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New look at using fission for propulsion

We will figure out how to travel rapidly between planets.

The Space Trade Association

Guidance, Navigation, and Control Considerations for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
[Via New NASA STI]

Abstract: The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NTP system could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of a first generation NTP in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NTP project could also help enable high performance fission power systems and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). Guidance, navigation, and control of NTP may have some unique but manageable characteristics.

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Nice overview article discussing where NASA is with…

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