Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Gaseous Core Nuclear Thermal Rocket

  1. Sep 17, 2011 #1


    How practical would this be? How much of a technological leap would be needed to achieve this?

    Would it make outer solar system missions possible?

    Could the technology be used for non space applications?

    I bring this up because Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey apparently uses something like this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well we managed to build a fully operational solid core nuclear thermal rocket in the 50's. A closed-cycle gas core reactor is within our capability today I think, if we wanted to. I would guess that any manned mission to mars would use either nuclear thermal or nuclear electric.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook