NASA Seeks Public Input on Prometheus

Apr 18, 2005
Artist's concept of a Prometheus spacecraft. Credit: NASA

NASA's Prometheus program is looking for input on the possibility of developing a space nuclear reactor.
Prometheus Nuclear Systems & Technology, along with Department of Energy's Office of Naval Reactors, is evaluating the possibility of developing a space nuclear reactor to supply future exploration spacecraft with a significant increase in on-board power and spacecraft propulsion capability. Such an increase in power would enable missions to the outer reaches of the solar system and beyond as well as substantially increasing the amount of science per mission.

Image: Artist's concept of a Prometheus spacecraft. Credit: NASA

As a first step, NASA is evaluating whether or not to pursue development of a space nuclear reactor to provide on-board spacecraft power and propulsion capabilities.

"We're seeking input on what sorts of issues we should consider in our evaluation," said Matt Forsbacka, the program manager. "We welcome public comment at each stage of the process." Prometheus Nuclear Systems and Technology will document the evaluation, including alternatives to be considered in a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) scheduled for publication in 2006.

NASA plans to hold three public scoping meetings to provide information on the Prometheus PEIS and solicit public comments. Two meetings will be held on Tuesday, April 19, at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, Florida, from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m EDT. A third meeting will be held in Washington, DC on April 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. EDT at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Source: NASA

Explore further: We're not alone—but the universe may be less crowded than we think

Related Stories

A flying carpet might take us to Pluto

Apr 26, 2006

A U.S. scientist says a giant solar panel unfurled in space like a carpet might one day make space flights possible without using nuclear propulsion.

The Lure Of Europa

Sep 05, 2005

The discovery that Jupiter's moon Europa most likely has a cold, salty ocean beneath its frozen icy crust has put Europa on the short list of objects in our solar system that astrobiologists would like to study further.

NASA's Budget Enables New Age of Exploration

Feb 07, 2005

Statement by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe about the Administration's fiscal year 2006 budget proposal and the Vision for Space Exploration. "The fiscal 2006 NASA budget reaffirms the President's commitment to the Vis ...

Nuclear Reactor for Prometheus Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

Sep 23, 2004

Northrop Grumman Corp. has been selected to partner with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a preliminary design for the Prometheus Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), an electric propulsion vehicle powered by a nuclea ...

Recommended for you

Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

13 hours ago

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly ...

Observing the birth of a planet

14 hours ago

Astronomers at ETH Zurich have confirmed the existence of a young giant gas planet still embedded in the midst of the disk of gas and dust surrounding its parent star. For the first time, scientists are able ...

Me and my world: The human factor in space

15 hours ago

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Radar guards against space debris

17 hours ago

Space debris poses a growing threat to satellites and other spacecraft, which could be damaged in the event of a collision. A new German space surveillance system, schedu- led to go into operation in 2018, will help to prevent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.