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Nerva update?

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posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 10:52 AM
ok, I've been thinking about NASA's Project Prometheus. While the technology at the moment is unclear at the moment I've also been thinking of the old NERVA program.

What do you think about the possibility of resurecting the old NERVA program?
One problem with the NERVA (If I remember right) was thermal stress. With our better grasp of materials technology would it make sense to update the design? And if so how feasible would it be?

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 12:07 PM
Technological feasibility isn't the problem. Politics are ultimately what kept NERVA off the launch pad in the 70's. The public wasn't interested post-Apollo, and the environmental lobby hated the idea of nuclear power in space. Public support for NASA is tepid at best these days and the environmentalists still won't support a nuclear space program.

I just don't think NERVA will happen, and thats a shame as nuclear thermal rockets have many advantages over chemical rockets.

posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 06:06 PM
Ah if only it were otherwise. I remember first finding out about NERVA from believe it or not a plastic model kit. It was for a spacecraft called "Project mayflower" I believe. It was a interplanetary exploration vehicle that had 3 arms that rotated (even in the model). One arm had crews quarters, one science lab and the third has a hydroponics section. Nice design and very workable. If only I could find that kit now.

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:03 AM
Further thoughts.

Assuming building such a ship in orbit. The technical problems resolved. The will to build it taken care of.

Where do you think would be the most likely destinations? Mars? Asteroid belt? Jupiter or Saturn? or other locations?

Would a ship using a nuclear thermal be a viable basis to start a colonization attempt?

Your thoughts please.

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 02:30 PM
The main concerns mostly centered on the fact that if one of these crashed on Earth, we would have a major nuclear disaster.

I am thinking if they had these in orbit we could use them as a sort of interstellar tug boat. Doing so would at least provide the necessary power for an immediate manned Mars mission.

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