NASA invited the press to a conference to discuss their latest experiment, which included a new nuclear reactor essential to the planned lunar and marsupial missions. ( Remy Gabalda | Getty Images )
On May 2, NASA will discuss an experiment on a new nuclear power plant at its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland
The agency will discuss kilopower and its Significance for the future of robotic and human reconnaissance missions on the Moon, Mars and other space targets. The concept was the subject of experiments from November 201
Also included in the discussion is the Authority's Electric Propulsion Lab, which will be used to test a high-performance solar-electric propulsion system that will propel the NASA's moon.
NASA launched the project in January informed and explained that Kilopower will be important for astronauts to traverse the Moon and Mars for a long time. Specifically, it will provide them with a space fission power system capable of generating 10 kilowatts of electricity continuously for ten years, enough to provide enough power for two households.
Kilopower is designed to be reliable efficient energy system that will help the astronauts. It provides them with their daily needs such as lighting, water and oxygen. In addition, the astronauts can perform experiments and produce their own fuel in space. Four kilopower units would provide enough power to build an outpost.
Marc Gibson, Chief Engineer of Kilopower at the Glenn Research Center, said in January that full performance tests for 28 hours should be performed by March.
With such a rich supply of kilopower, humans or robots can thrive effectively on Mars, where solar power is unreliable due to periodic storms that can last for months. In the Moon's Fall, Cold Moon Nights Last 14 Days
NASA Lunar Outpost
As part of their preparations for another mission to the Moon and a mission to Mars, NASA has built an orbital outpost in 2020 as the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway started. Specifically, in 2022 it will already be equipped with electricity and solar power. After all, in 2023 the Moon Station will be able to host settlements where astronauts can live and work in space for up to 30 to 60 days.
Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactors
Reactors essentially serve to generate electricity. The technology is already being used in aircraft carriers, submarines and in the production of medical isotopes for imaging and cancer treatment.
In this process heavy atoms were split during the absorption of neutrons. In this condition, the material is placed in a large tank with a small neutron source. The neutron drives a chain reaction: atom splits, releases more neutrons, more atoms split and then release more neutrons, etc.
This chain reaction generates energy continuously in the form of heat. In particular, the more atoms divide, the more energy is generated. The energy generated provides the energy needed to move a device or machine for any purpose.
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