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Pentagon calls on corporations for nuclear-powered propulsion for its satellites

General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors on that effort

Pentagon taps industry for nuclear-powered propulsion for its satellitesBy Nathan Strout  WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is looking to industry for nuclear-powered propulsion technology to drive its spacecraft, freeing them from the low-energy limitations of current electric and solar-based propulsion systems.

…….  DIU’s government customers are looking for lightweight, long-lasting commercial nuclear power solutions that can provide greater propulsion and electric power for small and medium-sized spacecraft. Interested companies that can show a plan for prototype development within three to five years could be awarded other transaction authority contracts to support laboratory-based prototyping of such systems, followed by a path to flight-based testing.

This isn’t the military’s first time dipping its toe into developing nuclear-powered spacecraft. Most recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency issued contracts to three companies in April to design a nuclear thermal propulsion system for space. The program, known as the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations, seeks to build nuclear thermal propulsion that can enable rapid maneuver in space, particularly for cislunar operations.

General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors on that effort……….

September 11, 2021 - Posted by | Canada, space travel

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