• Question: Would your work help explore more of space

    Asked by anon-201659 to Sophia, Sarah, Meirin, George, Emily, Andy on 14 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: George Fulton

      George Fulton answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      In the short term not especially. But there have been discussions about future nuclear fusion powered rockets – I’d say it’s a long way off, if feasible at all. However, nuclear fusion is one of the best ways to generate energy once we do explore space, this is because it uses hydrogen isotopes as fuels and most planets that we will try to inhabit in the future probably will have these elements in good supply. This would save us time because we wouldn’t need to find and mine fuels like U-238 or fossil fuels!

      Plus if we used a nuclear fusion powered spacecraft, then we could use that as a power hub while we build more infrastructure on the new planet 🙂

    • Photo: Meirin Oan Evans

      Meirin Oan Evans answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Particle physics research isn’t directly helping us explore more of space. But, particle physics research may help space exploration in the future, we don’t know! To be able to speed up and smash particles at the highest energies made by humankind, we have to push forward the boundaries of technology, computing and engineering. Some of the technologies invented or developed at particle physics labs might help space exploration! (maybe)

    • Photo: Sophia Pells

      Sophia Pells answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Not really :/

      Like @Meirin said, a lot of technology developed for research gets applied to different areas but I don’t think my work will be directly related to space exploration.

    • Photo: Sarah O'Sullivan

      Sarah O'Sullivan answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Sadly no, but it would be cool if it did

    • Photo: Emily Lewis

      Emily Lewis answered on 21 Mar 2019:

      maaaaybe, not really. Nuclear reactors have been proposed as a way of powering spacecraft and might be a viable option one day in the future, for now though it’s quite a risky design and normal jet engines seem to do the job okay!