won the X-prize for self-landing before SpaceX, but their stuff doesn't get used to do work yet, right?
 
2021-04-13 9:57:50 PM  

Befuddled: I can't think why a nuclear rocket would be needed other than a mission outside our solar system.


You can't use it to launch from a planet's surface, but it would be great for moving around the solar system.
 
2021-04-13 10:00:11 PM  

Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer


Destroyer of Worlds, the Man Formerly Known as the Man Formerly Known as Prince
 
2021-04-13 10:06:53 PM  

Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer


Well, Bezos is not quite at the James Bond villain stage yet, but Musk has 1,200  satellites, his own rockets and manned craft, self driving smart electric cars, gigantic tunneling machines and a monkey that can play video games with just the powers of his mind.

That is Doctor Who level villain potential right there.
 
2021-04-13 10:09:35 PM  

Ringshadow: Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.


I wonder about getting the nuclear stuff out of the atmosphere safely before they light it up. Is that your concern? Something else?
 
2021-04-13 10:14:12 PM  

jaytkay: Ringshadow: Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.

I wonder about getting the nuclear stuff out of the atmosphere safely before they light it up. Is that your concern? Something else?


Hopefully it's for the moon-to-mars shuttle - I think NASA and BO still want to do a moon base as an intermediary step towards mars, instead of earth-mars direct like SpaceX wants to do.

So no nuclear rockets in the atmosphere.  I think that's actually spelled out in treaties.

Not super sure about any of that.  Been a while since I followed those podcasts.
 
2021-04-13 10:15:15 PM  

aperson: I think nuclear rockets in space could be an incredible idea, but in the atmosphere not so much.  So the trouble is safely transporting nuclear fuel into space for use in propulsion systems.


I got my rocket degree from Kerbal Psace Program. You always use solid fuel in atmo, and a nuke engine in space, vents heat much beterer.
 
2021-04-13 10:15:16 PM  
*sigh*

So, they're restarting the NERVA project again? Cool. But then, this President has a Moon Rock in the Oval Office.
 
2021-04-13 10:15:30 PM  

berylman: Does Bezos REALLY need that Pentagon contract for a pet project he could easily pay for on his hypothetical kids allowance or is he just grubbing for more money because he can?


A friend of mine believes that him, Elon and others are planning on abandoning ship, setting up on Mars because we are SCREWED on this Earth. I think she's nuts, but a tiny part of me is terrified it might be true.
 
2021-04-13 10:20:40 PM  

Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer


Prince is kind of incompetent. Evil as hell, but incompetent.
 
2021-04-13 10:36:07 PM  

aperson: This has already been explored by the U.S. military in the past and successfully test fired, but was ultimately scraped for the obvious reasons.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclea​r_thermal_rocket


Obvious reason is because it worked?  They gave it up because NASA was shrinking and decided to give up going to Mars.  Not because there were any problems with it.
 
2021-04-13 10:36:45 PM  

noitsnot: So no nuclear rockets in the atmosphere. I think that's actually spelled out in treaties.


Nuclear WMD in space are banned by treaty. I don't think anyone wants to launch from Earth with nuclear. My question is about safely getting the nuclear fuel off-planet for interplanetary travel.
 
2021-04-13 10:44:55 PM  

0z79: berylman: Does Bezos REALLY need that Pentagon contract for a pet project he could easily pay for on his hypothetical kids allowance or is he just grubbing for more money because he can?

A friend of mine believes that him, Elon and others are planning on abandoning ship, setting up on Mars because we are SCREWED on this Earth. I think she's nuts, but a tiny part of me is terrified it might be true.


Terrified?

Hell, I'm hoping.
 
2021-04-13 10:45:53 PM  

whitroth: *sigh*

So, they're restarting the NERVA project again? Cool. But then, this President has a Moon Rock in the Oval Office.


And how would that be a bat thing? https://beyondnerva.com/2020/03/21/th​e​-nuclear-lightbulb-a-brief-introductio​n/

I'm not saying we're ready now. (We're not.)

I'm suggesting that we might be if we applied the past 50 years of materials science to seeing what might be possible today. (We haven't.)

And that if we had cheap heavy lift options (thanks, Elon!) to get actual prototypes into polar orbits around the sun before testing, we could start testing these things again. (If we started today, we might have prototypes in 5-10 years, which gives Elon time enough to make it possible to test these things well outside of Earth orbit.)

