Using Nuclear Propulsion for Deep Space Exploration

Future in Space Hangouts are sponsored by the American Astronautical Society. Become a member today: https://astronautical.org/membership Today’s advances in materials, testing capabilities, and reactor development are providing impetus for NASA

5129 Views | Published on 16th Sep, 2019

Future in Space Hangouts are sponsored by the American Astronautical Society. Become a member today: https://astronautical.org/membership

Today’s advances in materials, testing capabilities, and reactor development are providing impetus for NASA to appraise Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as an attractive 21st century option to propel human exploration missions to Mars and other deep space destinations.

NASA along with private companies are working on the technology that could cut mission time to Mars in half, leaving astronauts less exposed to the hazards of space including the impact on the human body of exposure to microgravity. First generation NTP systems could cut total mission duration in half, while still leaving adequate time for Mars surface exploration.

With NTP, missions to Mars could be achieved at times when Earth and the Red Planet are in less favorable orbital positions relative to each other.

Please Join Tony Darnell as he talks with Jonathan Cirtain (BWX Technologies), Michael Houts (Marshall Space Flight Center), and John Horack (Ohio State University) as we discuss the exciting development of nuclear technologies to propel us to the solar system!

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