Concepts submitted to Project Outreach for Space Exploration and Extended Habitation serve to highlight a number of important research areas, and in particular, the importance of broad-based support for research into power and propulsion technologies. Nuclear energy sources emerge as very strong candidates for both space and surface power systems. Recent interest includes NERVA-like nuclear thermal rockets, the SP-100 reactor, and Topaz II and nuclear rocket technology from the former Soviet Union. Power beaming also has long-term potential for enormous utility.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.