Re: Propulsion and rot, was Re: Orbit calculations

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 00:45:51 MST

> Apropos drives, could a Nerva nuclear engine be converted into a
> stationary reactor for power production?

In principle, yes. A Dumbo drive is probably another matter. Are you
familiar with that design?
Antimatter-catalyzed fission does look good, too. I hadn't heard of it
prior to this thread.

> > And be sure to include space rot for facilities/equipment that stay
> > operational long enough. You have probably heard about the space plaque
> > (mold+bacteria colonies on Mir's exterior, that eat quartz and
> > titanium--not the plaque on Voyager...)? I am wondering if the damage is
> > exacerbated by free singlet oxygen (prevalent at those altitudes
> > IIRC)...
> I have definite plans for introducing the wonders of accidental space
> ecology in the game. One of the things they will need to get working
> is a small ecosystem to supplement their food and recycle waste. Space
> molds might be more dangerous than meteors to the mission.
> However, I have not heard anything about any colonies on Mir's
> *exterior*. That sounds rather unlikely, especially if they were
> eating low-energy stuff like quartz.

See my reply to Spike. The impression I had was that the quartz etc. was
getting corroded by organic acids (think of lichen), and that the
sustenance was from dandruff and urine dump residue, etc. However, I
don't find any good source for the "outside" stuff. Too bad, sort of.


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