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A design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars has exceeded key performance parameters and optimised the reactor for manufacturability, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced. The reactor's features include a compact core thanks to the use of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
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The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 30 July launched the Perseverance Mars from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rover is expected to land on Mars in February 2021. It will be powered by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) developed at the Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Idaho National Laboratory (INL). NASA said the rover, was powered by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket. ULA is the only space launch provider certified to handle Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), according to ULA president and CEO, Tory Bruno. NASA certifies the rocket, but NASA and DOE together certify the provider to carry a nuclear payload, he explained.

Date: Tuesday, 04 August 2020
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