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ReactorsTypeMassCoreWHeatTherm (K)CPart (K)TWRNozzleLifespanFuelAdvDisadvNotesPrimary Use Case
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Molten SaltFission112101TVery LongThorium (better TWR but performance declines over time) or UraniumLong lifespan; Can be refuelled with reprocessed actinides; nozzles don't all need to be next to reactorMust maintain min 25% power; needs EVA to shut down/restartSmaller = longer life
Larger = better pwr:mass ratio
Thermal gens deterioate as heat builds up
Long life power generation with science repro lab
(Upgraded with Thorium = approx to stock LV-N)
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Pebble BedFission113500203TMed (1 yr)UraniumNitrideLighter than Molten Salt; better powerPower gen inverse to temp
Requires refuelling annually
Lifetime is same for any size
OK Power, Thermal, Lots of Radiators
Short bursts of high power then manually shut down to preserve fuel
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Open Cycle Gas CoreFission16100900300.4T/ PMedUranium-233 / UF4 Plasma propulsion and MHD power generationMHD Power & Plasma Only
No high acceleration
Better P:W ratio but low ECLong range probes
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Dusty Plasma FFFission1772800320.4AllMed (1 yr)UraniumNitrideCharged particles when upgradedLow TWR; low energy density; max 50% CPart usage per partUpgraded Particle Bed
CP > Thermal
CP for Plasma or Direct Magnetic Nozzle
Higher ISP than OCGR or low heat power before fusion
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NSWRFissionMed40TNuclear Salt WaterVery High TWR at medium high IspHigh minimum size; Highly Radioactive exhaust; Can only produce thrustPreferably fuel is produced ISRUPreferably used at lifeless high gravity worlds
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MCF TokamakFusion20200Low450.1AllLongD-T (79% Therm; 21% CP)
D-He-3 (20% Therm; 80% CP)
He3 (100% CP)
Thermal : Charged Particle mix; Does not need EVA to start/shut downRequires power to sustain (always include a gen)Min 0.04/s of EC to keep online
Higher ISP and fuel density but lower energy density
SSTOs; Jack of all trades - long endurance, cheap, scalable, efficient, easy fuel storage
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MCF StellaratorFusion37200Low450.1AllVery LongAs per MCFEfficient; native fuel storage; high core temp improves MHD power gen and high plasma nozzle ISPSize & form factor; very heavy; cannot do CPart power gen or thrustBeamed power from static surface or orbit
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MCF IXSFusion23200Low89T/MVery LongAs per MCFIntegrated CP genInteresting side nodes
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MTFRFusion82.4High2001TLongD-T / D-D / D-He3 / T-T Small, low core temp, cheapThermal gen only; high WHSSTO cos small and light
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Plasma Jet MTFRFusion840High2000PLongD-T / D-D / D-He3 / T-T Plasma only
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Tri-AlphaFusion63.2Low0200.5EVery Longp-B11 / D-He3 / He3-He3 / p-Li / p-Li6 / D-Li6Aneutronic, Efficient power; No maintenance power, integrated power generatorsElectricity onlyRadiatorsElectric engine probes
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ZPinchFusionFusionpelletsDoes not require any powerPropulsion onlyAvg isp in space and unltd atmo on intake airSSTO
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Muon CatalizedFusionH /He / B / C / N / O Fuel can be scooped, allowing infinite power and propulsion
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Thermal/PositronAntimatter1650020HighestT/PLow (with Positrons) / Med (with Antimatter) / High (with AntiHydrogen)Positrons / Antimatter/ AntiHydrogenHighest thermal powerCannot be used for Plasma of Magnetic Propulsion / Power generationIncl secondary power so AM not used up
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Beam CoreAntimatter16MedMedium (with Antimatter) / Very Long (with AntiHydrogen)Antiproton (Antimatter/AntiHydrogen) + Proton (any Hydrogen)
Expansive, Dangerous, Cannot be used for thermal propulsion, Produced High amount of Gamma radiationDeep space or Interstellar Voyages
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AIMAntimatter / Fission / FusionT/P/MMed(D+He3 / Fusionpellets) + (UraniumNitride / Fissionpellets)No minimum power outputexotic fuel
Small <efficient but >TWRUltimate SSTO
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Quantum SingularityGravitationalVery HighCInfiniteH /He / B / C / N / O Fuel can be scooped, allowing infinite power and propulsionminimum 5m size, Low thrust, Difficult to start, produces a lot of wasteheat, Doesn't like high acceleration, Reactor can't be stopped without explodingUltimate Mass to Power converter for power production of interstellar travel
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Engines & Generators
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Thermal Nozzle
Dependent on Reactor Core Temp; avoid carbon/soot based fuels
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Thermal Turbojet
precoolers reduce overheating
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Plasma
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Magnetic
Requires Ch Part
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Arcjet
Does not have to be connected to reactor
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Therm Gen
Therm to EC; Direct Connect; One Only
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MHD GenPlasma Gen
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CP Gen
CP to EC; Direct Connect
Example Stacks
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Massive TWREarly FissionMid Game FissionElectric Fusion ProbePlasma Fusion
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Positron Container
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FuelHTPHydrazineMethaloxMethaneHydrazine
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GenMHD GenMHD GenCH PartMHD Gen
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Reactor
Positron AM ReactorPebble BedDusty PlasmaTri AlphaPlasma Jet MTFR
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NozzleThermal Ram JetThermal RocketThermal Rocket x4Attila / VasimirPlasma
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Thermal Turbo Jet VTOL
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Freethinker's Pearls of Wisdom
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Use both CP and Therm gen if reactor supports both to max utilisation and min WH
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For interstellar travel, beam core antimatter reactor using antiprotons has the highest potential performance.
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Use orbital power station to tx power to bases!
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Mk2 anti-matter reactor combined with an ATTILA engine can single handedly SSTO a 40t
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