nuclear pulse drive

Among proposals for utilizing nuclear power devices to propel space rockets, one detonates a small device at distance behind the vehicle separated from the direct blast by a pusher plate and springs capable of compressing several tonnes per square meter. A more efficient device is possible to utilize the nuclear pulse:

By wrapping a restraining magnetic field around the main thrust device and axis, the detonation plasma expands that to large diameter,-- then as the field collapses back, it blows the plasma at the thrust plate several seconds, improving the thrust yield efficacy and the overall efficiency, greatly:

The restraining, and collapsing, magnetic field acts as a separator of electrons and nuclei, so that only one general species impels the pusher plate --preferably the nuclei, for the leading nanosecond edge of the blast buries shallowly into its surface, and installs a charge barrier against the remaining seconds of hot blasting nuclei, and thus an effectual thin surface thermal barrier. (Hot electrons would penetrate more deeply, affording a less effective barrier.)

Initial estimates suggest it may require a two-stage fission-fusion device: the first stage fission device rapidly collapses an electrified current coil to generate the very high magnetic restraining field, as well as trigger the second stage fusion device.

(The detonation radiant termperature is still high, but much farther back.)

The passengers also need a tuned E-M field for uniformly imparting inertia to them in greater comfort than the equipment endures.

Grand-Admiral Petry
'Majestic Service in a Solar System'
Nuclear Emergency Management