BWXT provides fuel to support NASA’s Nuclear Thermal Propulsion project

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Lynchburg technology company has reached a critical milestone when it comes to space travel.

BWX Technologies (BWXT) will be helping to fuel NASA by delivering coated reactor fuels to support the agency’s Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) project. This project makes it possible to propel a spacecraft to Mars and back.

“This is a landmark accomplishment for BWXT, and we’re extremely proud to support these efforts toward one day seeing a crewed spaceflight travel farther than ever before,” Government Operations President Dr. Rob Smith said. “This is a credit to everyone engaged in this endeavor in our labs and manufacturing facilities, the teams at the national laboratories, and the academic researchers who are all working together to achieve this goal.”

There are several advantages to using NTP over conventional chemical propellant designs. NTP has a lower mass and is more proficient which can help astronauts travel through space faster, reduce exposure to cosmic radiation and enable return flights.

BWTX produces different types of fuels such as high-temperature coated fuels for space exploration and TRISO fuels for terrestrial use in microreactors.

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