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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.
T. Kobayashi et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 63 | Number 1 | May 2013 | Pages 160-163
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A dual frequency (110 GHz and 138 GHz) ECRF system development began for JT-60SA. A gyrotron output power and efficiency higher than 1 MW and 30% with a peak heat load at cavity lower than 1.4 kW/cm2 were obtained for both frequencies in calculation. Mode conversion efficiency of the quasi-optical mode converter sufficiently high for long pulse operation at 1 MW (96.8% for 110GHz and 98.3% for 138GHz) was also obtained in calculation. In the first conditioning operation of the newly fabricated gyrotron, an output power of 1.1 MW was obtained for 100 ms with an efficiency of 32% at 110 GHz.