nuclear pulse rocket
Orion-type nuclear pulse rocket.
A nuclear pulse rocket is a rocket propelled by a rapid and lengthy series of small atomic or nuclear explosions. A variety of schemes have been proposed from the 1940s on. Project Orion was the lengthiest study – involving actual model test flights – of the nuclear pulse concept based on fission. Project Daedalus provided a counterpart based on fusion.
The nuclear pulse rocket is just one possible form of nuclear propulsion for spacecraft.