posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 10:09 AM
I'm wondering if chemical rockets are really the best solution for manned interplanetary travel out there. Let me explain....
Chemical rockets are really a bit slow for manned interplanetary travel. We could go to Mars, but for further missions it would be much better and
probably cheaper to have some faster spacecrafts.
Ion propulsion is faster, but not so much and on small distances not so faster at all (also for small distances it would be better to have faster
Solar sails are very cheap, but have very slow acceleration.
Nuclear thermal rockets are very interesting, but sadly they contaminate the space. The last thing I want is to have contaminated space, so we would
have to build protected (and very heavy) ships.
The use of shielded nuclear powerplant to power lasers or some other heating equipment is not an option, since it would weight way too much (small
nuclear reactor weights 500 tons, Saturn V S-IVB weighted 120 tons). I was wondering whether it was possible with nuclear fusion (when we make fusion
reactors), since the product of fusion is just a neutron, which could be easily shielded??
Solar thermal propulsion rockets are interesting, but they require quite some time to propel a spacecraft to a respected speed (just like Ion
Any serious ideas (not propulsions that violate the laws of physics) ???