Nuclear Rocketry in the News.

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project0rion

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http://www.aviationnow.com/awin/...058-01.xml<br />World News & Analysis <br />The Space Propulsion Industry Considers More Consolidation <br />Aviation Week & Space Technology <br />07/19/2004, page 58<br />Craig Covault <br />Fort Lauderdale, Fla.<br /><br />The space propulsion industry considers more consolidation as another Apollo 11 anniversary dawns, but this time with some promise on the horizon<br /><br />RETOOLING ROCKETRY<br /><br />The U.S. space propulsion industry, a technology linchpin for America's return to the Moon, is looking to retool and reorganize around a new but controversial "national propulsion company" concept that could help revitalize the industry.<br /><br />This plan is beginning to emerge from secret talks between Pratt & Whitney and Boeing on Pratt's possible acquisition of Boeing's Rocketdyne space propulsion division.<br /><br />Top Air Force and Lockheed Martin managers, however, question whether the plan could stifle competition. <br /><br />The new move toward consolidation of U.S. rocket propulsion companies comes as NASA on July 20 marks the 35th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing by Apollo 11. The Apollo achievement was made possible by the development of 60 different rocket propulsion systems that made up the Apollo/Saturn V vehicle. <br /><br />Now finally more than three decades after Apollo's triumph, there is progress on the horizon for a second wave of human exploration.<br /><br />Similar cutting-edge, but far more efficient and cost-effective, propulsion developments will be needed to power NASA's new Lunar/Mars initiative, however. The agency is this week sorting the first official response from companies that met a July 16 deadline for initial Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) options, designed to eventually propel U.S. manned spaceflight out of Earth orbit where it has been stranded since the end of Apollo. These new Lunar/Mars propulsion techn
 
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pr0ject0rion

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http://www.aviationnow.com/awin/awin_awst/awin_awst_section_story.jsp?issueDate=2004-08-09&section=In+Orbit<br /><br />Northrop Grumman, Princeton Picked For Electric Propulsion Work<br />Aviation Week & Space Technology <br />08/09/2004, page 17<br />Edited by Frank Morring, Jr.<br />Power Drives<br /><br />Project Prometheus, the NASA/Energy Dept. effort to develop nuclear power and propulsion for deep-space exploration, has picked Northrop Grumman Space Technology and Princeton University for advanced work on electric propulsion technologies. The Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Northrop Grumman unit won a $3-million contract to develop a nuclear-electric pulsed inductive thruster system able to produce efficiency of 70% or better in sustained operations at 200 kw., with a specific impulse ranging from 3,000-10,000 sec. Princeton, in New Jersey, will get about $4 million to push the state of the art in lithium-fed magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. The Princeton thruster would operate at 240 kw., with better than 60% efficiency and a specific impulse of 6,200 sec., an advance over today's applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters.
 
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the_ten

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I'm all for nuclear powered spacecraft. Fear of disaster hasn't stopped us from driving nuclear reactors around in the planets water supply 365 days a year. Why should space be any different? Ever heard of a star?<br /><br />I may be naive on the subject but I don't think we're at risk of collapsing the known universe. Just a hunch.
 
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orzek

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I think the fear is of having one of these rockets re-entering the atmosphere or blowing up when going into space and thus spreading nuclear particles all over the atmosphere. I think that this is just a perception most lay people have even though it is a bit misinformed!
 
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pr0ject0rion

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Fear of the unknown about sums it up. Nuclear energy is pretty high tech stuff. Few people without diploma's understand that radiation is everywhere you look and like most everything else only dangerous in concentrated doses. Weight for weight caffeine is more deadly than Plutonium.
 
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crossovermaniac

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The US exploded dozens of nuclear weapons above ground in the Nevada desert. If that didn't cause a disaster then one nuclear reactor in space that has an accident won't either.
 
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