In front of the technician with a Geiger counter stands a vertical nuclear reactor made into a jet airplane engine. Behind it is a second, horizontal reactor engine. Nuclear-powered jet airplanes were intended to carry nuclear bombs and fly a pattern around the Soviet Union. The program was rendered obsolete by long-range missile technology. These are the only two nuclear jet airplane engines in existence. The two nuclear-powered jet engines were transported by rail to the distant stack, hooked up, and test-fired. The stack channeled the engines’ exhaust, Heat, and radiation away form the ground into the air. Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho. November 9, 1984.
Leon Matejka is a retired engineer who worked at Idaho National Lab for 15 years. Bryan Smith, the Tea Party-backed candidate, appeals to Matejka because he wants to see federal spending reined in. But Matejka is conflicted. He believes it’s important to fund the lab because of the nuclear research conducted there. He also knows how critical it is to the local economy. A report by Boise State University a few years ago concluded that INL was responsible for a quarter of the jobs around Idaho Falls.
Txch This Week: Big Bang Discoveries And Startups In Space
by Norman Rozenberg
This week on Txchnologist, we looked at groundbreaking discoveries and innovations changing the world and what we understand of it. First, researchers documented the existence of gravitational waves. These waves, first theorized by Albert Einstein, show that the universe expanded at an exponential rate and provides direct evidence of the phenomenon know as inflation immediately after the Big Bang.