Reliability Testing of Nuclear Power Systems for Space


Nuclear rockets could be used to sustain human outposts on other worlds and cut the travel time to Mars in half (photo by NASA).

Nuclear rockets could be used to sustain human outposts on other worlds and cut the travel time to Mars in half (photo by NASA).

Posted: April 09, 2020 | Completed: 20200330
Has any reliability testing been done on nuclear power systems for use in space?

A DSIAC subject matter expert from the Johns Hopkins University Energetics Research Group provided points of contact from NASA Glenn Research Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory. These contacts were involved in the Kilopower project. They specialize in designing power systems for surface power applications and are knowledgeable of the most up-to-date reliability testing. In addition, contact information for an expert in fuel geometry and reliability from BWX Technologies was also provided to the inquirer.

This technical inquiry stemmed from the article “NASA Wants to Send Nuclear Rockets to the Moon and Mars.”

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