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The Application of Nuclear Science to Space

Language:  English
The book covers propulsion by means of nuclear fuels - the nuclear thermal rocket and the nuclear electric rocket - was well as electricity production and instrumentation using nuclear substances.
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  1. The radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG)
    1. Introduction
    2. Spacecraft having used the RTG with a radioisotope
    3. The Stirling radioisotope generator
    4. References
  2. The Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR)
    1. Background
    2. US designs up to the 1970s
    3. More recent US designs
    4. The Soviet Union
    5. South Korean activity into the use of LEU in thermal nuclear rockets
    6. Other NTR concepts
    7. Propellant seeding
    8. A nuclear thermal rocket propelled by thorium from the moon
    9. References
  3. The Nuclear Electric Rocket
    1. Use of the ion thruster in nuclear electric rockets
    2. Soviet nuclear electric rockets
    3. Possible nuclear electric propulsion using a space molten salt reactor (SMSR)
    4. The thermionic converter
    5. Further comments
    6. References
  4. The (hypothetical) fusion rocket
    1. Background
    2. Concepts and development work
    3. Further remarks
    4. References
  5. Space Rovers Utilising Nuclear Substances
    1. Examples
    2. Further information
    3. References

Propulsion using nuclear substances - the nuclear thermal rocket and the nuclear electric rocket - are described with examples, as is electricity production by means of the radioisotope thermoelectric generator. ‘Gravity assist’ is explained. The nuclear salt water rocket features, as do the fission fragment rocket and the ‘nuclear light bulb’ spacecraft. The hypothetical fusion rocket is given coverage. A summary of the Mössbauer effect is given as background to a description of a Mössbauer spectrometer used in a Mars rover mission. An alpha particle X-ray spectrometer is similarly described. Close attention is paid to the nuclear chemistry, and the book contains numerous illustrations.

About the Author

Clifford Jones has spent a working lifetime in teaching, research and writing on fuels and combustion. He has held academic posts in the UK and Australia and has held visiting posts in a number of countries including Kazakhstan. He has written over 20 books and numerous papers and articles. He has major broadcasting experience.

About the Author

Prof. Dr J. Clifford Jones