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Fusion Science and Technology
Trump leaves space nuclear policy executive order for Biden team
A hot fire test of the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi was not completed as planned. The SLS is the vehicle meant to propel a crewed mission to the moon in 2024. Source: NASA Television
Among the executive orders President Trump issued during his last weeks in office was “Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration,” which builds on the Space Policy Directives published during his term. The order, issued on January 12, calls for actions within the next six months by NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD), together with the Department of Energy and other federal entities. Whether the Biden administration will retain some, all, or none of the specific goals of the Trump administration’s space nuclear policy remains to be seen, but one thing is very clear: If deep space exploration remains a priority, nuclear-powered and -propelled spacecraft will be needed.
The prospects for near-term deployment of nuclear propulsion and power systems in space improved during Trump’s presidency. However, Trump left office days after a hot fire test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket did not go as planned. The SLS rocket is meant to propel crewed missions to the moon in 2024 and to enable a series of long-duration lunar missions that could be powered by small lunar reactor installations. The test on January 16 of four engines that were supposed to fire for over eight minutes was automatically aborted after one minute, casting some doubt that a planned November 2021 Artemis I mission can go ahead on schedule.
M. Ichimura et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 63 | Number 1 | May 2013 | Pages 115-118
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In GAMMA 10, a divertor simulation study has been started with open magnetic field configuration in the end region. High heat and particle fluxes are required along the magnetic field line to the end region. Plasmas with high ion-temperature of several keV and strong temperature anisotropy of more than 10 have been produced by using ion-cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) heating in the central cell. Direct anchor heating experiments with new anchor antennas have been performed and the enhancement of the MHD stabilization has been observed. High energy ions whose energy is more than 50 keV have been observed in the end-loss ions. The axial transport of high-energy ions due to loss processes other than the classical Coulomb scattering has been discussed. Alfvén-ion-cyclotron (AIC) waves are spontaneously excited owing to such the strong temperature anisotropy and considerable energy transport along the magnetic field line due to the AIC waves is expected. In this review, recent ICRF heating experiments for the divertor simulation study are described.