NPR logo Getting To The Stars


Getting To The Stars

Icarus Starship Design


How would we create a probe that could bridge the distance to the stars? Project Icarus was one design for a nuclear powered "rocket". Here is a quick video showing the basic idea. From the authors:

Project Icarus is a theoretical design study of an interstellar starship. This movie illustrates how a Fusion Pulse Propulsion system works, which was the engine used for the 1970s Project Daedalus. Fusion releases, on average, about a million times from energy than traditional chemical rockets, and so would be perfectly suited for interstellar propulsion. To learn more, visit

If you have an extra hour you can watch this presentation on interstellar travel from the British Interplanetary Society (love that name!).