The Thermal Nuclear Engine That Could Get Us to Mars in Just 3 Months

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Lerner, Nov 10, 2020.

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  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/thermal-nuclear-engine-could-us-230600114.html

    Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has designed a new thermal nuclear engine it says could carry astronauts to Mars in just three months—and back to Earth in the same amount of time. By using ceramic microcapsules of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel, USNC's thermal nuclear engine could cut the trip in half even from optimistic estimates.
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If we'd been willing to use nuclear pulse propulsion, we could have colonized the solar system by now. But the threat of having nuclear weapons in space was too great.
     
  3. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    And imagine the Challenger Disaster of 1986... with a nuclear engine.
     
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Those ships wouldn't land. They'd go back and forth between Earth orbit and other destination.

    Besides, containment in the event of a disaster is an engineering problem, not an inherent deal breaker.
     
  5. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    Oh, I think I didn't get you right! You were talking about something like this here? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)
    If yes, my comment with the Challenger Disaster was, of course, incorrect.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yep, that's what I meant.
     
    Mac Juli likes this.

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