SP-100 Space Reactor Power System Readiness 929308
The SP-100 Space Reactor Power System is being developed by GE, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, to provide electrical power in the range of 10's to 100's of kW. The system represents an enabling technology for a wide variety of earth orbital and interplanetary science missions, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) stages, and lunar/Mars surface power for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An effective infrastructure of Industry, National Laboratories and Government agencies has made substantial progress since the 1988 System Design Review. Hardware development and testing has progressed to the point of resolving all key technical feasibility issues. The technology and design is now at a state of readiness to support the definition of early flight demonstration missions. Of particular importance is that SP-100 meets the demanding U.S. safety, performance, reliability and life requirements. The system is scalable and flexible and can be configured to provide 10's to 100's of kWe without repeating development work and can meet DoD goals for an early, low-power demonstration flight in the 1996 - 1997 time frame.