[ExI] US military eyes nuclear thermal rocket
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Thu Oct 1 09:41:47 UTC 2020
US military eyes nuclear thermal rocket for missions in Earth-moon space
By Mike Wall 30 Sep 2020
DARPA awarded a $14 million task order to help make it happen.
NTP systems use fission reactors to heat propellants such as hydrogen
to extreme temperatures, then eject the gas through nozzles to create
thrust. This tech boasts a thrust-to-weight ratio about 10,000 times
higher than that of electric propulsion systems and a specific
impulse, or propellant efficiency, two to five times that of
traditional chemical rockets, DARPA officials wrote in a description
of the DRACO program.
NASA is enthusiastic as well as they need something better than
chemical rockets for space travel.
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