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Ultra high temperature particle bed reactor designA direct nuclear propulsion engine which could be used for a mission to Mars is designed. The main features of this reactor design are high values for I(sub sp) and very efficient cooling. This particle bed reactor consists of 37 cylindrical fuel elements embedded in a cylinder of beryllium which acts as a moderator and reflector. The fuel consists of a packed bed of spherical fissionable fuel particles. Gaseous H2 passes over the fuel bed, removes the heat, and is exhausted out of the rocket. The design was found to be neutronically critical and to have tolerable heating rates. Therefore, this particle bed reactor design is suitable as a propulsion unit for this mission.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lazareth, Otto
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Ludewig, Hans
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Perkins, K.
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Powell, J.
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision-21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium
Subject Category
Nuclear And High-Energy Physics
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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