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Aging effects of US space nuclear systems in orbit

Description: This report presents information and data in support of a cost-benefit analysis being performed by Fair child Industries (FI) on the feasibility of retrieving existing US space nuclear systems in earth orbit by the Space Shuttle. This report evaluates, for US space nuclear systems presently in orbit, the radioisotopic inventory and external radiation field as a function of time, the effect of aging on fuel containment materials over the projected lifetime of the system, and the possible radioactive source terms should reentry eventually occur. Although the radioisotopic inventories and radiation fields have been evaluated for all systems, Transit 4A and Transit Triad have been emphasized in the evaluation of the aging effects and reentry consequences because these spacecraft have the shortest projected orbital lifetimes (570 and 150 years, respectively). In addition to existing systems in orbit, the radioisotopic inventory, radiation field, and reentry source terms have been evaluated for a General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) in a parking orbit due to an aborted Galileo Mission or International Solar Polar Mission (ISPM).
Date: May 14, 1982
Creator: Bartram, B.W.; Huang, R.; Tammara, S.R. & Thielke, N.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department