This is a test platform craft to prove the concept of the following: A contained ship nuclear reactor, and a hybrid ion engine. Travel times of 2 weeks to Mars are guestimated possible with this craft.
About this creation
The Hybrid Ion test platform, designation XIO-001, named Pegasus, is a craft designed to test the capacity of the solid fuel ion engine, and the ship nuclear reactor design. The main hull design is 30' diameter by 54' length. Liquid fuel tank and solid fuel magazine measures 18' diameter by 36' length.
The powder magazine is where the fuel for the ion engine is stored. There are two powder storage compartments, seperatable by a shaft elevator.
The outer hull of the individual powder magazine compartments is intended to blow open should there be an errant fire in a compartment. The other compartment is shielded from the burn effects of the neighboring compartment. Comparable structure and design to the ammunition magazine of an M1 abrams tank.
Magazine compartment is maintained at high CO2/low pressure environment to reduce burn possiblities.
The trasport elevator serves as a compartment sealing hatch when in the middle position. This position is the default park position of the lift when not performing powder transport. When in this position, should either of the powder compartments start to burn, the outer hull of that compartment will open venting the burn away from the ship. The other compartment is shielded from the burn in the neighbor compartment.
The command and crew compartment is the primary living quarters of the crew. This compartment also contains the command and communications bridge. Also available in this compartment is the external docking airlock hatch, as well as life support systems, food, medical, instrument, and spare parts/filters storage.
The Pegasus can support a maximum crew of 10, minumum crew of 5.
Mounting equipment to hull walls is highly discouraged. Important safety issue is the hull being penetrated by a foriegn object. Emergency hole repair kits are located throughout the ship. Standard flight suit is a low pressure suite. The low pressure suit is designed to protect a crew member down to 0psi while inside the ship for an indefinate period of time. Emergency respirators are available throughout the ship.
The Pegasus sports a standard closed system nuclear reactor power unit, and high capacity battery storage system. The closed loop reactor core can be ejected from the ship should reaction control be lost.
Only a fraction of power from the nuclear reactor is needed to run the ship in it's entirety. The planned expansion of the ship design is to use the remaining power from the reactor to power an iron atomizer that will inject molten iron gas into the exhaust ion stream. By moving very heavy atoms at very high speeds as exhaust, we will get moving really fast.
Reactor core can be rapidly ejected from the ship should there be a loss of reaction control. The clean fluid transfer pipes are explosively detached from the heat exchange transfer pump, the hatch door on the hull of the ship is opened and the core unit/heat transfer pump assembly, are ejected out of the ship.
This engine combines a dual, reloadable solid fuel burning system with an ion accelerator. The solid propellant bags are loaded into the breach of the burn chambers. When ignited, the expanding gasses spin the turbine electric generator. The power from the electric generator passes through two step up transformation stages 1) ionize the hot burn gasses, 2) accelerate the burn gasses out the exhaust.
Heavy transmissions and dual high speed fuel pumps are not needed in this design due to the solid fuel containing it's own oxidizer. Missing from the engine room however are two nitrogen pumps to circulate cooling through various parts of the engine such as the burn chamber exteriors and high energy ion accelerating coils.