Propulsion by a Gaseous Fission Reactor.
A reexamination of the gaseous fission reactor prompted by recent interest in such a reactor at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. Such a reexamination made at LRL came to the conclusion that a Mars trip--mission speed about 30 km/sec-would be impossibly expensive in oralloy-on the order of 5 to 10 thousand tons. In this Memorandum, the authors show that by using a cold D 0 reflector, instead of hot graphite, and by operating at a much higher pressure, the oralloy expenditure for the same mission can be reduced to about 15 tons, more or less independently of payload. They state that such a cost is probably small compared to the other costs involved in the system.