In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA announces nuclear thermal propulsion reactor concept awards. The agency is working on adding Orion’s launch abort system onto the spacecraft ahead of the Artemis I mission.
Human Space Exploration
NASA issues contracts for nuclear thermal propulsion studies
Coalition Members in the News – Aerojet Rocketdyne, BWX Technologies, Lockheed Martin
SpaceNews.com (7/13): NASA on Tuesday announced contracts to pursue three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system. The reactor would be a component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilize high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel. Working with the Department of Energy, NASA contracted with BWX Technologies, which will work with Lockheed Martin; General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, which will work with X-energy and Aerojet Rocketdyne; and Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies, working with its parent company, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, Blue Origin, General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy, General Electric Research, Framatome, and Materion. The $5 million agreements will span 12 months. Efforts to develop nuclear thermal propulsion are supported by Congress, which has set aside funding for the effort, even when NASA has not requested it. That includes an FY2022 appropriations bill which cleared the House CJS subcommittee July 12, and which provides $110 ...