Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?

Julian Hyatt asked a question: Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?
Asked By: Julian Hyatt
Date created: Sun, May 30, 2021 6:15 AM

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Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?» often ask the following questions:

❔ Are nuclear powered spaceships possible?

The current Reference Mission calls for a nuclear reactor to propel the spaceship to Mars. This is desirable because nuclear propulsion reduces travel time to Mars, increasing safety for the crew by reducing their exposure to cosmic rays. Also, a chemically-powered spacecraft weighs much more and costs a lot more to launch.

❔ Why aren't spaceships nuclear powered?

Russia is developing a nuclear powered rocket, which may translate into a spacecraft design later if it proves successful. The first test a few months ago proved a failure; the explosion killed the scientists monitoring the test and caused radiation fallout. However, development is still ongoing.

❔ Are there any problems with nuclear powered spaceships?

  • There were obvious challenges – from irradiating the crew and the launch site, to the disruption caused by the electromagnetic pulse, plus the dangers of a catastrophic nuclear accident taking out a sizable portion of the US. But the plan was, nevertheless, given serious consideration.

10 other answers

These Projects Could Take Us to the Stars in the Next 20 Years Futurism Stephen Hawking’s Tiny Spacecraft Could Reach Another Solar System in Just Over 20 Years

To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer May 20, 2020 8.15am EDT Iain Boyd , University of Colorado Boulder

Project Orion may have been ill-conceived, foolhardy and environmentally irresponsible, but nuclear power could yet be a tool to take humans to the stars. If you would like to comment on this...

The Reference Mission spacecraft would take astronauts to Mars in about 180 days. "Our advanced designs, like the gas core and the ablative engine concepts, could take astronauts to Mars in half that time, and perhaps even in as little as 45 days," said Kirby Meyer, an engineer with Positronics Research on the study.

2020: Rocket technology has come a long way since the start of the space age. Humanity's next giant leap is sending astronauts to Mars, with NASA hoping to do this by the mid 2030s. But to reach ...

Spaceships using conventional hydrogen-oxygen fuel will be able to take people to the moon, Mars or Venus. But human exploration of other planets in our solar system, and beyond it, will require the creation of ships harnessing the power of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, including via the concept of nuclear pulse propulsion.

They could take spaceships towards planets and stars, take us deeper into space than ever before, and even deflect asteroids. / Off World / Elon Musk / NASA / Nuclear Fusion. 6. 13. 17 by Abby ...

NASA is looking to build a nuclear-powered spaceship to discover aliens in a nearby star system. Scientists reckon their new super craft will travel 25 trillion miles – or 4.37 light years – to the nearest star in the Alpha Centuri system, where we are most likely to find life.

A nuclear pulse drive starship powered by fusion- antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion units would be similarly in the 10% range and pure Matter-antimatter annihilation rockets would be theoretically capable of obtaining a velocity between 50% to 80% of the speed of light.

In the past, the majority of nuclear fission reactors sent into space were used by Russia, although presently the U.S. is also developing designs that involve nuclear powered technologies. There are many benefits nuclear power can offer, which range from their extended operational capabilities, to the speed at which they are able to transport spacecraft to nearby planets, or even distant ...

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