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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.
Satoshi Fukada, Masashi Terashita
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 57 | Number 2 | February 2010 | Pages 112-119
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST10-A9365
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The behavior of dynamic desorption of He, H2, and CH4 from a cryosorption pump is experimentally investigated using a simplified technique to roughly purify unburned D-T fuel exhausted from a fusion reactor. As a fundamental study to dynamically separate the unburned fuel and impurities, the discharge rates of H2 (as a representative of D2 and T2), He, and CH4 (as major impurities) are determined as a function of time or temperature, when the cryosorption pump is regenerated from [approximately]10 K to the room temperature of 285 to 300 K according to the experimental date. It is found that H2 is adsorbed and desorbed on active charcoal independent of the adsorption sites of He and CH4, which are evacuated simultaneously. The present result leads to a simplified method for roughly separating unburned fuel from impurities in fusion reactors by controlling the desorption temperature.