> the high temperatures generated by the fission reactor can be transferred to a liquid propellant expanded and exhausted through a nozzle to propel the spacecraft.
Steam powered rockets! Something very Jules Verne about that.
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I am not a physicist, but - successfully firing one cylinder is the same as ignition in this case.
The lasers created the plasma, providing the "spark", pumping a certain amount of energy into the system.
"Ignition" is being used here in the same way as "over unity", the extra energy measured had to come from release of stored potential energy. Chemical reaction, ignition, in an internal combustion engine; nuclear fission, in this experiment.
Minute quantities of fuel involved in this experiment.
Doing useful work with the extra energy on a larger scale is left as an exercise for the steam power enthusiasts of the future.
I'm sure this will restart the debate on terraforming Venus.
Aside from a few "minor details", like what to do with all that sulfuric acid, the main problem seems to be reining in the greenhouse effect.
I'd like to see a model where the sunlight/insolation is reduced and the temperature falls just enough that the carbon dioxide starts falling as snow, at the poles.
If your recipe calls for a drachm of soda, a gill of milk, and two dozen ounces of flour, I'll say "you've got to be firkin kidding me" and give up. But if it lists the equivalent in grams, I can meet you halfway.
Maybe not so important in this age of the Babelfish, but translations help your message reach a wider audience.
In fiction: "Lucifer's Hammer", which in part gives a mixed US-Soviet space station crew a front-row seat to the spectacle of comet fragments hitting Earth, and the subsequent nuclear exchange (!).
In real life: Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who went to MIR then had real trouble booking a flight home. http://discovermagazine.com/2016/dec/the-last-soviet-citizen
From the Google translate of the Google archive (yeah, I know) of aihangtian.com linked in the article:
"After the rocket took off south west direction of flight, launch orbit is sun-synchronous orbit. Unfortunately, the launch failure, the satellite did not enter orbit. A Long March rocket four C working properly and crashed into Hill County Shangluo City in Shaanxi Province; fairing also successfully separated, and falling in Enshi City Shing Xiangjiaba territory."
Most likely they're just referencing administrative regions.
But in related history, last week a commenter posted this link to a 1994 disaster at Xichang launch site, and the accompanying state reaction. FYI: