In the 1970’s, a group of British scientists got together, forming the The British Interplanetary Society. Their main goal and purpose was to design a realistic version of the US Enterprise. Yes, you read it correctly, these British scientists wanted to design an actual Starship patterned from the 1960’s Star Trek Enterprise. They called this endeavour Project Daedalus. How does NASA play into all of this? Read on.
The British Interplanetary Society planned to power this spaceship with a Nuclear Reactor.
This project was to occur in the middle of the Cold War, where the United States and the Soviet Union were enemies. When the US State Department found out about this venture, they banned the use of nuclear technology in outer space, making then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher kill Project Daedalus. Only now, nuclear technology has a chance at being used to power spaceships on space missions.
Now it’s 2013; and a group of scientists at the University of Washington are constructing components of a nuclear fusion-powered rocket at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company, all financed at NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. This team envisions a 30 to 90 day trip to Mars without the use of a conventional rocket which would require a considerably large fuel tank and make the trip longer.
For more information, check out this link http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/04/04/rocket-powered-by-nuclear-fusion-could-send-humans-to-mars, and read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Daedalus .
Written By: Paul Collins author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno/ Mystery of Everyman’s Way
Sources / Supporting Links / Works Cited: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/04/04/rocket-powered-by-nuclear-fusion-could-send-humans-to-mars/