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Nuclear propulsion is the only option for interplanetary travel Bennett 6 (Staff, AIAA, presented at the 4th IECEC,

Space Nuclear Power: Opening the Final Frontier, June 26, From a public standpoint, the most spectacular uses of nuclear power sources in space have come from the interplanetary missions, beginning with the launches of the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1972 and 1973 respectively. When a spacecraft is sent where the sunlight is low (at Jupiter: 25 times less than at Earth; at Pluto: >900 times less than at Earth), where the temperatures are quite low (~130 K at Jupiter) and where the radiation belts are very severe the only option is nuclear power. This section summarizes the RTG performance on U.S. interplanetary missions from the Pioneers (Jupiter, Saturn) to the Vikings (Mars), Voyagers (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), Galileo (Jupiter), Ulysses (solar polar), and Cassini (Saturn) to the most recent, the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Only fusion solves interplanetary travel Winterberg 81 (Friedwardt, Professor @ UNevada, Fusion Magazine, April,
The great challenge that future spaceflight poses is the development of rocket-propulsion systems that can carry large payloads at extremely high speeds, thereby making possible manned spaceflight to distant planets. The
Apollo program demonstrated that we are able to land man on another planet in the solar system, but not with a very large payload. The Moon is relatively near to the Earth. If we were to attempt to go to Mars with chemical propulsion, it would take years, and the astronauts would have to travel in a spacecraft not much bigger than the interior of a bus. Making sure that nothing would go wrong in such a small vehicle traveling for years would be very difficult. Such an environment is clearly not practical for long-term space travel. Chemical propulsion is adequate only for unmanned space probes. However, unmanned probes for scientific reasons alone are neither desirable, nor can they lead to the goals that we must accomplish. What will we find on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? Only man, with his versatility of mind, is able to respond to totally unexpected experiences. Pre-programmed robots cannot do that. It is only with fusion propulsion fission is also inadequatethat manned spaceflight to distant planets will become practical. And man not only will be able to explore the solar system; he will be able to colonize and industrialize it. This is one reason why everyone working with fusion is so excited.

Fusion alone solves environmental concerns, and has minimal structural concerns Pogrebnyak 10 (Ivan, Physics major @ UNC, The People, Ideas, and Things Journal 1, 1, May 26, JM)
Finally, the

waste products of fusion reaction are either much safer than those of other kinds of power plants, or are absolutely harmless. The discussed reaction of Deuterium with Tritium, as can be seen in Fig. 2, produces the regular isotope of helium and a neutron. It is the same isotope of helium that is used to fill air balloons
which is not radioactive and cannot activate the equipment. However, the neutrons, although not radioactive themselves, are capable of activating the reactors structure, especially the metallic parts, when they hit them at high speed. This effect can be mitigated by using less reactive materials (carbon fiber has been proposed), which will produce short half-life waste. In contrast, even regular materials activated by high energy neutrons have a half-life of only about 30 years or less which is much less than the half-life of nuclear waste produced by fission. So, no complex storage would be required. Eventually, activated parts of the reactor will have to be replaced. This procedure will not have to be conducted frequently, as the parts should hold for approximately 40 to 50 years (the lifetime of a regular power plant of any kind)1,3. By the

time replacement parts are needed, waste in the old activated parts should already degrade, and they should be safe to dispose of or recycle as metal3. Hence, fusion technology has a direct advantage over other sources of

New fusion technology is ideal for space no radiation Williams 9 (Pharis E., American Institue of Physics, AIP Conference Proceedings 1103, 1, p. 459-465, March 16, JM)
The compact reactor concept (Williams. 2007) has the potential to provide clean, safe and unlimited supply of energy for Earth and Space applications. The concept is a potential fusion reactor wherein deuterium nuclei are preferentially fused into helium nuclei. Because the deuterium nuclei are preferentially fused into helium nuclei at temperatures and energies lower than specified by the standard model there is no harmful radiation as a byproduct of this fusion process. Therefore, a reactor using this reaction does not need any shielding to contain such radiation. The energy released from each reaction and the absence of shielding makes the deuterium-plusdeuterium-to-helium (DDH) reactor very compact when compared to other reactors, both fission and fusion types. Moreover, the potential energy output per reactor weight and the absence of harmful radiation makes the DDH

reactor an ideal candidate for individual home and space power. The concept also would make it possible for each plant or remote location to have its own power source, on site, without the need for a connection to the power grid. This would minimize, or eliminate, power blackouts. The concept could replace large fission reactors and fossil fuel power plants plus provide energy for ships, locomotives, trucks and autos. It would make an ideal source of energy for space power applications and for space propulsion.

Fusion solves the environment Williams 9 (Pharis E., American Institue of Physics, AIP Conference Proceedings 1103, 1, p. 459-465, March 16, JM)
The potential development of all sizes of the above discussed fusion reactors would make a significant reduction in the demand and use of fossil fuels. For example as fusion takes over the responsibility of providing electric power the use of coal would drop considerably. The use of coal for home heating would also be unnecessary when home fusion reactors begin supplying energy for the individual home. Fusion automobile power plants coupled with fusion power plants driving trucks, trains and ships would markedly reduce the use of gas and oil. Even the use of natural gas and oil for home heating would not be needed for the home with its own nuclear reactor. The author has not spent much time thinking of how a fusion reactor might be used to power aircraft and, therefore, leaves this topic to others who may have given it some thought. The reduction and virtual

elimination of the use of fossil fuels would have a tremendous impact upon the Earth's environment. The pollution currently produced would be almost totally eliminated. The production of greenhouse gases almost stopped.