I’d heard of Orion, but not nuclear salt water rockets, which get impressive performance:
One design would generate 13 meganewtons of thrust at 66 km/s exhaust velocity (compared to ~4.5 km/s exhaust velocity for the best chemical rockets of today). Another design would achieve much higher exhaust velocities (4,700 km/s) and use 2,700 tonnes of highly enriched Uranium salts in water to propel a 300 tonne spacecraft up to 3.6% of the speed of light.
Of course, there are slight drawbacks to using these things in a biosphere:
a NSWR would eject massive quantities of superheated steam, still containing fissioning nuclear salts. Terrestrial testing might be subject to reasonable objections; as one physicist wrote, “Writing the environmental impact statement for such tests […] might present an interesting problem …”