PEGASUS: a multi-megawatt nuclear electric propulsion system

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With the Space Transportation System (STS), the advent of space station Columbus and the development of expertise at working in space that this will entail, the gateway is open to the final frontier. The exploration of this frontier is possible with state-of-the-art hydrogen/oxygen propulsion but would be greatly enhanced by the higher specific impulse of electric propulsion. This paper presents a concept that uses a multi-megawatt nuclear power plant to drive an electric propulsion system. The concept has been named PEGASUS, PowEr GenerAting System for Use in Space, and is intended as a ''work horse'' for general space transportation needs, ... continued below

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Pages: 5

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Coomes, E.P.; Cuta, J.M.; Webb, B.J. & King, D.Q. June 1, 1985.

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Description

With the Space Transportation System (STS), the advent of space station Columbus and the development of expertise at working in space that this will entail, the gateway is open to the final frontier. The exploration of this frontier is possible with state-of-the-art hydrogen/oxygen propulsion but would be greatly enhanced by the higher specific impulse of electric propulsion. This paper presents a concept that uses a multi-megawatt nuclear power plant to drive an electric propulsion system. The concept has been named PEGASUS, PowEr GenerAting System for Use in Space, and is intended as a ''work horse'' for general space transportation needs, both long- and short-haul missions. The recent efforts of the SP-100 program indicate that a power system capable of producing upwards of 1 megawatt of electric power should be available in the next decade. Additionally, efforts in other areas indicate that a power system with a constant power capability an order of magnitude greater could be available near the turn of the century. With the advances expected in megawatt-class space power systems, the high specific impulse propulsion systems must be reconsidered as potential propulsion systems. The power system is capable of meeting both the propulsion system and spacecraft power requirements.

Physical Description

Pages: 5

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01; 1.

Source

  • 3. symposium on space nuclear power systems, Albuquerque, NM, USA, 13 Jan 1986

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  • Other: DE86011626
  • Report No.: PNL-SA-13510
  • Report No.: CONF-860102-10
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5708364
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1093084

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 1, 1985

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  • Feb. 10, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

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  • April 11, 2018, 1:01 p.m.

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Coomes, E.P.; Cuta, J.M.; Webb, B.J. & King, D.Q. PEGASUS: a multi-megawatt nuclear electric propulsion system, article, June 1, 1985; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1093084/: accessed December 9, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.