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Electricity from a nuclear reactor will provide energy for the moon settlers

NASA began conducting a series of studies with the aim of developing nuclear reactors that could be used to generate electricity for crew members who would live on the moon or Mars.

Altair, the lunar landing spacecraft in the planned missions
Altair, the lunar landing spacecraft in the planned missions

NASA began conducting a series of studies with the aim of developing nuclear reactors that could be used to generate electricity for crew members who would live on the moon or Mars.

Three different experiments at NASA facilities and American national laboratories successfully demonstrated important techniques for building a compact power plant for nuclear fission (fission surface power) in settlements on other worlds. This was announced by Don Palack, project manager at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

NASA and the US Department of Energy completed tests on several components of the nuclear power plant in recent weeks. The agencies are researching technologies that could enable the use of nuclear power on the surface of the Moon or Mars. Nuclear power is part of a range of options being explored for the purpose of having a human colony on the moon and Mars.

The ground-based fission system will use a small nuclear reactor, the size of an office trash can, and it will produce 40 kilowatts of energy, enough electricity to supply the needs of an outpost on the moon or Mars. The electricity produced can be used to support living systems, perform experiments, charge vehicles and for resource mining.

This is a total of one third of the power produced by the solar collectors of the space station, except that these solar collectors consume the area of ​​a football field. However, unlike the station that experiences 45 minutes of sun every hour and a half, on the moon there are two weeks of light and two weeks of darkness, which makes it difficult to use the sun's energy.

According to Falk, the series of successes in the development of technologies confirms that the nuclear fission project is on the right track.

NASA's current plan is to return to the moon by 2010 in individual missions that will eventually lead to a building stationed to study the surface of the moon and test technologies that will then be used in a manned journey to Mars.

As we know, NASA used power reactors to provide electricity to spacecraft going to the edge of the solar system, the latest of which is Cassini, and this move was criticized due to the fear that the spacecraft would crash during launch or when approaching the Earth in order to gain speed.

For information on the NASA website

19 תגובות

  1. NASA has never used nuclear reactors to power any spacecraft. As far as I know, only the Russians have put real nuclear reactors into space to date. NASA's spacecraft used something called an RTG, which is a device that contains radioactive material, the radiation of which is converted into energy in some way. But there is no nuclear fission here like in a reactor.

  2. light
    Have you already explored all the planets in all the galaxies in order to determine with such certainty that independent colonies cannot exist in space?

  3. 40 kilowatts is nothing
    What about the air conditioners? the hotels? The malls, etc.? Why be selfish and think only of yourself?

    Well let me live in my fantasies...

  4. The race to colonize space is madness. It will not be possible to have independent colonies (that is, independent of supplies from the U.S.A.) in outer space. There is no ecosystem suitable for human needs on the moon and it would be a huge problem to create one artificially. See a previous attempt here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2

    I suggest that instead of investing the funds in making the space fit for human habitation, it is better to invest it in keeping the space fit for human habitation. And one hour earlier is fine.

  5. Tin is not enough, screw the earth with all the radioactive waste that will explode in our grandchildren's faces
    Already planning to pollute the moon?? Or the solution would be to send the debris from the moon into space..
    Let's build two solar stations on both sides of the moon, what else could it be..

  6. Kofiko, I really liked your ideas, in my opinion you should join NASA as soon as possible, with your help we will surely reach Mars in the coming jubilee!

  7. If solar energy cannot satisfy the demands, why not use lunar energy? True, every child knows that the intensity of the moon's light is much less than the intensity of the sun's light, but since the astronauts will be directly on the surface of the moon the intensity will be considerable! All that needs to be done is to point the "solar" panels down and not up, so that the moon's radiation shines directly on them.

    Also, everyone knows that the moon is made of stinky cheese, so why not use cheese to generate energy? After all, properly smelly cheese contains at least 30% fat, and each gram of fat has 9 calories, which means that with each gram of cheese you can light a 100-watt bulb for more than two minutes.

    I have more ideas for solving the energy crisis, but I'm saving them for commercial applications. I donate the above ideas to NASA for free, provided that they mention my name as the sole inventor.

  8. Hello Michael 🙂

    I don't understand why there isn't a plan to launch a huge spacecraft whose entire function is to mine helium 3 by robots under control from Earth to fly it back here to use reactors based on helium 3.
    After all, if we have already hinted in the past that the USA and China are in a race to see who will do it first, why are they investing resources specifically in developing nuclear reactors and manning the moon?
    By the way, Michael, thank you for wanting to help the chemical engineer :-).

  9. Point, your humor is not amusing and it hides behind it a little person who wishes for a separation between humans, an "atheist" purification or just an evil child who has not matured.
    incidentally,
    God is not found in the stars but in the details.

  10. One bin per family for life, might be cheaper than paying an electric company.
    Maybe a neighborhood power center under the supervision of a power company.

  11. The time has come, after 30 years from the moment we arrived on the moon, to start planning the infrastructure. Now all that remains is to produce water (or fly giant space water glaciers to the moon), from which it will be possible to produce both oxygen and hydrogen, to use the hydrogen for additional energy production, to set up a plumbing system and to recycle sewage and garbage for when the guests from the breathing sphere come to visit, to build a grandiose greenhouse to maintain the temperature and oxygen And start growing plants to produce oxygen and food, obtain form 4 and approvals for deviations from construction percentages and you can already bring the furniture.
    According to the current rate, within fifty years the nuclear reactor will be built on the moon and within 1000 years the first settlers will live.
    When will they invent the machine that can assemble every possible food and product from a stock of atoms? Can save a lot of logistics.

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