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US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) has been contracted to develop the reactor and fuel for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO), which will use nuclear thermal propulsion. As part of a team led by Lockheed Martin, BWXT Advanced Technologies is to complete final design of the nuclear reactor, manufacture the reactor’s hardware and fuel, assemble the components and deliver the fuelled reactor as a complete subsystem.

Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbwxt-reactor-and-fuel-selected-for-darpa-space-project-11074621

The USA's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has finalised an agreement with Lockheed Martin to begin work on the fabrication and design of an experimental nuclear thermal rocket and its engine. BWX Technologies, one of Lockheed Martin's partners in the effort, will develop the nuclear reactor and fabricate the HALEU fuel.

Date: Thursday, 27 July 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/BWXT-to-begin-work-on-DRACO-engine-and-fuel

40-kW system planned to last at least 10 years in lunar environment A demonstration of fission systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars. Courtesy Nasa. US Space agency Nasa has chosen three companies to provide an initial design concept for a fission surface power system that could be ready to launch to the Moon by the end of the decade.

The companies are Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Company; Maryland-based Lockheed Martin; and Texas-based X, a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy.

The 12-month contracts are valued at $5m each and will fund the development of initial design concepts for a 40-kW class fission power system planned to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment.

Nasa said fission systems, which are relatively small and lightweight compared to other power systems, could enable continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight, and other natural environmental conditions. A demonstration of such systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars.

Date: Tuesday, 12 July 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nasa-chooses-three-companies-to-produce-concepts-for-fission-surface-power-system-7-1-2022

The US space agency NASA has selected three design concepts for a 40KW nuclear power system designed to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment to help "lay the groundwork for powering our long-term human presence on other worlds".

Date: Thursday, 23 June 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-on-the-Moon-NASA-selects-three-propo

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on 13 July it was leading an effort, working with the Department of Energy (DOE), to advance space nuclear technologies. The government team has selected three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system. The reactor is a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsnasa-announces-funding-for-nuclear-thermal-propulsion-reactor-8898302

Three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system for deep space missions have been selected by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The reactor will be a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel.

Date: Thursday, 15 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NASA-selects-reactor-concepts-for-deep-space-explo