And that if we wanted to be really safe, use that cheap heavy lift capability to send it in the general direction of some Kuiper Belt object, and don't turn on the nuclear part until the test article, its exhaust, and any bits and pieces associated with the catastrophic failures you expect to see along the way are all likely to be moving away from the sun faster than solar system escape velocity. (If we start today and spend 5-10 years tinkering with prototypes, we might have something scalable within our lifetimes, and the next generation can figure out whether or not to study KBOs or see what's in the Oort Cloud within their lifetimes.)
 
2021-04-13 10:59:50 PM  

AppleOptionEsc: aperson: I think nuclear rockets in space could be an incredible idea, but in the atmosphere not so much.  So the trouble is safely transporting nuclear fuel into space for use in propulsion systems.

I got my rocket degree from Kerbal Psace Program. You always use solid fuel in atmo, and a nuke engine in space, vents heat much beterer.


I know you're making a joke, but actually, venting heat in space is very difficult. There's no air currents ro carry heat away, and vacuum is the ultimate insulator. You have to radiate the heat away, which requires an enormous radiator, along with some sort of fluid to transfer the heat to the radiator, all of which is bulky, high mass, mechanically complex, and failure-prone.
 
2021-04-13 11:05:10 PM  

jaytkay: I wonder about getting the nuclear stuff out of the atmosphere safely before they light it up. Is that your concern? Something else?


My particular career path is radiation safety and all shielding we have on hand that's effective, at the moment, is heavy as FARK, meaning it's not, you know. Launch out of atmosphere friendly. Maybe they'll figure it out but astronauts are already soaking heavy, heavy radiation dose because they don't have atmospheric protection. Add in a reactor and I have SERIOUS concerns about how much lifetime dose these potential passengers are going to take.

/and let's just consider that Bezos is trying to escape earth instead of combat climate change
 
2021-04-13 11:12:48 PM  
$2.5 million. Isn't that pocket change when it comes space travel?
 
2021-04-13 11:41:44 PM  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2021-04-13 11:45:06 PM  

aperson: This has already been explored by the U.S. military in the past and successfully test fired, but was ultimately scraped for the obvious reasons.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclea​r_thermal_rocket


Obvious reasons?  Huh?

"The United States maintained an NTR development program through 1973, when it was shut down to focus on Space Shuttle development."

Oh, the Space Shuttle. The farking Space Shuttle. Now that thing was a waste money and time.  Could have been to Mars a long time ago, and done lots of other cool shiat, if it weren't for damn thing.
 
2021-04-13 11:49:53 PM  
Knew there was a reason he was funding The Expanse...
 
2021-04-14 12:01:21 AM  

aperson: This has already been explored by the U.S. military in the past and successfully test fired, but was ultimately scraped for the obvious reasons.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclea​r_thermal_rocket


I could see it being pretty safe and more energy dense using something like helium as a propellent.
 
2021-04-14 12:02:32 AM  

baron von doodle: Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer

Prince has a psuedo army but that's it. Not enough funding for supervillain status.


... Who the hell do you think made off with those pallets of cash from Iraq?
 
2021-04-14 12:09:37 AM  

noitsnot: So, none of Blue Origin's designs actually fly except for internal testing, right?  I mean they won the X-prize for self-landing before SpaceX, but their stuff doesn't get used to do work yet, right?


Right.  Blue Origin is taking their own goddamn time carrying people on a glorified up and down carnival ride, and I am seriously doubting if New Glenn ever flies or if a Blue Origin anything ever reaches orbit.

They're working on:

Carrying sightseers
Building engines for other customers
Working on a "Lunar Lander"
Supposedly working on New Glenn - have they actually bent any metal for that yet?

and now developing a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion engine.

If you look up "Bit off more than they can chew" in the big book o' cliches, there's a picture of Blue Origin.

Part of me is glad this work didn't go to SpaceX, because I think they have enough on their plate at the moment.  But just my completely uninformed hunch says Shotwell's engineers could do a better job than Bezos' will.
 
2021-04-14 12:11:32 AM  

RadicalMiddle: Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer

Well, Bezos is not quite at the James Bond villain stage yet, but Musk has 1,200  satellites, his own rockets and manned craft, self driving smart electric cars, gigantic tunneling machines and a monkey that can play video games with just the powers of his mind.

That is Doctor Who level villain potential right there.


1,348, give or take a few.
 
2021-04-14 12:12:45 AM  

noitsnot: Befuddled: I can't think why a nuclear rocket would be needed other than a mission outside our solar system.

You can't use it to launch from a planet's surface, but it would be great for moving around the solar system.


In space, can you get enough energy from just focusing fast neutrons?
 
2021-04-14 12:14:50 AM  

jaytkay: Ringshadow: Nuclear farker here.

