Read this slashdot story text:
"It appears that NASA is not backing down from their nuclear space initiative. Project Prometheus has recently started a new web page (under JPL) and NASA is finishing up a period of public comment (last session today). Currently Northrup Grumman is contracted to begin preliminary design of the spacecraft until 2008 for NASA (the reactor will be built by the Department of Energy's Division of Naval Reactors--the folks who control all US submarine and aircraft carrier nuclear reactors). Early specs are that it will be 60 meters long, have a 30,000 kg mass, use a 100 KW reactor using Brayton cycle gas turbines, be powered by ion thrusters with a 7000 second specific impulse, and have a science payload of 1500 kg. Early mission plans for Prometheus 1 (Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter) indicate that the spacecraft would orbit Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa individually, and perhaps have a lifespan of about 20 years."
doesnt that start to sound like a "real" spaceship? damn thats cool. can someone dumb-down "a 7000 second specific impulse"? 60 meters is no battlestar galactica but nuclear reactors in space seem like a good application for them.
dou! then i looked at the artist's rendition and it looks pretty lame compared to what i was thinking of.