Years ago I read a neat Syfi Book about a special warp phase engine that was thrown into a sub and used for space travel..I also grew up Watching Star Blazers.. lets say a late model Nuclear Sub was on the market.. If a person could Buy one .. what challenges would it face to be Fitted for space existence .. lets not get into thrusters or any thing, strictly hull integrity and air tight fitness.. there made to resist Pressure from the outside. But How sturdy are they in dry dock ?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Space! This question would be a better fit for WorldBuilding StackExchange. You may want to ask the question there. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jun 8, 2019 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ Four down votes isn't really much of a welcome though. I'm voting to close as off-topic. I agree that Worldbuilding SE might be a good place for this question (I'm not really sure though) but this isn't about Space Exploration. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there isn't even a remote possibility that a submarine would be used in the exploration of space. Tesla Roadsters maybe, but that's another story. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ Related: space.stackexchange.com/questions/27367/… and space.stackexchange.com/questions/1664/… both of which have a bunch of upvotes... $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Jun 8, 2019 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ So call me lazy or call it Sloppy Programming .. but i phrased this question a few different way's and didn't get very goo feed back.. I fond this website and yes before exploring i just asked away.. Ironically i went back out to google rephrased the question again .. and Bam !!i found an Excellent answer .. and then realized it was posted on this website .. so again being not real familiar with this format i copy pasted the answer to my own question .. should i just delete it or does it add at least a link to the original questioner ?? $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2019 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


i found this .. pretty cool ..

Okay, hold on. Let the actual submariners weigh in.

I spent 8 years of my life in the United States Navy aboard Los Angeles Class submarines as a Nuclear Electricians Mate. I have a background in engineering and radiological controls as a result. Please treat this as an extended comment - the answer as given is, in fact, no. But there are number of misconceptions that you guys are flailing around.

I can unequivocally and without a doubt say that it would not explode. The air would leak out from around the shaft that makes the screw go around, but you'd likely weld that shut before spending several billion dollars flying something that heavy that high. You'd also have to seal a few cable ways but sonar doesn't work in space, so no big loss.

As far as oxygen - (classified). But that kind of machine uses very very clean water, and uses it pretty slowly. It's not like it needs access to the ocean to work. Look up commercial grade systems and you'll understand.

As far as radiation - bring it. The whole charged particle thing is simply incorrect. A beta particle or an alpha particle simply won't cause an avalanche cascade in steel. There's not a significant neutron source up there. That leaves the gamma rays that everyone has to deal with.

As far as power - (classified). But no nuclear reactor anywhere can operate without a heat sink. That's just thermodynamics. And submarines sink heat to the Main Seawater Expansion Tank, aka the ocean. Period. No water, no power. Forget it - no workarounds.

As far as burning up - the ISS is a thing that is real. Polish it shiny and paint it white and there is no real risk of burning up. The reactor is down so, meh.

The biggest thing that everybody missed is that all submarines are built assuming that gravity is a thing that exists. The entire design of a nuclear reactor must take into account this very basic thing. Shoving something like this into microgravity means water starts coming out of the tops of tanks and pooping gets real risky. Steam that should be on top gets on bottom and water destroys your turbines while us enlisted men take turns opening various valves to naked vacuum because we like to watch things disappear into space - which is the real reason why we'd all end up dead from hypoxia.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a quote from somewhere? Could you please provide the source? $\endgroup$
    – matz
    Jun 8, 2019 at 6:03
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent explanation of the need for cooling water! $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 8, 2019 at 10:31

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