Atomic age...

LANMaster

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But it is inevitable that the development of the new propulsion systems will spark controversy from anti-nuclear groups.

They opposed the launching of Nasa's Cassini probe to Saturn in 1997. The spacecraft uses plutonium to generate electricity for its onboard instruments.

They feared a launch failure or an accidental re-entry could have led to widespread contamination.
No doubt
 

pyritechips

Jim
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Old nuclear arms treaties banned the use of nuclear devices of any kind in space. This helped cripple several NASA space exploration projects.

I still completely oppose the use of nukes in space. I beleive som countries would love to orbit nuclear warheads. Think abou tit. Doese the American president have something other than satellites in mind?
 

LANMaster

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Still opposed if nuclear power is used exclusively for propultion? And not used for Earth orbit?
After all the discussion is not about weapons, it is about propultion.
 

pyritechips

Jim
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I was merely outlining some history. The nuclear treaty didn't discriminate between non-agressive nulclear propulsion for space vehicles and nuclear warheads. It was easier, negotiation-wise to just ban everything outright.

I support the use of nuclear propulsion for space research. The umbrella treaties of the past stymied that usage for 20 years. I say it's time to allow it.
 

LANMaster

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Originally posted by pyritechips:
I was merely outlining some history. The nuclear treaty didn't discriminate between non-agressive nulclear propulsion for space vehicles and nuclear warheads. It was easier, negotiation-wise to just ban everything outright.

I support the use of nuclear propulsion for space research. The umbrella treaties of the past stymied that usage for 20 years. I say it's time to allow it.
Cool. I'm glad you and I agree on this. We also agree that no weapons of mass destruction should be put in orbit for any reason. It's just too dangerous, and a bit stupid. I might go for a lazer up there if it could be proven that it could stop an ICBM, but with all the counter measures these days, that'd probably just be a waste of sky.
:D
 
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I thought those treaties were still in force.
Dont remember them having an expiry date.
 

pyritechips

Jim
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I might go for a lazer up there if it could be proven that it could stop an ICBM
How about: Let's not go for any weapons up there? The last thing we need is another escalation of weaponry on any possible "theatre".
 
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Okay,
maybe they did have an expiry date,
but they didn't mention it to me.
 

LANMaster

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Originally posted by pyritechips:
How about: Let's not go for any weapons up there? The last thing we need is another escalation of weaponry on any possible "theatre".
Well, the LAST thing we need is nuclear ICBM's landing in NY, Chicago, and LA. But space weapons scare the hell out of me as well.

The cold war may be over, but I'd like to find out where all the long-range ICBM's went. At one time there was about 3500 missiles in the former Soviet Union. Each having about a dozen nuclear warheads attached. Nobody's claiming to have dismantled them. And last I heard, they were targeted at key Western cities.

A non-nuclear sattelite-based defense system is not that far fetched an idea. Though, to go back to a previous point that I made, I don't think that the details have been worked out yet. Current technology would require space-based missiles. I would not support the deployment of this idea, for obvious reasons.
 
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Originally posted by LANMaster:
The cold war may be over, but I'd like to find out where all the long-range ICBM's went. At one time there was about 3500 missiles in the former Soviet Union. Each having about a dozen nuclear warheads attached. Nobody's claiming to have dismantled them. And last I heard, they were targeted at key Western cities.
Actually, many of them were dismantled, both before and after the "cold war".

Also, some of those remaining did still have their original "target package" programmed in, but that has also been removed.

I wish I could remember where I saw that report, but I know it is there. I too had the same concerns you did!

On the thread topic:

Nuclear power, though having one obvious downside, is going to have to become a part of space exploration if we are to progress further with it than we already have.

We have been powering naval ships with it for how long now without a problem?
 
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Oh yes,

Navy vessells.
Lots of naval vessels are nuclear powered.
When they get old, and a bit 'dodgy'
the cheapest way to get rid of them is to
take them to somewhere out of the way
and scuttle them.

There are so many nuclear wrecks rotting away
that the seas are now almost registering
on geiger counters.

Many countries have faltering economies,
and maybe they just cannot afford to dispose
of radioactive equipment in an envoironmentally
friendly manner.

Certain types of seafood are to be avoided,
as they tend to accumulate radioactive agents.

Dont forget aeroplanes,
aeroplanes carry nuclear ballast.
Exactly why, i'm not sure.
I think its because space inside is at a premium
and the balancing equipment uses weights,
spent uranium is heavier than lead for the
same volume.
But im only guessing about that bit.

John
 

pyritechips

Jim
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Well, the LAST thing we need is nuclear ICBM's landing in NY, Chicago, and LA.
You are an American and understandly speak from that perspective. But I try to make my viewpoint a more universal one. I don't want nuclear weapons of any nations landed on any city or country. And isn't the American military the possessor of the largest stockpile of Weapons of mass destruxtion on the planet?

The cold war may be over, but I'd like to find out where all the long-range ICBM's went
Navy vessells.

Lots of naval vessels are nuclear powered.
When they get old, and a bit 'dodgy'
the cheapest way to get rid of them is to
take them to somewhere out of the way
and scuttle them.

There are so many nuclear wrecks rotting away
that the seas are now almost registering
on geiger counters
So true. JUst a couple of days ago I saw a news story stating that 50% of the former Soviet Union's massive stockpile of chemical and nuclear weapons are not monitored or catalogued.

They showed a Soviet nuclear submarine "graveyard" in the Baltic Sea where old vessels are merely abandonned and scuttled. They said it was the most radioactively contaminated area of the world.
 

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