Integrated Multiphysics and Advanced Diagnostics
- Magazine Article
The objective of this effort was to design, fabricate, integrate, and fly a nuclear thermal rocket without having to build massive ground test facilities. Furthermore, this nuclear rocket would be inspected internally without having to disassemble it. Another aim here was to predict the reliability for a 15-to-20-year lifetime for a surface nuclear power plant essential for supplying power to explorers on the Moon or Mars, all without having to build and test a full-scale reactor. If the performance of these systems could be predicted, one could establish the impact of manufacturing tolerances on the operations of these systems.