Scholar's Advanced Technological System Chapter 690
Chapter 690 Lets Make A Bet
Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
Ion thruster propulsion system in space?
F*ck, am I reading this correctly?
Whether it was the experts or the company representatives, they all subconsciously rubbed their eyes. However, no matter how many times they rubbed their eyes, the data on the powerpoint didnt change.
An expert from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation shook his head.
Another private aerospace company representative, who just received funding from Penguin, was baffled.
We all exaggerate in our PowerPoint presentations, but this
But this is outrageous!
The silence ended and in came the discussions.
This isnt just unbelievable, this is impossible! Ive never heard of an ion thruster propulsion system that can reach kN levels of thrust! Even the latest AEPS XR-5 ion propulsion system designed by Lockheed for NASA only doubles the thrust from the Hall-effect thruster.
The staff members were about to ask the audience to calm down, but Lu Zhou gestured them not to.
He quietly waited for the commotion to die down before speaking in a relaxed tone, Feel free to ask any questions.
Even though this wasnt a designated Q&A time, technology demonstrations like this didnt allow the audience to ask questions. However, Lu Zhou knew that if he didnt explain himself, no one would believe him.
Soon after, someone raised their hand.
I have a question.
Lu Zhou nodded toward the old man.
Please go ahead.
The old man slowly stood up from his seat and stared at the PowerPoint for a while. He looked at Lu Zhou before asking cautiously, I have never heard of an ion thruster propulsion system that can reach kN magnitudes of thrust. I have to ask, Professor Lu, is this a typo?
Lu Zhou smiled and said, I can assure you that this is not a typo. We have proven through reliable experiments that its thrust can indeed reach kN magnitudes. Of course, I have to admit that using the maximum thrust level consumes a large amount of fuel. However, compared to traditional chemical rockets, the fuel weight is still decreased by 90%.
The old man shook his head and sat back down.
Soon, another expert from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation stood up.
500-1000 MW miniaturized reactor I havent heard any rumors about this kind of technology before, so I wont make any comments. But the question is, how do you plan on accelerating the outflows of ionized matter to one-thousandth of the speed of light?
An RD-170 rocket had a power of 192 MW, and most of this power was used to propel the liquid fuel carried by the rocket itself. If the total power of the ion thruster propulsion system could reach the power of 1000 MW, theoretically, it was possible to send a 50-ton load to low-Earth orbit.
Power alone wasnt enough.
Applying this power into the working medium was the key.
Lu Zhou knew someone would ask this, so he smiled and changed the page on his PowerPoint presentation.
I was about to say this next.
The PowerPoint switched to the next slide.
A cylindrical object appeared in front of everyones eyes.
Even though they couldnt see the internal structure, the text nearby listed its experimental parameters in detail.
However, after seeing these parameters, the now-calm attendees once again fell into a wave of intense and heated discussions.
Hall-effect thruster unit? What the hell is this?
I dont see anything special about the design of this Hall-effect thruster unit. If its so amazing, why not just make a bigger one? Instead of integrating countless so-called propulsion units in the same engine?
This is impossible! Its ridiculous!
Director Li saw that the situation was going out of control. He was about to speak, but an old man sitting in the front row of the auditorium stood up.
Let me say something.
The commotion in the auditorium gradually subsided.
The person who stood up was Chief Engineer Yuan Huanmin from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. He was head of the latest large-thrust rocket project. After seeing the old gentleman stand up, a lot of people stopped talking out of respect.
Lu Zhou looked at the old man while the old man looked back at him.
I understand that Professor Lu, as an expert in the field of controllable fusion, has a soft spot for the technical route of ion thrusters. I acknowledge that controllable fusion has changed our lives and that ion propulsion technology has a lot of potentials.
Whispers were heard in the auditorium.
A lot of people were confused.
This doesnt sound right
How come this big name in the field of chemical rockets is agreeing with Lu Zhou?
However, Lu Zhou didnt relax at all.
Because unlike the other attendees, he could clearly see the old mans face.
And the old mans eyes were filled with doubt and suspicion.