I hate it.

But maybe they'll actually provide the science to convince me.

I wonder about getting the nuclear stuff out of the atmosphere safely before they light it up. Is that your concern? Something else?


If you don't have any oxidizer and an inert gas, the odds of something going explody are pretty low. OTOH, having a nuclear meltdown at high altitude would kinda suck.
 
2021-04-14 12:16:51 AM  

Twilight Farkle: whitroth: *sigh*

So, they're restarting the NERVA project again? Cool. But then, this President has a Moon Rock in the Oval Office.

And how would that be a bat thing? https://beyondnerva.com/2020/03/21/the​-nuclear-lightbulb-a-brief-introductio​n/

I'm not saying we're ready now. (We're not.)

I'm suggesting that we might be if we applied the past 50 years of materials science to seeing what might be possible today. (We haven't.)

And that if we had cheap heavy lift options (thanks, Elon!) to get actual prototypes into polar orbits around the sun before testing, we could start testing these things again. (If we started today, we might have prototypes in 5-10 years, which gives Elon time enough to make it possible to test these things well outside of Earth orbit.)

And that if we wanted to be really safe, use that cheap heavy lift capability to send it in the general direction of some Kuiper Belt object, and don't turn on the nuclear part until the test article, its exhaust, and any bits and pieces associated with the catastrophic failures you expect to see along the way are all likely to be moving away from the sun faster than solar system escape velocity. (If we start today and spend 5-10 years tinkering with prototypes, we might have something scalable within our lifetimes, and the next generation can figure out whether or not to study KBOs or see what's in the Oort Cloud within their lifetimes.)


Out of curiosity, have you ever seen the old 'Space: 1999' episode "Voyager's Return"?

"Space: 1999" Voyager's Return (TV Episode 1975) - IMDb
 
2021-04-14 12:22:11 AM  

allears: AppleOptionEsc: aperson: I think nuclear rockets in space could be an incredible idea, but in the atmosphere not so much.  So the trouble is safely transporting nuclear fuel into space for use in propulsion systems.

I got my rocket degree from Kerbal Space Program. You always use solid fuel in atmo, and a nuke engine in space, vents heat much better.

I know you're making a joke, but actually, venting heat in space is very difficult. There's no air currents to carry heat away, and vacuum is the ultimate insulator. You have to radiate the heat away, which requires an enormous radiator, along with some sort of fluid to transfer the heat to the radiator, all of which is bulky, high mass, mechanically complex, and failure-prone.


For a good look at this, check out "Saturn Run", by John Sandford and Ctein.  There's a scramble to get into Saturn orbit first, and the superpowers launch two ships to see who gets the brass ring.  One is Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, the other uses a VASIMR engine.

Heat management is a *significant* part of the technical details, and all I can say is the system the VASIMR ship uses was - hair-raising.  And breathtaking.

The book is at least an OK read, and a must-read if you're interested in the technology.
 
2021-04-14 12:24:42 AM  

Cafe Threads: 0z79: berylman: Does Bezos REALLY need that Pentagon contract for a pet project he could easily pay for on his hypothetical kids allowance or is he just grubbing for more money because he can?

A friend of mine believes that him, Elon and others are planning on abandoning ship, setting up on Mars because we are SCREWED on this Earth. I think she's nuts, but a tiny part of me is terrified it might be true.

Terrified?

Hell, I'm hoping.


Hoping what? That the Earth really is that farked?
 
2021-04-14 12:25:42 AM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: baron von doodle: Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer

Prince has a psuedo army but that's it. Not enough funding for supervillain status.

... Who the hell do you think made off with those pallets of cash from Iraq?


ISIS?
Or whatever the startup was called at that time.
The funding was appreciated.

/seriously, was speaking to a Syrian whose brother was killed by them, after they had taken over his city (near the Iraq border), told me that they gave recruits monthly salaries...in dollars.
 
2021-04-14 12:33:07 AM  

Resident Muslim: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: baron von doodle: Resident Muslim: So are we having bets on who is going to be the world's first real-life supervillain? Bezos, Musk or Prince?

/the military contractor, not the singer

Prince has a psuedo army but that's it. Not enough funding for supervillain status.

... Who the hell do you think made off with those pallets of cash from Iraq?

ISIS?
Or whatever the startup was called at that time.
The funding was appreciated.

/seriously, was speaking to a Syrian whose brother was killed by them, after they had taken over his city (near the Iraq border), told me that they gave recruits monthly salaries...in dollars.


Lana.
 
Displayed 50 of 61 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.