Private companies find role in developing nuclear power for space travel

Oct 21, 2019
Quote from article"Instead, the CST panelists discussed Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), a technology developed in the 1960s and '70s that relies on the splitting, or fission, of hydrogen atoms" Whoever wrote that needs to learn some basic nuclear physics. In nuclear thermal propulsion the atoms of a fissile heavy element (such as Uranium 235 in the designs mentioned) are split, hydrogen is the simplest and lightest of the elements and cannot be split (hydrogen atoms can however be joined together in the process of nuclear fusion, but that is a different process). Where hydrogen comes in is that in the NTP designs it is the propellant gas that is heated by the nuclear fission reactor to provide propulsion, hydrogen is chosen because being the lightest element it achieves the highest exhaust velocities.
Jan 14, 2020
Agree with the first commenter. You can't fission hydrogen. The whole article requires review and a rewrite to get this weird nuclear concept clarified.


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