NASA examines new nuclear reactor

NASA and US Department of Energy are working in tandem to establish a new nuclear reactor so that they can provide the best facilities and create the entire facilities for the future space travelers. Thus both the organizations have sufficient plans to help the future space fans to enjoy the most in their endeavor to enjoy space ride to the fullest. The nuclear reactors are believed to have such unique features in them which would have the capability to light up several homes and also would be able to operate in critical environments.

It is a huge problem to get electricity facility in space. If the astronauts are close to the Earth, then they can get electricity facility due to solar panels. Similarly, the satellites would be able to obtain electricity facilities if they are roaming close to the Earth. But after a specific range that facility becomes thin. This situation makes it that much harder for the astronauts to carry on their jobs. Communication becomes a problem and sometimes even life-threatening for the astronauts.

The best solution to all these problems according to the scientists is to resort to old-days nuclear power. Nukes have solved a majority of the issues for NASA, starting from Pluto probe to Curiosity rover over Mars. It is quite known to everyone that the sources of nuclear power are very much durable and they also last for a more significant period. For instance, both the Voyager spacecraft that were launched in 1977 still exist and are moving around with the help of few pounds of plutonium that they carry along with them.

As per the tradition, spacecraft have utilized the heat from a massive piece of plutonium. However, the perfect plutonium which is required would be a byproduct that gets generated at the time of nuclear weapon production during the time of Cold War. Since such production has reduced to a great extent, there has been a shortage of plutonium.

The new reactors that are developed are using more of uranium fuel. With the help of “core” which is the size of a paper towel roll, the reactors will have the capacity to turn the pistons to run the generator. The generator can bring about 10 kilowatts of electrical power, which re enough to run small homes. Scientists believe that such generators will have the capacity to run for a continuous period of 10 years which will make space travel more easier and smoother.

Source:

NASA achieves successful completion of “Kilopower” test of the nuclear reactor to be sent to space