Section, Rocket Engine, NERVA

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a section taken from an engine nozzle developed for NASA's NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) program. It most likely came from the 75,000 pound thrust NERVA-XE flight rocket developmental engine of the type last tested in 1972. The engine was fabricated from high-grade stainless steel and used regenerative cooling to withstand the heat generated from the high-temperature hydrogen gas exhaust products. The section on display here did not undergo testing.

NASA did not design the XE to fly, but rather to serve as a research model for the development of an upper stage nuclear rocket engine derived from the Saturn V launch vehicle for deep space missions. Due to budget cuts, however, NASA canceled the NERVA program in the early 1970s.

Aerojet Nuclear Systems Company transferred this to the Museum in 1972.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number

A19731001004

Credit Line

Gift of Aerojet Nuclear Systems Company

Country of Origin

United States of America

Materials

Stainlless steel, high grade

Dimensions

Overall: 3 in. tall x 7 1/4 in. wide x 7 in. deep (7.6 x 18.42 x 17.8cm)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Type

PROPULSION-Components (Engine Parts)

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