Enhancing Military and Commercial Spacepower through Nuclear

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert writes about how the strategic competition among great powers is increasing the importance of maintaining and increasing U.S. national power in outer space. The United States, Russia, and China are all pursuing space reactors and nuclear rockets but spacepower and associated theories have yet to fully consider how space nuclear technologies enable national space capabilities. Similarly, the role of space nuclear energy in the Department of Defense (DOD) – namely, the U.S. Space Force planning remains unclear. This article examines space nuclear energy’s contribution to U.S. national power. July 20, 2021.