Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman, and Astrobotic Awarded U.S.
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This news is classified in: Traditional Energy Nuclear

Dec 12, 2023

Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman, and Astrobotic Awarded U.S. Air Force Contract to Power Satellites with Nuclear Energy

  • The Advanced Research Contract Supports the JETSON Space Program

Westinghouse Electric Company announced today that the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicle Directorate has selected Westinghouse for an advanced space research program. The award supports the Joint Emergent Technology Supplying On-Orbit Nuclear power (JETSON) High Power program.

Westinghouse has teamed with Northrop Grumman and Astrobotic for this groundbreaking effort to power satellites with nuclear energy for AFRL.

“Westinghouse is an industry leader in developing innovative solutions through advanced technology for our customers,” said Jon Ball, President of eVinci™ Technologies, Westinghouse. “This award reflects the progress made in the development of our technology, and demonstrates its unique capability to power the nation’s most critical missions. We are proud to be able to meet AFRL’s space nuclear power needs with our demonstrated technology.”

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Scott Kugler, Director of Space Vehicle Programs at Northrop Grumman, said: “Northrop Grumman will leverage its strong heritage in nuclear-electric power and propulsion to advance JETSON’s cutting-edge technology, working with Westinghouse, Astrobotic, and government partners to develop a new age of spacecraft systems that will help secure our nation’s freedom and advance human understanding of the universe.”

“Astrobotic is honored to support Westinghouse and their AFRL customer with adapting high-heritage terrestrial reactor technologies for space applications as part of our continued focus on advancing the state of the art for in-space power,” said John Thornton, CEO, Astrobotic.

JETSON High Power is examining alternatives to current space power systems that consist of solar arrays, requiring sunlight and frequent repositioning to function, and batteries, which can be heavy and have limited storage. A nuclear reactor system provides constant power without these operational limitations, allowing for higher, more flexible and reliable levels of power.