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11B97
Korolev nuclear electric/xenon rocket engine. Engine for Interorbital Tug for launch by Energia. Developed 1978-1986. Powered by nuclear reactor providing 50-150 kWt for 3 to 5 years operation.

Status: Developed 1986-. Date: 1986-. Thrust: 0.45 N (0.10 lbf). Specific impulse: 3,000 s. Burn time: 57,600,000 s.

Beginning in 1978 the 11B97 nuclear electric engine was studied for use in a reusable interorbital space tug for launch by Energia-Buran. In 1982, according to the decree of 5 February 1981, NPO Energia developed for the Ministry of Defense the interorbital tug Gerkules with 550 kWt maximum output and continuous operation in the 50-150 kWt range for 3 to 5 years. In 1986 a civilian interorbital tug was studied to solve the specific application of transporting heavy satellites of 100 metric tons to geostationary orbit, launched by Energia. All of these designs seem to have been essentially similar; the figures given here are for the last study. The tug would have a propellant supply adequate for 16,000 hours of operation and three years of reactor life.



Subtopics

Interorbital Tug stage Electric/Xenon propellant rocket stage. Beginning in 1978 the 11B97 nuclear electric engine was studied for use in a reusable interorbital space tug for launch by Energia-Buran. In 1982, according to the decree of 5 February 1981, NPO Energia developed for the Ministry of Defense the interorbital tug Gerkules with 550 kWt maximum output and continuous operation in the 50-150 kWt range for 3 to 5 years. In 1986 a civilian interorbital tug was studied to solve the specific application of transporting heavy satellites of 100 metric tons to geostationary orbit, launched by Energia.

ERTA stage Electric/Xenon propellant rocket stage. At the beginning of the 1990's a new type of nuclear generator was studied, that would have a capacity of 150 kW in the transport role and provide 10-40 kW to power spacecraft systems while coasting. This was designated ERTA (ElecktroRaketnovo Transportnovo Apparat).

Arsenal NE Tug Electric/Xenon propellant rocket stage. In 1994-1995 KB Arsenal collaborated with NII PME MAI, NPO Lavochkin, and others in international group to study interplanetary flight using nuclear-electric and solar-electric engines. The final selected design was a nuclear-electric interplanetary tug.

Country: Russia. Spacecraft: Interorbital Tug. Propellants: Electric/Xenon. Stages: Interorbital Tug stage, ERTA stage. Agency: Korolev bureau. Bibliography: 21, 89.

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