Pushing the Exploration Frontier

Deep Space Radioisotope Power Systems, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, Nuclear Electric Propulsion, Fusion Propulsion and other Nuclear Applications for Space Research & Travel
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Congratulations to the New Horizons Pluto Probe

Congratulations to the NASA team that worked on the New Horizons Probe which made its fly-by of Pluto in mid-July offering the first up close pictures of Pluto.
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The Aerospace Nuclear Science & Technology Division (ANSTD) was founded in 2008, evolving from a technical group that was established in 2000. ANSTD was created to play an important role in the nuclear community by promoting the advancement of knowledge in the use of nuclear science and technologies in aerospace applications. Since its creation, ANSTD has grown to become a large division of more than 500 members (about 5% of all American Nuclear Society members).


ANS Public Policy Statement on Space Technology


The Aerospace Nuclear Science & Technology professional division was established to promote the advancement of knowledge in the use of nuclear science and technologies in the aerospace application.

Specialized nuclear-based technologies and applications are needed to advance the state-of-the-art in aerospace design, engineering and operations to explore planetary bodies in our solar system and beyond, plus enhance the safety of air travel, especially high speed air travel.

Areas of interest will include but are not limited to the creation of nuclear-based power and propulsion systems, multifunctional materials to protect humans and electronic components from atmospheric, space, and nuclear power system radiation, human factor strategies for the safety and reliable operation of nuclear power and propulsion plants by non-specialized personnel and more.

ANSTD Strategic Plan

Recent Articles

Space Radiation – Interplanetary Radiation Belts

Written by: Megan Wetegrove In this post, planetary radiation belts are introduced, with special emphasis on Earth’s planetary radiation belts – the Van Allen Belts. Requirements for Planetary Radiation Belts In order for a radiation belt to form around a planet, the planet must have a magnetic field. This magnetic field is able to deflect charged particles that are traveling in the planet’s direction. The area around the planet in which the magnetic field is able to control particles is called the magnetosphere. When a magnetosphere is present around a planet, most space radiation directed at the planet is deflected. Below is an image of Earth’s magnetic field deflecting charged particles from the Sun. Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magnetosphere_rendition.jpg A planet’s magnetic field is able to offer the planet a great amount of protection from charged particles. At the same time, the presence of a magnetic field gives rise to planetary radiation belts on account of the field trapping a number of charged particles along magnetic field lines. Consequently, these particles form donut-shaped ‘belts’ around the planet. Currently, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are surrounded by trapped radiation. Venus and Mars do not have magnetic fields; thus, these planets are not able to trap charged particles. The Van Allen Belts The Van Allen belts are two planetary radiation belts surrounding Earth. The belts are donut-shaped crescents that do not extend as far as Earth’s poles. The inner belt, extending from approximately 400 km to 18,400 km (measured from the equator) consists mainly of electrons with maximum energy of 10 MeV. Electron fluxes with energies greater than 2 MeV peak... read more

2014 ANSTD Election Results

The results of the 2014 Election for Officers and Committee Members is available now. The six new elected positions are described below. John Darrell Bess, Chair Michael G. Houts Executive Committee Jeffrey C. King, Treasurer Christopher G. Morrison Executive Committee John Bess works on R&D in nuclear engineering at the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID. William Saylor is involved in aerospace systems and energy consulting in in Bennett, CO. Laura Sudderth is a student researcher working on fuel cycle and materials at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. Jeffery King is an assistant professor and interim program director in the nuclear science and engineering program at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden,... read more

Student Letters of Appreciation from the 2013 ANS Winter Meeting

Five ANSTD students, Peter Ryan van den Berg, Alexis Kaplan, Sarah Sarnoski, Louis Ocampo Girado, and Brycen Wendt, attended the ANS Winter Meeting in DC. The ANSTD helped them with their travels to the conference enabling them to present their research without needing to worry about financial issues. The thank you letters are below. Peter van den Berg Brycen Wendt Sarah Sarnoski and Louis... read more

Looking for Writers

We are looking for writers for the ANSTD website. We have openings for blog writers, forum moderators, and wiki writers. If you have a background in nuclear and or space technology please send us a message using the Contact Us Page. read more