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Nuclear Thermal Rocket - Arc Jet Integrated System ModelIn the post-shuttle era, space exploration is moving into a new regime. Commercial space flight is in development and is planned to take on much of the low earth orbit space flight missions. With the development of a heavy lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch, System, NASA has become focused on deep space exploration. Exploration into deep space has traditionally been done with robotic probes. More ambitious missions such as manned missions to asteroids and Mars will require significant technology development. Propulsion system performance is tied to the achievability of these missions and the requirements of other developing technologies that will be required. Nuclear thermal propulsion offers a significant improvement over chemical propulsion while still achieving high levels of thrust. Opportunities exist; however, to build upon what would be considered a standard nuclear thermal engine to attain improved performance, thus further enabling deep space missions. This paper discuss the modeling of a nuclear thermal system integrated with an arc jet to further augment performance. The performance predictions and systems impacts are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Taylor, Brian D. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Emrich, William (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 1, 2016
Publication Date
July 25, 2016
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference(Salt Lake City, UT)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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