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Accouterments of War and Defense

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Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application
Nuclear Rocket Development Station
Jackass Flats, Nevada
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By T.D. Barnes
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NASA's Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station (NRDS), Jackass Flats, Nevada was contracted by Pan American Airways to develop a nuclear Engine for future manned flight to Mars. This 1950 - 1960's Kiwi nuclear reactor Program code-named" Project Rover," consisted of test cells, A, C, and ETS-1 Engine Test Stand; R-MAD and E-MAD (Reactor and Engine Maintenance Assembly and Disassembly facilities; a Control Point/Technical Operations complex; an Administrative area; and a Radioactive material storage area. The three test cells were connected by a railroad where a remote-controlled locomotive transported the highly-radioactive reactor between the assembly complexes and the test stand. It was called the railroad "Jackass Rail Line, the worlds shortest and slowest".

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