Fusion Ignition

To build a fusion rocket we first need to “ignite” the reaction, which is what this article will cover. We will dive into what fusion ignition is, the broad methods that are used to try and achieve it, and related concepts that try to push outside of the normal fusion nomenclature. Ignition and Other Important […]

Fusion Fuels

Nuclear fusion is often seen as the “Holy Grail” of power generation and rocketry. It powers stars and our most powerful weapons, and is ~4X more energy dense than even mighty fission. Fusion is much harder to make occur than fission though, and the choice of fusion fuel has massive implications on both the utility […]

TAGS-85: Power Conversion System for the Outer Planets and Beyond!

Hello, and welcome back to Beyond NERVA! Today, we take a break from the Topaz International Program to cover a subject that we haven’t touched on at Beyond NERVA yet, and sadly the inspiration is due to the death of one of the true luminaries of astronuclear engineering, Dr. Emanuel “Emil” Skrabek, who passed on […]

Beyond NERVA is Changing!

Hello, and welcome back to Beyond NERVA! I wanted to give my readers an update on what’s going to be happening here this year, since there’s major changes coming soon to the blog and website! So why are things changing, and how? Well, the last few blog posts have been an immense amount of work, […]

Electric Propulsion Part 2: Electrostatic Propulsion

Hello, and welcome back to Beyond NERVA! Today, we finish our look at electric propulsion systems by looking at electrostatic propulsion. This is easily the most common form of in-space electric propulsion system, and as we saw in our History of Electric Propulsion post, it’s also the first that was developed. I apologize about how […]

One Year of Nuclear Space Exploration!

Hello, and welcome back to Beyond NERVA! This week marks the one year anniversary of Beyond NERVA’s start as a blog. While I’ve been fascinated by nuclear powered spacecraft since I was a child, September 23, 2017 was the start of my outreach efforts in this incredibly diverse and fascinating area of research. In the […]

Not Your Usual BN Post… looking to the future of Beyond NERVA

This is a bit of an unusual post from me, but I’m running into IRL realities that need to be addressed that directly impact Beyond NERVA.   This blog and page are the most important thing to me, and are a thing that I want to continue to expand in the way that I have […]

Beyond NERVA FB Group hits 100 Members!

Today, the Beyond NERVA Facebook group hit 100 members! There’s a great group of professionals and amateurs, from all levels of education and experience. It’s a great place to exchange ideas, papers, and information, and I post late drafts of each of the blog posts on the group for review and correction from the group […]

KRUSTY: We Have Fission! Kilopower part III

Hello, and welcome back to Beyond NERVA! Today, we return to the KRUSTY test, and the Kilopower system, being presented today by NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Nuclear Security Site. As we’ve seen before, KRUSTY is the testbed for the Kilopower reactor, developed by Los Alamos as a small, simple nuclear reactor […]