Related Topic: Space

European and US nuclear companies contribute to space work

European and US nuclear companies contribute to space work

The European Space Agency has awarded a contract to Belgian company Tractebel to evaluate the possibility of producing plutonium-238 for use in space exploration. Separately, US company X-energy, working as part of a General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems team, is to develop key fuel fabrication processes in support of a first-of-a-kind rocket powered by nuclear thermal propulsion under a contract awarded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

New Nuclear 01 September 2021


NASA selects reactor concepts for deep space exploration

NASA selects reactor concepts for deep space exploration

Three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system for deep space missions have been selected by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy. The reactor will be a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel.

New Nuclear 14 July 2021


NASA marks60 years of nuclear power in space

NASA marks 60 years of nuclear power in space

NASA has marked the 60th anniversary of the launch into space of its first nuclear-powered satellite. Transit IV-A - an experimental navigational satellite with a radioisotope-powered generator - was launched by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory from Cape Canaveral on 29 June 1961, and NASA has since flown more than 25 missions carrying a nuclear power system.

New Nuclear 30 June 2021


USNC subsidiary supporting cislunar rocket contractors

USNC subsidiary supporting cislunar rocket contractors

Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies - a subsidiary of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation - is providing "critical support" to both prime contractors in the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations programme to develop a nuclear thermal propulsion system for cislunar operations. USNC-Tech is the only company participating in both tracks of the programme.

New Nuclear 18 June 2021


USA awards space propulsion contracts

USA awards space propulsion contracts

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts for the first phase of its Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations programme to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion system above low Earth orbit in 2025. General Atomics will carry out reactor development work, while Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin will develop spacecraft concept designs.

New Nuclear 13 April 2021


Perseverance starts exploration of Mars

Perseverance starts exploration of Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars yesterday, 203 days after being launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rover, which is powered by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator developed and fuelled in partnership with the US Department of Energy, will explore the Jezero Crater and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth.

New Nuclear 19 February 2021


US Administration issues Space Policy Directive

US Administration issues Space Policy Directive

The US Administration has issued a new directive on the use of nuclear power and propulsion in space. Space Policy Directive-6 establishes high-level goals, principles, roles and responsibilities, and a supporting roadmap demonstrating the nation's commitment to the safe, effective and responsible use of space nuclear power and propulsion systems.

New Nuclear 17 December 2020


US looks to nuclear propulsion systems to achieve space ambitions

US looks to nuclear propulsion systems to achieve space ambitions

The US government yesterday announced the release of the National Space Policy, which advocates for developing and deploying nuclear power and propulsion systems on US space missions. The document specifies who, or which government agency, is responsible for various aspects of their development and deployment.

New Nuclear 10 December 2020


IAEA webinar addresses space safety

IAEA webinar addresses space safety

The International Atomic Energy Agency has developed arrangements to help countries respond quickly to protect the public and the environment in the event of an accident involving radioactive materials launched into orbit or travelling in spacecraft.

Regulation & Safety 29 October 2020


USNC-Tech develops deep space propulsion system

USNC-Tech develops deep space propulsion system

Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) - a subsidiary of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) - has developed a design concept as part of NASA-funded research into nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems for potential use in deep space travel. The concept uses a specialised variation of USNC's proprietary fully ceramic microencapsulated, tristructural isotropic fuel, developed for use in power reactors.

New Nuclear 23 October 2020