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Partial answer so far... For the trajectories in your drawing the objects will miss the Moon. They pass much closer to Earth, so their orbital motion will be substantially faster than the Moon's so they will pass through the interception points days before the Moon does and definitely miss it. However if those are elliptical orbits with the same semi-...


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The absolutely most basic idea? Maybe, but a VASIMR engine capable of planetary takeoff or landing is not a VASIMR engine. VASIMR engines are a type of thermal rocket -- they work by heating gas and expanding it out of a nozzle (much like chemical and nuclear thermal engines, but NOT like gridded ion thrusters). Diffuse gas is ionized into plasma and ...


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The commercial CF6-80C2 engine has a mass of about 5T and a thrust of about 300kN, including intake and nozzle thrust at takeoff. As heavy commercial engines go, it’s about the best for this application. That thrust can provide 1g upward acceleration to about 15T total mass. Subtracting its mass and allowing a bit for fuel (at full thrust it burns 3kg a ...


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The VASMIR 200 is listed as having a thrust of 5.4 newtons, and you need 9.8 newtons to lift 1kg against earth's gravity. So 700 tonnes is going to need more than a million engines and be consuming more than 254 GW of electricity. So even if the engines are weightless this is not lifting off from earth without co-opting the power generation of a sizable ...


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You'd have to bring a pretty large bomb to do this. We've detonated lots of bombs on Earth, and none of them came close to making a hole 11 km deep. We even did tests specifically aimed at making large holes (Project Plowshare): The 104 kiloton, 1962 Sedan nuclear test formed a crater 100 m (330 ft) deep with a diameter of about 390 m (1,300 ft) These ...


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If we ignore the legal aspects, we can at least get a bomb there. The Cassini spacecraft weighed 2500 kg (counting Huygens), while Wikipedia mentions a thermonuclear weapon that weighs only 1100 kg, so there would be weight left over for communications, etc. I don't know if the yield of 1.2 million tons of TNT would be enough to get through that much ice - ...


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You may not send a nuclear bomb into space if you're one of the 105 countries that have signed the Outer Space Treaty that, among other things, forbids deploying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction in outer space. Even disregarding that... By measuring the craters of bombs we exploded in the 1950's, we found that a crater ...


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Yes or no, depending how you define realistic. Like many other fantastical future technologies like space elevators, cylinder habitats, and nuclear lightbulb drives, there's nothing wrong with the underlying concepts. Physicists have written papers, done the math, and found that it mathematically could work. There are no known laws of physics that prevent ...


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