Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Think Nuclear- Go Faster!

NASA had enough trouble using nuclear material to power New Horizons and eventually had to compromise on the amount used. Pursuing nuclear propulsion now seems far out of their reach despite the proven benefits.

Ever since Project Orion proved the concept of achievable nuclear propulsion, planetary scientists have dreamed of big ships and short trip durations: A cruise to Neptune could be done in a matter of weeks, not years, meaning a decrease in weight and on-board supplies needed and also in the ill-effects of zero-gravity and solar radiation on the crew.

SpaceDaily.com has an interview with space-tech veteran Paul A. Czysz where he makes the case for switching to nuclear, if only to not be left far behind by the Russians in 2050...