Also importantly, they can be refueled and reused until the reactor is cold..
NASA's ambitions to speed up space travel are about to go nuclear, as its joint project with military boffinry unit DARPA has found a builder for an experimental nuclear thermal rocket vehicle, or X-NTRV: Lockheed Martin. If all goes according to plan, NASA's Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations program (DRACO) …
Thursday 27th July 2023 18:19 GMT harmjschoonhoven
Friday 28th July 2023 04:58 GMT Yorick Hunt
Friday 28th July 2023 07:19 GMT very angry man
Merkins, nuclear powered (no way to scan for nuclear bombs) rocket s built by Merlin's, controlled by Merkin, govt dept yet to prove it self.
Be afraid, be very afraid, run VERY far, run VERY fast .
SPF 2850 sunscreen even at night and even on different planets and moon's, Merkin's don't care,
Friday 28th July 2023 10:19 GMT fpx
Friday 28th July 2023 12:46 GMT AdamT
Apparently (based on a very quick read of Wikipedia!) it is actually the opposite. You want high ISP from a rocket and the ISP is linked to the kinetic energy of each unit of propellent mass. But the KE per molecule of propellent is related only to the temperature. As the KE comes from the thermal energy you are better off with lighter molecules as you get more of them per unit of propellent mass (given that the temperature is usually limited by the materials you can use).
The same is technically true of chemical rockets as well but your "propellent" in this case is the exhaust gas and that is determined by what you burn. So there you have the combined effect of the combinations of chemicals that can generate the necessary thermal energy at the appropriate temperature but ideally burn to produce something with as light molecules as possible.
(shamelessly ripped off from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket#Principle_of_operation )
Friday 28th July 2023 16:44 GMT Alan Brown
Wednesday 2nd August 2023 17:20 GMT JohnTill123
Project Orion for the win!
If we can make a manhole cover go 150,000 mph with a small nuclear blast (Plumbob/Pascal-B only produced a blast equivalent of 300 tons TNT. ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plumbbob#Missing_steel_bore_cap ) then Project Orion should be considered.
Besides, the launches will be spectacular!
Saturday 29th July 2023 14:46 GMT Bitsminer
...how much they will charge for HALEU fuel pellets.
They're just about the only country making them. While the US is playing catchup:
HALEU is not available at commercial scale from domestic suppliers...
Not to mention any number of international players building or planning small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) which also use HALEU.
TerraPower is anticipating a minimum of a two-year delay to being able to bring the Natrium reactor into operation.
It's an example of "supply chain vulnerability" at national scale. I would call it a cluster-fuck but that's rude.