It is certainly exciting times for NASA and the space nuclear community, as physical testing of nuclear thermal rockets (NTRs) and associated components has begun at NASA and the Department of Energy laboratories across the country. Nuclear thermal propulsion, as discussed in a previous article, is just one form of nuclear propulsion with extensive research behind it, and the only form with an extensive testing background. Near-term efforts by NASA will focus on preparation for ground and flight tests of a scalable Nuclear Thermal Rocket around 2020. However, the larger purpose of the recently restarted testing track is to develop an engine for manned travel to an asteroid, and eventually to our neighboring planet, Mars.
August 3, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
July 9, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
May 8, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Part III: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
April 9, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Part II: Electric propulsion and fission power generation in space
February 29, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Part I: Space nuclear reactor safety
February 1, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
January 20, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
November 30, 2011, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Shannon Bragg-Sitton of Idaho National Laboratory discusses nuclear applications for space missions, including the Mars Curiosity rover launched last Saturday, and the upcoming American Nuclear Society Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) topical meeting, on March 21-23, in The Woodlands, Tex., held in conjunction with the March 19-23 Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference. Please check the links above for more info.
August 15, 2011, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
March 30, 2011, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
This article was originally scheduled to appear on March 14.
January 31, 2011, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
From high in orbit above planet Earth... to the dusty surface of the moon... to the stunning cloud tops and moons of Jupiter... to the dazzling rings of Saturn... even to the darkness at the edge of interstellar space-nuclear technology has made possible incredible journeys to extraordinary destinations in our Solar System, and opened doors to some of the most profound discoveries of all time. Yet, the future of nuclear technology for space exploration promises even more remarkable journeys and more amazing discoveries.