how do nukes explode in space ?....

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tomorows_scientist

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<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ok well what im really tring to say would a nuke ever expload in space ?.. there is for example no oxygen is space so how would this nuke go off ?.. there wouldnt be an explosion would there be ?... or does spliting an atom just automatically create a huge amount of force that pushes outwords ?.. well now im just creating more quistions lol... does spliting the atom actually create an explosion or is what we are using to split an atom really what makes the huge explosion ?... lol ok so basically if you split an atom in space what will happen there cant be a huge fire explosion because there in no oxygen to create the fire and the huge explosion so what would it do in space ?... has this ever been tested ?.. like for example the idea to remove astroids out of the way of a collision course with earth... what would the nuke do to the astroid ?... like in hollywood they show a huge fire ball explosioin just blow the astroid into a billion little peices lol but there couldnt be fire .. right.. ok now im just repeating my quistion lol ok i hope you can understand my quistion.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>thanks&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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eburacum45

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<p>Yes, a nuclear explosion does create a huge amount of force which pushes outwards, but in space there is no matter for it to push (except some small amount of mass from the bomb casing itself) so the explosion simply becomes a huge flash of electromagnetic and other radiation. The Starfish Prime program experimented with exploding nuclear bombs in orbit, actually within the very thin envelope of the Earth's outer atmosphere. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime</p><p>video</p><p>http://youtube.com/watch?v=KZoic9vg1fw</p><p>Hope this helps...</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>---------------------------------------------------------------</p><p>http://orionsarm.com  http://thestarlark.blogspot.com/</p> </div>
 
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hal9891

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<p>Check out this website</p><p>It explains how nukes, laser cannons and other weapons would work in space.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div style="text-align:center"><font style="color:#808080" color="#999999"><font size="1">"I predict that within 100 years computers will be twice as powerful, 10000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them"</font></font><br /></div> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ok well what im really tring to say would a nuke ever expload in space ?.. there is for example no oxygen is space so how would this nuke go off ?.. there wouldnt be an explosion would there be ?... or does spliting an atom just automatically create a huge amount of force that pushes outwords ?.. well now im just creating more quistions lol... does spliting the atom actually create an explosion or is what we are using to split an atom really what makes the huge explosion ?... lol ok so basically if you split an atom in space what will happen there cant be a huge fire explosion because there in no oxygen to create the fire and the huge explosion so what would it do in space ?... has this ever been tested ?.. like for example the idea to remove astroids out of the way of a collision course with earth... what would the nuke do to the astroid ?... like in hollywood they show a huge fire ball explosioin just blow the astroid into a billion little peices lol but there couldnt be fire .. right.. ok now im just repeating my quistion lol ok i hope you can understand my quistion.&nbsp;thanks&nbsp; <br /> Posted by tomorows_scientist</DIV></p><p>Combustion explosions (like in a MOAB) require oxygen. Detonation of a thermonuclear or simple fission weapon does not. They're two entirely different roads to BOOM!</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p>Very quietly! <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border="0" alt="Wink" title="Wink" />&nbsp;(No air=no sound)</p><p>On a more serious note, from what I understand surface based nukes do use conventional explosives to force the core together to reach critical mass. I therefore assume they use specialized explosives for space based nukes that have the oxidizer built in.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p>Any bomb will work outside our atmosphere provided it brings with it the required material to sustain a reaction (chemical or nuclear).&nbsp; If the material contained in the bomb requires a reaction with the surround medium to sustain itself, then it will not work. The concussive effects of bombs in space are neglibible as there is no surrounding medium to either heat up and expand or force movement of. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Combustion explosions (like in a MOAB) require oxygen. Detonation of a thermonuclear or simple fission weapon does not. They're two entirely different roads to BOOM! <br /> Posted by dragon04</DIV></p><p>Minor niggle....