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Current Status of the Nuclear-Powered Arc Jet Rocket Engine

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4 Author(s)
John, R.R. ; Avco Corporation Wilmington, Massachusetts ; Connors, J. ; Mironer, A. ; Yarmovych, M.

The present paper is in the nature of a status report on the performance and possible application to space missions of the thermal arc jet rocket engine. The following areas are discussed: 1. Arc Jet Operation and Performance 2. Preliminary Arc Jet System Considerations 3. Orbit Transfer of a 24-Hour Communications Satellite The paper includes discussions of electrode configuration, liquid versus radiation-cooled engines, and arc engine starting, and contains speculations on a battery-powered flight test, cryogenic versus noncryogenic propellants, and alternating versus direct-current arc jet operation.

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Nuclear Science, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )