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Building 4205 Gallery


Tucked away in a corner outside the main entrance to Building 4205 were three signs with no accompanying engines. This one reads


This innovative Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) was an experimental nuclear engine designed for long-duration manned space flight, including a proposed manned mission to Mars. There was no combustion of propellants inside this engine. Rather, liquid hydrogen was superheated as it passed through a nuclear reactor, then expelled through the nozzle. This design achieved a much higher specific impulse than even the Space Shuttle Main Engine. In addition, the thrust, although less than that of an SSME, could be sustained long-term for deep space exploration. Despite these technological successes, development plans for NERVA were eventually canceled out of concern over the use of nuclear materials for manned space flight.

Aerojet-General Corporation (prime contractor)
Westinghouse Corporation (reactor)

Developed for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and NASA.

This sign appears to be the one which accompanied the NERVA when it was at the USSRC

Time picture taken Thu Sep 12 15:10:00 2013
Location picture taken Building 4205
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL
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