5 thoughts on “Nuclear Reactors”

  1. Well this at least doesn’t require some heretofore unknown engineering break-through….

    I feel like we’re in an alternate timeline where Space was never that important. Compared to where we could have been. For example, there was at one time the plan for the Saturn C-5N, in which the hydrolox third stage S-IVB was to be replaced with a nuclear thermal propulsion system to be based around the successfully tested NERVA reactor (to be christened the S-IVN?). Somewhat riskier than this plan since it was to go up (er, bad choice of words, I mean launch) in one piece. But claimed capable of reaching Mars in 4 months.

  2. Yeah nuclear thermal or solar electric is the best way to do a Mars mission or a prolonged Mars settlement. I hope I will see it happen still in my lifetime.

    1. Solar electric on Mars surface… *cough* dust storms *cough*. Until they find a bed of coal on Mars nuclear is a ‘no brainer’ if you want to be safe.

      Of course if they could find exploitable Methane the colonists would be ecstatic.

      1. Send 150 mT of canned beans to the Mars colony for meals and exploitable Methane would be proliferant.

  3. As a total aside, Rand, here’s another one for your Lori Garver files here. The Off-Nominal guys had a long podcast with her today, in connection with her book:


    A lot of time was spent discussing the nature of the NASA Administrator role, and men who have filled it. She has exuberant praise for Jim Bridenstine (“I was so jealous!”). Favorable words for Jim Webb, Dan Goldin, and Sean O’Keefe. Charlie Bolden . . . not so much.

    My favorite line in the book, highlighted by Jake, is in the discussion of Garver’s unsuccessful effort to train in Russia for a spaceflight in the 2000’s. Quote: “Not surprisingly the qualifications required to be a policy analyst do not necesarily translate to having the physiological stamina and aptitude for spaceflight.” Pause. “The reverse is obviously true, but rarely considered.” Ouch.

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