A Discussion of Nuclear Propulsion in Space Travel

by Jeff Mitchell, Eldorado High Sch, Albuquerque, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV

Abstract:

Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) is gaining popularity as a safe alternative to conventional propulsion. Such alternatives are desirable to meet the goals of lunar colonization and manned Mars exploration. However, as the dream of nuclear-assisted propulsion draws closer to reality, few understand the principles and concepts of this revolutionary power source. Many consider nuclear propulsion to be dangerous, and, using incidents such as the Challenger explosion, voice fears of the spewing of radiation along the Florida coastline. This paper explains the process of nuclear thermal propulsion and addresses the safety of `nuclear rockets' and the applications of such a method of engine propulsion.



Subject Headings: Nuclear safety | Space exploration | Electric power | Explosions | Radiation | Shores | Engines | Lunar materials | Florida | United States

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