SP-100 was a U.S. research program for nuclear fission reactors in space. It was started in 1983 by NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

, the US Department of Energy and other agencies. It developed a reactor with heat pipes transporting the heat to thermionic converter
Thermionic converter
A thermionic converter consists of a hot electrode which thermionically emits electrons over a potential energy barrier to a cooler electrode, producing a useful electric power output...

s. It was cooled with lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...


See also

  • Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power Program
    Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power Program
    The Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power program was a program of experimental radioisotope thermoelectric generators and space nuclear reactors flown during the 1960s by NASA.-Odd-numbered SNAPs: radioisotope thermoelectric generators:...

     and SNAP-10A
    SNAP-10A was the first and so far only known launch of a U.S. nuclear reactor into space . The Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power Program reactor was developed under the SNAPSHOT program overseen by the U.S...

    , that flew in 1965
  • Safe Affordable Fission Engine
    Safe Affordable Fission Engine
    Safe Affordable Fission Engine are NASA's small experimental nuclear fission reactors for electricity production in space. Most known is the SAFE-400 reactor producing 400 kW thermal power, giving 100 kW of electric energy using a Brayton cycle gas turbine. The fuel is uranium nitride in...

    , a later project
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