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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.
R. Yasuhara et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 63 | Number 1 | May 2013 | Pages 408-410
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A novel configuration of a photon recycling probe laser system for Thomson scattering (TS) system is proposed to measure electron temperature and density of the divertor region in GAMMA10 by using a polarization control multi-pass technique. This configuration can use for simultaneous measurements of the multi-pass TS measurement of the central plasma and the 1 pass measurement of the divertor plasma. To confirm the feasibility of the new method, we have installed double pass TS system in the GAMMA 10 central plasma. As the result, the scattering light intensity at the second pass has maintained more than 95% of first pass signal. By using a same solid angle and a scattering volume of the GAMMA10 central TS system, electron density of 2×1018 m-3 will be measured at the divertor region.