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originally posted by: NonsensicalUserName
reply to post by crazyewok
I've heard NERVA was cancelled due to 2 reasons.
1. its a nuclear reactor (a live one) in space, and there could be some legality issues with it as some nations would take it as a violation of various international agreements + dangers of nuclear waste material being released if the rocket were to explode.
2. funding it would be a ticket to only more expensive missions into space. (congress was tired of the political and economic expense of the apollo program(it was a fraction of the national budget, but it was really show-y and thus was destined for the chopping block), they did not want a repeat with some fantastical manned-mission to mars)
you may need labs in space and the scientist would be stuck there for the rest of their life if they stay to long.
How you you attract the talent you need for the research and development program? what type of talent are you going to be looking for to man the Researchers into the technology
This was a competing design to NERVA. It was shelved political decision that, (in order to cut costs on the atomic rocket projects) required both projects to use an already designed NEVRA engine nozzle. Unfortunately, said nozzle was not compatible with the DUMBO active cooling needs. Dumbo does, however, have a far superior mass flow to the NERVA, and thus a far superior thrust. Dumbo actually had a thrust to weight ratio greater than one. NASA still shelved DUMBO because [a] NERVA used off the shelf components and they knew there was no way in heck that they could get permission for nuclear lift-off rocket so who cares if T/W < 0? You can read more about Dumbo in this document.