AKAImBatman writes "When it comes to launching millions of pounds of material into space, nearly everyone knows about the Orion Project. Blow up a series of nuclear bombs under your dairy-aire and ride the explosion on up. Unfortunately, the Orion spewed out so much radiation that it just wasn't a feasible launch option. If we want commuter trips to space, we're going to have to find another way. Well, it turns out that NASA's been doing quite a bit of research on Gas Core Nuclear Rockets, an ultra-powerful nuclear rocket that puts out almost no radiation. This research has spurred a fascinating new generation of ideas on reaching the cosmos. Could inexpensive cruises to the moon happen within our lifetimes?"