Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Farinella P., Anselmo L., Bertotti B. Nuclear power in space: a dual-use conflict. D. Schroeer and M. Elena (eds.). Aldershot, United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2000.
This paper summarizes the history and problems of nuclear energy in space. Half a century ago, at the time of the "Atoms for Peace" initiative, it was commonplace to believe that nuclear energy would not only provide energy "too cheap to meter" on the Earth's surface, but also would become the key technique allowing humanity to travel in the Solar System and establish "colonies" on the Moon and the planets. Science-fiction novels abounded with detailed blueprints for giant nuclear-propelled spacecraft, and even serious popular science writers often discussed how the nuclear-reactor engines of submarines like Nautilus would soon be adapted to the requirements of interplanetary spacecraft. As we shall see, these predictions were completely wrong, and the applications of nuclear energy in space, while important, have been much more limited.
Subject Aerospace
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering

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