Multi-stage rocket of Hope
The most plausible method for getting the Hope back on the "ground" would be for some kind of hot re-entry, followed by an ocean splashdown.
It got me thinking about how the ship's payload was maybe designed to separate from the main ship or at least the propulsion element. Obviously, the separation never occurred due to the ship's temporal rendition.
Here the design is reversed. The top is the roof, nuclear thrusters protrude from the skirt -- they bring Hope to a safe speed for splashdown.