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Nuclear thermal propulsion technology: Results of an interagency panel in FY 1991NASA LeRC was selected to lead nuclear propulsion technology development for NASA. Also participating in the project are NASA MSFC and JPL. The U.S. Department of Energy will develop nuclear technology and will conduct nuclear component, subsystem, and system testing at appropriate DOE test facilities. NASA program management is the responsibility of NASA/RP. The project includes both nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology development. This report summarizes the efforts of an interagency panel that evaluated NTP technology in 1991. Other panels were also at work in 1991 on other aspects of nuclear propulsion, and the six panels worked closely together. The charters for the other panels and some of their results are also discussed. Important collaborative efforts with other panels are highlighted. The interagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) NTP Technology Panel worked in 1991 to evaluate nuclear thermal propulsion concepts on a consistent basis. Additionally, the panel worked to continue technology development project planning for a joint project in nuclear propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). Five meetings of the panel were held in 1991 to continue the planning for technology development of nuclear thermal propulsion systems. The state-of-the-art of the NTP technologies was reviewed in some detail. The major technologies identified were as follows: fuels, coatings, and other reactor technologies; materials; instrumentation, controls, health monitoring and management, and associated technologies; nozzles; and feed system technology, including turbopump assemblies.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Clark, John S.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Mcdaniel, Patrick
(Phillips Lab. Kirtland AFB, NM., United States)
Howe, Steven
(Los Alamos National Lab. NM., United States)
Helms, Ira
(Nuclear Utility Services, Inc. Damascus, MD., United States)
Stanley, Marland
(EI International, Inc. Idaho Falls, ID., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1993
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:105711
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 593-71-00
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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