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Nuclear-electric power in space: Nuclear-reactor power systems could produce an abundance of new applications in space, hut design hurdles abound

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2 Author(s)
Truscello, V.C. ; California Inst. of Technol., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Davis, H.S.

Describes a joint program of NASA and DOE to develop the technology required for nuclear-reactor space power plants in the 100-to-1000-kWe range. The new program, called SP-100, will investigate potential space missions for 100-to-1000-kWe nuclear-reactor power systems and develop the technology to build such system. The limitations of present method of producing electricity for space vehicles and the benefits of the nuclear approach are discussed. Also, high temperature problems, the thermionic concept, thermoelectric generation, the Stirling engine approach, heat transfer problems, and radiation protection are discussed.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 1984

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