Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thermal Nuclear Rockets

Lately, there was fluff piece about how the White House addressed - tongue in cheek - a petition to build a Death Star. How cute.

Meanwhile, real people have put together a real petition (that doesn't involve wizards and laser blasters and like that) to restart the thermal nuclear rocket project.


I signed it. I want you to consider signing it. Here's why.

When you consider that the $770 billion spent on bailing out Wall Street fat cat's bad wagers could have put the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise - fully stocked, crewed, and fueled to explore the Solar System on a five year mission - into near Earth orbit, then you have to admit that we as a species need to aim for loftier goals than we currently have. Which is, what? Making sure rich people stay rich, I guess.

One small portion of the 100,000 Year Project should be having the option open (granted rather a long-shot of an option) for human beings to able to live off planet. One of the requirements for this is some kind of nuclear rocket. The technology is proven, the technology is sound. It can be improved still further so that the risks of a nuclear rocket crash are minimized.

There is no such thing as zero risk. No guts, no glory. Like, we should build the Nautilus X, only ten times as big. Maybe fifty times as big, crewed by 300 to go to Jupiter in a month. (I built a scale model of this Pilgrim Observer when I was a kid, and fully expected to crew it when I was an adult. Silly me.)

I say go for it. What say you?