</p><p>Actually, most conventional explosives do not rely on atmospheric oxygen either.&nbsp; In most cases, the oxidizer is mixed right into the explosive, so that it can burn very, very rapidly -- too rapidly for atmospheric oxygen to sustain it, in fact.&nbsp; (Exception: fuel-air bombs such as the MOAB, which use atmospheric oxygen as an additional source of oxidizer, increasing their yield.)&nbsp;</p><p>Conventional explosives are actually routinely used in outer space, mostly as small pyrotechnic charges to jettison spent rocket stages and things like that, though also for self-destruct purposes on more technologically or politically sensitive payloads.&nbsp; (All rockets also carry self-destruct packages in case they go awry during the boost phase, and these do work in a vacuum.)&nbsp; Dynamite, for instance, should explode just fine in space. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Minor niggle....Actually, most conventional explosives do not rely on atmospheric oxygen either.&nbsp; In most cases, the oxidizer is mixed right into the explosive, so that it can burn very, very rapidly -- too rapidly for atmospheric oxygen to sustain it, in fact.&nbsp; (Exception: fuel-air bombs such as the MOAB, which use atmospheric oxygen as an additional source of oxidizer, increasing their yield.)&nbsp;Conventional explosives are actually routinely used in outer space, mostly as small pyrotechnic charges to jettison spent rocket stages and things like that, though also for self-destruct purposes on more technologically or politically sensitive payloads.&nbsp; (All rockets also carry self-destruct packages in case they go awry during the boost phase, and these do work in a vacuum.)&nbsp; Dynamite, for instance, should explode just fine in space. <br />Posted by CalliArcale</DIV><br /><br />Hadn't thought about the speed of reaction requiring oxidizer already.</p><p>Thanx Calli!</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ok well what im really tring to say would a nuke ever expload in space ?.. there is for example no oxygen is space so how would this nuke go off ?.. there wouldnt be an explosion would there be ?... or does spliting an atom just automatically create a huge amount of force that pushes outwords ?.. well now im just creating more quistions lol... does spliting the atom actually create an explosion or is what we are using to split an atom really what makes the huge explosion ?... lol ok so basically if you split an atom in space what will happen there cant be a huge fire explosion because there in no oxygen to create the fire and the huge explosion so what would it do in space ?... has this ever been tested ?.. like for example the idea to remove astroids out of the way of a collision course with earth... what would the nuke do to the astroid ?... like in hollywood they show a huge fire ball explosioin just blow the astroid into a billion little peices lol but there couldnt be fire .. right.. ok now im just repeating my quistion lol ok i hope you can understand my quistion.&nbsp;thanks&nbsp; <br /> Posted by tomorows_scientist</DIV></p><p>A little more....</p><p>Hollywood tends to overdramatize things.&nbsp; There would likely be no visible fire -- as you say, no oxygen to make it burn.&nbsp; And certainly the nuke would not destroy the asteroid.&nbsp; It is beyond the reach of our entire nuclear arsenal to destroy a large asteroid comparable to the one depicted in the movie "Armageddon".&nbsp; One nuke would barely scratch it.&nbsp; We tend to grossly overestimate the destructive power of nukes in this field.</p><p>The best that we might be able to do is deflect the asteroid a bit. Thanks to Newton's Third Law (every action has an equal and opposite reaction), the nuclear blasts could be used to impart thrust to the asteroid.&nbsp; If we do it early enough, we might be able to nudge the asteroid just enough that it doesn't hit Earth, or comes close enough to another planet that it's orbit is altered by the other planet's gravity.&nbsp; This depends on early detection, though, and there is an awful lot of sky to watch.</p><p>Now, as to whether or not nukes have ever been tested in space....well, that's an interesting historical question.</p><p>In 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty forbade the testing of nukes in the water, the air, and in space.&nbsp; But before that, was Operation Argus.&nbsp; In 1958, in conjunction with the launch of Explorer 4 and under heavy secrecy, the United States launched three missiles from the South Atlantic, all armed with 1.7 kT warheads.&nbsp; They detonated at various altitudes, with the last and highest at 335 miles.&nbsp; This may be the highest nuclear blast ever, but of course one cannot be sure that there isn't a higher one hiding in some classified records somewhere.&nbsp; The objective was to determine whether or not it would be possible to create an artificial radiation belt similar to the Van Allen Belts, as predicted by Lawrence Livermore physicist Nicholas Christofilos.&nbsp; The answer was positive -- the tests did produce a shell of electrons around the Earth, persisting for several weeks.