Using a Nuclear Rocket August 30, 2006Posted by nukes in Science and Technology.
One of the greatest problems of building an interplanetary spaceship is building an engine which will last a long time, and will provide the power needed. My particular preference is to use a nuclear reactor.
The method with which somone could use a reactor is quite simple. Because one doesn’t need to care about the radiation spilled into space, one could use the broken up molecules of the nuclear fuel, such as uranium and plutonium, and shoot those out. This solution would provide an incredible thrust, which would last for an incredible amount of time, spanning decades of continous acceleration. The problem arises when one considers how to eject these broken pieces into space, without destroying the spacecraft in the process. If one were able to channel these pieces through a nozzel, and continue having a controled nuclear reaction, one would be set for millenia.