In the race for human progress, the best technology doesn’t always win: that’s the point you’ll get learning about NERVA NASA’s Mars Dream starting back in the mid-1960s. What was the NERVA program? Why did Richard Nixon cancel the program in favor of the Space Shuttle?
According to Wikipedia, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) was a nuclear thermal rocket engine development program that ran for roughly two decades. Its principal objective was to “establish a technology base for nuclear rocket engine systems to be utilized in the design and development of propulsion systems for space mission application.” Researchers have continued to develop a safe nuclear rocket engine, with concepts like NTP, NTREES, and NCPS.
So I hope you enjoyed this discussion about NERVA – NASA’s Mars Dream. I’m pulling all of these cool ideas together for a future short story about two guys at a Space Techology vendors convention. Stay tuned!
Thanks for waiting for the Sci-Friday – I was going to publish it last week but received some sad news about a passing friend. Took me a minute, but I’m still here – my friend would want it that way. Please feel welcomed to dive down the rabbit hole of every other Sci-Friday I’ve published in the past couple years. Have a great weekend! 🙂