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# Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

## Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

(OP)
Facts are slowly coming out, since Russia isn't very open about nuclear accidents, or its military (gee I wonder why).

The usual caution: some western media may fill the void in facts with their own speculation. It probably is a missile with nuclear propulsion, but journalists are jumping to conclusions about specifically which one it may be. If true however, missile propulsion from a nuclear reactor is a prospect I really don't want to think about.

An article with many possibly unconfirmed details:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ru...

Somewhat better article:
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjw8kv/a-nuclea...

A town is being evacuated:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyonoksa

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

Gads what numb skulls. Do they really think the US has designs on attacking them? Heads-in-the-sand.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

They don't, probably; much is about politics and having an existential threat to distract the populace from the real problems of standard of living and rampant corruption.

US isn't really that different; do we really think that we'll need our nuclear triad to defend against the Russians?

Another point is that while neither the US or the Russians might attack each other, the same cannot be completely said of any other country in the world, like, say, North Korea.

And while Trump is trying to distract the US with "Space Force," the reality is that 3 other countries have already demonstrated the capability and willingness to deploy and use satellite killers.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

I think the missile was Putin's attempt to keep Trump in power by giving Trump's base something to strong-man about. The application of a nuclear powered missile has already been explored and found to be of microscopic use. Anyone launching one will just participate in a War Games movie scenarios. Some were quite pretty, but wearing an anti-radiation suit would decrease Putin's enjoyment of his retirement horse-back riding. Also consider that the Chinese, having all their current plans put into the garbage, might find it worth while to send a 300 million man army across Russia to ensure there are none left for part two and might get a similar number stirred up from India.

The sad thing is that satellite killers will send everyone back at least 50 years and keep it that way for a few thousand. It's like unleashing an incurable virus with no vaccine in order to harm the enemy. I knew at least one guy working out the first test for an F-15 ASAT launch and, had I a time portal, might reach back and smack some sense into him on the off chance that it could ripple into a general realization if the US did one then everyone would feel similarly compelled to show they could also, rather than setting up a no-damage treaty for satellites.

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

I'm guessing the nuclear propulsion component refers to an orbital propulsion technology, not atmospheric. Or is there some principle for the use of nuclear isotopes in liquid propulsion?

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

When I hear 'nuclear and 'missile in the same sentence, I think of something like Project Pluto. Project Pluto was a late 50's military development to build a nuclear ram-jet engine to power what we would now call a cruise missile. Given that Russia has recently announced having hypersonic weapons I assume they're trying to create a nuclear powered hypersonic cruise missile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pluto

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

Had an engineer share holder at a company I worked at who worked on our nuclear powered engine. He had some crazy stories. Apparently they had to run hundreds of air compressors for days before a few minute run of the engine. Polluted like hell.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

(OP)
Better coverage from the New York Times.

Similar but not specific descriptions of the machine:
...
Putin said Russian scientists had developed a “small-scale, heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile.”
...
"It was a rocket with a nuclear engine,” Yulia Latinina, a columnist for Novaya Gazeta, an opposition newspaper, wrote. “And when it blows up it is a liquid unit with isotopic sources.”
...
Rosatom said in a statement that scientists were studying an “isotope power source for a liquid engine unit,” the company said.

So I think they are talking about nuclear propulsion to give a missile thrust, and a separate issue from the warhead that it might carry.

Sleep well, folks.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

Here's an article about a similar nuclear-powered cruise missile program that the US abandoned more than 50 years ago. Officially, it was called SLAM (Supersonic Low Altitude Missile). Unofficially, it was called 'The Big Stick'.

Why the U.S. Abandoned Nuclear-Powered Missiles More Than 50 Years Ago

President Donald Trump says the U.S. has a missile like the one that killed seven in the Russian arctic. That's untrue, because the U.S. abandoned the idea decades ago.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

I'm still having trouble figuring out what principle is involved. As best I can tell from what has been posted, a small nuclear reactor runs an electric turbine on a ramjet engine so that the missile can operate indefinitely at low altitude (atmospheric).

Edit: I can't make any sense out out of the references to a liquid rocket.

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

A regular air breathing engine takes air in and heats it, causing the volume to increase, and uses that increased volume and energy to jet out the back for propulsion. There's no need to use fuel if there is some other source of heat.

All I can think of is that a scramjet needs to be boosted to a high speed in order to use shockwave compression; maybe instead of using an external booster they just dump liquid in to cause enough volume increase to get going from 0 mph, saving the extra external component and ensuring the nuclear pile is completely functional before leaving the pad.

If the nuclear pile was sent critical at launch and there wasn't enough airflow it would just melt on the pad; if they launch it and it fails to go critical then it crashes nearby with a smashed nuclear pile. Better to pour liquid in, and if the pile goes critical, away it goes, all working. If the pile fails, then they have it in one piece to figure it out.

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

(OP)
NASA is still studying it:

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

That's a power-point presentation, implying a text that goes along with it, but sadly not included. The slides need some explanation to be fully understood, but there is a link embedded in it:

https://youtu.be/miy2mbs2zAQ

Those are spacecraft applications, and they assume the fuel is transported with the vehicle. Could the Russians have been trying to build such an engine that breathes air?

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

#### Quote (3DDave)

All I can think of is that a scramjet needs to be boosted to a high speed in order to use shockwave compression...

This is from the article I posted earlier today:

SLAM, also known unofficially known as "The Big Stick," was designed as a low-flying cruise missile. A rocket booster would launch SLAM into the air and boost it to speeds where its nuclear-powered ramjet engine would kick in. Once activated, the engine would give SLAM a top speed of Mach 3.5.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

The NASA space probe nuclear engine and the SLAM engines are slightly different. The SLAM, once boosted to RAMJET speeds, would suck in atmosphere, super-heat it in the nuclear engine and get essentially infinite fly time at Mach 3-4. NASA's nuclear engine would superheat a fuel that's carried on board, and has a limited fueled flight time, but the side-effects of radioactive exhaust, sonic booms, etc, are not of major concern.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

#### Quote:

And while Trump is trying to distract the US with "Space Force," the reality is that 3 other countries have already demonstrated the capability and willingness to deploy and use satellite killers.

Given his demonstrated willingness to juggle budgets and staff between agencies, I'd say launching the "Space Force" was a pretty smart strategic move if the goal was to accomplish anything in space regardless if its military or exploratory. The three services have all staffed small Space Commands for decades sponsoring separate research with separate goals. We've also had NASA on the civilian side, and they've been criticized in recent decades for their inability to accomplish stated goals in a timely manner. Private space exploration has proved a dud, so why not bring the military back into the equation as we had through the 70s?

I'd caution anyone jumping to conclusions about the militarization of technology with limited information. Al Shepherd rode a missile as a commissioned Naval officer for NASA with peaceful, exploratory intentions. This could be the beginning of something good, something bad, or nothing at all.

### RE: Missile Test Failure, Northern Russia

Not sure how current NASA is comparable to military and/or original NASA, given that current NASA is mostly about pure science, and manned missions have been completely limited to Space Station, and there's no real time limit on pure science missions. The military procurement of the past few decades has been far from stellar, FCS poofed, Commanche poofed, etc.

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