Garmaine Staff asked 2 years ago

Most solid-core nuclear rocket designs seem to have a rather short fuel lifetime (and one that wastes most of the uranium or plutonium) due to the buildup of fission products (combined with the very thin margins / extremely aggressive high-performance design of the reactor).

Being able to refuel from a depot or fuel carrier craft seems like it could extend the lifetime of such missions, and the fuel could potentially be reprocessed.

Have methods for refueling nuclear thermal rockets been designed or studied in detail?

(To me, this sounds like it would go along well with pebble/particle beds.)