Where do you find this stuff, O?
I knew about the Nerva but not to this detail politically and conceptually as to its relation to the shuttle program, Depots and initiation. That's amazing.
It's true. With what we know about NASA and it's attitude this would have been a worse disaster than any of the Shuttle Disasters. We're not ready for this yet but it could still have Lunar to Interplanetary uses. At 75,000 and 200,000 lbs of trust it seems week compared to the 2.5 million lbs of thrust the fastest chemical rocket launched with.