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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

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    Course Outline

    Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion - Nuclear Systems and How They Work



    Course Outline:


    I. Introduction and Overview of Advanced Nuclear Propulsion
    A. Limitations of state-of-the-art space nuclear propulsion technology
    B. Where does advanced nuclear propulsion fit (typical mission applications)
    C. Types of advanced propulsion concepts:
    1. Performance (Isp, T/W, efficiency, power level, dry mass, etc.)
    2. Critical feasibility issues
    3. Overview of nuclear energy systems
    D. History
    E. Testing
    F. Plans for future technologies

    II. Reactor designs
    A. History
    B. Production
    C. Plans for future missions

    III. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs)
    A. History
    B. Production
    C. Plans for future missions

    IV. Nuclear spacecraft options and configurations
    A. Nuclear thermal propulsion systems
    B. Nuclear electric propulsion systems
    C. Radioisotope electric propulsion
    D. Configuration issues (radiation, science payloads, human accommodations, etc)