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Crazy Ideas
Tuesday 3rd April, 2007 14:09 Comments: 1
I was having an interesting chat with Joe yesterday, and we stumbled upon the crazy idea of a nuclear powered car. It seems we weren't the first to consider it, Ford even created a prototype design called the Nucleon back in 1958, but never actually built it. Probably because scientists believe (or did a few years ago) that it'd be impossible to shield the radiation, so you'd end up killing "the driver, the passengers, and perhaps bystanders". You certainly wouldn't want to crash into anything. A nuclear powered lunar rover is a bit more practical, and something China hopes to achieve. Although the notion of strapping nuclear material to a rocket and hoping it doesn't explode on its way to space sounds a bit risky, it isn't a new idea. The first nuclear powered satellite, Transit 4A, was launched in 1961 and until the Columbia disaster in 2003, NASA had been pushing hard to expand the use of nuclear power in space.

Today I came across another interesting/crazy idea that was suggested back in 1981: a cross-channel bridge to France. A submission for a £3bn three-lane motorway link was made to transport officials in April 1981, files released by the National Archives show. Dismissing the option of tunnelling under the Channel as "impractical", the LinktoEurope proposal suggested a bridge spanning 21 miles from Dover or perhaps Folkestone. The bridge, 220ft above Channel waters, would bring in a revenue of up to £220m a year, the group estimated. Engineers conceded the huge pylons on which the bridge would rest could make navigation of the Channel difficult for ships. However, they said the structure would be sturdy enough so that traffic above would be unaffected if a vessel ploughed into the struts. Obviously the "impractical" tunnel became reality when the Channel Tunnel was opened in 1994 after eight years of development.
Avatar Fab - Tuesday 3rd April, 2007 16:30
Rover also designed a turbine powered car in the sixties, but strangely enough they never made it. Also isn't there a UN type ban on sending anything nuclear into space? Prevent the weaponrisation of space etc.
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