&nbsp; Such belts could be useful in war, since they tend to disrupt electronic communications and mess around with any spacecraft orbiting through them (including spysats, manned spacecraft, and ICBMs).&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp; The objective was to determine whether or not it would be possible to create an artificial radiation belt similar to the Van Allen Belts, as predicted by Lawrence Livermore physicist Nicholas Christofilos.&nbsp; The answer was positive -- the tests did produce a shell of electrons around the Earth, persisting for several weeks.&nbsp; Such belts could be useful in war, since they tend to disrupt electronic communications and mess around with any spacecraft orbiting through them (including spysats, manned spacecraft, and ICBMs).&nbsp; <br />Posted by CalliArcale</DIV><br /><br />Of course, that would screw up our satellites as well as "theirs" so would blind us as well.</p><p>Sauce for the goose.</p><p>BTW, Calli, I noticed in another post you tried to use the tags. They don't work and aren't needed anymore, just highlight the text and use the <strong><font size="2">B</font></strong> below :)</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Of course, that would screw up our satellites as well as "theirs" so would blind us as well.Sauce for the goose.BTW, Calli, I noticed in another post you tried to use the tags. They don't work and aren't needed anymore, just highlight the text and use the B below :) <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>Heh -- force of habit, I guess.&nbsp; ;-)&nbsp; I know they don't work, but I got too used to them.&nbsp; They're like second nature.</p><p>And yes, the main problem with blinding satellites is that it would mess up us too.&nbsp; However, sometimes that's worthwhile, especially if, unlike your enemy, you know it's coming in advance and have time to prepare.&nbsp; One of the fears about "rogue states" is that if they aren't as technologically sophisticated (i.e. they don't rely on satellites so much), this would not be so much of a problem for them.&nbsp; In other words, this research is more likely to benefit our enemies than ourselves. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

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<p>Nuclear explosions in space:</p><p>Well, in the shortrun, there's no shockwave to speak of in any physical sense with just a nuclear detonation.&nbsp; On Earth, the main force of a nuclear detonation's destructive power is concentrated in the shockwave - The massive displacement/reaction of air being vaporized and infused with a heck of a lot of energy.&nbsp; The outgoing shockwave and the highly destructive bounce-back comprise most of the damage.&nbsp; Of course, heat is a factor as well and that will cause extensive secondary damage as structures begin to burn.&nbsp; Radiation is obvious but as far as immediate damage, most of it is not the issue.</p><p>In space, there simply is nothing normally present to give a reactive force similar to a shockwave.&nbsp; What you end up with is still a massive release of radiation, UV/X-rays/etc along with a brief but intense moment of heat that dissipates very rapidly for obvious reasons.&nbsp; The important thing to note is that the amount of energy generated&nbsp; hasn't changed but because that energy is released into a vacuum there is much less for it to react with in order to produce usable work.</p><p>However, if, for instance, a nuclear bomb was to be used to deflect/affect the trajectory of an asteroid or a comet, there are a number of differing ways to go about harnessing that energy into something useful.&nbsp; A reaction mass, polyethylene is a good one as it is opaque to much of the radiation and would maximize the energy released (So, start conserving your plastics...), could be used to harness and focus that energy.&nbsp; The weapon would explode, impacting the reaction mass and forming a very intense plasma which could actually be shaped and used to affect the trajectory of a body in space.</p><p>Another way would be a direct strike.&nbsp; This is somewhat problematic.&nbsp; For one, you don't know where all the pieces are going to end up.&nbsp; It's like hitting a massive collection of billiard balls and hoping that one of them doesn't come bouncing back at you.&nbsp; Another problem is that you don't necessarily know the composition of the body you are impacting.&nbsp; A loose collection of gravel with a few big rocks in it doesn't necessarily care about some puny little nuke.&nbsp; It will absorb a lot of energy before being significantly effected.&nbsp; The materials that are vaporized matter as well.&nbsp; Combinations of materials may be more susceptible to radiation than others so unpredictable results would be.. predictable.&nbsp; Contrary to popular opinion, we just can't guarrantee the "dusting" of a body in a vacuum by nuclear weapons.</p><p>Most likely, several nuclear devices would be launched with multiple redundancies and, IMO, a large failsafe backup armed with reaction mass appropriately distributed for a nice 200deg+ ball of directed plasma to, hopefully, catch whatever was left over.&nbsp; The plasma released from nuclear explosions and reaction masses would be designed to affect the trajectory of the body and, hopefully, push it off a couple of degrees so that it would either burn up as it grazed the Earth's atmosphere or miss the Earth completely.