Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?

In the 1950s, rocket scientists dreamed of atomic-powered spaceships. Now these far-fetched designs might help a new generation explore the cosmos.

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konnerbllb2470d ago

If we are to advance in space nuclear is the next step. We as a society need to get over the nuclear stigma that we have now. When used correctly and safety measures are in place it is the far better option.

In space alone nuclear would be much more efficient compared to the combustible fuel that is used now. We can power rovers with nuclear energy, why not our space ships?

mp12892470d ago

@Event_Horizon. You are right, nuclear power will be great for the solar system but the closest star is 4 light years away. So no it wont take us to the stars.

Event_Horizon2465d ago

Atleast someone understands physics here.

Even if you take all the nuclear fuel in the world and try to use it in the most efficent way possible, even then it would take 1000s of years to get to the nearest star not to mention the technology required to make a vessel capable of such speeds.

If someone still thinks that nuclear rockets can get them to the nearest star then either they know how to hibernate or they must be immortal.

Speed-Racer2470d ago

Nuclear power is a decent idea but the concept of traveling at the speed of light doesn't make sense. By the time we reach our destination, we would have significantly aged. The only way I could see space travel making sense is if we bend space to link separate segments of the universe via portals.

SilentNegotiator2470d ago

...we're gonna need magic on this one.

xer02469d ago

There's lots of research being done already on FTL travel at NASA. Such as Alcubierre’s "Warp Drive" and "Negative mass propulsion", to name but a few.

If NASA are trying to make the science a reality, then I'm fairly sure that other organisations that are public or unknown are looking into this.

Institutions realise that once you achieve FTL travel, then time travel is also possible.

Kos-Mos2470d ago

Wow, congrats with an even less likely solution.

Speed-Racer2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

Sorry, but I don't want to spend 30 years of my life making one trip to another solar system. Linear travel in its present state is not a plausible solution.

konnerbllb2470d ago

Racer, good news. You won't! Someone else will be making those long trips and likely not even in your lifetime or your childrens lifetime. Get used to the the tech that is available today and what may be possible in the next 50 years. Humans traveling to another solar system will not be an option. Not only will there always be technological roadblocks there will be political. Politics will both stall tech advancement and exploring when the tech has matured. This is the harsh truth.

Speed-Racer2470d ago

I'm just saying we should be looking at alternatives to the current mindset of long distance space travel.

Here's an interesting read in the mean time.

bigrob9042470d ago

actually theoretically if you were to move at the speed of light, you would experience time at a different pace than everyone else. to you it wouldn't have been say 30 years, it would be significantly less, and you wouldn't have aged much if any at all. it's all about relativity.

Speed-Racer2470d ago

True, but let's say you get back home. Your friends would soon be years older than you and a whole generation could pass by depending on how far out you fly.

VaporCell2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

@Racer-x - Time to bring Nikola Tesla back alive for that idea

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Belasco2470d ago

Once they are able to shrink a nuclear fission reactor to a small enough size, Ad Astra's Vasimr magneto-pulse engine can get up to 100,000 mph.

xer02469d ago

Speed is one problem.
Mass must be negated to prevent catastrophe.

johny52469d ago (Edited 2469d ago )

"lol" Not fast enough!

We would need to have a propulsion speed of 12% to 15% the speed of light to get around our galactic neighborhood in a human lifetime!

There are a quite a few stars within 10 light years that are good candidate's to explore, one being "Tau Ceti" Which is a similar star to our sun that also happens to have a planet in it's habitable zone "whether there's life or not is speculative"

Our best place to start is right in our back yard!

Alpha Centauri A and B are the closest to our sun in size and composition, add to the fact that scientists have found a earth size planet around one of them "although too close to support life" guarantees that would be our first stars on our exploration list!

Belasco2469d ago

I am referring to things that we have right now that are viable, of course 100,000 mph is only a fraction of what we need.

DevilOgreFish2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

"Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?"

Why go there, won't we burn up within it's radius? :P

MasterD9192470d ago

I'd like to believe we have other means at our disposal than something as critical as nuclear power.

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