jump to navigation

Dr. Jim Dewar, Sunday, 12-6-15 December 7, 2015

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr. Jim Dewar, Sunday, 12-6-15


Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you rate shows on live365.com, email me your rating reasons to help improve the show

Please download and read Dr. Dewar’s paper here:  a-technical-note-on-nuclear-rockets-1-2

Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) Dewar.  Topics:  The nuclear rocket, changing the paradigm to use it for economic growth to LEO.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Dr. Jim Dewar to the show to discuss his plans for the use of nuclear rockets specifically from Earth to LEO.  In addition, Jim’s book (it is out of print) “The Nuclear Rocket: Making Our Planet Green, Peaceful And Prosperous” is being made available as a Space Show fundraiser and we thank Jim for this great gift.  You can get a new paperback autographed copy of this book for a $50 contribution to The Space Show.  Please make your contribution using Pay Pal on TSS or OGLF websites or mail a check to TSS as instructed on the donation page of the websites.  Also, send me an email telling me your $50 contribution is for Jim’s book, provide your full name and your mailing address.  I need this email to know you want the book in exchange for your donation.  As of the time I am archiving this show, I have only ten remaining copies of the book to give away so act fast as once they are gone, this offer ends.  During the first segment of our two hour show, Dr. Dewar outlined his plan to break the nuclear rocket ban on using a nuclear rocket from Earth to LEO.  Jim spent some time explaining the history behind this ban which is not law!  The ban came to be in 1960 as a result of a luncheon meeting.  Listen to his telling of this story.  Do you find all of this frustrating?  I asked Jim how nuclear propulsion would work from Earth to LEO.  As you will hear, he said it was applicable to second or third stages on the rocket, not the first stage of the rocket.  He explains this in detail so don’t miss it.  Most of the first segment was devoted to discussing this ban, the early nuclear rocket history and tests, questions about the Soviet Union nuclear rocket program, the U.S. Congress, and cost comparisons with chemical rockets figuring in the cost for permits, dealing with protestors, time delays, etc. Jim also explained the economic benefits of his unique public private partnership he wants to see created to do nuclear propulsion to LEO and why.  His methodology for making this happen is potentially doable.

In the second segment, we continued talking tech about the nuclear rocket including core issues, the possibility of gas cores, specific impulse for the NTR, then a question came in about supporting the NewSpace agenda of NASA supporting space settlement and low cost space access.  He was asked if the NTR plan he was proposing supported these NewSpace goals.  Don’t miss what he had to say about this as I believe it was an important part of the discussion.  Jim repeated often during the show that as a nation we were nearly $20 trillion in debt and bankrupt. He then explained the economics of his program and why they would benefit NASA and the country in this challenging economic time rather than be deleted as a program that was just too costly.  Quite the opposite, he stated his program was made to order for these tough economic times.  See if you agree.  I do and we talked about it some more at length as we neared the end of our program. I suggested a sales approach that was much broader than just the space industry.   John in Ft. Worth called to discuss many technical issues and core temperatures.  BJohn wanted to know if the NTR should be reusable and refuelable.  Joe wanted to know how to start the program to advocate the public private partnership Jim was talking about and which he fully describes in his book.  Comments came up regarding Dr. Zubrin and the nuclear salt water rocket,  (see http://path-2.narod.ru/design/base_e/nswr.pdf).  Near the end of the show when we were talking about creating the needed policy for the partnership, Dr. Dewar referenced Admiral Rickover as a model for the type of leadership needed to make the NTR project happen.  As the program was ending, questions came up about Thorium and U233.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog per above.  You can reach Dr. Dewar about his first book or anything else through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will send you his email address or forward your note.

Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12 February 12, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12



Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) A. Dewar.  Topics:  Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), changing paradigms to use the NTR from Earth launch, nuclear economics.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Dr. Dewar back to The Space Show to further discuss the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) and his paradigm changing approach to use the NTR to launch from Earth rather than using it only in space.  During this nearly 2.5 hour discussion, Dr. Dewar makes the case for the NTR based on probable economics, the previous history associated with NERVA, and the assumed benefits flowing to private companies engaged in public private partnerships along the lines Dr. Dewar described.  In the first segment, Dr. Dewar started out describing the existing barriers to using the NTR to LEO rather than only in space, plus he referred us to his 29 page introductory paper which is available on The Space Show blog for your download and review.  During this segment, we fielded many listener emails and calls wanting to discuss the NTR ISP, possible fuels, testing, and legal issues impacting the use of the nuclear rocket. Michael called and talked about the discussions for a new treaty, the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) and how that would adversely impact using the NTR.  Dr. Dewar talked about treaty issues over the years and suggested that treaties are not that easy to establish in this era while suggesting that they could also be modified.  Near the end of the first segment, questions about thorium came up as did questions about additional commercial uses for the nuclear engine here on Earth. 

In the second longer segment, we talked about winning over the public and the media.  Charles Pooley called in with a set of questions and we talked about reentry vehicles, highly enriched uranium, and more.  Jim described a Titan missile accident in Arkansas as an example of the safety controls even in a very large explosion.  Another listener asked about cooling and Jim told us about pulse cooling.  Dr. Dewar’s air launch idea was brought up again by another caller andMarshall sent in an email inquiring about the nuclear engine replacing coal in our terrestrial power plants to make electricity.  I asked Dr. Dewar about risk assessment for the nuclear rocket and reprocessing given terrorism, etc.  He said the reprocessed material would be carefully guarded but also weighed against the environmental risks associated with burying waste, burning it, or even dumping waste in the ocean.  Dr. Dewar was asked about using the nuclear rocket only in space rather than attempting to use it to launch from Earth.  He compared using it only in space to the Pony Express. Don’t miss his full response in replying to this question.  Later in this segment, I asked Jim for his first step in advancing the NTR.  He said the first step was to get people talking about the subject.  Tom called in and also wondered how to get people to rally to the cause.  Near the end of the program, Jim talked some more about potential economic benefits along with secondary commercial products such as heat pipes.  As our program was ending ion engines came up as did Vasimr.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact Dr. Dewar, send your note to me for forwarding.

To download and read Dr. Dewar’s paper, see below:

A Technical and Economic Introduction to Nuclear Rockets

A Technical Note on Nuclear Rockets-1