Neutral Particle Beam Accelerator, Beam Experiment Aboard Rocket

Display Status:

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

Collection Item Summary:

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.