Will a nuclear thermal engine be successfully used to power a spacecraft before 2030?
19
53
1k
2029
50%
chance

Nuclear thermal rocket engines are a type of rocket engine that use nuclear reactions to heat a propellant, typically liquid hydrogen, to generate thrust. These engines have the potential to provide much higher specific impulse, or exhaust velocity, than chemical rockets, allowing spacecraft to travel much faster and farther in space. However, nuclear thermal rocket engines also present several technical challenges, such as the need for advanced radiation shielding and the risk of nuclear contamination in case of a malfunction. Despite these challenges, nuclear thermal rocket engines remain an active area of research for potential use in future space exploration missions.

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The idea is being thrown around since 1980s.

predicts NO

Does a grounded test count or does it have to fly? The way the question is phrased, I am assuming that a grounded test would be insufficient for affirmative resolution.

@BrunoJ Right, it needs to fly

bought Ṁ10 NO from 27% to 26%
bought Ṁ40 of YES

In https://vimeo.com/event/3924129 Anthony Calomino mentioned (at 2:37:40) that the DRACO demonstration is going to happen "by 2027", the slide said "as early as FY2028".

bought Ṁ10 YES from 50% to 53%

Just to clarify:

1) technology demonstration spacecraft also will qualify as yes?

2) only spacecraft with functional workload will qualify as yes?

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