Nuclear Engine

The NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications) rocket engine was a nuclear engine intended for multi-purpose deep space and Earth/Lunar orbit applications. Operating on a hydrogen bleed cycle, the engine derived heat through a regeneratively cooled fission reactor. The NERVA engine was rated at 75,000 lbf thrust. Hydrogen was expanded in the turbine to drive the hydrogen pump. Aerojet successfully took NERVA through the technology demonstration phase, thereby providing us with additional experience in large, hydrogen engine cycles. The project was jointly sponsored by NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission.