Nasa’s creating nuclear rockets to help put humans on Mars

Wish I was younger so I could see humanity spread into our solar system.
We wasted a lot of time since moon landings.

Let’s get one thing clear: A nuclear engine won’t hoist a rocket into orbit. That’s too risky; if a rocket with a hot nuclear reactor blew up on the launch pad, you could end up with a Chernobyl-scale disaster. Instead, a regular chemically propelled rocket would hoist a nuclear-powered spacecraft into orbit, which would only then fire up its nuclear reactor. The massive amount of energy produced by these reactors could be used to sustain human outposts on other worlds and cut the travel time to Mars in half.

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External nuclear pulse propulsion was first studied by Project Orion between 1958 and 1965. This project showed that it was possible, with the technology available at that time, to build a spacecraft with a crew of more than 200 that could complete a round-trip mission to Mars in 4 weeks or around Saturn’s moons in 7 months.


h/t Xeven


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