1960-01-01

ELECTRIC PROPULSION SYSTEMS 600043

THE NUCLEAR turboelectric ion propulsion system operates as follows:
  1. 1.
    A nuclear reactor supplies thermal energy to a vapor boiler.
  2. 2.
    The vapor drives a turbine, which operates an electric generator.
  3. 3.
    The electric power is used to ionize and accelerate the propellant — a liquid alkali metal — which produces the thrust.
Electric propulsion systems can be used in a wide variety of space missions, including satellite sustainers, lunar cargo transport, and interplanetary missions.*

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