NASA, DOE fund three nuclear thermal space propulsion concepts

Oct 21, 2019
At long last it looks like NASA is finally getting serious about preparing to develop and use nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) with its obvious advantages for manned missions beyond the range of the Moon. NTP technology was successfully demonstrated back in the 1960s, but with NASA's manned spaceflight activities in the intervening decades being confined to Low Earth Orbit there has up till now been no need, but if they are serious about planning for manned Mars missions then NTP can make an invaluable contribution in shortening the journey time with all the associated benefits including reducing exposure from solar and cosmic radiation and reducing the debilitating effects of prolonged exposure to zero g (assuming they decide not to include a rotating artificial gravity spacecraft design that is).


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