nuclear engine

nuclear engine

[′nü·klē·ər ′en·jən]
(nucleonics)
A type of thermal engine utilizing nuclear fission or fusion reactions to heat a working fluid for propulsive purposes.
References in periodicals archive ?
Russia is testing a nuclear engine this year that could cut travel time to Mars from 18 months to just six weeks.
7 million) in 2010 to start a project to build a spacecraft with a nuclear engine.
Importantly, the dark-matter-burning phase prevents further gravitational contraction of the protostar, essentially "freezing" it in an embryonic stage before its nuclear engine can ignite.
With creation of NASA in 1958 followed quickly by President Kennedy's direction to land men on the Moon, Plum Brook supported the Nuclear Engine Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program.
MOL, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, and NERVA, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications, would be canceled a few years later.
The study recommends pursuing improvements in tank weight, nuclear engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and specific impulse-a performance parameter of rocket propellant that measures the thrust-producing energy content of the propellant; the higher the specific impulse, the less propellant mass is needed to perform the mission.
According to the standard solar model, the nuclear engine at the sun's center pumps out a tremendous amount of energy.
The NACA morphed into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, and it took 15 years and untold millions of dollars to build and operate the reactor, with much testing also devoted to Nuclear Engines for Rocket Vehicle Application and the Space Nuclear Auxiliary Program.
Nikolay Ponomarev-Stepnoi of the Kurchatov Institute said Russian-designed nuclear engines and propulsion systems were already at the experimental stage.
In 1961, NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission founded the Nuclear Engines for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) program.
At little-known but heavily- guarded Vulcan, a series of Rolls-Royce designs for nuclear engines have been successively put through their paces for more than 30 years, before being actually installed on the subs.
Nuclear engines require far less fuel mass than chemical rockets, and can fire for much longer periods, which means more speed.
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