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Applications of nuclear reactor power systems to electric propulsion missions.The performance of nuclear electric propulsion systems (NEP) has been evaluated for a wide variety of missions in an attempt to establish the commonality of NEP system requirements. Emphasis was given to those requirements and system characteristics that serve as guidelines for current technology development programs. Various interactions and tradeoffs between NEP system and mission parameters are described. The results show that the most significant factors in selecting NEP system size are launch mode (direct or spiral escape) and, to a weaker extent, launch vehicle capability. Other factors such as mission, payload, and thrust time constraints, have little influence, thus allowing one NEP system to be used for many missions. The results indicated that a 100 kWe NEP would be suitable for most direct escape missions and a 250 kWe NEP system would be suitable for more demanding missions that use the spiral escape mode.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Schaupp, R. W. (NASA Office of Advanced Research and Technology, Advanced Concepts and Missions Div., Moffett Field Calif., United States)
Sawyer, C. D. (California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1971
Subject Category
Meeting Information
Annual Thermionic Conversion Specialist Conference(San Diego, CA)
Distribution Limits