As expected, after a pause, the old man continued, Maybe someday in the future, your proposed ion thruster system will change the aerospace industry. But I dont think that time is now.
Lu Zhou: Oh, really? Why?
The old gentleman smiled and said, The development of any technology is a gradual and slow process. New technology cannot be developed in a day or two. Its just like quantum computers, which obviously already exists, but we are still putting energy into improving traditional computers. Not because quantum computers are not good, but because they are not good enough Do you know what I mean?
Before Lu Zhou could speak, the old man continued, It is clearly too early to adopt ion thruster propulsion technology. We should focus our limited resources on chemical rockets and complete the first step of the manned moon landing before trying to develop any unknown technology. If we implement the ion thruster propulsion you proposed, we will have to bear all the risks that new technology brings. Can you guarantee that your ion thruster propulsion system is reliable? Can we afford an accident? Can our country afford to have an accident?
A lot of people agreed with the old mans words.
Even though Lu Zhou was the chief consultant for the moon landing project, he didnt have any real authority. Also, his specialty was controllable fusion, not aerospace engineering. A lot of people viewed him as an outsider.
And when it came to the field of chemically powered rockets
Obviously, this old gentleman was more authoritative.
And Lu Zhou was well aware of this.
It was normal that he wasnt the crowd favorite.
After all, for people who had researched chemical rockets their entire life, not only was this unbelievable, this was hard to accept.
In fact, when the structure diagram of the Hall-effect thruster propulsion unit was recovered from Debris No.3, Lu Zhou was full of doubts about whether or not this thing could really push a space shuttle to low-Earth orbit. After all, according to NASAs information, their strongest ion propulsion system could only lift an egg.
However, after completing the assembly and testing of the Hall-effect thruster unit, all of his doubts had disappeared.
People were in disbelief, only because that was their first intuition.
However, the development of science and technology wasnt based on intuition. It was based on facts.
Lu Zhou knew that after these people witnessed what he had witnessed already, they would be equally as shocked.
So that Lu Zhou wouldnt have to explain anything himself, he had to show them.
Lu Zhou shrugged and said with a poker face, So, I just have to prove that this ion thruster propulsion system can send a 50-ton load to low-Earth orbit, right?
Academician Yuan said with a smile, Ill eat a vacuum flask if you can do it.
Theres no need for that. Lu Zhou smiled and sighed. He then said, People have said that to me before, yet no one has ever fulfilled their promise.
Director Li, who was in charge of the meeting, coughed and tried to diffuse the situation.
Everyone, lets just have a friendly discussion This is a public tender conference, and were here to see everyones technical routes and materials. And us, as the State Administration for National Defense, will also look into various aerospace agencies and look at all sides of the story.
Director Li was in a hard spot.
Even though the ion thruster propulsion system was good, he was more inclined to choose the chemical rockets from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
It wasnt because of his bias against new technologies. It was merely for practical reasons.
After all, China Aerospace Corporation had always had ties with National Defense. The reason why countries were willing to spend money on rockets was due to the development of rocket technology, which not only enhanced their aerospace capabilities but also strengthens the countrys military strike capabilities.
No matter how strong the ion thruster propulsion system was, due to the working medium limit, the thrust wasnt as strong as chemical rockets. Even though ion thrusters had long-distance advances, that wasnt applicable to ballistic missiles.
Besides, they couldnt just throw controllable fusion machines on missiles.
Miniaturization of controllable fusion technology was important, but was ion thruster propulsion systems equally as important?
Maybe it would be in the future, but not now, not yet
Lu Zhou saw Director Lis face and knew that the State Administration for National Defense was probably unwilling to invest in ion thruster propulsion technology and that Director Li just didnt want to embarrass Lu Zhou by saying this out loud.
Actually, Lu Zhou wasnt very concerned about whether or not other people were optimistic about his research, but he did care about money
This research is going to cost billions of dollars
Even if Lu Zhou cashed out all of his East Asia Energy shares, he couldnt afford this on his own.
What should I do?
Lu Zhou thought for a bit. He suddenly looked up and smiled at Academician Yuan.
Since youre so sure that I cant do it, lets make a bet.
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