Neutral Particle Beam Accelerator, Beam Experiment Aboard Rocket

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    Neutral Particle Beam Accelerator, Beam Experiment Aboard Rocket

    The BEAR is circular and the outer covering has been removed for the most part, permitting viewing of the internal components. It is silver. The dolly is a cradle with four wheels that holds the BEAR and is yellow, black, and silver.

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

This low power neutral particle beam (NPB) accelerator developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory was one of several directed energy weapons investigated by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization for possible use in missile defense. As part of the Beam Experiments Aboard Rocket project, it was launched from White Sands in July 1989 to an altitude of 200 kilometers (124 miles), operated successfully in space, and after reentry was recovered intact. The test's goals included determining NPB propagation characteristics in space and the effects on spacecraft components. Although research continued into NPBs, no deployed weapon has ever employed this technology.

Los Alamos transferred this artifact to the Museum in 2006.