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Re: starship-design: Idea

In a message dated 6/24/00 11:50:15 PM, nlindber@u.washington.edu writes:

>Hi all,
>   I recently read a book about the "X-planes". And read a little
>about the X-6 project to use a nuclear reactor as the heat source for a
>gas turbine engine.  I know that the original design required too much
>heavy shielding, ==

Actually they ran unshielded and contaminated everything near them  8(  Sill 
have a couple of the prototypes up in Yuca flats <?> I think.  They cooled 
down finaliy so they have taked videos of old guys walking around and talking 
about them on the discovery channel.

>== but I was wondering about using a small IEC fusion device
>along the lines of the farnsworth fusor for atmospheric flight.  A fusing
>plasma would be quite hot, and emit photons along with all kinds of
>charged particles and neutrons.  A shield structure around the electrodes
>would convert the radiation into heat, which would have air forced past
>to keep it cool.  A supply of liquified gas could be kept on board to
>provide reaction mass for translation to vacuum (SSTO?).  Anyway, this
>all just a fanciful idea on my part.  I'm most interested in hearing
>what's wrong with the idea...

on the fusion engine page I worked up for lit I list a reference sourc for a 
paper on IEC fusion SSTO's.  You can't use the plasma, because ejecting it 
into the airstream and not spoiling the vacume would be a bit wrough.  
However since virtually all the power is transmutted into electricity.  You 
can super heat the air with a arc-jet like arangement, then later heat water 
or a gas once you leave atmosphere.