Professor Iain Boyd discusses the potential for nuclear-powered rockets in a new column at The Conversation:
With dreams of Mars on the minds of both NASA and Elon Musk, long-distance crewed missions through space are coming. But you might be surprised to learn that modern rockets don’t go all that much faster than the rockets of the past.
There are a lot of reasons that a faster spaceship is a better one, and nuclear-powered rockets are a way to do this. They offer many benefits over traditional fuel-burning rockets or modern solar-powered electric rockets, but there have been only eight U.S. space launches carrying nuclear reactors in the last 40 years.
However, last year the laws regulating nuclear space flights changed and work has already begun on this next generation of rockets. Read the full column at The Conversation...