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The past as prologue: a look at historical flight qualifications for space nuclear systems

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1 Author(s)
Bennett, G.L. ; NASA, Washington, DC, USA

The author examines what it means to flight qualify a space nuclear system. He reviews several qualification programs, including the general-purpose heat source radioisotope thermoelectric generators (GPHS-RTGs) as developed for the Galilee and Ulysses missions, the SNAP-10A space reactor, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA), the F-1 chemical engine used on the Saturn-V, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). Similarities and contrasts are noted.<>

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 11 )