• The Newest Way To Travel In Space:

The Universe is a large place, the old Chemical rockets just can’t perform like the Nuclear rocket’s developed in the 1960s. A rocket using radioactive material is safe, in Space.

The Universe is a large place, the old Chemical rockets just can’t perform like the Nuclear rocket’s developed in the 1960s. A rocket using radioactive material is safe, in Space.

The old Chemical rockets would take as long as 8 months to intersect with Mars. The new elliptical trajectory you’re following intersects with Mars after eight months of flight. This is known as the Hohmann transfer. It’s the most efficient way we know how to travel in space, using the least amount of propellant and the largest amount of payload.

The problem, of course, is the time it takes. Throughout the journey, astronauts will be consuming food, water, air, and be exposed to the long term radiation of deep space. Then a return mission doubles the need for resources and doubles the radiation load.

  • New Propulsion System From The 1960s Did Wonders:

The Nuclear Rockets developed in the 1960s could get us there in 100 days.

It turns out NASA has been thinking about what comes next after chemical rockets for almost 50 years.

Nuclear thermal rockets. They definitely speed up the journey, but they’re not without their own risks, which is why you haven’t seen them. But maybe their time is here.

In 1961, NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission worked together on the idea of nuclear thermal propulsion, or NTP. This was pioneered by Werner von Braun, who hoped that human missions would be flying to Mars in the 1980s, on the wings of nuclear rockets.

Well, that didn’t happen. But they did perform with some success.

  • Chemical Rockets Just Couldn’t Go Fast Enough:

While a chemical rocket works by igniting some kind of flammable chemical and then forcing the exhaust gases out a nozzle. Thanks to good old Newton’s third law, you know, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The rocket receives a thrust in the opposite direction from the expelled gases.

There’s another big benefit. The thrust of a nuclear rocket could allow missions to go when Earth and Mars aren’t perfectly aligned. Right now if you miss your window, you have to wait another 2 years, but a nuclear rocket could give you the thrust to deal with flight delays.