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Title: Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion

Abstract

The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp {approx} 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio ({approx} 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched {sup 235}U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three {approx}15-klb{sub f} engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH{sub 2}) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
none (US)
OSTI Identifier:
786220
Report Number(s):
ISSN 0003-018X; CODEN TANSAO
ISSN 0003-018X; CODEN TANSAO; TRN: US0109310
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2000 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (US), 06/04/2000--06/08/2000; Other Information: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, Volume 82; PBD: 4 Jun 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; ASTEROIDS; EXPLORATION; MOON; POWER GENERATION; SPACE PROPULSION REACTORS; SPACE VEHICLES; SPACE FLIGHT; MARS PLANET; ROCKET ENGINES; SPACE POWER REACTORS; DESIGN; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; SPECIFICATIONS

Citation Formats

Stanley K. Borowski, Leonard A. Dudzinski, and Melissa L. McGuire. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion. United States: N. p., 2000. Web.
Stanley K. Borowski, Leonard A. Dudzinski, & Melissa L. McGuire. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion. United States.
Stanley K. Borowski, Leonard A. Dudzinski, and Melissa L. McGuire. Sun . "Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion". United States.
@article{osti_786220,
title = {Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion},
author = {Stanley K. Borowski and Leonard A. Dudzinski and Melissa L. McGuire},
abstractNote = {The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp {approx} 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio ({approx} 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched {sup 235}U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three {approx}15-klb{sub f} engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH{sub 2}) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {6}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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