A Lynchburg company is developing nuclear rocket fuel for NASA

BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) has reached a critical milestone in the nation’s pursuit of space nuclear propulsion by delivering coated reactor fuels to NASA. The spherical fuel kernels contained in this vial are tiny – about the diameter of a human hair. Made of uranium, they have a special coating to ensure safety and reliability at the extreme temperatures required for nuclear thermal propulsion. Nuclear thermal propulsion is one of the technologies that is capable of propelling a spacecraft to Mars and back. BWXT has been able to leverage its decades of specialty and coated fuel manufacturing experience as well as its existing licensed production facilities to be the first private company to deliver relevant coated fuels to be used in NASA testing. This work was supported by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) through the Space Nuclear Propulsion (SNP) project. (Credit: BWXT)

There’s a manufacturing company on the cusp of big things in central Virginia. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, they’re developing nuclear rocket fuel for NASA. 

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: