On the Commitee for Skeptical Inquiry, Tom Napier explains why sending our nuclear waste into the sun just won't work. It's not just an issue of the dangers involved: shipping a pound of nuclear waste would cost in the millions of dollars.
The bad news is that to hit the Sun requires reducing the spacecraft’s velocity by nearly all of Earth’s orbital velocity. That is, we have to slow it by 30 km/sec. This is an enormous change in velocity; space probes to the nearer planets make velocity changes of only the order of 4 km/sec.
Since we also have to apply 11.2 km/sec just to get into space, it might seem that we need an acceleration of 41 km/sec to get to the Sun. The good news is that velocities can’t be combined; in space energies are combined. To get from the surface of Earth to the Sun we need an acceleration of “only” 32 km/sec. So how big a rocket do we need to dump one ton of waste into the Sun?
|"We're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade."|
|"Their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke."|
|Take a trip through our local universe.|
|6 Things Light Tells Astronomers|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|
|“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”|