In S5:E5 the Razorback:

dumped its core to evade the Belter missile that was pursuing it

and in S5:E6 the Razorback:

was able to restart its reactor and move away from the Belter ship.

My impression from the books was that once you have 'dumped the core' you had effectively left yourself drifting in space and had to await rescue.

  • 2
    Just to observe that this doesn’t happen in the novels. The events are slightly different and the Razorback is picked up by friendly forces while drifting after the core dump.
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 7, 2021 at 17:34
  • Yes, I was expecting the Razorback to be rescued and not what happened in E6.
    – Yellaks
    Jan 7, 2021 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


As executive producer/co-writer Ty Franck (co-author of the novels) explains on Twitter and on The Expanse Aftershow on YouTube, "dumping the core" means temporarily flushing out the hot plasma of the reactor:

"Inside the reactor is this big ball of super hot gas that the reactor is running off of. Basically all you're doing is using the magnetic system of that reactor to throw that ball of gas out of the back of the ship, but that shuts the reactor down, too."

This is not a routine procedure because:

"...shooting plasma hotter than the sun out the back of your ship carries certain risks to the structure, and even if it works, it means you're doing a cold restart of the reactor, and that takes time."

  • FWIW, starting a Navy ship from cold iron (a similar thing to what you describe) in the era of 600 and 1200 pound steam plants (before the LM 2500 turboshaft era) was also a time consuming process. (Last time I recall got to experience that was in 1985...) Feb 28, 2022 at 20:52

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