Propulsion Systems for Future Space Exploration

by Michael B. Delclos, Eldorado High Sch, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


There are many types of propulsion that are being considered for future space travel needs. These include nuclear, solar sail, magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and laser propulsion systems. The most practical and cost-efficient method is nuclear propulsion. Of the two main types of nuclear propulsion, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) systems, the one that best fits the needs of space exploration and colonization is the Nuclear Electric Propulsion system, or NEP.

Subject Headings: Space exploration | Electrical systems | Space colonies | Aircraft and spacecraft | Flight | Solar power | Magnetic fields | Thrust

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