A NASA engineering team is restarting the agency’s 1960s research into nuclear powered engines for deep space missions.


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A NASA engineering team is restarting the agency’s 1960s research into nuclear powered engines for deep space missions.

If completed and put into use, these engines could easily revolutionize the exploration of the solar system. Forgive me, however, if I remain skeptical, not because I lack faith in the technology but because I lack faith in NASA’s ability to finish anything.

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2 comments

  • Pzatchok

    I don’t like the idea of it.

    Basically they are making a runaway nuclear reactor just to generate extreme heat. What if something goes wrong and the core starts to melt? Or the control material gets jammed?

    All of that plus the idea that its a hard radiation source that now needs to be shielded from the rest of the craft and can NOT be maintained or repaired in space by humans.

    Other engines like ION are showing much better results. They just need to make an low temp ION type engine that runs on stuff other than xenon.

  • wodun

    But ejecting the core could get the crew out of some sticky situations.

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