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Thread: US policy memo: Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    862

    US policy memo: Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems

    US space nuclear power memorandum.

    This necessitated by NASA's development of Kilopower; a compact, simple and relatively inexpensive space capable nuclear reactor, which is expected to be used by both government and commercial space missions. Also a renewed interest in nuclear thermal propulsion.

    Propulsion, probes, bases, etc., even in remote Earth locations.

    Imagine a SpaceX Starship or NASA NAUTILUS-X with a nuclear propulsion module...

    WhiteHouse.gov...

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    MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
    THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
    THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
    THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
    THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL
    PROTECTION AGENCY
    THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL
    AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
    THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY
    COMMISSION
    THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL
    SECURITY AFFAIRS
    THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SCIENCE AND
    TECHNOLOGY AND DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF
    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY

    SUBJECT: Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

    Section 1. Purpose.

    This memorandum updates the process for launches of spacecraft containing space nuclear systems. Space nuclear systems include radioisotope power systems (RPSs), such as radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and radioisotope heater units (RHUs), and fission reactors used for power and propulsion.

    The ability to use space nuclear systems safely and sustainably is vital to maintaining and advancing United States dominance and strategic leadership in space. For United States launches of space nuclear systems, the Federal Government must ensure a rigorous, risk informed safety analysis and launch authorization process. This memorandum establishes processes for Federal Government launches and launches for which the Department of Transportation (DOT) has statutory authority to license as commercial space launch activities (commercial launches). These processes include transparent safety guidelines and are forward-looking and amenable to effective use of space nuclear systems for heating, power, and propulsion.

    Section 2. Policy.

    The United States shall develop and use space nuclear systems when such systems safely enable or enhance space exploration or operational capabilities. The Secretary of Energy shall maintain, on a full cost recovery basis, the capability and infrastructure to develop, furnish, and conduct safety analyses for space nuclear systems for use in United States Government space systems. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall seek to ensure that safe application of space nuclear systems is a viable option for Federal Government and commercial space activities.
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    DONALD J. TRUMP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    862
    The other shoe drops

    Jim Bridenstine ✔ @JimBridenstine
    In partnership with @ENERGY, we’ve completed successful tests of #Kilopower, a new nuclear power technology that could provide safe, efficient and sun-independent energy for long-term human and robotic exploration during long lunar nights and within shadowed areas on the Moon.

    IMG_20190822_125643.jpg

    https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/s...17912707690496

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,593
    This makes me very happy.

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