BWX Technologies has partnered with Lockheed Martin and Space Nuclear Power Corporation to contribute to an Air Force Research Laboratory program focused on advancing technologies for spacecraft employing nuclear electric power systems.
Under the collaboration, the company said Wednesday it will produce and test nuclear fuels and components as well as support design and system integration at its facilities in Lynchburg, Virginia, in support of the Joint Emergent Technology Supplying On-Orbit Nuclear program.
JETSON aims to generate electricity by harnessing heat from a fission reactor, drawing inspiration from the 2018 Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology demonstration.
Joseph Miller, president of BWXT Advanced Technologies, said, “Our extensive nuclear fuel and component manufacturing experience on new and legacy programs, along with our unique infrastructure, will help the team build upon the KRUSTY demonstration, positioning it to deliver and fly a space nuclear system under the JETSON program.”
In September, Lockheed was awarded a $33.7 million contract for the program’s high-power track to further develop the technical design of spacecraft platforms and subsystems to a preliminary design review level.