Nuclear Generators Power NASA Deep Space Probes

For more than 50 years, NASA’s robotic deep space probes have carried nuclear batteries provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. Even the crewed Apollo moon landings carried nuclear powered equipment.

However, the United States’ supply of plutonium-238, which fuels these batteries, called¬†radioisotope thermoelectric generators¬†(RTGs), is running low. Experts worry that ambitious planetary science missions in the future may have to be put on hold until more of the radioactive substance is available.

Credit: Karl Tate / SPACE.com


Posted 1 year ago with 138 notes
Tagged:Astronomyspaceastrophysicsscienceeducationnuclear generatorinfographiccosmos

  1. sezullive reblogged this from spaceplasma
  2. anedarvi reblogged this from napatantutu and added:
    Atomic Batteries for Deep Space Missions.
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  23. underbuilt reblogged this from ctrl-q and added:
    Pretty sure we have a shitload of thermonuclear weapons that we don’t really need anymore…
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