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XE-Prime (nuclear reactor)

A nuclear reactor that was a focal point of the NERVA program. The XE-Prime reactor was incorporated in a complete mockup of a nuclear rocket engine and used to investigate engine start-up and shutdown characteristics, as well as the resulting engine performance. It was tested on Jun. 11, 1969, in a vertical downward firing test of the engine in a simulated space vacuum (1.6 psia), achieving a power output of 1,140 MWt for 210 seconds. The other reactor series developed during the NERVA program was NRX.

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   • nuclear propulsion

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