How Made In Chelsea toff Richard Dinan became a nuclear fusion expert
Most of the tofs who appear in Made In Chelsea on television only dream of becoming reality stars.
But Richard Dinan with floppy hair is different. He spent much of his time on the E4 show dreaming of how to make the journey to the stars of the galaxy a reality.
Since leaving MiC nine years ago, Richard, 35, a friend of Prince Harry, has become a ROCKET SCIENTIST.
Now he and his team of boffins are developing a pioneering nuclear-powered spacecraft to transport humans to the edge of the universe.
Richard boldly predicts, “It could save mankind.”
Doing all of this in a warehouse on the outskirts of Milton Keynes is a far cry from his days in MiC’s third series, when he wooed co-star Kimberley Garner with a helicopter flight to a fancy restaurant – only to find that she was seeing someone else.
After Richard left the show, his friend MiC, Ollie Locke, wrote a memoir titled Laid In Chelsea.
But when Richard, whose cousin is Prince Harry’s ex Cressida Bonas, left the show in 2013, he wrote a book about the true love of his life, nuclear fusion.
He is still in contact with co-stars Ollie, Kimberley and former lover and I’m A Celebrity contestant Georgia Toffolo, all of whom are now following his space dream.
Richard even gave a copy of his book, The Fusion Age: Modern Nuclear Reactors, to MiC actor Binky Felstead’s baby India.
He says: “Being the Made In Chelsea guy can be a good thing. But it has handicapped me to the extent that people are eager to tear me down. So I had to redouble my search.
Blue-blooded Richard – grandson of the late Edward Richard Assheton Penn Curzon, 6th Earl Howe – left St Edward’s private school in Oxford aged 16.
But for years he has been fascinated by the world of nuclear fusion, which is how the sun creates endless energy.
Since leaving MiC, he’s worked night and day to find a way to use nuclear energy to create a hyperfast rocket capable of carrying astronauts to other solar systems, just like in the super movie. -heroes Guardians of the Galaxy of 2014.
This is not a pie-in-the-sky business. Government and NASA scientists back him with money and expertise, and he’s confident that within five years, Pulsar Fusion, the company he founded, will send a rocket into space. .
And not just any rocket, but one that can travel up to 217 miles per second and transport astronauts to Mars in just two weeks instead of the nine months that current technology would take.
Richard hopes his team’s invention will even allow humans to find a new home in space.
In the unlikely setting of his warehouse next to an empty carpet tile depot near the MK Dons football stadium, his £200m dream is slowly coming true.
Here, Richard and his team have built a nuclear fusion reactor that creates the ultra-high vacuum needed to produce a “mini sun” inside a stainless steel vessel that looks like a small spaceship. Nearby, two prototype rockets that will take the mini reactor into space rub shoulders in the high-tech workshop.
They have already been fired successfully, at the UK’s National Propulsion Test Facility in Westcott, Bucks, and on a track in Switzerland.
Releasing his long blonde hair, Richard says: “Fusion offers two things, the ability to provide all the energy the Earth will ever need and the ability to leave our solar system. It could save mankind.
“The Alpha Centauri star system, which has habitable planets, is over four light years away, 25 trillion miles away. Currently, it would take several hundred lifetimes to get there.
But with nuclear fusion, the journey would only take 11 years. Nuclear fusion is a way to copy the way the sun fuses atoms into a plasma that creates intense heat and light, which could give the world cheap and unlimited low-carbon energy.
Fusion is safer than nuclear fission – where atoms are split to create electricity and bombs – but it is harder to create and control.
Richard says, “I know the merger works. Scientists tried for a century but couldn’t stabilize it. It would vibrate, like water coming out of a faucet pretty quickly, and that’s chaos theory. But today, fusion reactors are starting to work.
“It’s because supercomputers are getting better, magnets are getting better, and we figure out how to hold that plasma to the point where we’re extracting energy. Nuclear has a bad reputation because humans have used its power to create weapons, but there is another completely safe and clean side.
“Similar technology that allowed us to do the worst thing we’ve ever done will give us the ability to do the best thing we’ll ever do – generate abundant and powerful clean energy.”
Building a nuclear fusion power plant would cost billions and take 10 to 15 years. Richard doesn’t have much time or money. Instead, he wants to use nuclear fusion in space.
His plan is to build three rockets which, by 2027, will be launched from Earth. One will carry a small nuclear fusion reactor. The three will then be maneuvered through space and joined together to form a giant spacecraft.
Powered by nuclear fusion, it will be able to travel at a dizzying speed of 500,000 miles per hour.
Richard left school during GCSEs and went to work as an apprentice gunsmith. But all the time he was building companies and inventing things.
He signed up for MiC to create a following on Twitter and because the show’s producers would let him demonstrate some of his inventions, including a bracelet that would open your car door.
After leaving MiC, he then decided to become a rocket scientist. Carrying an 18-inch piece of the meteorite in his bag, he even secured an interview with Britain’s leading nuclear expert, Sir Steve Cowley, former head of Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority, to discuss his ideas.
Richard says: “I had to talk to the best minds and he’s one of the best, and luckily he didn’t say, ‘You’re not a scientist, go home Chelsea nobody’.”
Richard was also inspired by TV stargazer Professor Brian Cox, whom he met at the 2013 wedding of Virgin tycoon Richard Branson’s son Sam.
But Richard doesn’t even have an A level in physics, so he hired tutor Dr. James Lambert, whom he later took on as Pulsar Fusion’s chief engineer.
The company has also recruited Nasa scientist Zaheer Ali and rocket scientists from Virgin Galactic and the European Space Program, and their work is vetted by experts from the University of Southampton.
Richard has ruled out returning to reality TV. He says, “I seriously hope to have a reactor in space before I turn 40.”