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Nair for Nuclear Rockets

It’s just a passing mention, but this is interesting news, if only for the fact that India’s counterpart to Mike Griffin feels free to suggest such a thing:

ISRO has an important mission ‘Chandrayaan’, planned during 2007-08 for planetary exploration. The mission will not only map the lunar surface, but also find presence of minerals and water on the moon. Besides, the aim is also to look for helium-3 which will help satisfy India’s fuel needs.

He said the moon mission will form a major stepping stone in the efforts of ISRO and the nation as a whole towards launching a probe into a 100 km polar orbit around the moon using PSLV. The missions involving travel to very distant planets, wherein the time to reach is going to be of the order of months using conventional rocket propulsion systems, may call for the use of alternate systems, like electric and nuclear propulsion, he said.

Meanwhile, New Horizons’ launch has been postponed until Wednesday afternoon due to high winds.

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