March 10, 2019

Since That Last Post Was Depressing (UPDATED)

Here's something to give existential threat assessors hives, and the rest of us hope.

It's Ryan Weed,  the CEO of Positron Dynamics who claims to have solved antimatter's production and containment issues. He's getting around the storage problem by the elegant method of avoiding it totally. They're generating positrons  on the spot (using Krypton79 decaying to Kr78 ) and firing them into deuterium to catalyze fusion. The neutrons from the reaction transmutes the Kr78 back to Kr79 and the associated 'splody travels out the tailpipe and goes "woosh".  Research is looking promising, but there are already some interesting spinoffs, which include a nuclear battery with a yield of as much as 100 watts a kilogram. 





UPDATE:

Here's an animation of how their system is supposed to work.




Peter Thiel has invested in the company
and their development has been promising enough that NASA gave them a big grant last March.
Time will tell. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:55 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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March 08, 2019

It Went Splash, Not Splat!

The most important part of a successful manned spacecraft is the ability to return It's crew safely.

Oh look!



 



"The plushy and the robot have not lodged complaints!"

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:49 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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