What is the fastest way to put trash into the Sun?

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willpittenger

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No misses allowed. Assume the "trash" is something like used nuclear fission rods. How big of a craft would be needed? What would launch and propel it? How much trash mass per craft would be allowed?<br /><br />I am not suggesting we start doing that. Rather, I figure the evidence will prevent such attempts. However, it would be interesting to see how close it could come. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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henryhallam

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You need about 30km/s of delta V from earth escape. Have to use a big ion drive and probably some planet encounters. It's a really stupid idea.
 
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kelvinzero

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Mass driver from the moon! But the moon is plenty safe, far (and hard) enough. The only reason I can see to dump something into the sun is if it is so dangerous you do not wish to even allow future generations the oportunity to recover it, for their own safety. William Shatners greatest hits for example <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <br /><br />Again, this is really a space business and technology topic. Although it involves launch, it isnt about a particular launch or mission. The way I personally classify the forums is:<li> Missions and launches: Missions we actually have scheduled or are debating scheduling. Lots of experts here actually involved in building the things.<li> Space Business and Tech: Space technology that is a long way from making it into a specific mission but is based on accepted physics. (the discussion should be on the technology and business applications, not if the physics is accepted)<li> Phenomena, concerning physics outside the accepted, also metaphysics type discussions. Phenomena does not include Hicup in drag, for example.<li> Free Space: Hicup in drag, denouncing Iraqi feminists and liberals <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /></li></li></li></li>
 
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vogon13

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Just thought of this:<br /><br />It would be slow, and take no fuel. Use the heavy fuel rods as a 'keel' to hold unpowered unaimed light sail in position relative to sun angle, to dissipate orbital velocity, and then just fall in.<br /><br />Probably not too hard to avoid Venus (who cares, btw ??) and Mercury on the way in.<br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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Something that will be radioactive for millenia might be in the same category. The problem with Yucca Mountain is two-fold. First, you have to get around the "Not in my backyard" syndrome. (Not only does no one want the stuff stored in their backyard, but no one wants it sent through their area en-route to the storage area. Second, all the known languages on Earth will probably be extinct by the time the use reactor fuel is non-radioactive. So how do you label something as dangerous when no known language will be understood. Personally, I think Yucca Mountain is a better choice, but with a good launch system and a high rate of disposal, that might change. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Probably not too hard to avoid Venus (who cares, btw ??) and Mercury on the way in.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Actually, terraformers of Venus and colonists (probably miners) of Mercury might care. The last thing they want is to find radioactive crash sites there. Before you laugh, <i>3001</i> included ships going into the outer solar system (which is how they found Poole), grabbing comets, wrapping them in foil, and the placing them on trajectories that impacted Venus. The <i>Red Mars</i>/<i>Green Mars</i>/<i>Blue Mars</i> series also had a station on Mercury that stayed on the terminator line by riding rails that expanded in the heat. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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henryhallam

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Risk and consequences of RUD during launch from Earth, whether by rocket, space elevator or magic pixies is always going to be worse than burying it in a safe place under a mountain or ocean.
 
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vogon13

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Mods:<br /><br />Time to put this thread in phenomena.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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henryhallam

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<font color="yellow">So how do you label something as dangerous when no known language will be understood. </font><br /><br />An interesting study was carried out on this.<br />
 
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willpittenger

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I agree. In fact, back in college that was something I pointed out in a paper for my English class. However, at least once it is in the Sun, it is completely gone taking all risks with it. No mountain can ever claim that. Now if the ocean trenches were to move faster, they might work -- unless there is life in the area. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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At which point, I will abandon the thread. I don't bother with that forum. This thread was intended to discuss possibilities -- not religious beliefs. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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Just realized that the entire solar sail craft does not need to impact the Sun. Once you kill your orbital velocity, let go of the fuel load. Otherwise, you would have to move or furl the sail. As is, you still need to change the sail angle, but it can now return to Earth for another load. No point wasting a perfectly good spacecraft. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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vogon13

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3001, Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars are works of FICTION.<br /><br />You started it.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><font color="yellow"> <b><i>Annoying the world, one idiot at a time. <br /><br /><br /><br />Annoying the world, one idiot at a time. <br /><br /></i></b></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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So? All I did was point out that someone, who happen to be well respected SF authors, thought that it might eventually be possible. I am sure that when Henry Ford proposed his car for the masses to Oldsmobile, they treated it as fiction. Yet just a few short years later, Ford had his own company selling Model T's as fast as he could build them. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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satrianifan

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What, trashing the Earth ain't enough?<br />Why mess with Sol? Wouldn't it seem more prudent to trash nothing (psst...the other direction).
 
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qso1

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I think trashing SOL would be far more difficult than trashing the Earth. Any thing we send sunward, especially actually into the sun will be burned beyond existence when it reaches depths where the temperature is high enough to vaporize most anything. <br /><br />It is a popular idea to send trash sunward but an equally good idea to send it towards nothing. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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A friend of mine asked me about this very thing nearly two decades ago. He specified the delivery of nuclear waste into the sun. I told him to look up the annual tonnage of waste generated and he did. As I expected, that figure (Don't have it handy right now) was far greater than launch capacity in 1985 or even now could handle.<br /><br />This meant coming up with some kind of launch technology that would be practical but somewhat cutting edge technology.<br /><br />I developed an idea based on electromagnetic rail launchers but in the end, the idea turned out likely to be too expensive to incorporate. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

Guest
We could drop the entire planet into the sun without giving it more than a momentary pimple.<br /><br />I still thing the major argument against it is that there is nothing we need to get rid of that completely. Dropping it on the moon would be perfectly safe even to moon settlements. By the time we develop even THAT infrastructure SSP will be practical so we wont have a reason to generate nuclear waste on earth.<br /><br />The nuclear waste of today will probably be a valuable source of rare elements tomorrow and if we drop it into the sun it is gone for good, assuming it doesnt waft back to us on the solar wind. The most extreme example of destroying unrenuable resources!
 
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holmec

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Or maybe it has to wait for an elevator......... space elevator that is. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Good possibility. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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RUD is only a spacex term and is not common to other contractors or orgs. <br /><br />Also RUD only applies to engines. Not every launch vehicle failure is an explosion
 
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jimfromnsf

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"Assume the "trash" is something like used nuclear fission rods. How big of a craft would be needed? What would launch and propel it? How much trash mass per craft would be allowed? "<br /><br />How many angels can fit on a pinhead?<br /><br />Name any launch vehicle that performs GTO missions, they could launch stuff to the sun. the payload mass determines the vehicle
 
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rfoshaug

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A lot of people don't know how hard it is to impact the Sun, after all it would just have to "fall down" to the Sun, right?<br /><br />But actually, sending the waste on an escape trajectory from the solar system would require less delta-v than crashing it into the sun.<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff9900">----------------------------------</font></p><p><font color="#ff9900">My minds have many opinions</font></p> </div>
 
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larper

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Of course, the real question is, "Why would you want to get rid of perfectly good energy sources to begin with?" <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Vote </font><font color="#3366ff">Libertarian</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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So you saying you would need a booster (TransSolarInjector) from GTO to:<br /><br />1. break Earth orbit<br /><br />2. direct trash to proper trajectory to loose Solar orbit altitude.<br /><br />Or a ion engine, or a solar sail.........as some others have suggested. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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