Homer Hickam, NASA scientist and author of the book "October Sky," is calling for a return to nuclear fission rocket development as a feasible, short-term means of extending human reach into the solar system. During a speech given at a NASA symposium on space flight in Washington, D.C., Hickam urged NASA to embark upon a 15-year program to develop advanced, next generation propulsion engines to supplant current chemical rockets. "We haven't done anything totally new [in ...

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