Showing posts from June, 2012

Walking Eagle Nomination for the Ad Astra Rocket company

Dear Dr David Livingston and the Space Cynics, I would like to submit a Walking Eagle Award nomination for the Ad Astra Rocket company for their "Human Transportation to Mars" concept.The primary basis of my nomination is the size of the nuclear reactor proposed, but even if such a reactor and all the other support infrastructure to launch the mission from an Earth-Moon Lagrange point was available, and their propulsion technology actually worked, I think there is a very strong argument that such a fast transit decreases mission safety because it eliminates the free-return-trajectory abort mode.The only nuclear reactor the US has ever flown in space is the SNAP-10A, which produced a mere 650 watts of electrical power, from 45 kW of heat. The SP-100 reactor program, which were never flown, was to produce 100 kW of electrical power from 2 MW of heat. The Russians flew reactors which produced 3 kW to 5 kW of electrical power, and built some 40 kW reactors that were never flown…