No announcement yet.

[FG] Real World "Flash Gordon" Rocket Engine

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [FG] Real World "Flash Gordon" Rocket Engine

    I've been reading about atomic rockets - specifically Orion-style "torch" drives - for the last little while and while doing so I came across this:

    This system sounds like just the thing for a Flash-Gordon-style "radium" rocket, save for the minor problem of the thrust being a continuous nuclear explosion . . .

    Except . . .

    I discovered in the course of other research that landing and lift-off using a platform floating on the sea (such as SpaceX uses) would essentially eliminate the fallout issue, since seawater wouldn't form any significant fallout. Alternatively, something like the catapults seen in one of the comics panels in the Flash Gordon rule book would likewise prevent significant fallout, as they would allow the engine to be started only once the craft was in the air.

    One would think that a floating launch platform would be single-use but it turns out that if the platform is coated in a thin layer of oil or graphite, it wouldn't be significantly eroded by such necessarily-very-brief exposure (this was discovered by accident while testing model Orion drive rockets in the 1960s). One would also think that such a platform would be irradiated heavily, but exposure is short duration and narrow focus (e. g. magnetic containment fields are used to improve thrust), so lingering radiation on a steel structure would be comparatively low.

    Of course, performing an emergency landing/lift-off on the ground in some savage outback area would produce a very large crater, which would glow in the dark for a few millenia . . .

    Perhaps the best part (from a GM's POV)? A weapons hit which breaches the fuel tank of such a rocket could result in an *uncontrolled* nuclear explosion!
    Last edited by raikenclw; 03-02-2019, 02:09 AM.