LENR Thermal Rocket (Axil Axil)

The following post was submitted by Axil Axil

The nuclear rocket is such an attractive concept for space exploration that the space fairing nations of the world have repeatedly experimented with this concept for the last 50 years in an attempt to perfect this idea. Even with the great dangers and disadvantages in this approach involving radioactive contamination of vast swaths of their countries, its promise is overwhelming to the rocket engineers, if not the population under the fall of radioactive debris resulting from a launch failure.


Nuclear thermal rocket

As a thermal rocket that heats liquid hydrogen to 1400C, a nuclear rocket’s specific impulse is equal to that of the space shuttle. The specific impulse is a measure that can be thought of as thrust divided by propellant mass per unit time. If the temperature of the hydrogen exhaust gas can be raised between 2000C and 3000C degrees, its spacific impulse would be great enough to lift 10 to 20 times the payload of the space shuttle into orbit using the same size vehicle. Truly, if a safe source of refactory level heat can be found to heat hydrogen gas to incandescence, or even just beyond 1000C, the door to the exploitation and commercialization of the solar system would be thrown wide opened to space based exploration and utilization.

Now, with the advent of the Hot Cat, a way to heat hydrogen rocket exhaust gas could now provide a safe and effective way to lift massive amounts of payload into orbit at a greatly reduced cost. The LENR boost vehicle could do more for space exploration than the Space Elevator could ever do and it would be a lot less expensive.

The design goal of such a LENR booster is to produce 4 gigawatts of heat for 170 seconds. How could this be done? Well let’s figure out a way to get many Hot cat alumina reactors to mealt down at a controlled and sustained rate.

Let’s feed Hot Cat inches long reactor rods of alumina into a chamber of heat and EMF excitation to melt down like a steam engine burns coal. A bin full of Hot Cat rods can be fed from a hopper into an Hot Cat ignition chamber where other Hot Cats are in various stages of melt down mixed with liquid hydrogen. A Cat and mouse process would keep the Hot Cat chamber at 3000C for the 20 seconds that it takes each Hot cat tube to disintegrate. The bottom of the Hot Cat tube pile would be the hottest the the top of the pile just starting the burnup process. A screen of refactory material at the end of the ignition chamber would allow Hot Cat fragments comprised of ruby dust and the vapor of nickel powder to be expelled out of the reaction nozzle along with the heated hydrogen. This should allow the Hot Cat booster to achieve orbit in a single stage. But I am sure that once all you who want to explore and utilize space put your minds to this task, you all can come up with a far more elegant solution to LENR booster technology.

Axil Axil

  • Gerard McEk

    Good idea, Axil. Let us hope we will ever reach a stage of controlled meld-down with LENR!

  • Observer

    June 29th, 2015 at 11:46 PM

    The first aviation e-cat will probably be an unmanned steam rocket with a single hot-cat reactor in a sealed water tank driven to critical failure. I believe you said that the 10 KW hot-cat that failed during the first 3rd party test reached 1MW output over a 10 second period. (We are still hoping to see the video some day.)

    Andrea Rossi
    June 30th, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    What you write makes sense. I substantially agree.
    Warm Regards,

  • Stephen

    Wow a rocket propelled on Ruby Dust !! It’s a beautiful image.

    I think in an atmosphere LENR would make an interesting core in a scram jet. I wonder what Alan Bond would come up with with this technology. Perhaps in a Skylon type vehicle Hydrogen fuel could be replaced by LENR device or used in a different way so that it also works sympathetically with the LENR process.

  • Andre Blum

    According to dr. Emmett Brown you have several choices if you need 1.21 gigawatts for a flux capacitor: plutonium, a lightning bolt or a Mr Fusion waste reactor. Additionally you need to reach a speed of 88 mph if you want to do time travel.

    4 gigawatts for 170 seconds is a higher bar, though.

  • Mats002

    Another idea: Use LENR knowledge to make a gravitational screening effect. LENR knowledge will lead to the conclusion that all forces are pushing and that gravity is the effect of the vacuum energy also known as zero-point energy. The underlying ubiquitous pressure produced by ZPE can be shielded at the atomic nucleus level, one evidence for this is the existence of Casimir effect. Polaritons are virtual large elementary particles. By creating larger fields of coherency at even higher frequences – about three orders of magnitude higher than virtual large/heavy electrons as LENR today – gravity effects will be effectively shielded.

    It’s name is EMDrive++

    • gdaigle

      … or LENR may be associated with the generation rather than screening of gravity-like fields. Mechanisms for producing gravitomagnetic “symmetry breaking” through either fermionic coupling – due to polarization of the vacuum induced by very strong magnetic fields applied to a crystalline lattice – or bosonic coupling induced by rotating superconductors producing Cooper pairs via phonons, generated by electron movement through the proton charge of the ions in the crystal lattice of the superconductor.

      The results would be a new boson, termed gravitophoton, the mediator particle between electromagnetism and novel gravity-like fields. Its decay would lead to a quintessence particle, an even weaker boson with a repulsive character. Together not just gravity shielding but non-propellent propulsion.

      Or so postulate the authors of Extended Heim Theory.

      • Mats002

        This can be another F&P story – Heim might have something but science is not ready for this yet. I will read more about him http://www.geoffreylandis.com/heim_theory.html

        • gdaigle

          Heim never took it far enough, and his math was bad. Instead, read Here and Here.

          • gdaigle

            Note also this from the authors of EHT… “EHT is not Heim theory, despite the similarity of the names. The name EHT was selected to honor B. Heim’s idea of internal gauge space. The concept of internal space in EHT is reminiscent of B. Heimís initial six-dimensional approach, but otherwise the two approaches are employing different physical concepts and there are no further relationships, except, of course, for the name.

  • Mats002

    Make your own due diligence, I suggest that after ECW info at the top, go here (NASA is trusted source?): http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/sensors/PhySen/docs/LENR_at_GRC_2011.pdf

  • Liquid Hydrogen is at a temperature of approximately – 253C.
    I postulated that a steam rocket was feasible.
    If the water was heated to just below transition to steam.
    prior to launch. I am aware that water is heaver than Hydrogen,
    But I see this as an advantage, as I have mentioned before,
    That there is possibility of “cracking the water then the perfect fuel exists.
    As Observer below mentioned to Mr Rossi.

  • Mytakeis

    maybe multi-layered nano-carbon sheets can be the container for the final thrust build up!

  • Alan DeAngelis

    After the space craft is outside of earth’s gravity well the MeV alphas from the following Hot- Cat reactor reaction could be used to SLOWLY accelerate the craft to high speeds.

    Li(7) + p > 2 He(4) 17.3 MeV.


    • Omega Z

      How about just generating a magnetic field so adverse to the space your in that it slings you through space. After we develop the inertial dampeners 1st of course. Otherwise, we may just end up with more goo for the 3-D printer.