Nuclear Power in Space DOE/NE-0071

Nuclear Power in Space DOE NE In the early years of the United States space program lightweight batteries fuel cells and solar modulesprovided electric power for space missions As missionsbecame ambitious and complex powerneeds

  • Title: Nuclear Power in Space DOE/NE-0071
  • Author: U.S. Department of Energy Science, and Technology Office of Nuclear Energy U.S. Government D. Kvasnicka
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In the early years of the United States space program,lightweight batteries, fuel cells, and solar modulesprovided electric power for space missions As missionsbecame ambitious and complex, powerneeds increased and scientists investigated variousoptions to meet these challenging power requirements.One of the options was nuclear energy.By the mid 1950s, research had bIn the early years of the United States space program,lightweight batteries, fuel cells, and solar modulesprovided electric power for space missions As missionsbecame ambitious and complex, powerneeds increased and scientists investigated variousoptions to meet these challenging power requirements.One of the options was nuclear energy.By the mid 1950s, research had begun in earnest onways to use nuclear power in space These efforts resulted in the first radioisotope thermoelectric generators RTGs , which are nuclear power generators built specifically for space and special terrestrial uses These RTGs convert the heat generated from the natural decay of their radioactive fuel into electricity The lowpower devices were designed to supplement a craft s primary non nuclear power source, but as the technology progressed, they soon began shouldering many missions entire power needs.Today, RTG powered spacecraft are exploring theouter planets of the solar system and orbiting the sunand Earth They have also landed on Mars and themoon They provide the power that enables us to seeand learn about even the farthermost objects in oursolar system.

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