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Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download. NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2003 included funds to begin the Nuclear Systems Initiative focused on research into and development of enhanced capabilities in the general areas of spacecraft power and propulsion systems.

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

The agency’s fiscal year 2004 budget request renamed the activity Project Prometheus and proposed substantial funding for research and development activities for the next 5 years in the following areas:
• Energy generation (including radioisotope systems for the near term and fission reactor systems for the longer term);
• Conversion to electricity (including both static and dynamic system design concepts); and
• Electricity utilization (for nuclear-electric propulsion, scientific instruments, and communications).

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

According to NASA, Project Prometheus was initiated in response to identified limitations in the current paradigm for solar system exploration. In particular, photovoltaic arrays restrict a spacecraft’s power budgets and are of limited use in the outer solar system. Similarly, chemical propulsion systems limit a spacecraft’s maneuverability and the number of solar system destinations that can be readily reached. In early 2003, NASA selected the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)—a mission to study three of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter—as the first mission to use the new nuclear propulsion capabilities.

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

But in early 2005, JIMO was deferred until beyond 2017 in favor of a less complex, but as yet undefined, nuclear-electric propulsion (NEP) mission designated Prometheus 1. In late 2003, Edward J. Weiler, then NASA’s associate administrator for space science, sought an independent assessment of whether, and if so, what, potentially highly meritorious space science missions beyond JIMO might be enabled if space nuclear power and propulsion systems could be developed and put into operation.

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

In a letter dated October 14, 2003, Dr. Weiler requested that the Space Studies Board (SSB) and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Research Council (NRC) jointly organize a study to assist NASA in the following manner:
• Identify high-priority space science objectives that could be uniquely enabled or greatly enhanced by development of advanced nuclear power and propulsion systems for spacecraft; and
• Make recommendations for an advanced technology development program for long-term future space science mission nuclear power and propulsion capabilities.

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf free download

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion by National Research Council pdf download


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