The space nuclear reactor has been widely studied since 60s in the last century. However, upon the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the ending of the Cold War, the space nuclear technology gradually faded out the public and researchers view. In recent years, due to the proposal of the United States’ Moon and Mars Project and China’s Deep Space Scientific Project, space nuclear technology are welcoming new opportunities for research and development. In this paper, the Prometheus project design has been analyzed and thereafter been based for multi-kilowatt He-Xe cooled space nuclear system preliminary design. Parameters like system efficiency, compressor ratio, temperature are given and neutron calculations are conducted in order to evaluate its physical performance and provide guidelines for future optimization. A computer program, which can calculate performance of heat pipe radiator, is also coded and thereafter used. At last, some consideration guidelines are concluded for larger power space reactor design.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.