&nbsp; The last ditch effort would be to combine several direct impactors along with the failsafe as a "cleanup" blast to break the object into small pieces so, hopefully, a greater portion of it's mass would either bounce off the atmosphere or burn up. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>..And yes, the main problem with blinding satellites is that it would mess up us too.&nbsp; However, sometimes that's worthwhile, especially if, unlike your enemy, you know it's coming in advance and have time to prepare.&nbsp; One of the fears about "rogue states" is that if they aren't as technologically sophisticated (i.e. they don't rely on satellites so much), this would not be so much of a problem for them.&nbsp; In other words, this research is more likely to benefit our enemies than ourselves. Posted by CalliArcale</DIV></p><p>The one thing about using nukes to take out satellites is that, beside the obvious shortfall of releasing massive amounts of particles in a trajectory with your own sensitive equipment, is that it's somewhat like trying to build a nice sandcastle with hand-grenades.&nbsp; Sure, you could do it but it's a little bit of overkill.&nbsp; A bucket of ball bearings and a stick of dynamite would probably yield better and more predictable results. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The one thing about using nukes to take out satellites is that, beside the obvious shortfall of releasing massive amounts of particles in a trajectory with your own sensitive equipment, is that it's somewhat like trying to build a nice sandcastle with hand-grenades.&nbsp; Sure, you could do it but it's a little bit of overkill.&nbsp; A bucket of ball bearings and a stick of dynamite would probably yield better and more predictable results. <br /> Posted by a_lost_packet_</DIV></p><p>The idea isn't to take them out physically but to create an area of such high radiation that it overloads their electronics when they pass through it.&nbsp; This can affect lots more satellites with a single shot than a kinetic energy weapon, can additionally disrupt regular radio transmissions below the affected area, and doesn't require very precise aim.&nbsp; The best results would be obtained by aiming for the South Atlantic Anomaly, as was done in Operation Argus. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Combustion explosions (like in a MOAB) require oxygen. Detonation of a thermonuclear or simple fission weapon does not. They're two entirely different roads to BOOM! <br />Posted by dragon04</DIV></p><p>Actually they go off very&nbsp;silently&nbsp; </p><p>(dragon04, I know you didn't mean&nbsp;'boom' as a noise)<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Actually they go off very&nbsp;silently&nbsp; (dragon04, I know you didn't mean&nbsp;'boom' as a noise) <br /> Posted by silylene</font></DIV></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Hi silylene, </font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Also in some crappy Hollwood films, etc, nuclear or other explosions in space are often shown billowing. There would be no billowing or mushroom clouds, because they require an atmosphere.</font></strong></p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Very quietly! <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border="0" alt="Wink" title="Wink" />&nbsp;(No air=no sound)On a more serious note, from what I understand surface based nukes do use conventional explosives to force the core together to reach critical mass. Posted by MeteorWayne</font></DIV></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Hi Wayne, </font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">The nukes on Earth are encased in conventional explosives to compress the core to critical denisty. Of course the pressure must be applied evenly, otherwise you end up with a dirty bomb, conventional much less powerful explosion but instead scattering radioactive particles, rather than the core going nuclear.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000000">Andrew Brown.</font></strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Very quietly! &nbsp;(No air=no sound)On a more serious note, from what I understand surface based nukes do use conventional explosives to force the core together to reach critical mass. I therefore assume they use specialized explosives for space based nukes that have the oxidizer built in. <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>Explosions, detonations,&nbsp;do not proceed by normal combustion.&nbsp; The breakdown of the molecule releases energy.&nbsp; Some high explosives, such as HMX are actually used as oxidizers in solid rocket propellants.</p><p>I am under the impression that the explosives used in nukes have very short run-ups to detonation and are therefore very controllable in being able to generate a uniform detonation wave that compresses the fissionable material to get the chain reaction cranking.&nbsp; I don't think you would need to change anything for the device to be used in space.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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