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RD-0410 (РД-0410, GRAU index: 11B91) was a Soviet nuclear thermal rocket engine developed from 1965 through the 1980s using liquid hydrogen propellant.[1] The engine was ground-tested at the Semipalatinsk Test Site,[2] and its use was incorporated in the Kurchatov Mars 1994 manned mission proposal.[1]

This engine had slightly higher performance (exhaust temperature and specific impulse) over NERVA (the U.S. nuclear thermal rocket engine project), but much less thrust: only 35.2 kN compared to 333.6 kN of NERVA. The design of the reactor core included thermal insulation between uranium carbide/tungsten carbide fuel and the zirconium hydride moderator. This solution allowed for a very compact reactor core design. Hydrogen flow cooled the moderator first allowing to keep very low neutron energy and high fission cross-section, then it was heated by the direct contact to the fuel rods. To prevent the chemical reaction between carbide and hydrogen, about 1 pct of heptane was added to the hydrogen after the moderator passage.

The hydrogen boost turbopump was designed by KBKhA.[3]

See also[edit]

  • NERVA, the American project for nuclear thermal propulsion


  1. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "RD-0410". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  2. ^ "«Konstruktorskoe Buro Khimavtomatiky» - Scientific-Research Complex / RD0410. Nuclear Rocket Engine. Advanced launch vehicles". KBKhA - Chemical Automatics Design Bureau. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  3. ^ Demyanenko, Y.; A. Dmitrenko, A. Ivanov, V. Pershin, A.Shostak, G. Zelkind, A. Minick, R. Bracken (July 2005). "41st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit". Tucson, Arizona: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.,. Retrieved 2012-08-21.  |chapter= ignored (help)

Further reading[edit]