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It requires something with a little more kick . . . plutonium!

  1. May 2, 2004 #1
    What if we have a great idea for long distance space travel, perhaps even to another star, but the craft requires the use of a RTG for heat and long-lasting power.

    How are we suppose to build something like this and test it, if we have to resort to using solar power or batteries? Just being a privately-funded, non-government scientist/inventor can be a real pain. :(

    What would be my options, if any?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2004 #2


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    Find a country that didn't sign the nuke treaty and do your development there?
  4. May 27, 2004 #3
    Or you could buy an island and declare it a nation, free from all nuclear-based treaties. Such a ploy would only work for a little while, but it would give you time to work. The island would either have to be secretive, or self-sufficient. A perfect idea, if you intend to utilize an Orion-based nuclear propulsion system, a hollowed out dormant volcano would suit you perfectly, since the energy used in the pulsed nuke-drive is similar to active vulcanism. Of course, the global gestapo red tapers will soon catch on.

    Over and out.
  5. May 27, 2004 #4
    Many space probes have used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) in the past. In fact, Cassini, set to enter Saturn orbit on July 1, is powered by three RTGs. What's the problem?
  6. May 27, 2004 #5

    In the US, a non-governmental scientist cannot own enough radioactive fuel to power one of these without going through enough red tape as to make the project un-fundable. The US government is so paranoid about terrorist that even model rocketry is being hampered. For standard aerospace technologies, this is a near impossible field of study.
  7. May 27, 2004 #6
    Ah, that is more clear. I wish there was an easy answer. If government regulations stifle private innovation, that's not a good thing. But aren't there substantial public safety / national security concerns compelling?
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