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Space & Astronomy

NASA teases plans for nuclear power in space

By T.K. Randall
April 19, 2018 · Comment icon 6 comments

The new reactor will help to power future space missions. Image Credit: NASA
The space agency will be revealing new details of its 'Kilopower' system at the beginning of next month.
According to reports, a press conference set to take place at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on May 2nd will reveal more about the new system and how it is progressing.

Known as Kilopower, this experimental, miniature nuclear reactor has been designed to provide clean, plentiful energy for both manned and robotic deep space missions.

"This pioneering space fission power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power - enough to run two average households - continuously for at least ten years," NASA wrote.
"Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost."

While it is currently unclear when the new reactor will be ready for use in actual missions, it will ultimately make a manned presence on Mars a lot more plausible.

"We want a power source that can handle extreme environments," said NASA's Lee Mason.

"Kilopower opens up the full surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside."

Source: Independent | Comments (6)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Vlad the Mighty 6 years ago
* Waits for environmental lobby to raise howls of protest about polluting space with radiation .... * 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Seti42 6 years ago
I want one. I wonder if they last longer than 10 years if you use less power than
Comment icon #3 Posted by Almighty Evan 6 years ago
Dozens arrested in protest of plutonium-fueled space mission (October 4, 1997) http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9710/04/cassini/
Comment icon #4 Posted by Almighty Evan 6 years ago
Dozens of dead nuclear reactors are floating in space, and they'll eventually hit the earth http://www.businessinsider.com/nuclear-powered-satellites-space-2016-3
Comment icon #5 Posted by Blizno 6 years ago
    They were concerned about the rocket exploding in the atmosphere and spraying ultra-dangerous highly radioactive material over a huge area. I didn't read anything about "polluting space".
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
A highly significant part of that article:  


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