Is a nuclear salt rocket the only viable method of reaching exoplanets? 6 people from different backgrounds weigh in with their opinion about Nuclear Salt Rockets.
Simon Bridge “Do not doubt what I say because I am mad, I am mad because what I say is true.“
No. Nuclear salt rocket is not even a viable method of reaching exoplanets.
There are many non-viable ways to do it… for a given definition of viable. In a definition where all other methods are not viable, nuclear salt rockets are not viable either.
Jerry Atheist, advocate for science, space enthusiast:
No, there are other hypothetical ways to reach exoplanets such as:
Solar Sails – a method of spacecraft propulsion using radiation pressure exerted by sunlight on large mirrors.
Antimatter Rockets – This proposed technology would use the products of a matter-antimatter annihilation reaction (either gamma rays or highly-charged subatomic particles called pions) to propel a craft through space.
Ion engines – These work somewhat like conventional rockets, except instead of expelling the products of chemical combustion to generate thrust, they shoot out streams of electrically-charged atoms (ions).
There are probably lots more, but that’s just a few from the top of my head.
Science Space – Science Now
Richard Treitel “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.“
I’ll stay within present-day knowledge of physics.
We would need either a lightweight fusion reactor or a frighteningly powerful laser with an even more frighteningly wide and precise mirror — a very quick and dirty calculation suggests that it should be as wide as a large city and as precise as our best telescope mirrors. Oh yeah, and enough electricity to power the laser. That would be a substantial fraction of all electricity produced this year by our entire civilisation.
I prefer the fusion reactor, but either way, it will take decades to develop the technology, and longer than that to make the trip. Building better telescopes to observe exoplanets is many times easier.
Mike Webster IT Professional with 30+ years of experience.
There is no viable method of reaching exoplanets and that includes “nuclear salt rockets” which are NOT presently viable at all and none have ever been flown. Far from being viable, the concept is entirely theoretical at this point.
Scott Manley teaches orbital mechanics and rocket science with degrees in Physics and Astronomy and Rocket Science.