NASA applications that would directly benefit from this technology include Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). Initial NTP systems will have specific impulses roughly twice that of the best chemical systems, i.e., reduced propellant requirements and/or reduced trip time. The proposed Phase I and Phase II efforts would greatly assist NASA with achieving the promise of NTP and NEP. Potential NASA missions include rapid robotic exploration missions throughout the solar system and piloted missions to Mars and other destinations such as near earth asteroids.
Commercial sectors that will benefit from this technology include medical, power generation, electronics, defense, aerospace, chemicals, and corrosion protection. Specific applications include protective coatings, x-ray targets, valves, non-eroding throats and thrusters for propulsion, and crucible/furnace components.