In chemical propulsion, combustion process was used to produce the necessary thrust to propel the rocket. But in nuclear propulsion techniques, nuclear reactions are used to do the same. Nuclear reactions release tremendous amount of energy. This energy is used to heat the propellants (like liquid H 2 ), due to which gaseous product is formed, which provides thrust to the rocket.
Nuclear reactions are of two types:
These reactions are used to produce energy, which is harnessed to create thrust for propulsion of rockets. The propulsion techniques using the above reactions are called:
Let us see how fission and fusion propulsion techniques are used for propelling the rockets.