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Bruce Gagnon today returns to one of our favorite topics: space nuclear power.

About the only thing worth the bother of commenting on here is his mistaken reference to Prometheus as being a “nuclear rocket” project. The Prometheus spacecraft are (were?) to use ion propulsion systems, running on electricity provided by an advanced-design nuclear reactor. As Deep Space One showed, ion propulsion does not require a nuclear reactor for its electricity supply — thus, an ion engine is not a “nuclear rocket”. (In contrast, the test engines produced under NERVA/ROVER were quite plainly “nuclear rockets”…sadly, he has no reason at present to protest against those.)

He does, however, include one bit of useful advice, regarding NASA’s public commentary period on space nuclear power, open from now through April 11:

Even though NASA does not want to listen to the public, let’s make sure they hear from us anyway. (People from outside the U.S. are also encourage to write. This is a global issue!) Send your comments to:

Since he was so helpful to bring this to our attention, and even provide the appropriate email address, we shouldn’t let him down.

1 comment to Nukes…In…Spaaaaaaace!