thegopnik wrote:As much as I am happy about the news of the century as in they are actually serious in the project to drop those images online.
Ion propulsion needs either a nuclear or solar source, you can go check different sources where they suggest 30-45 days to get to mars, no country is there just yet.
The droplet nuclear reactor or the nuclear space craft they let out in the news give estimates of 7-8 months which of course is better than chemical rockets estimating 1 year and 6 months. Just a correction for the posts I am seeing here but nevertheless this is excellent news.
What!? Your numbers are nonsensical. The whole point of a 1 MWe reactor powering an ion engine is to have non-inertial travel to
Mars. The numbers only make sense if they refer to 7-8 weeks
Dont get me wrong Russia is advanced with anything missile to rocket related technology but what your asking in terms of space time travel is just a little too much."According to Russia's TASS news agency, Koshlakov believes that a flight to Mars using a nuclear propulsion engine is "technically feasible in the near future".
The space expert reckons it could take just over half a year for humans to travel to Mars using the nuclear system.
"[The journey] to the Moon will last several days, yes, while a flight to Mars will last about seven or eight months," said Koshlakov, speaking to the Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
Roscosmos has already been testing ground trials for the engine's cooling system, which are believed to have been a success.
And the space agency also has plans to make a prototype of a "megawatt class" nuclear engine, which would be used for "flights into deep space".
http://www.parabolicarc.com/tag/vladimir-koshlakov/ This guy is the head of the Keldysh Research Center and he was the one that referred to a 7-8 month travel. Sure ion propulsion was mentioned but when it was introduced by either Roscosmos or NASA they gave a literal 1 month to 1 month in a half time frame travel to Mars. The US has not presented anything better than their chemical rockets. I have doubts Space X will get to mars because nuclear energy is a whole nother department they do not specialize in. NASA fucked themselves cutting NERVA in the past. They are talking about ideas of getting a nuclear spacecraft but no mentions of starting or project or presenting any images online that such a project is being worked.
So who is left to compete for the Mars mission? I am sure that even FEDOR(i believe they will send a robot 1st) as a robot would shit himself on a 1 month travel to mars. 7-8 months is still excellent well according to what Koshlakov is saying.
Official talking heads in Russia routinely stick their heads into their asses. It is physically impossible for a continuous 1 MWe ion drive spacecraft to
take the same time as inertial flight. Even if the acceleration is a small fraction of "g" it adds up over the course of several weeks. There are a lot
of seconds in those weeks:
86,400 x 7 x 4 = 2,419,200
This Russian design is not going to use conventional ion thrusters. It will use MPD thrusters with a force of 200 Newtons at least.
a = 200/M where M is the mass of the spacecraft. Let's take M = 40 tons = 40,000 kg which gives
a = 0.005 m/s/s
So the velocity after 4 weeks is:
v = 0.005 * 2,419,200 = 12,096 m/s
The average velocity is 6,048 m/s = 21,772.8 km/hour
I have assumed only 50% of the trip with thrust towards Mars, this is wrong since the acceleration is small. It is more fair to talk about
8 weeks of thrust, giving 43,545.6 km/hour of average extra speed on top of the initial velocity imparted by the rocket launch from the
Earth's surface. Based on previous inertial trips, the initial velocity is around 58,000 km/hour.
The propelled flight to Mars with an average 43,546 km/hour speed on top of the 58,000 km/hour injection speed allows the selection
of a shortest path not possible with inertial guidance. If Mars did not move relative to the Earth the shortest path travel at 58,000 km/hour
would allow arrival after 39 days at the closest approach distance. This is not possible since the Earth and Mars move but movement
is not the only problem since inertial guidance requires the spacecraft to follow a chasing orbit and not the shortest path. With
propulsion at over 43,000 km/hour it is possible to reduce the distance dramatically. So the drip duration is reduced by a factor:
Z = X * Y where X is the extra speed and Y is the available reduced path fraction inverse