AKA: Pluto;Rover. Status: Development 1971. Thrust: 867.41 kN (195,001 lbf). Gross mass: 178,321 kg (393,130 lb). Unfuelled mass: 34,019 kg (74,999 lb). Specific impulse: 825 s. Specific impulse sea level: 380 s. Burn time: 1,200 s. Height: 43.69 m (143.33 ft). Diameter: 10.55 m (34.61 ft). Span: 10.55 m (34.61 ft).
Cost $ : 226.200 million.
|Nova C-3 Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. .|
|Nova D-3 Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. .|
|Saturn S-N C-3BN Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Nuclear upper stage considered in lieu of S-IVB in final Saturn C-3B study in November 1961.|
|Saturn S-N C-5N Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Nuclear upper stage considered in lieu of S-IVB in final Saturn C-5 study in November 1961.|
|Saturn S-N V-25(S)U Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Version of Nerva studied by Boeing for manned Mars expedition.|
|Nerva Alpha Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Nuclear stage designed to fit into the space shuttle payload bay. Additional propellant modules could be added in orbit. Such propellant modules would have a mass of 23,181 kg, including 21,265 kg of usable propellant. Given go-ahead in 1972, it would have been flight tested by 1982.|
|Nerva Gamma Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Improved version of the Alpha nuclear stage designed to fit into the space shuttle payload bay. Additional propellant modules could be added in orbit. Such propellant modules would have a mass of 23,181 kg, including 21,265 kg of usable propellant. Given an Alpha engine development program, it would have been flight tested by 1984. In addition to propulsion, it would provide 10 to 25 MWe power for missions of two to five years duration.|
|Nerva 2/NTR stage Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Design as revised in detail in 2005.|
|Nerva 2/NTR American space tug. Study 2005. Upper stage / space tug - study completed 1991. Late 1980's update of 1960's Nerva design.|
|NPS-2 Rocketdyne nuclear/LH2 rocket engine. Nuclear Deep Space. Nuclear. Liquid hydrogen turbopumps, feed systems, and nozzles developed for KIWI-A, KIWI-B, Nerva, Phoebus IA, MFS-1, MFS-2, MFS-3, and Rover nuclear development systems.|
|RN-6 Rocketdyne nuclear/LH2 rocket engine. Nuclear Deep Space. Nuclear.|
At the suggestion of Theodore von Kármán and following a request of Gen. H. B. Thatcher, an Ad Hoc Committee of the Scientific Advisory Board met in the Pentagon to consider the application of nuclear energy to missile propulsion. In its report, the Committee "noted that there was an almost complete hiatus in the study of the nuclear rocket from 1947 following a report by North American Aviation, until a 1953 report by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Because the technical problems appear so severe, and because another 6 years of no progress in this area would seem to be unfortunate," the Committee felt that a continuing study both analytical and experimental, at a modest level of effort, should be carried on.
NACA Lewis Laboratory presented ARDC with results of air-breathing nuclear propulsion systems for manned applications, leading to AEC-AF Pluto project, and also initiated comparison of nuclear rocket with chemical systems for ICBM, a concept of use to Rover program.
The Atomic Energy Commission approved, on the basis of a statement of interest by the Department of Defense, the proposed plans of the Los Alamos Scientific and the Radiation Laboratories of the University of California, for the study and development of nuclear power for rocket propulsion.
As a result of guidance from the Secretary of Defense as to desired level of effort, the Atomic Energy Commission reduced its program on nuclear rocket propulsion to a single laboratory effort, phasing out work at the University of California Radiation Laboratory and concentrating AEC development efforts at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
In a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Robert L. King, Executive Secretary, described the action taken on certain items discussed at the July 14-15 meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council. Among these actions was the awarding of a contract to The RAND Corporation to evaluate missions for which nuclear propulsion would be desirable. Included in the study would be the determination of availability dates, cost of development, operational costs, the safety aspects of the missions, and an evaluation of research requirements.
AEC briefing held at the Nevada Test Site at Jackass Flats, Nev., for representatives of 26 companies for proposals to study the requirements for a National Nuclear Rocket Engine Development Facility. Existing test facilities are fully committed to the development of nuclear reactors.
Power run completed the test series on the Kiwi B-1A reactor system being conducted at the Nevada Test Site by AEC's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Fourth in a series of test reactors in the joint AEC-NASA nuclear rocket propulsion program, Kiwi B-1A was disassembled for examination at the conclusion of the test runs.